Passionately Fashion-Forward Parisians

Hello friend,

It’s no doubt that two countries in the world are most well-known for fashion: Italy and France (New York as well, but that’s only one city in a large country, so it does not count!). I am fascinated by the Parisian look, and fascinated by all the rules that apply to dress (and all the faux pas that clearly give away that you’re a tourist!). And so, I would like to speak briefly to the summer style of Parisien(ne) men and women, and also give a ‘carry-on luggage tip’ for what to pack (for a man, and a woman), for a trip during the warmer months in Paris.

Parisian style is so simplistic yet ornate, modern yet timeless, and just trés chic! Basics are the key to men and women’s fashion in Paris, and right now, “over-doing it” is totally out. The only people who were over the top, in your face, or simply showing too much skin, stood out like sore thumbs (and to be honest with you, most of them were British tourists).

Men and women keep it simple with well tailored, high waisted pants (jeans more than anything… Classics like Levi’s), and a tucked in, solid coloured t-shirt, which was usually cut close to the men’s frame without being tight, or in a men’s cut if the woman was wearing it. Often this was accessorized with a gorgeous pair of sunglasses, a nice watch, a light scarf, or a piece of classic jewellery (like a simple pearl necklace, or a gold necklace on a soft chain). Right now, chokers are all the rage here in North America; the only people I saw with chokers in Paris were, again, young British tourists.

If women were wearing dresses (which was very often the case during the hot days), they were very simplistic, often a solid colour, usually flowing from the chest and around the waist, never tight fitted or revealing. These were also accessorized with the aforementioned.

Both men and women, regardless of what they were wearing, all had one thing in common: SNEAKERS. Sneakers seems to be the in-thing right now! The sneakers were all brand name and high quality shoes, and they were worn with pants, with dress pants, with dresses … You name it, and sneakers were the ultimate accessory to complete the look. (Converse was not a chosen shoe type, and it has been recommended that only youth choose converse to accessorize their outfits. The rule is, “under 26”, so Mr. J said he had the pass to wear them… hahaha!)

The keys to Parisian wear are the following: basic, pattern-less (unless it’s stripes…stripes are everywhere!), and loose-fitting (and comfortable!). I don’t think I spotted a single pair of heels, no matter the outfit. I did see a few thick strapped flat sandals, but rarely in comparison to the sneakers. And NO SHORTS, CROP TOPS, OR FLIP-FLOPS!

If you’re planning a trip to Paris in the warm months for a week, and, like me, don’t want to pack more than a carry-on, here are my suggestions to you…

Ladies:
– 1 light Jean jacket (if it got cool, which it rarely did, everyone wore these)
– 2 light, flowy, casual dresses
– 1 slightly fancier dress (perhaps a bit more fitted)
– 4 basic t-shirts
– 2 pairs of jeans (black and standard blue… No light fades)
– 2 pairs of comfortable sneakers (one more casual for a lot of walking, one pair a bit fancier)
– 1 light, versatile scarf
– 1 pair of sunglasses, 1 classic necklace, 1 awesome watch
– 1 small purse that can be worn cross body and close to you

Men:
– 1 jean jacket
– 4 basic tees
– 1 dress shirt
– 3 pairs of pants (solid, regular blue, dressier/business casual)
– 2 pairs of comfortable sneakers (one more casual for a lot of walking, one pair a bit fancier)
– 1 light, versatile scarf
– 1 pair of sunglasses, 1 fancy watch
– no backpacks allowed (this SCREAMS tourist), wallet only

Please note that if you’re a sweaty and/or smelly person, many of these items will be re-used through the duration of the trip, so be sure to bring portable Tide for some quick sink washes before bed!

Are there any important summer style tips that I missed? Leave me a comment! As the weather gets cooler, perhaps I’ll touch into other seasons, as well…

xo
C

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