Bonjour! As some of you may know, I am spending the Month of January in Paris. This means that I am not taking new clients or doing any personal shopping work while I am here. I will however be stopping by to post fun stories, interesting things I have found, and all sorts of clichéd observations about french fashion.
I’ve been here a week, and have mostly been doing more touristy stuff, so I don’t feel truly qualified to make any sweeping statements about french style, or the french in general, but here are a few things I have noticed so far.
French style is about fit, not about fashion. All of the impossibly chic Parisians you see usually aren’t being terribly avant-garde or trendy, they are wearing simple clothes that fit well. This is something Americans are terrible about. Clothing that you buy off the rack rarely fits perfectly, it needs to be tailored to fit your body. The simplest pieces can have a transformative power when they fit your body. A white dress shirt on a man, properly tailored so it doesn’t bulge in the back, can make him look like he just stepped out of a magazine. Since it is winter, everyone on the street has been bundled up in coats and scarves, so there haven’t been a lot of opportunities for street style spotting. However, everyone’s coats fit them, people still have waist lines, the shoulders aren’t too bulky or too small, and the sleeves are long enough.
French people do more with less. Parisian apartments are tiny, and most of them do not even have closets. There is no room to store superfluous clothing, or hang onto things that don’t work. Thus, less temptation to buy into trends or spend money you don’t have on mediocre things. Where would you put it? As a bit of a fashion hoarder myself, this has been an interesting revelation. I’m not sure when I get back I could pare my closet down to Parisian proportions, but there are definitely a few things I could let go of.
Souvenirs are the same everywhere. It’s all the same crap, just in different shapes. Eiffel Tower keychains in Paris, Statue of Liberty keychains in New York, Space Needle keychains in Seattle; it’s all the same worthless crap, and it’s all made in China. No one needs this stuff, so skip it. Save room in your suitcase and in your budget for things you or someone else might actually enjoy.
I’ll be checking in periodically to expand on these thoughts and to post updates on my adventures and musings.