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Paris Street Fashion. I'd like to fit in when I'm in Paris and not stick out like a sore thumb. What can I expect to see on Paris streets in terms of fashion? Any advice for a first-timer to Paris?
Needing your help, -MaryLynn, USA
One of our favorite things about being in the City of Couture is the great Paris street fashion. At any moment you can expect to see a gorgeous entourage of men, women and children turning the Paris sidewalks into their own personal fashion runway.
The variety of Paris street fashion is mind-boggling. That's to be expected in a city that not only is a fashion capital, but that expects its citoyens to dress well.
There is not one universal look copied by all, rather there are a range of styles that make Paris a fashion capital.
The overall effect of the Parisian fashion sense is that people care about how they look. They think about their wardrobe and what they put on before they leave the front door. They know what works on their bodies and how to accentuate the positive.
From years spent traveling to Paris, here are a few of our observations.
When you're in Paris, girls, you need to step it up a notch while turning down the volume.
Stepping it up a notch means dressing like a woman and not a teenage boy. Please, no hoodies, khaki man pants, white running shoes, shirts with logos, fleece, sportswear, yoga pants, outerwear meant for hiking, sweat shirts, sweat pants, patterned old-lady acrylic sweaters, matching leisure pants and jackets, poor quality footwear.… You get the drift.
Turning down the volume means dressing simply yet beautifully. Women in Paris know what looks good on them and how to work their best assets. It's not fancy clothes with glitter and glam — Paris fashion at its best is always understated.
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A skinny jean, a flat boot, a fabulous swing coat, a big brooch and red lips. That's one signature look to emulate.
A vintage form-fitting tomato red jacket, a pencil skirt and a pair of mustard yellow platforms and a neutral lip.
A wide-leg pair of white linen pants, navy blue espadrilles, a mandarin-orange fitted jean jacket. With a multi-colored silk scarf to finish the look.
A graceful A-line wool crepe burgundy dress, charcoal grey tights, tall black boots, hair in a side pony tail.
Paris Street Fashion Essentials
Skinny dark wash or colored denim. A bold jacket. A few scarves. A tall black boot, a pair of colorful flats. Bold jewelery, but choose only one piece to feature per outfit.
The women of Paris don't steal all the fashion limelight.
First rule for men: French men wear scarves. Second rule: men in Paris dress well.
Please no sweat shirts with logos, baggy jeans, marshmallowy running shoes, gimme hats turned backwards, grunge wear, tattoos, sweat pants, untucked sloppy shirts.
What they wear, they wear well. A dark slim-fitting suit seems to be the signature look for Parisan men of all ages, especially under the age of 40. Paired with an exquisite suit is a pair of simple, sleek leather shoes. The pop of color might come from a periwinkle blue shirt underneath or navy blue scarf. This look goes especially well if you're riding a Vespa.
Older men also dress well in Paris. Even their casual wear is considered. Jeans are worn but most always a trouser jean in a dark wash with a dress shirt tucked with a belt and a cashmere sweater tied around the shoulders.
It takes a while to get used to the fact that French children are as well-dressed as their mamans et papas. What sets them apart from North American children is their highly cultivated style palate.
Logo wear has not taken over children's fashion in Paris. Children's clothing stores are filled with elegant, simple clothes in a navy, white, red and black color palette with basics such as a navy/white striped shirt, pull-overs, shirts with collars and cuffs. Little girls dress in stylish dresses, skirts and t-shirts with flat sandals.
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