Sunday, April 3, 2011

What to Wear to Paris if You Want to Be a Chic Woman Traveler Over 40 & 50

I just got back from Paris about a week ago...maybe a bit longer. It was recent enough that I still long for a crumbly, light, fluffy croissant every morning and a small piece of European cheese to go with it. Give me that combo and an Orangina and I'm happy. It doesn't take much...why can't I find anything like that in Seattle?
photo: food_in_mouth
Anyway, I've been writing about what the chic Parisians were wearing. In the past, I've been to Paris in the high summer months and at the end of September. Fortunately, this time, I threw some black garments in my suitcase at the last minute or I would have had to stay in my room. Only a few colors seem to be allowed during the colder months and the main color is BLACK. You can get away with gray, brown, khaki, and other muted or dark colors, as long as you don't wear anything that makes you stand out. Oh, I also saw navy blue and other dark blues worn with black.

Warning: The following photo of me is really bad. I swelled up from medication and I don't know when I'll be normal again....but I'm fearless in posting photos.

Here is that photo of me shopping for cosmetics on the Champs Elysees in the middle of March. At least my stockings and my boots were black. (The stripes are a shopping bag.)

People stared at me. I mean that people stared at me and took photos. I actually heard one woman say in English, "I think what she's wearing is cute." And, of course, she had to be replying to someone else saying something like, "What is that woman wearing?" God only knows what the French were saying. They talk so softly (and so quickly) that I can catch a few words here and there, but not all.

Okay, I don't really mind. Actually, a guy in Montmartre (straight guy) came up to take photos of me because he thought I looked "cute". Well, that was a weird experience.

Anyway, you should not wear too many colors (such as two non-black colors) unless you don't mind the extra attention. Personally, I don't think my outfit is bad. It's just different. And, I'm not a model. I'm a 58 y/o Baby Boomer from the West Coast.

What to Wear in Paris if You Don't Want to Look Like a Tourist:

Well, you can learn from my slight faux pas. If you want to look like a chic Parisian, chic American, chic Italian, chic Brit, etc. when you are on holiday/vacation, you will find the answers in the following articles:

What to Wear in Paris in Early Spring or Late Fall

Paris Street Style for Women Over 40 & 50

How to Dress in Paris Using Layers and Accessories

Women Over 40 or 50: Parisian Women's Style is in the Details

And, I thought I'd throw in something about handbags and shoes. I knew my flowered cloth handbag was going to be "unique", but I didn't think it would make people stare. Actually, my bag might have been acceptable in summer, when everyone lightens up about wearing that "black uniform"...but I had never been to Paris when it was the end of winter, so I didn't realize what it was like.  Learn from what I saw:

Comfortable Shoes for Women: Travel Footwear for Walking Europe

Extra Large Leather Handbags Worn by Chic Parisian Women

 There will be more articles about Paris. And, you don't need to be in Paris to use French fashion rules. With some minor adjustments, everything I saw in Paris could be worn in Texas, Seattle, New York, or San Francisco. It might even work in Montana. However, I wouldn't try it in Miami or Honolulu. People might think you are in mourning.

Song of the Day: Le Vent Nous Portera

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