Friday, March 26, 2010

Post cards from Paris part two "Fashion Spotted on the Streets"

A Parisian ad that's everywhere throughout the city... and very Paris chic' fashionable bien sur!
Typical couple: she's in a stylish black outfit with large handbag and he's in what seems to be the Parisian male "uniform" of jeans and a black shirt
Layered so nicely here and again, the large handbag ever on the arm it seems
A terrific military-styled a-line wool red coat paired with military look tall black boots and another guy with the jeans and black shirt look going on
On the one hand, classic black ensemble' and on the other hand, two more-artsy outfits

It was so much fun this week to espy fashion interpretations along the streets of Paris! For the most part, it is overwhelmingly black, black and more black 24/7 around this city. Black is also paired with dark gray, light gray, brown and cream as well. Occassionally there's a color shot via usually a long scarf worn straight down or wrapped around the neckline. Every once in a while, a bold, true red evidenced itself which was neat to see- mainly in tailored wool coats.

Leather riding boots are everywhere- I've never seen so many worn all around a place. Black reigns here of course but the boots' heels run the gamut from completely flat to riding boot practical to higher heels. Silhouettes overall are quite form-fitting and structured with the main difference being in pants: Americans wear their trousers and jeans much looser and boot cut as well whereas Parisians (and the myriad of Italian tourists here) wear their jeans super-tight and their trouser pants just a bit less tight.

Accessories wise, one's handbag is either huge or a classic quilted and chain-strapped Chanel. Tote bags aren't seen much at all unless they're leather and nicely styled. Scarves are all over the place with everyone wearing them: women, men and children. Jewelry as far as I can tell is fairly classic with opera length pearls being popular. Occassionally I have seen jewelry layering or a statement necklace but it's been the exception rather than the rule.

Hair styles are neat, makeup minimal excepting either a smokey eye look or bright red lipstick but not both at once it seems. No one that I saw wore any nail polish at all and fingernails were short. One thing I really liked about Parisian women is that they seem to age gracefully and not be trying to remain ever-youthful; their elegance far outweighs the wrinkles and gray hair in evidence. A definite testimony for bypassing Botox and plastic surgery! Another thing I noticed is that most of the women I saw were modestly attired even for an obvious evening-out. Their subtly sexy looks left more nicely to the imagination with just a tiny hint of cleavage or short slit on the leg- very surprising but also very classy. This even went for the young girls as well. Funny that the greater skin-baring I noticed was with groups of Italian or English girls who were obviously "on holiday" and partying it up big time: spilling out of their tops and wearing the shortest skirts possible. Next to the subdued French girls, these touristas looked a little too tarty. Less is more unless it's less-fabric eh? "Bien sure," say the Parisians it seems.

Overall, I was very impressed with the classic nature of Parisian Street Fashion. There were precious-few Preppies around but a whole lot of Continental Classics who would make Coco Chanel very, very proud...


  1. Great post! Loved hearing your perspective and getting a glimpse as well. Be safe!

  2. Thanks V! So glad that you enjoyed the post and I hope to write further on French Fashion... some of it was what I was expecting and other elements of it, not expected at all which was quite fun to see.

    I took the cutest picture of a French family who were walking just ahead of us when James and I were strolling along the Seine towards the Musee' de Orsay; they were so stylish that it made me smile to see them!

    Best, Lachlan :)

  3. love it! I identify more with the Parisian fashion than I do with the fashion here. I of course have no eye for fashion as you do. Thank goodness for you! I am so enjoying your descriptions. Keep it up Lachlan.

  4. Paris must be a great city for people watching. I hope to get there some day. Stop by Manor Lane when you get a chance. I tagged you today.

  5. Hey girl! Don't know if you are back "in town" yet, but I left a little something for you on my blog. Such fun!


  6. Thanks Elizabeth! I was thinking over this French-Fashion some more while on the plane back and thinking that one of the most striking things about it is how each woman, and man, really has their outfits so well tailored to their body types. I'm going to be better-conscious myself as to doing this... it really is so flattering...

  7. Thanks Miss Wendy and I so appreciate that...will definitely stop by Manor Lane :) I'm fighting some major jetlag this afternoon after we had to leave Paris (after two days of not getting on flights) to take a train ride up to Amsterdam and fly out of there early the next morning. Will do a post about that soon...

  8. Hey Jen! JUST got back in very late last night after an unexpected train ride from Paris up to Amsterdam to catch a flight out of there...more on that was a fun but crazy extra-adventure for sure!

    Thanks so much and I'll definitely head myself over to your blog now, best Lachlan