A reader of my blog recently pondered the question of what to pack when visiting the most fashionable city in the world: Paris. Parisian style is world renown, so wondering what to pack for a first-time visit is a totally legitimate concern. Who wants to be caught looking like the classic American tourist? Not moi, that’s for sure.
After some research of my own, I learned that these two things are de rigeur:
- No white runners/sneakers/trainers. Reebok, Asics, Nike—honey, just. Don’t. Do. It. If you can actually run a marathon or work out in them, they are athletic shoes, and they scream CLUELESS AMERICAN TOURIST like nothing else.
- Scarf required.
So what do you pack for days of walking/touring if you can’t take your trainers? Kenneth Cole has an amazing range of flats that are super-stylish, but also padded like a sneaker. The 925 Technology and Gentle Souls collections fit the bill perfectly. Be sure you break them in before your trip.
I also had a little help from a Europe-based friend and blogger who has been to Paris and has her finger on the pulse of European fashion. (Thank you Tex of Fashion Butter.) Here is her perspective and suggestions for a chic week in Paris:
Paris: Amazing city! It’s been a few years since I have visited, but I can tell you all about what kind of everyday fashion I have seen on the streets of Europe in general (I have traveled and lived her for the past year, including a trip to the South of France).
I would suggest:
- A pair of flat leather boots.
- Skinny jeans or slim cut pants. Tucked into boots or worn with stilettos.
- Long tops worn under short jackets. Lots of play with proportion here.
- Pile on the layers—the more the better. And don’t leave the hotel without a scarf on!
- Lots of jewelry. Don’t be afraid to wear everything you own at once. Europe is a fun place to experiment with your look.
- A large handbag. Louis Vuitton if at all possible! The French adore their LVs. I think eight out of ten women carry them in that country. I was lucky enough to have one to carry during my trip there—I felt like a local.
When in doubt, the biggest difference between American and European street fashion is silhouette. American clothes are cut so roomy, while the Europeans prefer a much slimmer, tailored cut.
To those of you lucky enough to be visiting Paris in spring—or any other time—bon voyage! Please show those Parisian women that we American ladies are also magnifique!