Yes, one stereotype most can agree on is that in Paris, we like to wear black.
Well, I can confidently confirm this commonly held belief as TRUE. And it’s not just Parisians, but you can find pretty much everyone living in and around Ile de France dressed to the hills in that slimming, classic, versatile, but definitely morbid color.
I like to think that city people are kind of like chameleons- blending into their surroundings. Between the rain, clouds, fog, and pollution- Paris is a pretty gray city. And dirty. Let me tell you- wearing light colors in the metro never did anyone any good.
Naturally, when I first came here, I stuck out like a sore thumb. With my denim jackets, bright pastel sweaters, sports shoes and jeans- not to mention my natural *ahem* blonde hair and funny accent, I might as well have had the sign TOURIST written on my forehead.
Within a few months that was taken care of though. Not that I had a choice in the matter. When I went shopping I had three options: white, black, or gray. Sometimes there’d be a few token burgundy or cobalt blue pieces thrown in, but nothing flashy.
So I got used to draping myself in foggy grays, dark browns and blacks. Now that I’ve been living here for a while it’s become second nature.
So I guess you could say fitting into the Parisian color scheme is pretty easy:
No bright colors
No smiles (unless you’re looking to flirt)
No socks with sandals
Try to stay away from fanny packs
No sneakers (tennis shoes, running shoes etc) or the creepy shoes with the holes in them
Take my advice and you should just melt into the dreary landscape like every other walking dead J
Have a great weekend everyone!
LOL. Do I sense a hint of bitterness in you? ;o) Getting tired of it, huh? yeah ... me too ...
Err - okay, I'm a Brit - but what on EARTH is a 'fanny pack'? It sounds incredibly rude - but I think we might have a slightly different meaning here for the word 'fanny'!!
Part of me agrees that people in Paris dress in dark colors (especially in winter), and another rebels against that over-generalization and feels I should go out with my camera and prove you wrong.
For one thing if you go to the right quarters, you'll see colorful saris, boubous, punks in dirty neon pink and green, colorful teen fashionistas like butterflies, the art crowd, etc.
Can't argue with the city itself being gray though, gray and soggy. : p
@kate: fanny packs are called hip packs in the UK. : j
I agree Alesa. But like you said, winter is the worst- when I go out in public the color scheme is downright dreary. Everyone (including myself) is masked in blacks and browns. Summer is a different story though so I might post a retraction come the sunny days.
And Jessica, yes, I can't help but feel a little brightness would do me some good. I suppose I should count myself lucky for all the beautiful snow we've gotten these last few days. It definitely helps brighten things up a little.
Well, I would say no socks with sandals and no fanny packs is a general rule for everyone...cause we all know those never look good.
In Australia fanny packs are called bum bags. :o)
Who in their right mind would wear socks with sandals? Sadly, I can agree with you. Right now I'm dressed in head to toe black. I smile at the neighbors for fun. They're beginning to smile back, believe it or not, especially when I greet their dogs – not them. Bonjour, petit chien!
Is the "no sneaker" rule just for women or is it for everyone? I would have problems with that one.
Haha, I agree with Elena--socks w/ sandals and the fanny packs thing should definitely be a world-wide rule. :)
I couldn't stand that color scheme. I can do brown, but black is so not my color. I really would look like a zombie walking around.
I bet you just melt right in with those Parisians now though! :) At least it's easy to pick out clothes for the day.
What! No fanny packs? ;)
Ah - a bum bag!! Now I'm with you - my mind was conjouring up the most alarming images (I hope you Americans know what 'fanny' means over here cos I can't think of a polite way to explain it).
Never heard it called a hip pack though.
Back to more serious matters - sandals with socks Nooooo!!!!!
@kate: Huh, amazon.co.uk gives me 46 results for hip pack and 94 for bum bag. Shrug. : j
Loved this. I think I'd fit right in. I wear black, charcoal, and gray all the time. Can't seem to get away from it.
@Alesa: Probably a regional thing - I hail from Scotland.
As I read your blog wearing all black and cringing at the memory of a fanny pack bought for me a LONG time ago that I have never used, I am now more convinced than ever that I belong in France :-)
So much for the city of romance. But I already figured it wasn't after my 2 day honeymoon there. When all the public toilets cost money, which the poor don't have, it should really be called the City of Stink--especially during the hot summers. ;)
Serious? No bright colors? Oh...I'd so never fit in.
Although I do like wearing black. Hmmm. =D
Love that you see them as the walking dead! Black is definitely morbid. But I do love my black and grey fall wardrobe as long as I get to pair it with a bright scarf!
Yay!! I can drag my inner gothic child and blend into gay Paris!!!! :-)
Oh dear, I don't know if I could do it. The no smiling part anyway. Good thing I'll probably never get farther than Canada!
you seem a little homesick... :o\ I used to tease my (Swedish) college roommate b/c her closet was all black, beige, and burgandy... Must be a Euro thing~ ;p <3
okay so when i moved from Lnd to small town Iowa i thot the 1st person who smiled at me for no reason had a stomach bug. but things are even worse in Corsica I have all sorts of random strangers touching my kid.
As for those crocs? *shudders* apart from having to wear black - I pretty much love all the other rules.
What about black sneakers?
I can't picture you dressed in drab. Nope. Can't do it! :)
Well I was going to say I should move out of bright colored South Florida and too Paris (most of my husband and my wardrobe consists of black, white, and gray - we don't blend in well). Then you said "no socks with sandals." The horror! That's what we call snow boots in S. Fla. Give me some toe socks with flip flops and we're good to go. Not to mention Converse, please tell me they allow Converse!
I don't know how you do it. Lol.
Lol - you'd be in shock here in the south. (Even took a while for CT me to get used to!) Everybody smiles and is so helpful. Example: Harris Teeter employee "Did you find everything you needed? Can I get someone to help you to your car?" They may be told to say it, but the smiles are genuine. Love the Carolinas!
Hahaha. Thats so sad...I'm a big black/white/grey wearer but I do love random splashes of color in there. Bright undershirt, red ballerina flats, bright necklace, or something to add some pizzaz!
You should definitely embrace the little pizzaz! It would make you feel better (you sound a little...bitter about the whole dark color thing)
Next time you go out, completely conform to the dress code, but throw in a bright orange scarf or something to disrupt the status quo, hehe.
I wear a lot of black - but just because it makes dressing easy! Black goes with everything. Usually I'm wearing a bright colored sweater though so I'd like to borrow that "tourist" sign from you if you no longer need it...
This is kind of fascinating to learn. I had no idea the French were so enamored of black, or that stores had such limited color options. Though of course, it makes complete sense--black is an incredibly easy way to look sophisticated and elegant. Thanks for the post--I enjoyed learning more about the French!
Okay, I'm having Walking Dead withdrawls, but love this post. I'll remember to pack my black if I ever make it to Paris.
I love my bright colors! I wear some darks as neutrals but I gotta have at least some color.
Black is chic. Black is sophisticated. Black is slimming. But black is boring! We need more bright colors. We need to wear Hawaiian shirts or sport those colors. Bright colors rock as do smiles, socks & sandals & sneakers!
Post a Comment