Ever wondered how to emulate the style French women seem to effortlessly portray and feel like a local when you are in Paris? Well, after visiting Paris a number of times and watching both locals and tourists go about their daily wanderings we have picked up a thing or two on how to appear more like a local rather than a tourist.
We think these tips will help you feel just a little more like a Parisian if you would rather blend in a little with the locals.
- Comfy but stylish shoes are a must. Ballet slippers with a rubber sole will provide cushioning on Paris’ cobbled stone streets while making sure you also look elegant. Nothing screams tourist more than joggers I am afraid.
- French men and woman dress well and definately have a more formal approach to their appearance than Australians. I think the hotter weather in Australia is the main reason we dress more casually, however a little extra effort in presentation will go a long way when in Paris.
- A cross over handbag. This type of bag is favored by French woman. So, as well as looking chic, you can have your hands free for photo taking, choosing fresh fruit and smelling the flowers at the local market.
- Scarfs are a French woman’s best friend. They can change the look of your outfit from night to day, add needed warmth in winter or protect your skin from the sun in summer, and give you that touch of glamour without taking much space in your suitcase. Take a couple to expand your wardrobe options. Below are two clips on how to wear both a square scarf and long thin rectangular scarf.
- An interesting small carry bag is essential. No cardigans or jackets wrapped around your waist thanks: definitely not a French look! A small attractive carry bag will hold your new market treasures or fresh croissants as well as your cardigan or jacket.
- Either a lightweight small dictionary or an app on your phone is a discreet option for checking out unknown French words or phrases. Every attempt at French will be appreciated and, who knows, you might even get to eat what you thought you ordered. Raw mince and pigs trotters are not everyone’s favorite, so sometimes it is best not to be too surprised. From experience I can say that children take these surprises less favorably than adults.
- Getting lost can work well in discovering ‘secret’ gardens and shops however, if getting lost scares you then a crushable map in your handbag is a good idea. Check out your map and plan routes the previous night or morning before you head out. Nothing spells ‘tourist’ like a huge map or super thick guide book being examined on the street corner.
- French men and woman do not eat food or drink coffee whilst they walk. It is bad for your digestion, looks unattractive and limits your appreciation and enjoyment of your food or drink. Take the time to savor your dining experiences in the country revered for its haute cuisine. Talking about coffee then… expresso is the chosen drink for Parisians (definately “not a latte or capuccino in a large mug). Drinking your expresso on a terrace while enjoying the buzzing scenery of Paris is a much enjoyed local pastime”. (Thanks to our local French reader Béné for this tip!)
So there’s a few tips for you on how to look more like a local in Paris. Does French chic and style interest you? We suggest you might also like Chic & Slim Toujours and How to be Parisian Wherever You Are.
One of my favourite blogs on personal style is written by Janelle Wehsack of Distant Francophile. Janelle explores the relationship between French elegance, style and confidence and the inspiration she believes we can all benefit from. A lady after my own heart! For more inspiration head over to her blog at Distant Francophile.
Au Revoir Annette xx
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Helpful Maps for trip planning and a crushable map to pop into your handbag
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