While in Paris, I spent a lot of time people-watching. Staying in the 9th arrondissement I had more than enough women to catch walking the streets, beautiful bags and fresh food in hand. By day 3, I’d picked up on enough tips to dress like a Parisian:
- Neutrals make for an easy outfit: Paris was devoid of color, save a very special group of young, Black folks I met. There were lots of black, navy, gray, and white with the occasional pop of olive or blush. Having a closet of these colors makes getting dressed a cinch because everything matches! I only brought 7 items on this trip and they were all navy, black and white. Of all of my vacations, this was both the easiest and the chicest. 2. Keep accessories minimal: I didn’t see any extravagant jewelry on anyone, male or female. No statement necklaces, no huge earrings – there were post earrings, thin necklaces, and small rings. All of the jewelry was dainty. Hats were a nice touch in solid colors, and the bags were nice and simple. Everything was solid, and once again, functional. 3. Comfort is key: Comfort is key when you want to dress like a Parisian. Heels are definitely not a thing. Most women were wearing Nike flyknits (or some variation of them) or a boot with a low heel. Absolutely no one has time to teeter across cobblestone! Paris is a walking city, there’s no reason for a heel. 4. BE YOURSELF: Above all else, Parisians just keep it simple so they have space to be themselves. I met a really great group of young people at Le Marche Noir (more on that place later!) who had style for days that felt very much like Brooklyn. I appreciated it. I also met people who kept their hair, makeup, and style chic and easy so they could go on to their fun jobs without being harried by clothing.
There’s more of a conversation around clothing and expression that I will get to later, as the tone around being plus size in Paris in particular was a little more grim. But overall, keep it simple and keep it moving.