Parisians are known for their effortlessly cool style. Before leaving for my trip I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to dress for life in one of the world’s most stylish cities. Seattle is known for just the opposite, and in fact has a reputation of being less than fashion forward. While I certainly know a few fashionistas in my home city, I was still crossing my fingers hoping I wouldn’t be scoffed at when I stepped of my plane at Charles de Gaugh. In the homeland of Chanel, Chloe and Isabel Marant I spotted a few style elements time after time.
One| Cool Sneakers with Everything
Athleisure is everywhere and Paris is not excluded. On the Metro, at the tables of street cafes and pounding the pavement on the chic streets of Saint Germain, sneakers were on everyone! Classic green and white Adidas were by far the most prevalent, while Adidas are worn in the U.S. I have to believe every Parisian owned at least a pair or two. Adidas weren’t the only fashionable sneaks to be paired with non-athletic looks. New Balance, Nike and Converse were common as well. After a few days of walking in cheap Target flats my feet were dying. I bought into the trend and picked up my own pair of “Stan Smith” (I had to ask the sales associate who he was, oops) white and green Adidas to pair with everything and anything. My feet were grateful!
Two| Chic Leather Jackets
Parisians are often depicted with a classic leather jacket and a cigarette, the caricature couldn’t have been closer to the truth! Toddlers dawned mini leather jackets as they scootered down the sidewalk, Mothers wore chic leather jackets and booties pushing their strollers over cobblestone, college students rolled cigarettes in leather moto-jackets on the subway and cute Parisian boys threw on their leather jackets for everything from the museum to happy hour to the mall. I was glad I packed my favorite leather jacket and found new inspiration for pairing the staple piece with basically everything. Adidas and a leather jacket are a definite Parisian go-to!
Oh and if a leather jacket wasn’t worn a classic camel trench was surely adorning the wearer (note to self: take my trench coat to the dry cleaner…)
Three| When in doubt…Add a Scarf
Silk, cotton and wool scarves were found in abundance on the streets of Paris. Though it is the end of April, my trip to Paris was shockingly cold (colder than Seattle at this time of year) and a scarf was actually necessary for breezy mornings and chilly evenings. Almost every Parisian wore some sort of scarf whether decorative or practical, it was as if there were some sort of consensus that it were a sin to leave your flat without the neck ornament. Not generally a huge scarf person myself (with the exception of blanket scarves in the winter) I loved spotting all of the men wearing scarves. While men in Seattle occasionally wear scarves in the winter I never see Seattle men in light weight scarves for Spring. As always, Parisian men were ahead of the trend with scarves of every color and texture. Women added scarves with poms or tassels to stay trendy with the wardrobe staple.
Four| Minimal Makeup is a Must
One thing I never saw was a Parisian woman with caked on makeup, rather, all of the women looked fresh faced and minimalistic. While I am certain many of the women were wearing makeup they opted for natural looks perhaps with a lip color that popped or stroke of winged eyeliner. As someone who is a little challenged when it comes to applying makeup I can definitely get on board with the light natural looking faces of Paris.
Five| Half up Top-Knots look Effortless
While I personally tried the half-bun and hated how it looked on me, I love the hair trend on basically everyone else. To parallel minimalistic makeup looks it only makes sense that young women in Paris adored this casual hairstyle. My cousin Genevieve bravely rocked the trend and looked right at home in Paris with the look. I definitely recommend trying the style even if you ultimately decide it isn’t the best look on you (as I did). You never know, the half-bun could be your new favorite lazy day hairstyle.
I opted to add my own twist on Parisian style. I’ve always loved the boho embroidered styles of Isabel Marant and love pieces that feel free spirited and nature inspired. For a day touring the museum of Decorating and Textiles I turned to this top from ShopJoyworks and online boutique from my home state. With skinny jeans, my favorite olive jacket and a new pair of white Adidas I felt at home in my personal style with just a touch of Paris thrown into my look. I can’t wait to pair the Aztec embroidered top with a pair of cut off denim shorts for a boho inspired summer look when the weather warms up a bit more.
ShopJoyworks has so many adorable pieces for Spring and Summer. This bell-sleeved off the shoulder top is so trendy for this season and I love the Denim Button Down dress for casual work environments or weekend wear. When I recoup a bit of shopping money after a bit of shopping in Paris I definitely plan on adding a few more ShopJoyworks pieces to my wardrobe.
I know there is no way I noticed all of the fun trends or styles in Paris but I had so much fun people watching. One of the biggest differences I noticed stylistically had to be the Parisian mens’ style. While Jordan is very stylish (see post: my boyfriend is more stylish than me) I think most men in the U.S. are pretty sloppy. The same can not be said for french men! While some men are certainly more fashion forward than others you’ll have a difficult time finding a man in ill fitting jeans and a sports tee (thank god). Parisian men embrace scarves, fitted denim, leather jackets and stylish bags. Men in Paris seemingly take more pride in their appearance, North American men could take a serious hint (wink, wink)!
Now that I’m back on American soil I hope to incorporate pieces of Parisian inspiration into my daily style. Have you noticed any fashion trends while traveling that you have incorporated into your wardrobe sense? What do you consider a “style staple” in your neighborhood or region?
P.S. I created a survey on fashion for a paper I’m writing, I need as many responses as possible and I would love for you to fill it out if you have the time (you can take the quick survey here). Thank you thank you thank you!