What The Parisiennes Are Wearing

Hint: Don't Wear A Skirt In Paris

Paris UniformIn Paris, there is a uniform for the girls, meaning any female between 16 and 46.  All the girls wore skinny jeans.  The younger they were, the closer the fit.  Usually dark lightweight stretch denim, they always had back pockets and fit like pants around the bottom, even if the legs fit like tights.  At the ankle, they were often scrunched or rolled.

Cool Damp Wind Demands A Leather Jacket

Kate Moss Paris jacket scarf The weather in early May is cool and damp with plenty of March wind still blowing about.  Occasional showers were the rule of the day for the week we were there, but the ubiquitous microfiber raincoat was absent.  As Kate Moss demonstrates at right, now it is leather jackets and umbrellas. 

The jackets stopped at mid-hip so that they didn't wrinkle when you sat on the Metro.  Always dark, they concealed the top of the back pockets but you could always see the bottom.  The jackets on the men were the same.  On chic older ladies, the jacket was just a trifle longer, covering the back pockets completely.  Their stovepipe jeans were tailored to stop just below the ankle, revealing no socks in the expensive, Italian loafers.

Jessica Alba in Paris UniformThe shirt, in a contrasting or complimentary color, always peeps out below the jacket, like a band of color around the hips.

Scarves, Scarves, Scarves

Everyone wore a cotton or rayon scarf, even Jessica Alba (at right). Many scarves were very big, some very bright.  They were tied many flamboyant ways, usually over a zipped jacket.  They were never of slippery material and they usually made a statement. Solid colors, prints, some with lace edges -- they expressed the individuality of the wearer.

Remember Converse All-Stars?

Look at the red sneakers behind Jessica... Paris has uneven sidewalks and many cobbled streets.  It is no place for high heels.  The frequent rain washes away the occasional dogpile on the street, so footing is often slippery.  Flats are a must.  Girls walk with a long, determined stride, swinging their legs are out in front and rolling forward on flexed feet. They wear lightweight, flexible shoes like ballet flats with a thin heel, or sneakers.

The 16-26 year olds favor the classic Converse low-tops with bright white laces that go all the way to the toes.  Many have the white rubber top cap on top.  Always canvas, some are black but they are more often a bright color but always a solid.  I never saw a psychedelic swirl or op-art checkerboard.


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