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Clothing suggestions for France in September, slightly overweight woman

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Jun 27th, 2007, 04:17 PM
  #21
 
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Since you aren't going to Paris until September, you have plenty of time to lose weight. Cut your caloric intake to 750 calories a day and go for 3-mile walks before bed.

When I am really hungry, I take a half-bottle of Nyquil. This knocks me out for about 10 hours so I can't eat.

I just lost 14 lbs. for my upcoming trip to Greece. I have to look good in my Marc Jacobs' swimsuit, sweetie.

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Jun 27th, 2007, 04:41 PM
  #22
 
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WELCOME BACK!
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Jun 27th, 2007, 04:50 PM
  #23
 
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Ankle-length skirts would be beautiful on you, and will work- day or night - even if it's hot, as it's been for the last few years - at least the first 2 weeks in September...
As for footwear -- sandals, boots, espadrilles all look great with a long skirt.
If you need to wear sneakers, I'd suggest black ones with black pants.
Jess
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Jun 27th, 2007, 05:21 PM
  #24
 
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Aren't you worried about tripping over a long skirt, like getting on and off public transportation, trains, and such?
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Jun 27th, 2007, 05:26 PM
  #25
 
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"Aren't you worried about tripping over a long skirt, like getting on and off public transportation, trains, and such?"
Not really; you kind of pick up the right habits pretty quickly.
Jess
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Jun 27th, 2007, 06:11 PM
  #26
 
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I don't know about ankle-length skirts. I was "heavy" for a few years (5'3" - 140 lbs, now down to 112 lbs for the past 4 years
and can wear anything I like...pssss: South Beach diet and loads of exercise!), but when I was what I considered fat, I couldn't bear to put on a skirt. I mean, I had no waist! And without a waist, what's a skirt? Besides, schlepping on and off trains, buses, even in and out of cars with an ankle-length skirt while traveling with luggage or even a purse and some shopping bags? No flipping way I'd ever have managed that without landing on my face a few dozen times.
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Jun 27th, 2007, 06:22 PM
  #27
 
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To each her own; I figure meggies can decide for herself what camp she is in.
As for a waistline, remember that
whatever one's weight, some folks are "apples" and some folks are "pears" --
Jess
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Jun 27th, 2007, 06:27 PM
  #28
 
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An ankle-length skirt would look ridiculous on a short, heavy woman. I am throwing profiteroles at you right now, Jess. You are certainly not a fashion expert. Listen to St. Cirq, one of the top travel writers on Fodor's.

Did you graduate from the Laura Ingalls Wilder School of Design, Jess?

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Jun 27th, 2007, 06:43 PM
  #29
 
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I am going to put in another vote that you consider shoes first. I don't find walking-type shoes (Clarks, etc.) any more comfortable than regular shoes that are well made and WELL broken in. During our first visit to Paris, I wore a pair of Born walking shoes that not only looked awful, but gave me blisters! They weren't broken in because, hey, who wears shoes like that except when on vacation? During out last trip, I brought a few pairs of comfortable shoes that I had worn for some time (a pair of low-heeled pumps, a pair of loafers) and they were perfect. I would not wear athletic shoes....that's just my personal preference.

As far as clothing, I would too, hit Chico's heavily as they have a great selection of clothes that travel well. I don't shop there because I am tall and they cut for more petite women - but my 5'1" mother-in-law swears by them for her travel wardrobe (and she travels a lot all over Europe).

I think a couple of pairs of black pants, with nice sweaters, blouses, etc. and a nice jacket, can get you through Paris. I find I feel more comfortable in Paris if I am dressed up - that's me. But - don't worry about not looking like a tourist, they can pretty much spot us a mile away, no matter how much French we speak or how nicely we are dressed.

As far as the countryside, you might want to switch to khaki pants and your sweaters. It's not a bad idea to base your wardrobe on a few colors - I usually use khaki, navy, and white, and throw some red in - but you could also use black and white and khaki as a base.
Is this your first trip to Paris? I am in the middle of planning our 5th visit, next year. We love it and I know you will, too!
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Jun 28th, 2007, 12:56 PM
  #30
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This is actually our fourth trip to Paris and France, but our last was ten years ago. When I read fashion recommendations of short shorts or skirts over leggings on an earlier post from another traveler, about clothing for Paris in July, I began to worry! I've always worn the dark pants with the dark shoes, but the only comfortable shoes for me are a pair of black New Balance, wide. Seriously, I went into an SAS store, tried on every recommended pair of walking shoes, and none were comfortable on me! I have Clark's sandals in three colors, but they are good only for maybe a mile. I like the Chico's and Talbot's women's petite recommendations and will explore those options. I've never been creative with scarves, but may work on that idea. I genuinely appreciate the ideas I am getting from fellow travelers. These boards are priceless for travel advice.
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Jun 28th, 2007, 01:09 PM
  #31
 
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Re: the shoe issue. We have taken tons of trips to Europe (and yes Paris too). I do not own a pair of "walking" shoes or a pair of sneakers. I do, however, own lots of pairs of high-quality European shoes. (No SAS though, sorry, I think of them as old lady shoes, and I am rapidly closing in on 60). So, don't go out and just try on "walking" shoes. Look for such brands as Dansko, Ecco, Merrill, Haflinger, Birkenstock, Stonefly, Joseph Siebel, Naot, Wolky, Mephisto etc. By the way, my husband swears by some Clark's styles because they fit his feet, but I have a pair and they definitely don't feel as good as other brands because they are not up to the same level of quality.
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Jun 28th, 2007, 01:23 PM
  #32
 
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Hi Meggies I am chiming in quickly on my lunch hour.

I too am a plus. It's a whole different world as you know.

Get the basic black/neutral outfit as recommened by the others. Forget the normal at home wardrobe mentality about what looks cute. Go for classic, non wrinkle and elegant for France.

I have a black bias cut skirt in a non clingy knit just longer than knee length from Macy's. Great basic item.

And a black a line dress with the essential but elusive sleeves (I HATE that thy make so many sleeveless dresses for plus gals, add a sleeve for heven's sake we need it) From Ross that costs me 24.$ It is unbelievable how many compliments I get on that 24 $ dress. I almost did not buy it because it was too cheap. It works and has a good silouette. Just for travel.

Then get a new necklace.
I went out of my comfort zone and bought a medium length big chunky silver & gold necklace from Chicos for $40.00. It was not real gold of course which I prefer. But, with the black outfits I get so many compliments.
And it draws the eye to my face.
And if it's stolen well it's not real.

If you are just getting used to the scarves try a long medium weight type that will stay securely in place just around the neck and casually over the shoulder. I donlt know about you but my face is now fuller and I am not comfortable with alot of bulk near my face. But the long scraf does the trick.

I ditto the others on shoes.
In my case I just had to buy the walking shoes and one pair of basic black pumps one size larger
I also have wide feet & they swell alot despite all efforts. So the shoes I take just for travel are a larger size and I am happy on the whole trip. And I save them for next trip.

Have a great time!
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Jun 28th, 2007, 06:42 PM
  #33
 
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Meggies, your description of height, weight, and age are very close to mine. (I look at the mirror and see my grandmother looking back at me.)I prefer skirts when traveling (obviously not mini, nor ankle length either) slightly below the knee. I find them cooler in hot weather and much easier to deal with in dicey toilets (can't find a way tokeep pantlegs off wet floors) or in the occasional squat toilet. I do take one pair of slacks for the days hiking in the mountains.

As for shoes, just take whatever is comfortable for long days on pavement uphill and downhill, etc.

It all comes down to pesonal comofort and taste. Whatever you wear, have a wonderful time! And don't let the skinny Minnies get you down with diet aedvice.

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Jun 28th, 2007, 07:01 PM
  #34
 
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A skirt over leggings? Please. That's the look of some black high school girls from Baltimore. I hope you weren't even considering that. I would really question your judgement as a human.

The fashion advice here floors me, as I used to work for Todd Oldham. One of my closest friends is an editor at French Vogue.

We have a lot of mall walkers from Michigan, I guess.

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Jun 28th, 2007, 07:43 PM
  #35
 
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Just wanted to mention that for the last several years, Paris has had serious heatwaves during the first 2 weeks of September. I'd have died in anything other than long-ish skirts (no pantyhose!) and very loose pants. I've finally learned to bring warm-weather clothes because you cannot buy any in Paris in September. But if it is cool, fall clothes are everywhere, so there are many sweaters, etc. on offer. Petite sizes (even for slim people) are a relatively recent phenomenon and not easy to find. RE: shoes, I've discovered that Zappo's actually EXPECTS that you'll order several pair on-line and will return (free) the rejects, so you might want to try that.You sound like you know what you're doing but are seeking some tips from those of us with a bit more recent local knowledge.
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Jun 28th, 2007, 07:44 PM
  #36
 
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Well~You describe me a bit and I will be making my thrid trip to Paris and the South of France for 3 weeks in late September. After all our trips, I have finally come up with good travel pants(3 pairs). They are black poly/spandex. They wash well and hang out without ironing. I will also take a few cashmere sweaters(3) and some silk blouses(2) which can be used interchangably for dressier needs. I also will take some(2 pairs) black "jeans" and several knit tops.

Shoes are important. I usually take one casual pair for walking(usually black) and a dressier pair for dinner(low black suede heels).

One of the best things I have ever taken to Europe is a pashima shawl. I take my black one which provides some warmth in the evening and can actually dress up an outfit. Should it rain, you can always purchase an umbrella.

Mind you, I try to pack in one 21 inch rollalong and a separate bag for cosmetics and sundries.

On our last trip I packed three pairs of black pants which needed ironing. BIG DRAG despite the fact I 1) packed a travel iron and 2) like to iron.
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Jun 28th, 2007, 07:59 PM
  #37
 
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Great packing advice, but I disagree about Chicos "travelers"acetate/spandex clothing. The synthetic packs well and looks great--it just doesn't *feel* great (to me) in anything other than cool to mild weather! I recommend natural fibers.

As a woman of a similar age, also "slightly overweight," I was surprised to find that I no longer feel as outlandishly un-stylish in Paris as I'd think. I do wear black shoes (Keens maryjanes are my current favorites for traveling), black pants, and a scarf, but I am no fashion plate. Yet I found local women approaching me to ask directions or just to make small talk in an elevator. I think the moral is that French women, while far thinner than their American peers, look lots of varying ways--there is no "one" look (except I don't think they wear shorts with white running shoes in Paris).

Liz

PS I see no reason to bring any kind of heels unless they are shoes you enjoy walking in.
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Jun 28th, 2007, 08:45 PM
  #38
 
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As above, Chicos "Travelers" are good in cool weather, and I have some nice pieces, but they get me overheated very easily.

For September travel I would myself be more comfortable in natural fabrics, cotton knits usually. The skirt vs. pants is a personal choice. Wear whichever you would feel best wearing at home.

I agree with the *shoes are the most important thing* you will have. Wear a twice-worn top if necessary, no problem. But if your shoes are wet, give you blister, whatever... that really puts a cramp in your style and enjoyment.
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Jun 29th, 2007, 12:49 PM
  #39
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I agree that anything with spandex or latex, especially in a top, is not comfortable for wearing in warmer weather. I find also that the spandex blend fabrics do not look well after washing. I don't know why they are so popular. Amsdon, I am always in search of the black dress you describe, but usually they are too long, or the wrong fabric, or the sleeves are too long for my arms. I'd love to find that dress, though. No, margiela, I never for a minute considered the skirt over leggings-just went "geesh--it's a skinny woman's world(read: the world of male fashion designers who dictate what women will wear and how they will look." The scary part is so many women go along with it. My husband will wear on this trip what he has worn on all our previous trips over many years. No one dares tell men what they must wear. So, here I am, wondering what to wear. Comfort will be my goal!
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Jun 29th, 2007, 12:52 PM
  #40
 
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Thingorjus,

You always make a thread interesting!
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