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Let's talk about packing for Paris, please

Let's talk about packing for Paris, please

Jun 10th, 2012, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Tentek is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 05:02 PM
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You can wear absolutely whatever you want - and will see just about everything on others. But yoga pants, sweat/fleece pants, spandexy/stretchy things will be awfully hot, especially if you plan a lot of walking. Jeans - totally acceptable, but if you mean real denim jeans they would be hot too. Capris, light/floaty skirts, lightweight slacks would be much more comfortable

And skorts? Like a golf skirt??
janisj is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 06:03 PM
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I guess you aren't familiar with Athleta and other similar sites. We plan on cycling inProvece and don't want to bring extra cycling clothes. Skorts look just like skirts but with hidden boy shorts. Not very retro, in my opinion, but practical. I should have known better than to ask a question on this site. So judgemental. I take it you aren't the bit athletic.
We are also heading to Singapore on the same trip so I have to pack very light and smart. I am with you on dresses. Not that easy to find a flattering non-wrinkle dress.
chutney is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 07:30 PM
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If you are doing athletics, you will be fine in athletic wear. I've never seen the type of clothing sold by Athleta while in Paris, and yes, I get the catalogue, and know what it looks like.

In Paris, I dress more like I dress in NY. I'm not trying to pass as a Parisian, but I want to go where I want to go and be treated like I belong there. For me, the same is true in NY.

Neither do we eat in very elaborate restaurants, but I find that dark colors, natural fabrics, and simple lines get me through most situations comfortably. I've been in many bistros in Paris where nearly everyone was nicely dressed. Cafes can run the gamut from very casual to pretty sophisticated.

Of course, you can dress in any manner you please. The interesting thing is that people come here to ask, and then seem to greatly dislike the answers given to them by frequent travelers to Paris.

I wear extremely casual clothing at home, but I don't mistake my home for the center of Paris. People in my hometown don't dress nicely. People in Paris do. Doesn't mean I have to; but I try to step it up a bit. I don't want to be left standing waiting for my table or turned away because I'm too casually dressed.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 09:10 PM
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Tuscanlifeedit, what do you mean we don't dress nicely here in the 'burgh?
grandmere is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 09:52 PM
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I think you said it perfectly, Tuscanlifeedit. Here in my small Washington State town "Dress-Up" means clean blue jeans. "Formal" means clean blue jeans with no paint spots -- big belt buckle optional. We found that out the hard way when we moved here from D.C., and went to our first "Formal" event. We walked in, with me in tux and my DW in a long gown, to find everyone else in jeans or khakis.

In Paris, D.C., or NYC, we dress to suit the ambiance; much more stylishly and put together. It's not that we expect to be taken for a New Yorker, or Parisian, but that we feel more comfortable not looking like country bumpkins.
nukesafe is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 11:39 PM
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what nukesafe and tuscanlifeedit said.

http://athleta.gap.com/browse/category.do?cid=46843 I'm sure you didn't mean that one but, "Jumpuit turned skort . . . uber-cute"???
janisj is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 02:19 AM
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nukesafe and tuscanlifeedit summed it up perfectly.

I'm from Colorado where Athleta has cult-like status, and you just don't see it in Paris.

If you want to see what Parisians wear, check out the street photos I took of average Parisians of all ages in non-touristy areas.

Summer 2011 - http://www.parisescapes.com/paris_we..._summer11.html
Spring 2012 - http://www.parisescapes.com/paris_we..._spring12.html
Fall/Winter 2011/12 - http://parisescapes.com/paris_wear_winter12_photos.html

Honestly, in Paris, its less about the style - after all good style is eternal - and more about the fit. If you look at the photos above, you'll notice that the clothes are not too tight and not too loose - they fit just right. They are also age appropriate.

A good approach to take is to pack items that flatter your figure and look good on you. Pack clothes that people have commented "You look nice today", "Have you lost weight?", "I like that outfit on you." These comments tell you that the clothes you are wearing look stylish on you.

I am going to assume that the clothes are also comfortable. Like jeans, pants, a sundress or a cute top. I know that I don't receive compliments on what I am wearing if I am uncomfortable and dying to "get out of this dress and shoes." Packing clothes that you think you should be wearing and you aren't comfortable in is a vacation disaster waiting to happen - been there, done that and learned my lesson

If you are interested, here's a travel story that I wrote a few years ago that sums up my thoughts on how Parisians dress.

The Eternal Question - What makes Parisians so Stylish - http://parisescapes.com/paris_travel...hap5_cont.html

Getting back to the original topic, I pack a 21-inch carry-on suitcase when I visit Paris/Spain each summer for 6 weeks. You really need less than you think.
ParisEscapes is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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I love wearing easy, comfortable dresses and skirts in Europe when it's hot, but finding shoes to complement a dress or skirt is much more difficult IMO. Even flats are not good for walking 5- 10 miles a day, which we often do. Open to suggestions.....
sundriedpachino is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 02:23 PM
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I should have said that "except for a few notable exceptions, people here don't dress nicely" because you do.

I don't. And when I get off a plane at PIT, I am generally disheartened by the looks of the people I see. I'm not that judgemental, but after a week or two in Europe, the comparisons are shocking. Why do people here still have big bushy mustaches? Why do women and girls where pajamas to the airport? Can we not get a ban on sleeveless t-shirts for grown men?

People, granmere dresses remarkably beautifully. I've seen her.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 03:17 PM
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For what it is worth, it has been very cold in Paris this spring and dressing accordingly will really help you enjoy your trip. Pack layers.
Here is what they were wearing on the street in Paris last Friday;
Phread is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 03:29 PM
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sundriedpachino, loving the skechers Go Walk and Go Play shoes. Also mary janes by Jambu are good with skirts, etc. to walk and look good. Love Athleta's Whatever skort, have a hard time seeing how that wouldn't work in any city anywhere (wore them in New York last year no problem). http://athleta.gap.com/browse/produc...d=1&pid=683764
MonicaRichards is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 04:45 PM
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Monica - yep, I was thinking that is just about the only skort from their whole site that looks interesting/"Paris-worthy".
janisj is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 05:45 PM
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Wow..the whatever skort..Even I (80 yrs young) would feel comfrotable in it, home or abroad..Get one, maybe two and have fun fielding the compliments..Paris, Madrid, Istanbul, Barcelona, Rome.. should be called the where ever skort!!!
amer_can is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 07:16 PM
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The Whatever skort is already in my shopping bag on Athleta.com. Getting ready for Paris...
Tentek is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 07:23 PM
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athleta also has awesome summer sun dresses that look great for traveling.
Tentek is offline  
Jun 12th, 2012, 04:12 AM
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Parisescapes: I always marvel when people tell me they can pack in a 21 inch suitcase for long trips. I've done it a few times (10-14 day trips), but I took only a small P&S camera and did not take a laptop.

Nowadays my camera gear takes up one of my allowed carryons (a very, very large messenger bag posing as my purse). The laptop, though small, takes up enough weight and real estate, along with a few pairs of small shoes (ballet flats and sandals) and of course (minimal) toiletries that I don't have enough room for more than 2-3 days worth of clothings, maximum, in my carryon (which is probably 19 inches, come to think of it - and perhaps the most compact 19 incher Samsomite makes).

Do you not take a laptop and camera gear? Do you do laundry a lot?

To the OP: I am finding that dresses are the most comfortable way to sightsee (and as a bonus you look pulled together). Even in winter. Just pack thick tights and good walking boots in winter. In summer it is even easier. It's all about the shoes, at that point.
flygirl is online now  
Jun 12th, 2012, 06:03 AM
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amer_can: Athleta DOES have a "whereever" skort...even prettier than the whatever, IMHO!

Sidny is offline  
Jun 12th, 2012, 07:15 AM
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Sidny, I like the wherever skort, but it looks a bit too complicated. I am still in the whatever camp .
Tentek is offline  
Jun 12th, 2012, 05:03 PM
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Deb, I was just kidding! And you look pretty chic yourself when I've run into you!
grandmere is offline  

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