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Shoes and clothes for Paris and Amsterdam

Shoes and clothes for Paris and Amsterdam

Jul 15th, 2012, 08:14 PM
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Shoes and clothes for Paris and Amsterdam

I know this has been discussed ad nauseum here in this forum. However, I still have questions and invite only those who enjoy such conversation to contribute. I don't need any comments saying that everyone wears whatever they want and nobody cares.

My questions are: we are going for 2 weeks and plan to walk a lot (of course). How many pairs of shoes should I bring? I am planning on packing my Merrell walking sandals, a pair of Birkenstock Madrid Slide Birko-Flor, and I am considering taking a pair of dressier shoes by Spring Step. I am debating whether I should bring a pair of running shoes. I am also debating whether I should leave one of the more casual shoes, most likely Birkenstocks.

In terms of clothes, I was thinking of bringing some of my skinny jeans, but if it is hot, then I am debating whether I should bring my new Athleta skirt that looks very American. I am also not sure if I could get away wearing some nice black yoga pants and dress them up with a nicer top. What do you think? I remember seeing a thread where someone said "absolutely no yoga pants, unless you are doing yoga in Paris."

Plus, I am meeting some relatives in Paris who I haven't seen in years. I would like to look nice and presentable, not like a slob, because the reports will go back to other relatives.

Any thoughts?
Tentek is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 08:20 PM
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When are you going?
ez1 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 08:22 PM
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Good point, ez1. I am going in August, pretty soon.
Tentek is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 08:50 PM
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Can I add - what kind of day bag? I usually bring a canvas bag that fits a layer, like a sweater, bottle of water, etc. Has anyone seen a good day bag?

Tentek, I like your shoe choice. I usually bring 3 pairs and switch them up. I brought my running shoes once and never brought them again. Right now I am looking for a pair of Mary Janes. No luck on those either!
kelsey22 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 09:10 PM
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I would not bring the yoga pants unless you might want them for lounging in your hotel room at night.

I would definitely take a pair of nicer shoes for going out to dinner and to meet the relatives. Can you bring some linen pants or a pair of dressier summer cropped pants or a summer dress or skirt and top for looking presentable?

I would bring one pair of skinny jeans in case you have some cooler days. Depends on you but I have seen Italians and French people wearing jeans in really hot weather.

You might want the two pairs of comfy shoes that you mentioned in order to switch them up a bit from day to day. Maybe one pair of runners and one pair of walking sandals.

On one three week trip to Italy and Paris where we were on trains a lot and in a small rental car we all took small suitcases.(20 inches) It took me several weeks of practice packing beforehand but it was amazing how many outfits I was able to get in there! I took one pair of walking sandals, some "fashion" sneakers and two pairs of dressier shoes. One pair was a disaster- strappy heels! They got one or two outings and killed my feet.

I saw that Athleta skirt on another thread ( am debating whether to get it myself) and I think that would be fine for daytime sightseeing with a cute summer top and your Birks or ballet flats or the Merrells.

Have a fun trip and save room for shopping! I like to pack a small foldable duffel when I'm only taking a small bag and then dirty laundry can go in there and be checked and any nice new things and breakables etc go into the suitcase.
raincitygirl is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 09:15 PM
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I always bring 3 pairs of shoes. 2 comfortable and one dressier but still comfortable and very walkable.
Won't it be hot in August? Why not bring a couple of skirts? They're so much cooler.

I'd skip the running shoes because it's August and for me, running shoes means socks.
LSky is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 09:31 PM
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I meant to add, I'd take the jeans. I live in So Calif and wear jeans in the summer.

Like raincity said take sandals, dressier flats with good cushioning, and "fashion sneaker". I'd go with a slip on sneaker type so I could get into quickly for the airport and around the hotel room.
LSky is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 09:44 PM
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Achh! I'm of the old school of dressing more formally in Europe. I leave the jeans at home.

I really don't think the tourist SoCalizaation of Europe is necessary. In Amesterdam, which I've been to about 15 times, the folks including the younger ladies actually dress in something called dresses.

It works much better in the nicer places, such as restaurants.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 01:07 AM
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Do bring a pair of dressier shoes, but not heels, which are almost unwearable in Amsterdam. And I agree with Rasta, dresses are very much being worn in Amsterdam, and are best for hot weather anyway.
tarquin is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 01:24 AM
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Don't forget an umbrella. We have had a horrible summer so far. It is supposed to improve from next week, but there really is no guarantee it will. An umbrella is preferable to a waterproof coat because can be quite warm still in the rain (though not the last few days when it has been cool to say the least ). A coat could be too warm and sticky.

Of course people wear heels in Amsterdam. If you are used to heels wear heels. If you're not then don't.

People will really not be looking at what you are wearing. Really they won't.
Jeans, capris, dresses, skirts, sandals, Birkenstocks, flip-flops, high heels, Uggs (yes even in summer!), Crocs, trainers, smart shoes, hiking boots, you'll see them all in Amsterdam, and all are acceptable for all but the very poshest of places.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 07:39 AM
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The OP didn't seem to be planning on a steady diet of jeans; one pair of skinnys does not a whole wardrobe make.

We can be assured that anyone who starts and participates in a thread about clothes, likes clothes and is probably fairly well groomed. I'm not a fashionista but I do care about what I wear.

Except when walking the dog or running to Home Depot, I tend to be old school about wearing yoga pants on the street. I'd leave them home. I don't think they dress up very well.
LSky is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 10:09 AM
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Thanks all for such thoughtful comments. It is so much better to you with this issue than trying to have a discussion with my husband who will probably pack one pair of shoes and will be fine with it.
Tentek is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 10:20 AM
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@hetismj, i am actually not worried about Amsterdam because i think it is sort of like Seattle in terms of clothing style: live and let live attitude.

Again, i am primarily concerned about Paris. I forgot to mention but we will be spending a day at Disneyland Paris, hence the runners. I know i know, not the destination of choice but that is where my relatives want to take their child, which means i have to take my child there too.
Tentek is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 08:06 PM
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Runners should be cute and stylish (and not white) if you decide to take them. Cropped pants with flats and tops to match (lightweight) are basic. Skirt and/ or dress with cardigan, or shawl/pashmina. Layers are good, such as a a longish linen or cotton sleeveless top that you can put a T-shirt unerneath in the evening and wear with cropped pants. Neutral colors. One outfit that looks good on you, that you love and are comfortable in.. Have a great trip! And please report back.
ez1 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 08:14 PM
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No one really gives wooden shoes the attention they deserve for comfort and durability.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 08:21 PM
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Tentek, I can see why you'd wear runners in Disneyland. (I'd still get a slip on type like I mentioned upthread)

This isn't a typical "wear what you want- no one cares" comment.
Apparently you care about what you wear and have a style of your own, so wear what you want. Be comfortable at Disneyland. It kind of takes the pressure off that the relatives want to go there, doesn't it?
LSky is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 09:28 PM
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IMO your apparel sounds fine for Paris! I'd wear the "nice yoga pants" on the plane: comfy and I'd assume metal-free for the scanner, and will be fine for your jet-lagged schlep from airport to lodgings. Plus, they probably air out well - perfect for the return flight!

I'd totally wear one of the cuter Athleta skirts in Paris. I wore a wool "sport" skirt all winter here in NYC, and got compliments from some friends way more stylish than me! (These days, there's not really any stark difference between what's worn in Paris and NYC, if you ignore the too-casual end of the American spectrum...)

I wish I could remember who posted the following link here on Fodor's to give them proper credit. At any rate, browse through "What Parisians are wearing spring/summer 2012". Maybe you'll find it as reassuring as I did!
(The page loads with summer 2012 content even though the URL says winter 06.)
ggreen is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 11:30 PM
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Thanks, ggreen, i think it was ParisEscapes who posted this link. I loved it too when I found it somewhere up thread.
Tentek is offline  
Jul 17th, 2012, 03:11 PM
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For our ten day May stay in Paris I had one pair espadrilles and one pair running shoes. The former went with everything - skirts, slacks and would work with shorts.

The one accessory I noticed on the chic younger women was anything orange; be it a purse or shoes. But just one item not both!

Enjoy your stay!!
MarySteveChicago is offline  
Jul 17th, 2012, 03:25 PM
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hi tentek,

as it is likely to be hot, when feet tend to swell, sandals and trainers [aka sneakers - who cares if they are white, BTW?] which can be adjusted to be more comfortable, are a good idea. cotton socks will help to keep you cool and fend off blisters.

add to this a pair of dressier shoes [a small heel would work - sling-backs might be nice] and possibly something more substantial to wear if it rains, though the trainers might suffice.

if I were taking a day pack i might add a small handbag [aka purse] for meeting the rellies/evenings out. it might be red but it wouldn't be orange!

I'd also take some travel wash [in the heat, things dry quickly] and remember that they have shops! undoubtedly, if you forget anything, you'll be able to buy it.
annhig is offline  

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