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-   -   FIRST TIME TO PARIS MIDDLE AGE HIP WOMAN WHAT TO WEAR! (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/first-time-to-paris-middle-age-hip-woman-what-to-wear-688855/)

redancer Mar 18th, 2007 07:58 AM

FIRST TIME TO PARIS MIDDLE AGE HIP WOMAN WHAT TO WEAR!
 
I WILL BE IN PARIS FOR 1 WEEK AND DO NOT WANT TO LOOK LIKE A TYPICAL AMERICAN TOURIST. I AM FROM LOS ANGELES WHERE IT'S VERY CASUSAL. SHOULD I JUST KEEP IT SIMPLE AND WEAR BLACK?

Heavens Mar 18th, 2007 08:03 AM

You will get more help on the Europe board, you probably posted here by mistake. I went to Paris last year and they do wear a lot of black. We wore jeans, sneakers, and workshirts, khakis. Yes, we screamed American but it is hard to fool them. They know anyway. My advice is to pack what you would to travel anywhere, comfy and appropriate for your activities. Wear in Paris what you would wear in any major city in the US and you should be fine...

escargot Mar 18th, 2007 08:11 AM

First, a helpful hint, do not type in all capital letters, some think that is like 'shouting' online.... :)

Yes, do a search in the Europe forum and you will see a zillion threads on how to dress in Paris -
my advice, and having been several times, is I wear what is comfortable for me, but I do, when traveling anywhere tend to pack basics in black and work around it with one or two color schemes dpending on the time of year and where I am going.

If I were going to Paris I would bring
black pants
black skirt (2 lengths)
black flats and
heels for at night
walking shoes
black coat
then i would add:
a few pashmina type shawls
a few scarves of various fabrics and styles
and depending on the time of year/weather:
a few cotton or knit tops/ various length sleeves and necklines/
sweater (cardigan)

I also tend to buy/bring clothing , even slacks and skirts, that I can wash in a tub or sink if I dont' want to pay for send out or am in an area that doesn't offer it - and hang them up and they dry overnight.
My favorite things are my Gunex pants and my Patagonia skirt for this.

And no matter what you do, they will know you are American - or at the least, not French ! But so what?
You are a respectful (I assume) American who had a desire to see and learn about their country and that brings them lots of money for their economy and their tourist industry so smile and be proud of it.

but you will see lots of threads with likely far better advice than mine on the Europe board..

sylvia3 Mar 18th, 2007 08:14 AM

unless what you usually wear is too-small spandex, loud prints in polyester, bermuda shorts, sweatshirts with teddybear appliques, tube tops, etc....

socialworker Mar 18th, 2007 08:19 AM

Having traveled quite often to LA, and seeing "hip" middle-aged women, I think you should dress as you do now. The hip women I see there look extremely stylish, so you should have no cause for concern.

suze Mar 18th, 2007 09:19 AM

My advise is to pack your favorite clothes, appropriate to the weather the time of year you'll be in Paris, in fabrics that coordinate and pack well. If you look good in LA you'll look fine in Paris! Take a couple pair of comfortable and stylish shoes.

signmeup Mar 18th, 2007 09:33 AM

jeans are ALWAYS in. and yes black is good. go to a bookstore--a big one and see if you can look thru a few french magazines-- that always helps too.

nytraveler Mar 18th, 2007 10:07 AM

If you're hiop in LA Paris shold not be an issue.

I prefer navy to black for spring and summer - paired with white, khaki and an ocassional bright color top or accessory.

But - you won;t fool the French - unless you plan on wearing the currently hot really high heels - which just are not practical for walking all day. (But do wear them at night). For day make sure you get some really chic walking shoes (I know walking is not big in LA so you probably don;t hve any). If you look carefully there are some that are pretty, trendy AND comfy - rather than the orthopedic looking ones.

TahitiTams Mar 18th, 2007 10:20 AM

First time poster..screaming troll?

suze Mar 18th, 2007 11:12 AM

Hardly a controversial topic to bother making a fake posting imo.

rm_mn Mar 18th, 2007 11:31 AM

What are you planning on doing in Paris? Looking for a husband? If not and you haven't been to Paris before, why worry how you look. You've never met these people before and unless you do something really outrageous, they aren't going to remember you a week after you leave. Dress comfortably and let them look the other way if they don't like it.

starrsville Mar 18th, 2007 12:06 PM

yes.

anna_roz Mar 18th, 2007 12:06 PM

First, a typical American tourist looks as good as--if not better than, say, a German tourist, wearing shorts, well-worn T-shirt, white sneakers, and pushing its weight through the crowds with zero consideration for anyone else. American tourists have come a long way and we should be proud of ourselves a little more, IMO.

Second, think of "dressy casual" stuff, including nice slack-looking jeans (as opposed to too tight, too short, and shapeless), or anything you would pick up at Banana Republic and/or Nordstroms would be just perfect. Dark colors are prefferable to lights for sheer practicality, just in case you mis-aim that chocolate crepe. LOL. Just make sure that all--or almost all--of your tops go well with the bottoms, so you can mix/match.

Third, and probably the most important, get great walking shoes and break them in before you go. However, just in case your shoes kill your feet, there is a Mephisto store in the 6th, and Mephisto shoes are one of the very few things on Earth that are less expensive in Paris than in LA.

Finally, have a great time!

Anna Roz

escargot Mar 19th, 2007 01:14 PM

Wow, why couldn't this question be answered without disparaging Germans with such a comment - I hardly think that was necessary - like guessing what someone might wear and disparaging that -
gee, can we have some civility and avoid possibly hurting peoples feelings.

toncasmo Mar 19th, 2007 01:31 PM

nytraveler- can you suggest some comfy shoes that are also stylish? i just can't seem to find a pair and i believe i too am going to paris this summer

escargot Mar 19th, 2007 01:39 PM

There are several nicer looking comfortable shoes - Clarks has a line called Aritsan Collection, I just got a great looking pair of black heeled sandals not for all day walking, but fancier for dinner and walking after type of shoe -
but they also have some good looking daytime walking shoes -

If you plug 'comfortable walking shoes' and 'walking shoes' thing slike that into the search bar - there are many threads with great shoe info and links -

happy shopping...and walkikng !

starrsville Mar 19th, 2007 01:45 PM

I wore my Mephistos all over Paris - and was very glad I did!

TxTravelPro Mar 19th, 2007 02:14 PM

Sweatsuits and crocs ;)

321go Mar 19th, 2007 03:33 PM

Couldn't this question be answered without disparaging sweatsuits and crocs? (I'm kidding, I'm kidding ;-) )

There is no "typical" American tourist; I assume you mean someone wearing sweatsuits, crocs, and fanny packs. Follow the good advice you've received here and you'll be fine.

canterbury Mar 19th, 2007 03:54 PM

I wouldn't worry too much about what to wear. Just be comfortable and pack light.

Besides, when I was there last year I wore all my "normal" clothes. But I speak French fluently and was mistaken for a local several times.

So, maybe clothes don't matter too much.

c.


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