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You'll notice it right away: in Paris the women dress well to go shopping, to go to the cinema, to have a drink; the men look good when they're sipping an espresso. Admittedly, you may see them wearing the latest athletic clothes now, even when they're not doing something sportif—but we’re not talking gray hoodies. Embroidered designs, quilted materials, animal prints, sparkles: leave it to the French to create a style that’s comfy chic. If you want to blend in, don't wear shorts, sweats, or sneakers.

Be sure to bring rain gear, a comfortable pair of walking shoes, and a sweater or pashmina for cool churches and museums. You can never tell about the weather, so it's prudent to have a small, foldable umbrella. If you'd like to scrutinize the stained glass in churches, bring a pair of small binoculars. An additional note: if you're the kind of person who likes a washcloth in the bathroom, bring your own; you won't find one in Paris hotels.

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