The Parisian chic has been romanticized and analyzed by hordes of Francophiles, including yours truly for decades. The funny thing is.....when you compliment a Parisian on her outfit, as I've done, she is genuinely surprised. "Oh, this is nothing special, " "My style is actually quite boring" Call it je ne sais quoi or maybe effortlessly chic because it's hard to pinpoint what made these ladies and gentlemen chic. Or is it dressing with an air of nonchalance but with an eye for detail? Let's not forget the men who also look incredibly dapper but never contrived.
Sure, this is a gross generalization because Parisians from certain arrondissements are more dressed up than others. That's pretty obvious if you spend a lot of time in the metro and trekking to various lesser popular areas of Paris.
Let's talk about hair. It never looked done or overly polished. Messy buns or ponytails are common. Whew! Because I still can't style my hair, even at this age. For a country that introduced many of the skincare and make up brands to the rest of the world, they're very light-handed when it comes to plying on cosmetics. Black or grey skinny jeans are infinitely popular amongst the younger population but the older generation are bolder with their choice of outfits. There's usually something eye-catching whether it's a particular accessory, shoes or lipstick they're wearing.
Colored pants are popular amongst the men. I've seen various shades of the rainbow paired with denim or tailored jackets and sometimes sporting a beautifully folded pocket square. I was scouring the internet to find outfits paired with sensible shoes (as you probably know by now....I still haven't learned to balance my bodyweight on heels). Trendy sneakers, brogues, ballet flats and ankle boots are common footwear gracing the streets of Paris. In fact, it's so rare that I see a woman strutting pass in high heels and when one did, I stared. And stared......
I had the best intentions to approach Parisians for street style photos but screaming arrête while chasing after them like a paparazzo would've scared every poor albeit chic soul away. I turned to skulking around, sitting at cafes and making sure I was facing the street, loitering outside the boutiques...... Utterly mad. Anyway....I abandoned the idea after day 2 when I started scaring my own child and friend.