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how to dress my family like Parisiens?

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how to dress my family like Parisiens?

My family of four--husband, 14-yr-old daughter, 11-yr-old son and me the mom--will be traveling to Paris for the first time in April. Any suggestions on how to dress comme des Parisiens? We want to be comfortable, obviously, but we don't want to look like tourists. (Okay, so I'm really speaking for my daughter and me; my husband and son could care less.) Suggestions welcome; thanks in advance.

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1. Re: how to dress my family like Parisiens?

With no offense intended, everyone will know you are tourists as soon as you open your mouths.

Wear comfortable shoes, you'll do a lot of walking. Leave the ball caps at home.

Enjoy your visit.

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2. Re: how to dress my family like Parisiens?

What is this obsessioon with US tourists with looking like what they are not ?

You are tourists and there is nothing bad about being a tourist, quite the oposite ! So why?????????????????

waterlooville uk
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3. Re: how to dress my family like Parisiens?

This question has cropped up on a number of occasions and I too am surprised by the obsession.

With all due respect to you and other non Parisien TA members, you will never look Parisien - there is a certain 'je ne sais quoi' which Parisien women have. It's the poise, the bone structure, the ability to blend fabrics, colours and accessories like no-one else. I'm not just talking about the youngsters either - some of the most elegant women are the wrong side of 50.

It's not what you wear that's important (other than being comfortable and ditching the caps) it's the way you behave that gets you noticed. Paris welcomes its tourists, needs its tourists and respects its tourists, as long as they reciprocate.

Relax and have a great time.

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4. Re: how to dress my family like Parisiens?

The previous posts covered the essentials. A couple things we've noticed are that a nice scarf is a common accessory for just about every occasion and that girls tended to dress a bit more conservatively that some of the mall-vixens we see at home.

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5. Re: how to dress my family like Parisiens?

Dress in West/North African gear if you don't want to look like tourists. Failing that, a beret, striped blue and white tunic carrying a bagette should see you ok.

Who cares if you look like tourists, you are tourists, just dress how you feel comfortable and relax you're on holiday. If you se something Parisians are wearing you like, buy it.

I have this vision of a chic Parisian lady asking 'How can I dress like a Jersey gal?'

Naughty I know, but don't worry, nobody cares what you dress like, unless you are going to The Ritz, in which case you've paid a fortune so dress how you want anyway.

Zas

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6. Re: how to dress my family like Parisiens?

LIvacationmom

Forget it - first of all because you will not look like Frenchmen no matter how hard you may try. Next because there is no such thing as "dress comme des Parisiens". Paris is a city of about 5 million (or more) inhabitants and the dress-style varies from all sorts of Arabic and African attire through jeans, sneakers and sweaters - and on to short, medium or long skirts, fancy or ordinary pants, 1000 different sorts of jackets, 10 000 different sorts of scarves and handbags etc.

Anyway, the from top-to-toe stylish Chanel lady we think is typically Parisian is never visible in places where we - the mere mortals - come.

Dress the way that you and your daughter would do to feel smart at home - trust me, people will notice how you behave first of all.

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7. Re: how to dress my family like Parisiens?

I totally agree with the advice to be comfortable. I tried in November to not look like a tourist. I wore my long black coat and a scarf. I wore black pants and nice black shoes. I carried a handbag that was current. But, it was all to no avail. My friend and I were frequently pegged as American tourists. (Maybe my friend was the give away...just kidding!) I looked around on the metro and saw the same black coat on other women, etc. Americans just move and hold their bodies different from Europeans. There's nothing wrong with trying to blend in but don't lose sleep over it.

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8. Re: how to dress my family like Parisiens?

Geez, I had no idea this was such a sensitive topic! But, to defend myself, I am of the belief of "when in Rome..."

And to Zasuna, who gets a chuckle out of Parisiennes pondering what to wear in NJ, that is certainly a preposterous image, I agree. But as an observer of French tourists visiting New York City, many of them DO look like they've taken pains to "dress American" by adopting our more casual look while here. When in Rome, n'est-pas?

Thanks all for your comments. I figure, from what you're saying, that what we wear to NYC when we are going highbrow (visiting the Met, shopping on the Upper East side, etc.) will probably do just fine. Plus comfortable shoes, of course!

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9. Re: how to dress my family like Parisiens?

There is not a dress code for parisiens. Until someone would talk I couldn't tell the difference. No matter what Rick Steves says in his travel guide you can't look at a crowd of people and tell if they are frence or tourist.

Adrian, Michigan
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10. Re: how to dress my family like Parisiens?

>>>>> Thanks all for your comments. I figure, from what you're saying, that what we wear to NYC when we are going highbrow (visiting the Met, shopping on the Upper East side, etc.) will probably do just fine.<<<<<

LI mom: I'm not certain that anyone said what you just said. What I got from this thread was that you should wear what you're comfortable in. When I go to the Met, I wear a jacket and tie, and I certainly wouldn't "tour" Paris in a jacket and tie.

I think you're setting yourself up for something that isn't going to happen...at least in terms of your anticpation that everyone on the street in Paris is donned in a Chanel frock, wrapped in a Dior fur and decorated by Harry Winston. Parisians dress, to a great extent, jusk like people do from our metropolitan areas. They watch Gray's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and Dawson's Creek, dubbed in French, episode for episode, just like we do....and not last season's shows...this season's. They LOVE our shows, and believe me, they're not sitting aournd bad-mouthing the way the actors dress. Occassionally, one does see a middle-aged midwestern American couple walking past. They're wearing read polyester pants with a poly-cotton blend cowboy shirt with orthopedic looking shoes and a Members Only jacket they've owned since 1983. Mom is carrying a purse she bought on late-night TV and Dad's wearing a John Deere baseball hat with the brim as straight as could be. And yes....they look like....well....they actually just look a little odd.....even at Walmart in the middle of Michigan. But the truth is that NOBODY cares....at least not the Parisians.

The one major difference between the two sides of the pond is that (even in major cities) Americans often leave the house in clothing akin to pajamas. Sweat pants, sweatshirts, flip flops, baseball hats to hide bad hair, etc. Parisians DON'T do that. They do still take the time to get dressed before they exit their homes. So if you and your family are the type who leave the house in sweats, then yes, you might want to step it up a bit, but I think the interpretation that what people have said on here is anything akin to suggesting you need to dress "highbrow" is misinterpreting the intent.

I honestly believe that anyone who's been in Paris anytime in the last 5 years will tell you that you should just simply dress as you normally would (excepting the sweats (see Paragraph 3b subsection 4.2.1.3 above)), and you'll fit right in. Anyone who tells you different 1) has an agenda they're trying to promote; 2) hasn't been there lately; and/or 3) works for Chanel

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