Q&A: What to Wear in Paris

August 17th, 2007

Q: I will be studying abroad in Paris from September to December. What should I wear?  Also, could you give me personal recommendation on shopping places (apparel, shoes) or attractions?

GUESS? \'Alexandria\' Wool Blend CoatBy Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A:  The first thing you will need are comfortable yet stylish walking shoes, as you’ll be walking across cobblestone streets.  For uneven surfaces like these, flats are going to be your best bet.  I recommend shoes from French Sole, as they have a wonderful selection of these easy-to-wear flats. 

In Paris, the style was tailored and classic.  Everyone was well groomed and well accessorized–scarves are key. Handbags, eyeglasses, shoes and boots were stylish and edgy.  Think of classic shapes with interesting details–an oversized buckle, an unusually placed zipper. 

As a student, you would need a foundation of tailored jeans, comfortable tees and a few pretty sweaters–choose grey or navy for versatility.  Upon this foundation, add one-of-a-kind type pieces that will give your look personality.  A dramatic tulip skirt, a jacket with an oversized bow, a distinctive chapeau.  I would also pack a figure flattering basic little black dress (LBD), which you can dress up or down with a sexy stiletto. 

As for stores to visit, don’t miss Colette in the first arrondissement–very fashion forward and fun.  Also check out Annick Goutal perfume shops, which are beautiful little jewel boxes.  Galeries Lafayette should not be missed at Christmas–the lights at that store are spectacular.

Christmastime is tastefully beautiful in Paris, and as a bonus, the weather is rather temperate. A good wool jacket or coat in a slim silhouette with a beautiful scarf will keep you happy and stylish while ice skating at the Tour Eiffel.  Bonne chance!

Have a great tip about what to wear in Paris?  Share it with us in the comments!

GUESS? ‘Alexandria’ Wool Blend Coat | $168 at Nordstrom.

Style question?  We’ve got answers.  E-mail us at tips at omiru dot com, or leave us a comment with your question.

Entry Filed under: Q&A,Women's

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mimi  |  August 17th, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    And wear scarves. Buy one at Hermes if you can afford it.

  • 2. Trisha  |  August 18th, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    So classic–thanks, Mimi!

  • 3. Dottie Ghanbarian  |  February 2nd, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Black is always safe. You can blend in easily with a nice black or camel coat (wool or trench), scarf and boots. If you are worried about foot comfort, I recommend wearing All Stars or city boots without a heel. Jeans are fine to wear (skinny jeans, etc). (No mom jeans and even our True Religion jeans are out of place). Hair is never processed (no highlights). The closet thing we have to French style is probably found in the upper eastside of NYC. Make sure your handbag matches your shoes… Leave your Coach bag at home and opt for a soft leather Italian bag… made by who knows. Vuttons are everyhere– but they might attract the gypsies! Have fun.

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