Saturday, September 08, 2007

What on Haute Will I Wear in Paris?

My godmother, who is being our guru tour guide for the 30th birthday Paris trip, sent my mom and me an directions about how to pack for Paris:
  • organize clothes in clear ziplocks - 1 to 2 gallon bags - as it's easy to unpack and not so personal when the inspectors go through it
  • denim OK (this formally said "no" but I misread her email...i think it means stylish denim, not walk-the-dog-jeans)
  • no tennis shoes if we can help it (this one i was prepared shoes are for jogging in)
  • dressing for the airplane (no sweats and grubby). this means black knit pants, black knit top, long black silk sweater, black slip mules, black pashmina (well, I have that one thank goodness), and light socks to walk through security
  • very comfortable and simple black or brown shoes, possibly from, where you can buy many pairs at once and send them back (groan...! but I know that many do this)
  • cropped pants, no wild patterns (no problem)
  • only a few accessories, as they weigh one down (this will be tough), so scarves are good and light
  • lightweight windbreaker with a hood. we're going to Normandy for a day trip. i don't have one of those, since i'm not a big pategonia fan. i mean, i like it, but it feels too sporty for me most of the time. hmm.
  • i don't normally pack cosmetics in my carry-on, but she does, and i think most women do, and i think that as a 30 year old, i should start. it's...womanly.
Feeling as if I had to prepare for a test, in less than a month, I went shopping today. At this rate, the homeless people are going to be better dressed than me. My daily non-tennis shoe are Reefs and a pair of red Camper sandals. But I'm going to need more than that. I'm hoping I can find shoes in Paris, so I'm not too worried there. And a purse. I don't have a suitable purse. But again, Paris. The rest of it - the black knit everything - will be tough. I have a few dresses, and found a swoopy, sleevless BCBG shirt from Fieleen's for $19.99, and a yummity cream and tan wide striped wrap hooded sweater from Banana for a little more than that ;) . And of course my pre-Paris pedi in a new darkly violet Thigh High polish. So it's a start.

I hope Mlle Smith will chime in and help! If I were to buy a pair of creative walking shoes before Paris, where should I look? I tried 4 pairs today, including a Palladium, and none were in my size.

Oh dear.


Leesa said...

Hello Mista...

I just read your post on Mlle Smith's blog.. Don't get discouraged- you will be fine... I have been living 15 minutes from Paris for over a year now.. I am from So. California... I have NEVER once been asked the questions that she was plagued with... Paris is a HUGE comsopo. city filled with seemingly more tourists than locals!! All I hear when I go to Paris is English.. When I speak in French to the storekeepers, they always like to reply and try to speak in English with me.. All have been friendly and helpful.. I have met many kind "strangers" in Paris- in shops, the metro and even waiting in line for the lieu!! I think it depends where you go.. Parisians are MUCH more used to foreigners/tourists and it is a city that really relies on tourists.. Just enjoy!!
BRING TENNIS SHOES!! Everyone and their DOG where's sneakers here.. Parisians are hip.. Tennis shoes have been accepted into French culture... They are BIG on Converse right now.. vans, puma.. you will see it all.. I urge you to bring comfortable walking shoes.. Don't worry about what people think.. You won't be marked if you have tennies.. You will blend in, you'll see... If you have any questions... you can email me.. I have quite a few French and American friends who live in Paris.. If you ever want to meet up..for a Starbucks or something.. let me know.... Take care, Leesa

Mista said...

Thanks, Leesa!
I may have to meet my new Parisian blogging friends! That would be fun. Ok, good to know that Pumas would be ok. We can do that. They are super stylish and all over New York.

I just had an idea to get my hair colored in Paris for a good, bold new look...any ideas for a good salon? Not over the top pricey, but a good experience.

Thanks for writing!

mlle smith said...

Awww, look at my blog bringing together strangers across continents!! Yeah! :0)

Yes, Leesa's right, the French are HUGE on converse and Diesel-like tennis shoes, too. They don't wear actual RUNNING SHOES the way we do, but Converse, Vans, and Diesels sneakers are big for them. So get a pair at Filene's Basement in Chelsea! (That's where I got my Diesel's for cheap...)

Why no denim? They do wear denim here...

Why a windbreaker? I would suggest a light three-quarter trench of some sort.

You're in NYC right now, so you already know what it's like...they do a lot of walking in Paris and you will likely do so, too!

Btw, I found Paris to be very similar to NYC in the way of style. I'm curious to see what you'll think, though... The city has changed so much population-wise (NYC), that the similarities that I've noted are probably outdated and gone now, anyway.

Mista said...

Yay! I will need to meet you both at a cafe!

Converse and Diesel - good suggestions! I was going to go with Puma, and just found a curious pair that I'm blogging about to come. Converse are SO cute, but are just too flat for me. Maybe they are making them with more cusion of some kind, so I'll have to try some on.


Stephanie said...

I agree with the other commenters that tennis shoes and jeans are fine. Just not white tennis shoes with khaki pants, you know?

If you go to Pere Lachaise cemetery be sure to go to the restaurant right next door: Mere Lachaise. It's one of my favorites.

La Mère Lachaise
78, Boulevard de Ménilmontant, 75020

Tel : 01 47 97 61 60

And you must do a day trip to Versailles!

Mista said...

White tennis shoes and khakis are bad in any country, yes. David trying doing this with some 'retro' looking Converse, and I just could not accept it.

Well, we are taking a day trip to Monet's home at Giverny and then a drive up to the American Cemetary at Omaha Beach. So maybe it will be windy there? Still, I have no windbreaker with hood. Maybe I'll bring one of David's golfing ones.

Thanks for the suggestion, Steph!