• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Traveling to Paris - Need style advice

86general

New Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I am new to this forum and would like to say hello to everyone. I am here, naturally, for some fashion advice.

I will be traveling to Paris (leisure) this year.

I want to know how to dress so as a) not to look like a tourist, and b) to look stylish.

I am 44 years old, I am a professional, and I typically dress conservatively, although I certainly am not afraid to wear contemporary styles or youthful clothing. It is important to me to look good, but I am afraid that if I don't know the norms there, my attempt to dress sharp could make me look ostentatious rather than stylish. I don't mind spending money for clothing and would buy new clothes for the trip as needed.

I will be traveling with my wife and wish to know what is typical for sight seeing, fine dining, and for night clubbing. I am asking advice for my wardrobe only, not for my wife's.

Thank you very much for any assistance you can provide. Please be as specific as possible.

JPB
 

butterflystyle

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
384
Reaction score
2
I went to Paris over Christmas. I found it to be FAR less stylish than Chicago. Early to Mid-90s ski jackets abounded, on almost EVERYONE I saw. Lots of neon colors and puffy parkas.

Perhaps in the 80s Paris may have been more fashionable than the United States and may still be more fashionable than hell holes like Omaha, NE (Sorry Nebraskans), but compared to Chicago Paris left a lot to be desired for fashion.
 

mic

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
361
Reaction score
4
Originally Posted by butterflystyle
I went to Paris over Christmas. I found it to be FAR less stylish than Chicago. Early to Mid-90s ski jackets abounded, on almost EVERYONE I saw. Lots of neon colors and puffy parkas.

Perhaps in the 80s Paris may have been more fashionable than the United States and may still be more fashionable than hell holes like Omaha, NE (Sorry Nebraskans), but compared to Chicago Paris left a lot to be desired for fashion.


Neon jackets are back IN fashion, mang.

Original poster, American adults tend to dress in adult-sized versions of the same clothes we dress 5-year-olds in. I think that if you dress in conservative menswear and avoid high-top sneakers, baggy shorts, and graphic tee shirts, you will be better dressed than most.

I spent 6 or so months in Europe while I was in my early 20s, and everyone could tell I was an American from a distance. I'd ask how they knew, and the answer was always, always "your clothes".

I've traveled to Italy a couple of times since then, and paid just a little more attention to my clothes. I wore leather boots, button-down shirts and a heather gray sweater, jeans that fit, and a suede "Diesel" jacket that seemed a little too suave for me under most circumstances. Lo and behold, I was frequently approached by Italians who were looking for directions...


I'm sure you will want to be better dressed than I was, but that is to show you that you don't need to try very hard.
 

Ianiceman

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
2,651
Reaction score
485
Had a few days in Paris in the summer. A polo shirt or regular shirt and chinos or dark jeans will make you comfortable in the weather and still more spiffy than students in flip flops and cargo shorts. Take a light jacket and/or umbrella in case it rains.
 

Achilles_

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
3,319
Reaction score
50
Originally Posted by butterflystyle
I went to Paris over Christmas. I found it to be FAR less stylish than Chicago. Early to Mid-90s ski jackets abounded, on almost EVERYONE I saw. Lots of neon colors and puffy parkas. Perhaps in the 80s Paris may have been more fashionable than the United States and may still be more fashionable than hell holes like Omaha, NE (Sorry Nebraskans), but compared to Chicago Paris left a lot to be desired for fashion.
I live in Omaha NE so that hurts, but is unfortunately so true
At least I have B/S and eBay for company
I recently purchased a camel hair topcoat, my wife saw it and likes it, but commented saying that it will be strange here in Nebraska since all she sees here is dark colors in the winter. I will start a revolution!
(or maybe just try and dress as best I can and the others be damned) Edit: I was in Minneapolis/St Paul before so its a bit different. I think the large populace and amount of gay's really helps Minneapolis be more fashion forward. (hope that wasn't offensive, it just seems that most of the gay's I know dress well)
 

Gus

Stylish Dinosaur
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Messages
20,251
Reaction score
5,359
I always seem to do well in Paris wearing nice shoes (Lobbs or similar) a nice dress shirt and sweater or jacket with jeans. You will want a scarf. Suits seem only right when with other people all in dark simple suits. Classic USA style SC and slacks looks like a tourist. Don't wear a Blue Blazer with brass buttons although a navy jacket with a white shirt and jeans will go anywhere. A leather or suede jacket with jeans would also be an excellent look...with a scarf.

I think nice shoes and a nice jacket and shirt with a good collar are what does it.
 

binge

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
5,210
Reaction score
148
I wear the same stuff in Paris that I wear at home.
 

Millerp

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
615
Reaction score
14
Unless things have changed, you won't see many locals wearing khaki colored chinos-
really marks you as an American tourist.
 

GBer

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
663
Reaction score
1
Originally Posted by Trompe le Monde
no parisian will care what you look like.

He mentioned:

Originally Posted by 86general
for night clubbing

Some clubs DO CARE. If the club is particularly crowded, the doorman will choose who to let in based on their appearance.

Now for the stereotypes you commonly hear about.

Some American tourists can be spotted far away for wearing very baggy, oversized, loose-fitting clothes, overly blatant sports logo wear, and of course geriatric shoes. Also commonly spotted in your local Wal-Mart. Of course if you are carrying a large camera around your neck, that's also another obvious "I am a tourist" sign.

Button down collar shirts label you an American, I just don't see so many Euros wear them. Although it doesn't necessarily mean it's bad, unless it's 2-3 sizes too big. Also if you look like a walking LL Bean catalog, that doesn't help. I was on a plane the other day and saw the only other American in it. He was labeled from head to toe in North Face and Columbia gear. Yes, they are probably comfortable, but the look is, well... questionable in Europe and certainly sticks out.


PLEASE NO FANNY, BELLY, BELT PACKS!




If you visit some of the finer places, you will find it more welcoming, receptive, and hospitable to wear JL or EG vs glued geriatric shoes. Also clothes along those lines. Try a sportscoat instead of a light poly jacket. Depends on where you are going. If you go to the Eiffel Tower, it doesn't really matter as it's full of tourists. But if you visit Avenue Montaigne, rue du Faubourg, St-HonorÃ
well...


If you want to get an idea of what some of the more fashionable Euros wear, look at:

http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/

Wear something that fits and try to avoid carrying too many accessories.
 

Gus

Stylish Dinosaur
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Messages
20,251
Reaction score
5,359
The last year or so I seem to notice a lot more French families visiting San Francisco. They wear:

-Large, distressed logos on everything
-Trim jeans (Diesel) in a medium blue wash
-Trim fitting knit tops/T's
-scarves
-sneakers

And carry multiple bags of A&F
 

SirGrotius

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2011
Messages
3,519
Reaction score
836
Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy
The last year or so I seem to notice a lot more French families visiting San Francisco. They wear:

-Large, distressed logos on everything
-Trim jeans (Diesel) in a medium blue wash
-Trim fitting knit tops/T's
-scarves
-sneakers

And carry multiple bags of A&F


Hahaha. Exactly. This is very much the vibe I get in Union Square.
 

Fat-tie-knot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
74
Reaction score
1
Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy
I always seem to do well in Paris wearing nice shoes (Lobbs or similar) a nice dress shirt and sweater or jacket with jeans. You will want a scarf. Suits seem only right when with other people all in dark simple suits. Classic USA style SC and slacks looks like a tourist. Don't wear a Blue Blazer with brass buttons although a navy jacket with a white shirt and jeans will go anywhere. A leather or suede jacket with jeans would also be an excellent look...with a scarf.

I think nice shoes and a nice jacket and shirt with a good collar are what does it.


+1

Im going to school just outside of Paris at the moment and I agree with the above. Ill add to this that they love scarves in europe. They wear them with T-shirts, blazers, etc. The one thing I do remember remarking is that in the summer no one wears shorts. Despite how intolerably hot the metro gets in July/August.
 

Featured Sponsor

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • 1 - 4

    Votes: 16 3.6%
  • 5 - 10

    Votes: 75 16.8%
  • 11 - 20

    Votes: 146 32.7%
  • 21 - 30

    Votes: 75 16.8%
  • 31 - 40

    Votes: 37 8.3%
  • 41 - 50

    Votes: 26 5.8%
  • 51 - 60

    Votes: 16 3.6%
  • 61 - 70

    Votes: 9 2.0%
  • 71 - 80

    Votes: 13 2.9%
  • 81 - 90

    Votes: 3 0.7%
  • 91 - 100

    Votes: 4 0.9%
  • 100+

    Votes: 27 6.0%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
427,542
Messages
9,200,026
Members
193,187
Latest member
rzvdantar

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Top