Is Paris Really As Fashionable As It Wants The World To Believe It Is?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019

Oh Paris, my first true love, my home, the fashion capital. But just how fashionable are the streets of Paris on your average day? Does it still deserve the title of being a fashion capital? There are many tips and tricks you can read about on how to dress more Parisian, the rules about dressing in Paris in order to blend in with the locals and not stick out like a tourist. While many of these pieces of advice are true, it’s not a blanket statement and there are always exceptions to the rule. Let’s find out just how fashionable Paris really is and whether you see the city of lights through rose tinted goggles or the microscope of truth. 

Debunking The Myths 

Parisians Never Wear Sneakers

This might have been true a number of years ago when Parisians only ever wore sneakers to the gym they didn’t have a membership for but with the rise of fashion sneakers, athleisurewear and the influence of American culture encouraging Parisians to join gyms and go jogging, at least one in three people you’ll see taking the metro will be wearing some form of sneaker. Of course, Paris is still Paris and that doesn’t mean you can get away with old dad style sneakers pulled out of a bargain bin, they still have to be stylish and preferably a brand name in order to not stick out as a tourist. 

Parisians Are Afraid of Color

This one is actually true for the most part in that true Parisians find bright colors to be garish and their staple wardrobe often consists of black, white, grey and maybe navy if they’re feeling wild! However, colors of the moment are often acceptable even in their brightest form and of course classic red will always be a firm favorite with Parisians. 

Furthermore, as travel becomes easier and more accessible, finding a true Parisian (those born and raised with Parisian families that go back generations) is becoming harder and harder. These days, a lot of people living in Paris have come from all over France, bringing their own regions style to the city as well as many expats from all over the world. Take a walk down the street or a trip on the metro and you’ll see plenty of colorful fashion and exotic prints depending on where the person comes from.

Nobody Wears A Beret...Or Breton Stripes For That Matter

This is probably a given but you never know! Too often Parisians are seen as beret and striped shirt wearing creatures with a croissant in their hand but you’ll not find much of that in the city of lights. Of course striped shirts exist but the French will do their upmost to avoid looking like their cliche and so will be very careful in their styling choices. The only person you might find wearing a beret (aside from tourists who’ve bought one from a souvenir shop) is an elderly lady or gentleman clinging to an era long gone by and believe me, they are the only ones who can pull off this look! The croissant in hand is totally true though, nobody can resist their flaky buttery goodness! 

The Actual Truths

Most Parisians don’t wear a lot of makeup -  foundation at least.

Parisian girls love Sephora just as much as the rest of us but as far as letting their skin breathe, they are the queens. Stick to a slick of eyeliner, mascara and a red lip and you’ll be feeling French chic in no time.

Parisians rarely wear heels.

This is mostly due to practicality, hardly anybody drives if they live in the centre of Paris so it’s the metro all the way. This means lots of walking even on a night out so low block heels and heeled boots are as high as it gets for most Parisian women. You’ll also find that even in nightclubs and you’ll feel far too dressed up if you don your favorite stilettos. If you’re a high heel addict, think of it this way, you’ll be able to dance for longer and your toes won’t be stinging half way through the night, just embrace it. 

The Covetable French Girl Hair Is All Down To The Water.

There’s a lot of mystery around that French girl hair where it looks ultra natural, slightly tousled and yet effortlessly chic. Well, I’m here to let you in on the secret, some people joke and say there’s just something in the water but that might be truer than you’d think. Paris water is renowned for being some the hardest water you can find, which is brilliant for drinking as it tastes great and the minerals that make it hard are good for our bodies but they play havoc with our hair! Many expats or tourists complain that their hair texture feels different when they wash it in Paris, it has a coarser texture to it, feels not quite clean and is definitely not super shiny like they’re used to - these are all the qualities you want in order to style your hair Paris style. 

Parisians Do Wear Scarves Year Round

Yes, even on the hottest of summer days, you’ll find a scarf around Parisian necks. Light silk or printed cotton scarves or Summer and chunky knitted snoods for Winter, no matter the weather, always, always, wear a scarf. 

Article Commissioned by Mod'Art University of Shanghai

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