Feeling good about what to wear in Paris

It doesn't matter what Parisians wear, they generally look smart

PARIS, May 3, 2014/ Troy Media/ – Contrary to popular belief, Parisians do not dress particularly well. Many are in fact dressed no differently from a Canadian – well, a Canadian on a warmish day.

What is different about the couture of Paris is that it doesn’t matter what Parisians wear, they generally look smart. The secret of this apparent paradox is simple: Parisians think they dress well and feel that they are chic.

Take a simple thing: a gentleman’s tie. Some Parisians do still wear these, but it’s a dying mode of dress. Instead, the “in” thing is the elegant patterned scarf, tied in one of a variety of ways loosely around the neck, with one “arm” of the scarf thrown over the shoulder. Such scarf’s are everywhere and are made of silk, fine wool and fabric blends and cost between $25 and $150. They come in plain, patterned or paisley and are definitely an improvement on the simple silk tie. Worn with panache, they can transform an otherwise dull business suit and shirt into an elegant outfit.

For women, there are many accoutrements which make a difference, but simple pearls or an elegant scarf can also transform a simple suit. Take a black pant suit and add an orange or mauve wrap and you transform the black pant suit into a “come get me” outfit for an elegant dinner date or a “I am serious” business dinner lunch.

Linen suits, especially for men, look very crumpled between taking them from the hanger and putting them on and walking six feet. With a crumpled scarf and simple briefcase, the Parisian business man can make crumpled look thoughtful, creative and elegant.

Some Parisian women are very thin. In fact, a friend remarked that the last time he’d seen legs like the ones we saw coming towards us, they stood in a nest. Thin women tend to wear thick clothes to make them look bigger. Bulky woolen tops and a thick wool scarf, knee length boots and skirts about two inches above the knee all help make the thin look “more” substantial than they are.

Of course, you will see women dressed “to the nines,” but elegantly so. The recipe is simple – knee length skirts, not too tall heels, silk or linen blouses and simple, but clearly expensive jewelry. No one walking the streets of Paris could be seen in anything even vaguely resembling haute couture.

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