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Travel: What to Wear in Paris

While planning a trip to Paris (yes, I know, lucky me) I ran across several websites that cautioned me about how to dress in that city.  Look chic, they tell me, wear black, wear a scarf, accessorize! The list of don’ts is long: no shorts, no crocs, no running shoes or hiking boots, no fanny packs, no t-shirts with locations printed on them, no cargo pants, no long baggy shapeless pants with multiple pockets.  The more I read about the don’ts, the more I realize the do’s are preaching to the choir.  Let’s face it, if you were to wear what these sites refer to as major fails in New York, Chicago or San Francisco, then you might as well add Paris to your list.

Are Parisian women more beautiful, more fashionable than their poor provincial cousins in the U.S.A? I think that a sampling of street photography from major U.S. cities shows we can strut with the best of them.

My tip for Parisian travel: dress as you would for a day out in New York or Chicago.  Imagine a full day of it: starting with a major museum such as the Met or the Art Institute, followed by lunch, then some shopping before an evening at the theater.  What would you wear?  Hiking sandals with socks? Old cargo pants with fully loaded pockets? An old sweatshirt? In that case, no website advice will help you.  You have utmost confidence and are not in the least fazed by sartorial dictates.  Either that or you just can’t be bothered.  But if you are someone who would rather lose a day’s pay than be seen with her roots showing, then you already know how to dress for Paris.  Black be damned. If you love color, go for it.  You know your style. The real trick is how to pack your style so you are ready for anything without being bogged down by excessive luggage.

Shoes are a good place to start.  Let’s work from the ground up.  Be honest. No matter how much you love your heels, do you love them enough to risk turned ankles on cobblestoned streets?  Do you love them so much you would happily walk in them for say, eight miles each day?  If you must take your heels, save them for your night out, when you might be cabbing it back home.  Otherwise, embrace the flat.  Are flats the sexiest option? No, of course not, But you will end your trip so happily proud of yourself for making the right decision.

And there are so many good, fashionable flat choices out there.

TB_31158046_977_CTory Burch Snakeprint Ballet flats (http://www.toryburch.com/raleigh-snake-print-ballet-flat/31158046.html?dwvar_31158046_color=977&cgid=shoes-flats&start=8)

These are a good neutral with a bit of visual interest. They look great paired with a dress or with pants.

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