‘Parisian style’ is probably the most-copied fashion look in the world. That air of nonchalance, the easy elegance, the stripes – it’s a timelessly classic approach to clothing that leaves many of us feeling like we’re wearing nothing more than a bin bag tied with string.
Really, though, Parisian style is a construct created through film and our endless obsession with Audrey Hepburn. I loved this article by Hadley Freeman, in which Freeman blasts French stereotypes and our tendency to reduce Parisian women down to nothing more than a thin frame and a Breton top.
Of course, there are stylish people in Paris. But there are stylish people everywhere, in every city the world over. There are also badly-dressed people in Paris, just like everywhere else. I saw three fully-fledged French people wearing Crocs, and none of them gave a single fuck about ‘Parisian style’.
Paris is a city steeped in style, and when visiting, it’s nice to dress up and play up to that stereotype just a little bit. But Paris is also a friendly, welcoming city full of beautiful architecture, fascinating culture and delicious food. And it’s those bits that are worth savouring.
Visiting Paris soon? Forget the faffy clutch bag and uncomfortable shoes – throw on your Converse, load up your tote and sling a camera round your neck. Take photos, practise your pigeon French and walk for miles. You might not radiate effortless elegance, but you’ll have a great time and a holiday you won’t forget.