Blending in to Paris

January 28, 2017

To arrive in the fashion capital of the world as an outsider is quite intimidating, especially as a lover of fashion. The pressure to wear the right things and not to stick out like a sore thumb as an American is high. This pressure started from packing my suitcase and continued all the way to shopping on my first days in Paris. My goal for packing was to bring as many black and neutral colored pieces that were easily mix-and-matchable as possible. When we arrived we were told by our program that wearing black and grey was probably a good idea if we wanted to blend in (and not get pick pocketed). However, my roommates and I were still determined to look and feel our best and be anything but basic despite these tough rules.

As we began shopping we were able to pick up on what colors were appropriate, and what styles were popular this winter. As much as I hate to admit it, we couldn’t resist going in to Zara. And as bad as it seemed to go into a store we have in the U.S., it was one of the best finds and the clothing sold in the European Zaras is very different. The first time we walked into Zara I think I picked up everything in sight, and tried on 11 things. I ended up buying one of my favorite purchases so far. I found a big white crewneck sweatshirt with huge exaggerated puffy sleeves with a stripe of pink fur on each sleeve. I ended up wearing this out to a day of shopping on the Champs de Elysées and four separate people came up to ask where it was from (best feeling ever).

My roommate Amanda also wore something a bit daring on our first trip to Champs de Elysées which may or may not have looked French. It was almost too fun and cute to be worn in the winter in Paris but she was getting positive glances from all angles. She wore a flowing satin jumper from LoveShackFancy with Anthropologie high sneakers, a leather jacket, and round reflective RayBans. This outfit might have been worn at a more fancy occasion here but the muted tones helped it blend in to the Parisian streets.

Although we might have stuck out a bit trying to be Parisian and fashionable, it is definitely more fun to dress this way rather than in the black, plain, simple, unexciting pieces that are trending right now (although these are a great way to feel clean-cut and professionally glamorous). It seems there is a lot for me to learn and try in relation to Parisian street fashion, but with four months here I think I will be able to figure out how to make it work.

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