BY SANDRA BETZINA
Because I just returned from 2 weeks in Paris, I thought I might share my observations. Paris is an international city, attracting many different looks but over-all fashion seems to have no age limit in Paris. I saw fishnet hose and high heels on old and young women with the majority of fashion conscious, favoring the clunky boot, or strappy sandals. Motorcycle jackets or scarves are the 3rd layer of choice.Fashion seems relaxed but put together and always accessorized. Care is taken, no one looks sloppy.
Parisians wear a lot more dresses, perhaps because they are a lot cooler to wear than pants. Paris can get very hot in the summer. 50% of the women wore soft A-line styles of varying lengths, with or without a flounce at the hem. Slim gals favored the long skinny T-shirt silhouette in black knit with a high slit up the side. Women seem to care more about being feminine than being hip. You see a lot more skin, in off shoulder styles, one-shoulder necklines, slip styles and strapless.
When I did see pants, I saw fitted ankle length jeans, cropped tapered cloth pants and above the ankle full pant styles. Lots of wide black and white vertical stripe pants in the full styles, often a bit too tight over the tummy.I did see shorts, with both a Chanel and motorcycle jacket and clunky boots.
While floral fabrics were very much in for dresses and feminine tops, not for T-shirts. T-shirts were either plain or sporting a designer label across the bust. Parisian women are label conscious and like to show off the designer labels on T-shirts, purses or sunglasses. Sunglasses are big and definitely make a statement. Scarves are everywhere and often worn in multiples of 2.
While label conscious, Parisians are not slaves to the new. These women have spent time finding out what looks good on them and wearing it, whether it be a jacket in beautiful fabric from 10 years ago of the current season. Look closely and you will see fine fabric, beautiful detailing: such as small flounces or tiny fringe, beautifully executed topstitching.
Is everyone in Paris thin? No, but most women of all ages are. Bread is served in restaurants but never butter, making the bread easier to resist. In addition, long straight hair is ageless, usually worn down, well brushed or in a high loose bun, giving a slight girly-ness to the wearer. Parisian women still want to look pretty.
European men are easy to spot. They are snazzy dressers, with well-pressed pants and shirts, wearing colors, which actually work together. The American male is usually found wearing wrinkled pants and shirts, big tennis shoes, none of which has any relation to the other.
I loved having time to sit in cafes and observe the people. You can spend as much time as you want in a café, whether you spend 3 Euro or 60, just sitting and watching just like everyone else.