Two years ago tomorrow my plane touched down in Paris! This was my DREAM trip. The planning for the entire trip started three weeks prior. The only mistake we made was not planning more in advance to get cheaper tickets. Once we had tickets purchased I set forth on my journey to find the best outfits to wear so that I didn’t stand out like a tourist!
Wear comfortable shoes. But don’t wear tennis shoes. Or sandals. The French woman is chic. She is understated. She is sexy. I knew I wanted to wear comfortable shoes for all the walking we would be doing. I also knew wearing tennis shoes is not true to how I usually dress and I knew that is how I would stand out at as a tourist. I found some incredibly comfortable black flats from Clarks. My feet never hurt from my shoes. One day they hurt from sheer exhaustion of jet lag.
Be minimal. I brought a lot of black and a couple of jeans. Black t-shirts, black cardigans, black and white stripes. Black. It was July, but still a little a little cool, so having a cardigan was perfect. I brought my khaki trench coat as well.
Let’s talk accessories. This is also a place to be minimal. I wore a single pair of stud earrings and a necklace each day, both were small and delicate. I took my cross-body coach purse with me to hold a wallet, my phone and lip gloss. I wore my purse under my jacket when I had my jacket on. It made it easier to take on and off as I went in and out of locations.
One day while I was wearing the outfit below a woman stopped us and started speaking to us in rapid French. I have a limited French vocabulary (thanks to various years in class between 8th grade and college), so I got a little bit of what she was saying. But not near enough to be able to help her. As I replied in broken French she switched to English and I was actually able to help her find the boulangerie that had the pretty breads (look at that bread!). But being mistaken for a Parisian was my goal. It was achieved!!!
Some do NOTs:
Do not carry a backpack. This targets you as a tourist.
Do not wear high heels. I know the Parisian woman does it, but those cobblestone streets will wreck an ankle. Plus you will be walking all day long. Be comfortable.
Do not have a big purse full of stuff. This will also make you a prime subject for someone to pickpocket. I know you may have your children with you, and then everything about a backpack or big purse. People will notice the child and see that you have stuff for them, not of value.