So if I loved the Metro in Paris, what did I think of the people? Well, we often hear about how people in France in general and Paris specifically are rude. Well, I must say that is completely false. I was out and about, eating in local restaurants, riding the train, shopping in local shops and never once had someone be rude to me. Ok, well, that is a lie, I did run into a couple of very rude folks when I was scarf shopping one day -- they were Americans. They were extremely upset that the prices weren't in US dollars and that people wouldn't speak English to them. Ah, the sense of entitlement of the new American travel class.
When we were there, it was very warm (low to mid 30s), but so often we saw men wearing blazers with a simple scarves. Everyone looked so put together, everyone had nice accessories and carried themselves with a great sense of confidence. Even when people sat at a cafe with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee everyone looked so much more put together than what we see in the US.
Paring a nice fitting pair of jeans with a blazer and adding something with some texture - a shirt or scarf, but not both with texture -- really looked great. I loathe how so often in the US when you wear a blazer people make a comment about you being "dressed up". We've taken fashion to a new low in contemporary America. People wear sweatpants too often (to/at/from the gym is fine), you shouldn't consider this your go-to outfit. When I say this to people, often the response includes the word "comfort". Who says you can't be comfortable in jeans, a pair of khakis or slacks? If you buy things that actually fit, they are comfortable.
The women looked so stylish - a unique style and not just a standard mass marketed style like we see here. I'm not going to dig in to the women's fashion any more, as I am not at all qualified to fully discuss this.
It's easy to complain about how other people act (believe me, I know), but what can we do to change things we don't like? Well, I for one am doing my part to dress better. Traditionally, I think I dress well, nothing wild and crazy but I never wear sweatpants out of the house (actually I only wear them from my bedroom to the bathroom or maybe to breakfast in my kitchen in the mornings...that's it). I've started wearing jackets and ties to work a few times a week (I always wore dress shirts/slacks to work before) -- that in and of itself doesn't mean I dress well, I get that. I've also started wearing blazers in a more casual setting lately. I love that fall is here now, so I can wear a blazer with a scarf and not sweat my ass off.
In the three weeks I've been back from Paris, I've continued this trend and yesterday (casual Friday at the office) three people commented that I was VERY casual (no suit, no tie, no blazer) -- they followed up with "what's wrong"? Perhaps if I continue this trend other people will start to follow suit? I'm not holding my breath, but I can dream, can't I?