I’m the type of person who appreciates pretty clothes. I have always expressed myself through what I wear, but I definitely would not consider myself a “fashionista”. When I was a young kid I was always in Paul Frank tees, cargo shorts and skater shoes. In high school I would wear nothing but skinny jeans, graphic tees and high top converse. While my clothes were not trendy or very fashion forward, they still managed to express who I was. I was a tomboy with a dorky sense of humor and my “hang moose” shirt featuring Bullwinkle surfing a wave perfectly summed that up in my mind. For that reason I have always appreciated clothes. I update my wardrobe more often than Apple creates a new iPhone. My style is constantly evolving little by little. As I’ve gone through college I have found a new love for unique and pretty clothing. Now I want to wear pretty clothes that are different from the norm but not so different that people stare at me on the street and question my sanity. As I walk around Paris I have fallen in love with every article of clothing I pass. The everyday Parisian look is a work of art.
Everywhere I look I see men and women in beautiful thick coats, huge scarfs, and of course colorful berets. The young men and women wear dark blues and blacks while the older women stand out in reds and purples. Parisians find the perfect combination of class and cool. I saw one man look sophisticated in round glasses and dress shoes yet bring in some modern trend by pairing them with fitted jeans and a trucker jacket. I find myself admiring young women wearing fur coats and flowing mid length skirts on the metro. A metro is the last place I would think I would find some of the most fashion forward outfits I have ever seen; everyday I am delighted by loads of garments as they step on and off at each terminal.
In America we like to get dressed up of course but we often buy nice clothes with the intentions of wearing them on a day of importance. We buy dresses and skirts or dress shoes and shirts and put them in our closet to sit until we bring them out to wear to our friend’s birthday dinner or a bridal shower. Our everyday clothing choices are typically less than exciting. We wear sweat pants and Nikes to school Monday through Friday. If we need to run to the grocery store to pick up some eggs it is completely acceptable to leave the house in our pajamas. In Paris however, everyday is treated like a special occasion. The only people wearing workout gear are those who pass you on the street while out for their daily jog.
One of our guest speakers was talking about Paris fashion and said that the French “respect others by respecting themselves”, in Paris, people dress up everyday because it is considered ill-mannered to do otherwise. I love being able to wear all my favorite clothes each day I spend here and never feel overdressed. Paris is known around the world for its fashion and after spending only three weeks immersed in its culture I can already see why. I feel inspired by the Parisians respect for getting dressed and I hope to bring a little bit of their confidence and class home with me.