Street Style in Paris: A World of Sidewalk Fashionistas
When my editor asked me to write a feature on street style in Paris, at first, I was ambivalent. Approaching strangers on the street for any reason, well-meaning or not, tends to incite a number of different reactions. And cities, particularly large ones, have a way of attracting plenty of odd birds. Meaning if I approach people to ask to take their picture, I could be mistaken for one of them, or if I happen to ask one of these oddballs, who knows what kind of erratic reaction I could provoke…
Thankfully, neither happened, at least not that I noticed. More folks seemed pleased to have their picture taken, because for the stylish, trendy, and well-dressed, the sidewalk is their runway, after all.
And I’m glad I did. It’s mind-boggling how many doors open by simply being brave and initiating conversations with folks on the street. I met far more fellow bloggers than expected, from all over the world, mostly France, because we were, after all, in Paris. In asking her to take my picture in front of the Arc de Triomphe, I met one sweet blogger and her boyfriend, both from Canada, and enjoying a weeks-long European vacation.
Of course there were some that I took initiative to sneak on my own, when it looked as though I wouldn’t have time to catch them for a quick photo.
I’d like to think also, of course, that I have my moments when I can step out and immerse myself seamlessly into the stylish streets of Paris.
During my stay, I found myself delighted to start drawing patterns in certain trends that repeated on the streets. A few observations I made surprised me: one of which was the actual widespread presence of berets among women. Not just tourists...but Parisian women. When I pointed this out to a new French friend I’d made, she cheekily shared that they’d once been typically worn by their version of “rednecks” (a comparison which sounds like saying “an American equivalent to unicorns”...do they even exist?), which made us giggle.
Nevertheless, I saw them sported every single day, and though I promised myself I wouldn’t be so cliche (beyond making friends with a photographer to help me shoot portrait photos in front of the Eiffel Tower, that is) as to purchase and wear a beret in France, now that I’m back in the States, I do still find myself lusting after one next time I walk into H&M.
I love hats, and was pleased to see not only berets, but a number of other styles: boaters, fedoras, bowlers, and so on - repeatedly shown off absolutely everywhere. And yet another popular hat style was one I fell for as much as I did its name.
Behold, the baker boy. Yep, that’s a thing. Forgive me if that was in fact common knowledge, but because I pay relatively good attention to fashion and trends, I couldn’t believe its name was a novelty to me. Originated from 1920s lower class, it’s come back as a stylish encore, and women are crushing it in this whimsical little topper.