La Mode Parisienne

Katherine Baldwin
February 27, 2014

Think of that friend who always seems to be flawlessly stylish, multiply them by a million or so, add in some more fashionable friends and you’d get the general population of Paris. In honor of fashion week, I’d like to share my experiences with the street style of Paris. Understandably, there are a few unfashionable people in the city of a little over 2 million people, but for the most part Parisians are a fairly fashionable bunch.

For men, it seems like they don’t just buy whatever clothes fit, but instead carefully select stylish clothes. To go to work, they might wear a slim pair of oxfords with a well-fitted pressed suit and a pea coat. Sometimes I’m actually taken aback by how fashionable some men on the subway are! The details of an outfit may not seem like a big difference but they certainly make a good impression!

For women, it seems like many follow the saying “better to look good than to feel good.”  Not everyone wears high heels, and students even less, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many heels in my life! Tights are extremely popular (at least during winter) and should be worn under everything (even pants sometimes) so invest in a few pairs before visiting. My host brother lives in Dublin and was astonished that girls wear dresses or skirts without tights on. Natural hair and makeup are a bonus; everyone here seems to have perfected that flawless “I woke up like this” look.

From what I’ve gathered, people have less variety in their wardrobes, but this also means they choose quality over quantity. It also means that people stick to neutral colors with maybe one pop of red or blue. And yes, the rumors that Parisians wear a lot of black are true. But I’ve found myself wearing more black since arriving; it doesn’t get dirty quickly and matches with everything.

So yes, Parisians are fairly fashionable, but I was surprised when I arrived here that people DO wear sweats and sneakers. I was told that sporty clothes were only acceptable when you are doing some kind of physical activity (which holds true for the most part).

Some typical things Parisians wear include

  • Scarves! An absolute must for any time of the year
  • Nice shoes, whether they’re boots, flats, high heels, loafers or oxfords, it seems shoes make or break an outfit
  • A classic bag, typically leather and very stylish
  • Leather jacket, pea coat, trench coat, or another type of fashionable jacket- a ski jacket is typically the first way to spot a tourist
  • Dark jeans (also you can often find someone wearing leather pants here way more than in the US)
  • Layers, lots and lots of layers for winter
  • And last but not least, black…  anything black



À bientôt,


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Katherine Baldwin

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi! My name is Katie Baldwin. I am a junior International Business Major at Saint Joseph&#39;s University. I am a member of my school&#39;s Gaelic football team and a sister of Alpha Omicron Pi. I also work as a technician and a brand ambassador at SJU&#39;s Technology Service Center. I love travelling, painting, and dancing with my friends. I have always dreamed of studying abroad in Paris and that dream is finally coming true!</span></div>

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