Tuesday Paris Street Fashion
What Not to Wear as a Tourist in Paris
Tuesday Paris Street Fashion is a guide to the everyday Parisian street styles and an insider on what real people wear. As a new Parisian myself, I wanted to blend in as much as possible, even before I made the move to make this my home. However, before I could I had to first try and blend in as a tourist.
Paris was the number one most visited city in the world until last year, second to London in 2013. The Parisian streets are filled with people of different nationalities trying to maneuver through the everyday inhabitants of Paris and like most major touristic cities, it is pretty easy to tell the difference between a tourist and a local. However, the difference here in Paris is not just pretty easy, it is easy enough to see the difference miles away. Now in summer while the coats are off, it is not just a fanny pack that separates a tourist from a local but the outfit.
Matching the fashion trends in Paris is not only for style purposes but also for safety. As any touristic spot, you can easily become a victim of the many scams and pickpocketing if you are spotted. The metro, the Eiffel Tower and Galeries Lafayette are high target areas for thieves and many fall victim to them before they can even blink. Since the thieves and scammers are all very persistent, it wasn’t until I changed my style and attitude that I began to get hassled a lot less than before.
If you are heading to Paris on vacation and what to know what NOT to pack any time of the year, here are the essential What not to Wear as a Tourist in Paris. Don’t forget to keep checking for more Tuesday Paris Street Fashion on what you can wear from home or buy here in Paris to keep up with the true local styles.
1. Fanny packs/Backpacks
I know it is tempting to want to bring everything you need for the day in your family backpack or keep your money right in front in the fanny pack so it is accessible. Yet, did you notice we only wear these on vacation? In your everyday life, you don’t use the backpack unless you are on your way to school or going on a hike. If you need to bring everything out for the day, try to get a bigger purse with black or neutral colors to can fit everything you need. If you want to make less take one bag that will match all your outfits for your trip. Though during summer it is tempting to get white, be careful as the metro and pollution can make that purse a lot darker quickly.
2. Your 2006 Super bowl Championship Jersey
I am not saying that American sports gear is not popular here. It is tempting to run up to the next guy wearing a Yankees cap and ask, “OMG, are you from New York, me too!” Though after as he stares at you with crossed eyebrows for a minute, you can assume at that point that he just thought the cap was cool and has never been to New York. There are plenty of men wearing caps and some t-shirts but Parisians will not be wearing specific championship American football jerseys with matching shorts. Not only because it is not sold here but not exactly the trends here. That jersey is pretty much a dead give away you’re a tourist. There is nothing wrong with representing your team but keep it simple.
3. Loose the Shorts
Men and especially women, loose the shorts. One thing I have noticed about women this summer is they rarely wear shorts. I quickly was able to tell the difference between a tourist and a Parisian because Parisian’s were only rockin summer dresses and skirts no matter what time of day. Men, wear shorts only on the hottest days. If the weather is mild or you’re heading out for the evening, Parisian men stick to Capri’s or bright colored pants for a summery look.
4. Family Affair
It is cute, I’m not gonna lie. The whole family wearing the same striped yellow shirts, tropical sun hats, Keens and LLBean backpacks with the initials on them, adorable. However, unless you are walking onto a rugby field, five people walking down the street with matching outfits is a sure sign to get a pickpocketers attention. Unless it is a bachelorette party, better to stay an individual.
5. Keep the Nike’s for the Track
Unless you are on a morning run or heading to the gym, Parisian’s normally don’t wear athletic shoes as apart of their everyday apparel. Converse or neutral colored sneakers look cute with a jean jacket or rolled Capri’s but otherwise Parisian’s keep to the flats and dress shoes. One look to avoid is the athletic sneakers with the dress. This a big Parisian no, no! I know it is tempting to wear sneakers for all the walking you will do but if you want to blend in as a Parisian bring your most comfortable pair of flats or even plain sneakers. If you can survive all the walking while wearing fabulous shoes, than you have made it as a Parisian.
6. A Beret
You mean Parisian’s don’t walk around wearing a black and white striped shirt wearing a beret playing the accordion? How disappointing! I know, we would just love to have a picture of this stereotype to post on our Facebook wall but honestly, of course this does not exist except the street performers. You may see a few berets for those wanting to keep warm in winter but otherwise, don’t show up thinking you will fit in as a local. There are plenty of cheap berets at souvenir shops if you want to buy a few for a fun family photo but otherwise, keep it as a souvenir.
7. A Hawaiian Shirt
I truly don’t think I have to explain this one. Your on vacation, I understand, but please save it for the next Lulau.