should she wear...
the 5-day forecast at your destination on the internet.
You never know when it's going to get really cold. However,
even in February I didn't need the lined boots or hat
I'd brought along. A visitor needs to
remember that the Metro is a large, underground system
and as one goes between stations and waits for trains,
a heavy coat gets even heavier.
Arlene, Washington, USA
I travelled to Paris in December - a
scarf is a must! Everyone wears a scarf, they can be
any color and any material and when you get home you
won't know how you ever got by without one in the past.
Younger people do wear sneakers occasionally, but European
sneakers are not the same as U.S. - they look a lot
more like bowling shoes. Plenty of high heeled boots
and leather pants on women of EVERY age. Remember, to
look truly like an American tourist, just wear a baseball
cap and hang a camera around your neck (this works for
whatever country you're in).
Julie, Rockhill, USA
Avoid wearing tennis shoes (Nikes etc.) because
it tells everyone you're a tourist. Black shoes are a necessity
if you want to go into most nightclubs. Also, bring along
black pants and try to avoid jeans. Black is very common and
works well for traveling (small stains don't show up).
Julie, Minneapolis, USA
Wear a tame knee length skirt, flat shoes and a tame top
suitable for the weather.
Amber, Akron, France
French women are by American standards always dressed up.
If you don't wear black high heeled shoes and a scarf (or
sweater) around your neck, you'll be spotted as an American
from a mile away...not that that's a bad thing, just something
to keep in mind.
Megan, Toledo, USA
The Parisian women dress with style
and if you don't approximate a little bit of it yourself,
you'll feel under dressed and dowdy. Bring along some
scarves, costume jewelry and forget your jeans and white
athletic shoes. I've discovered a wonderful fabric that
drapes beautifully without being revealing. It is lightweight
and doesn't wrinkle and comes in several dark colors--brown,
black, purple, navy. I bought my pieces at Chico's and
they call it "scrunchy". It is also available as Supplex
In Paris, in order not to be perceived with disdain,
leave your baseball cap & sneakers in the hotel room.
Save them for tramping around sites away from the city.
Alix, Toronto, Canada
When visiting Paris, "dress up" more than you would
in most other places. This involves a creative use of
scarves, costume jewelry, decent looking shoes and watching
what the Parisian women wear. This may be the one city
in which you abandon jeans, athletic shoes and warm-up
suits for a more attractive form of dress.
Trisha, Atlanta, USA
The sales help in Paris can often be indifferent and even
rude. To brace yourself for shopping in Paris, try to be as
chic as some Parisians -- while you don't have to dress to
kill, it's a good idea to dress smart, and favor slacks and
blazers over jeans and sweatshirts or tee-shirts. Women should
make up lightly, and men should be well groomed.
Rachel, Paris, France
In France, as in most of Europe, women "of a certain age"
dress their age, i.e., a skirt or slacks (no blue jeans or
shorts) and proper shoes (no running shoes). By "of a certain
age" I mean everybody over around 30.
If you want to look French, use black as your basic color
and wear a scarf somewhere on your body (around your neck,
your hair, your waist, or tied to your purse).
Looking as if you belong protects you from "draguers" on
the street who sometimes follow foreign-looking women, asking
them for a match or for directions to some well-known site.
Do not think that if you dress down (in other words, look
unattractive and grubby) it will protect you from the advances
of men. Dress poorly and you will only attract a lower class
of weirdo! Frenchwomen like to make the most of their appearance.
If you do, you will blend in.
One last tip: don't smile too much.
Frenchwomen don't; it's considered a come-on.
Karen, Seattle, USA
Nobody in Paris ever wears sweatpants. I think it
is the only city in the world in which if you are a
young woman, you must wear a tight miniskirt in order
NOT to be stared at.
People here actually wear leather pants just to go
to the grocery store.
Jennifer Wade, Cambridge, USA
Bring good walking shoes but not sneakers which immediately
identify you as an American tourist. Dress neatly and
fashionably but comfortably. The well-dressed Parisian
woman always looks stylish, has even begun wearing
flat and comfortable shoes, never uses color on her
short, well-kept manicured nails and has a fabulous
way with scarves, regardless of the season.
Arlene, Washington, USA