Paris Fashion Guides


In France, fashion is a family affair. Mothers and grandmothers begin giving their daughters (or sons) and granddaughters fashion tips at an early age. In a BCBG family i.e. ‘bon chic, bon genre’ family, daughters’ upbringing (in the past) had been pretty strict when it came to how much jewelry could be worn – in good taste. A simple gold chain necklace, bracelet or the similar style in silver was considered chic.

So, what do you do if you’re an American in Paris – and totally clueless when it comes to fashion? If you’re lucky, you’ll find a French friend who decides to take you on as a ‘project’. When it comes to fashion, call me ‘silly putty’.

My friend Lydie used to work on Rue St. Honore, one of Paris’s bastions of fashion. So, she knows a thing or two about style – and she’s particularly aware of the fact that many of us visitors have a strict budget when it comes to ‘shopping’.


The key to choosing clothes that look attractive is being ‘bien dans ta peau’ or feeling comfortable with one’s body. You want to wear styles that fit your age and body type, but also reflect something of your personality. You’ll note that grandmother and granddaughter both develop their own style – always in synch with the times but tailored to age and personality.

Charlotte (Lydie’s grandaughter) wears shorts this season with opaque stockings.
Lydie wears knee-length flared skirts with boots. BTW, Charlotte is one of those attractive Metropolitan Parisians that you’re not likely to meet in Paris. Why?

For many French families, education takes precedence above everything. Charlotte is pursuing her education in Caen. So, if you are wondering where to find the most beautiful Parisians, the answer is that you may have to start thinking about going beyond the Paris city limits!

Caen is one of the two major cities in Normandy (the other is Rouen). Getting to Caen from Paris is easy. Just hop on a Caen bound train at the Gare St. Lazare train station. The trip takes approximately 2 hours. You can also stop in the little town of Bernay where Editih Piaf sojourned as a child before returning to Paris to find her fame as one of France’s best-known singers.

3 thoughts on “Paris Fashion Guides

  • Mary

    Nice! I know little of fashion, really, but looking good at a reasonable cost is important to me. I like the idea of age and personality being in sync. How true!

    I was most pleased to see Marion Cotillard get the best actress Academy Award. To Bernay it is!

  • Parisgirl Post author

    Bernay is definitely an ‘off the beaten track’ it probably has more traditional half timber medieval townhouses than Honfleur, but nowhere near the number of tourists. BTW Bernay does not play up the details of Piaf’s upbringing in Bernay. It was also home to Alexandre de Bernay inventor of the Alexandrine verse (for you poets out there!) It also has the unique statue of St. Napoleon (who was subsequently reinvented as St. Louis after Napoleon’s demise)

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