AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup: Vol. III, No. Twenty

Hi Belle,

I’ve been searching your blog, but I can’t find the post where you talk about the kind of makeup removing wipes you like.  Could you refresh my memory?

Memphis

I usually use the Say Yes to Blueberries Cleansing Towelettes.  However, I recently switched to the Say Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Face Towelettes, and I think I like them better.  They’re loaded with vitamin C to remove impurities and exfoliate the skin.  They’re also a bit thicker than the Blueberries wipes, so I can use just one to remove all of my makeup instead of two.

Hi Belle,

I need your help! I’m getting married later this summer.  I’ve looked endlessly but can’t find a dress to wear to one of our wedding events.  It’s a lobster bake by the water in New England.  I’d love something that would fit with that setting, but can’t find anything that is appropriately dressy to wear as the bride. Can’t wait to see your suggestions!

CC

Congratulations!  First, let me say, it’s a lobster bake.  A nice cotton dress and cute shoes are all you need, esp. since everyone else will probably be fairly casual.  I’m under the impression most brides opt for white for wedding events, so try this eyelet fit-and-flare or this square neck Marc Jacobs.  And if you want something a bit more modern and fun, I like this Robert Rodriguez with a geometric cut-out back.

If it doesn’t need to be all white, I like this printed dress from Tory Burch and this one with a bold yellow ombre.  I also love this green and white print dress from Milly.

But remember, no matter which dress you choose, focus on your hair and makeup.  These events are all about fun times and photos.  Even a mediocre dress looks awesome with a great hairdo and a well made-up face.

Hi Belle,

Last night I emailed my husband saying I was getting a pedicure at the cheap-y local place.  He replied, “oh, maybe I’ll come with you”.  I assumed he was joking, and after a few emails back and forth, he wasn’t (but because of scheduling it didn’t work out to go together last night and I went alone).  But – any suggestions where we can either go together or my husband can go alone?  If he should do it, it shouldn’t be a terrible experience, right?

Thanks! Dina

Bliss Spas offer pedicures for both men and women, so that’s one option.  But any spa that has two chairs together and isn’t set up in a cattle call style like so many less-expensive salons should do well.  You want something where you won’t be in a crowd.

And I think it’s great that he wants to go and have his feet cleaned, scrubbed, clipped and trimmed.  You wouldn’t believe some of the gross feet I’ve seen walking around D.C. (and Montana) in sandals this summer.  Shudder.  So I would definitely encourage him to get a pedicure.

Hi Belle, 

I am an avid reader of your blog! You have such excellent advice, especially for those of us just entering the work force. 

While my day-to-day wardrobe is maturing, I was wondering if you had any advice on where to find reasonably priced sleepwear. I would love to ditch the college sorority tees and boxers. 

Thanks! Adrianna

Lately, I’ve either been sleeping in a short-pajama set or a knee-length tank nightgown.  I also like matching tanks and shorts with feminine details and soft colors. And this might be the one time that I would consider wearing a romper.  And you can never go wrong with a classic pajama set.

Belle,

I need a pair of gold flats for my walk to the office but the pickings seem pretty slim.  Seen anything good?

Lacey

I am in the market for a pair myself, so I’ve certainly been on the hunt.

This Ecco flat and this Seychelles flat both have a basic shape.  If you want something a bit different, I found these laser-cut flats and these scallop-edged Steve Madden flats.  And if you like the look of a loafer, these Kate Spade ones are preppy and fun.

Also, I bought a pair of gold Tieks recently.  And while they seemed like they would be very comfortable for commuting, the gold color was hideous (like you sprayed glitter on a filthy camel).  I’m going to exchange them for another color and report back.

Lastly, I wanted to ask a favor from you ladies.  Several readers have e-mailed asking for advice on what to wear on a trip to Paris.  Having never been to the city on the Seine, I have little advice to offer.  I can tell them to check out How to Dress Like a Parisian, but then I’m out of tips.  So since I know many of you have probably been to Paris, please leave your thoughts in the comments on what staples to bring, what shoes to wear, a bag to carry, etc.  Thanks!

Leave a Reply to JChica · cancel comment

    40 comments

  1. Paris! says:

    I wore soft scarves all over Paris last spring!

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  2. Katy says:

    Paris: comfortable flats, more than one pair. A largeish light weight bag. Something you can put shopping/picnics in without weighing you down. I use my longchamp pliage, but acknowledge theres probably a more fashionable choice.

    For clothes: whatever you really love. It’s highly unlikely you’ll pass as a native, so you should at least be wearing your favorites. Assuming they’re generally within caphillstyle realm, they’ll be fine.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  3. k-t says:

    I’ve seen gentlemen’s manicure and pedicure options at both Red Door and Ritz Carlton salons.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  4. Meredith says:

    Paris: Don’t forget that it is chilly there in the summer, at least until August – when I was there in July it was in the 50s. Think SFB weather. I would bring a light jacket, and shoes that are comfortable to walk in. The city is very easy to get around on foot/the metro – you will walk for miles.

    As for blogs, I love https://www.ellacoquine.com/ for an American Girl in Paris point of view. She has lived there for a while and has great stories.

    The Vivienne Files are also good – she does packing lists/project 333 compilations – it is however generally an older look – but I found Parisienne style to be a bit more mature/classic.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
    • raq says:

      Be sure to look at the weather- during my last visit in June it was very hot!

      July 1, 2013/Reply
  5. PSP says:

    Thanks, Belle! I’m one of those readers asking about Paris (need comfortable footwear!) so I appreciate any thoughts Ladies!

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  6. JChica says:

    Boy oh boy, is this my specialty. I have lived in several parts of France, Paris being one of them, and have lots to say about Parisians and how they dress.

    The French in Paris dress practically but chic-ly. This is challenging because in America, practical and chic don’t mix. Comfortable shoes of the Camper variety (Spanish made, available in Georgetown) are seen frequently because they’re sassy but won’t give you blisters. Stylish sneakers (think puma, coach examples) are acceptable for sight-seeing but not for bars and restaurants.

    “Chic” comes in the details – an off-one-shoulder cotton top, a cool bracelet, and classic wash slightly torn jeans, for example, look chic, keep you cool, and are still comfortable.

    French women do “more with less” – Parisians don’t wear a lot of makeup and even on dates, like appearing as though they didn’t put in much effort to look great. This is why Parisians wear black at night – because it appears easy, like “I didn’t try – I just wore black.”

    Parisian women don amazing threads that they pick up from retailers like Comptoir de Cottoniers and Kookai; to my knowledge, neither is available in the US unless you’re in SoHo. Check out their websites for inspiration.

    I have never seen anyone over the age of 17 wearing shorts anywhere in France. The exception is the long-legged ritzy scene in the South of France at fancy parties during the summer. For every day summer strolling, however, stay away from shorts in Paris.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
    • m says:

      Amen! All this is all very good advice and true!

      July 1, 2013/Reply
    • Giggling Gourmand says:

      I really miss Comptoir de Cotonniers.

      July 1, 2013/Reply
      • Paris Paris says:

        I think this is pretty spot on. Definitely wear comfy shoes! You will walk everywhere. That said, you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb with tennis shoes, so Euro sneaker (like puma), espadrilles, comfy flats/sandals would be great cchoices. Toms are super popular in London at the moment, so I guess you can get away with them. Can never go wrong with scarves :-). And summer dresses. And black for the evening is a safe choice as pretty chic(or a smart dress). I’d say whereas in London you can get away with wearing anything, I find Paris more classic in style. Summer gets pretty hot there, bring a light jacket just in case (linen/cotton jackets are good for summer and can be dressed up for evening). Paris is an amazing city, enjoy your trip! (another fun blog for things to do is mylittleparis.com as well as Time Out Paris)

        July 1, 2013/Reply
  7. Anna says:

    I’ve never been to Paris, but have been to several European cities. IMO, Europeans are definitely more dressed up than we are, especially DC. Stay away from flip flops, sneakers, and fleece jackets, and for bars and clubs at night, definitely heels and a dress/skirt or sleek jeans/leggings. For the summer, I’d pack easy sundresses, a scarf that can double as a wrap, cute comfy flats for walking all day, skinny jeans, tops that have some shape but don’t wrinkle easily, and depending on how much the temperature fluctuates, tanks to pair with a cardigan that I can remove if it’s too warm, and maybe a pair of comfortable sandals (I’d go with my go-to gold pair). Generally try to avoid things that make you feel frumpy. Accessories also go a long way. They don’t take up much packing space, but make you feel more put together.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  8. Sarah says:

    When in Paris, or anywhere else in Europe for that matter, nothing says “American tourist” (in a bad way) like shorts and sneakers. Depending on the season, stick with flat, sleek boots, interesting sandals, loafers, or ballet flats.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  9. Elle says:

    Packing for Paris… choose a neutral palette, with a emphasis on black. I like to take a couple pairs of black skinnies and oversized, slight androgynous tops.

    For footwear, I would suggest comfortable ballet flats.

    It’s been a cold and rainy spring and summer thus far, so pack a light jacket and/or trench, too, and scarves.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  10. Christine says:

    Paris tips: I agree with another comment that you won’t fit in completely, but you can avoid sticking out like a typical American. It’s more about what not to wear, like shorts, athletic sneakers, flip flops, and pretty much anything ‘sporty’. For shoes you could do two or all of the following: leather sandals, comfy ballet flats (not new), tall boots (a winter necessity), and converse all star (preferably white). Clothes should be comfortable but still have the effect of looking put together (i.e. not dumpy or grocery store attire). Don’t get super lazy with makeup or hair just because you’re on vacation. Two bags should suffice: small one for evening and a larger (but not too large) one with a cross-body strap for daytime that you’ll be comfortable carrying for 8 hours or so a day (for several days). Both bags should be able to close securely to help reduce the risk of theft; avoiding looking too much like a typical American will help with this too. Don’t forget a small umbrella, and scarves are a great way to add style and deal with any chilly but humid weather. I travel to Europe several times a year for work and vacation, including a few stops in Paris, and these tips have served me well. Bonne vacances!

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  11. elle [wonderfelle world] says:

    Re: men’s pedis – I know Logan 14 has a men’s mani/pedi special for $30ish this summer and I’ve seen several men come in to golden nails (the hole in the wall place on H st in chinatown) with and with/out their significant others.

    For Paris, I agree with some of the other comments – definitely layers, comfortable flats, silk tops + skinny pants or simple dresses. I did a post on this months ago but it pretty much applies in case it’s helpful: https://www.wonderfelleworld.com/2013/02/27/packing-essentials-penthouse-in-paris/

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  12. Leigh says:

    With regard to clothing options for Paris, I just got back from a 3 week trip to the region in May. The staples that I would recommend are:
    1. A fashionable and light rain jacket. I love some that Michael Kors has, and with the changing weather and chilly spells, it is a nice option.

    2. comfortable and cute flats. I lived in the Cole haan maria sharapova flats in both nude and red. They are cute, comfortable, and do well in all types of weather (including rain)

    3. great cotton dresses, both sleeveless and with sleeves are great to wear around the city. I dont recommend the typical tourist clothes, especially because you will stand out to pickpockets. I got a ton of use out of this dress from Banana Republic, as it translated well from day to night: https://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=69885&vid=1&pid=561337002. It is also great to get a few basics and bring some light scarves to accessorize. Everyone in Europe seems to wear dresses with scarves and fedora type hats.

    4. In terms of a bag to carry, you will see a ton of Longchamp bags, but I preferred an understated leather bag that can be worn as a cross-body to free your hands for pictures. Also, I recommend it has a zipper to further deter pickpocketing issues!

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  13. CH says:

    Lots of great advice about dressing for Paris in these comments! My two cents is: when in doubt, stick with neutral colors. Not to say that no one ever wears bright pink or orange, but it seemed like chic Parisian women were overwhelmingly dressed in black, navy, ivory, and taupe. Sticking to a neutral palette also simplifies your packing list.

    And for the love of all that is holy, break in your shoes *before* you get on that plane.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  14. m says:

    Real French people are value comfort and practicality. Forget studying the fashion bloggers who are trying to like they’re headed to fashion week on vacation with the Chanel and the Louboutins — real Parisians don’t go tottering around on stilettos. (But, not to kill your Parisian fantasies, they do carry around baguettes on the way home to dinner and utilize the Velib bike share in skirts!) Not to brag, but my parents live in Paris part of the year, so I know what I’m talking about.

    DO carry a practical handbag. Longchamp bags are everywhere. You don’t want to get pickpocketed, so whatever you carry, choose a bag that secures shut easily and can be worn close to the body. I find it convenient to carry a bag with a separate outside pocket for storing my metro card and small change.

    DO wear comfy walking shoes. The 20-something French girls wear flats or sneakers. Check out brands like Camper or Puma for shoes that are comfy and provide support. Cobblestones in older areas can be brutal on the feet, so thick soles or stiff leather soles are a must if you’re going to do a lot of walking.

    DO look well put together. Yes, you can wear jeans and sneakers, but don’t go out in a ratty college sweatshirt or white running shoes if you want to blend in. French women don’t run errands in their yoga clothes or running shorts unless they’re actually going running.

    DO pack some layers! Paris and the south can be quite warm, but if you go up to the north it can get very chilly at night.

    DON’T feel like you need to pack a lot. Pack things that you can mix and match, and save room for souvenirs! Nobody expects you to look matchy-matchy or wear a new outfit every day. At least I don’t. I’ve lived with many chic European roommates, and they had wardrobes a tenth the size of mine but always looked twice as stylish.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  15. BCin2003 says:

    For a pedicure — whatever you do, don’t go to the chop-shops. I got a bad microbacterial infection from Mimosa in Dupont Circle last year, which ended in a lawsuit and settlement. I am now scared for life on my legs. My recommendation is also the Red Door Spa — they use stainless steel bowls instead of jets and tubs, which harbor nasty bacteria. The Red Door Spa is more pricey, but well worth it after the year I spent in and out of doctors offices with them trying to diagnose my infection.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  16. Anna says:

    Also, just to note, as convenient as crossbody bags are, they do make you more susceptible to pick-pockets. Wear them on your shoulder or keep them closed with your hand if in a crowded place. You’d be amazed how quickly someone can get in and out of your bag without you even noticing.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  17. K says:

    Paris: comfortable shoes for day time walking…I personally wore sandals and oxford loafers. To blend in with the locals, wear lots of black and scarves to add color. In the evening you can get away with much dressier attire then in DC. I rocked a black sequin mini skirt I wore for New Years and a killer pair of booties.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  18. Anon says:

    I have travelled regularly to Paris on business for some years, as well as visiting resident frieds. For what it’s worth, here are my few random thoughts.

    Don’t wear white shoes/sneakers – you don’t want to look like an American tourist (a bit of a stereotype, but not entirely unjustified). Do take comfortable shoes for walking in, and more than one pair. And a supply of blister plasters (yes, you can get them there – but it’s good to have some to hand). And even if you usually go barefoot in your shoes, consider those lightweight panty-hose type mini shoe liners – helps avoid blisters if it is warm and you are spending hours pounding the streets. Cobbles are unforgiving.

    I endorse the recommendations for the Vivienne Files – although perhaps aimed a somewhat older audience than CHS, there are some good capsule wardrobe and packing ideas and principles there that could easily be given a younger twist. I also endorse the “no shorts” rule.

    I would suggest a scarf/wrap not only for warnth but just in case you come across somewhere that wants your arms/head covered – it seems to me to be much less common than it noce was, but one does soemtimes still come across churches that prefer you to be covered.

    Don’t over-pack – you can buy oretty much anything you need if you find you are under-provided; and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune.

    Take a bag that zips up, and be careful of pickpockets – but not obviously so. Try not to draw attention to yourself (lots of US tourists can be heard miles off).

    Not exactly on the subject of dress, but:
    Be polite – a little more formally so than is often the case in the US – we are relaxing, but we are still somewhat more formal in Europe. That isn’t to say that Parisians will always be polite – they are infamous for the opposite, but that too is a bit of an unfair stereotype.

    Also, remember your converter plug and, if you have a lot of electronics/things that need charging, I would suggest buying a multi-socket plug or extension lead on arrival – in my experience, Parisian hotel rooms tend to be a bit short on sockets (and one does need to have the table lamp AND the computer plugged in at the same time!).

    Get off the main drag. Having coffee on the Champs Elysee is like having coffee in St Mark’s Square in Venice – it has to be done; but not necessarily more than once at that price! Look for Maison du Chocolat (chocolate sorbet to die for), Laduree (macarons; the tea salon at Laduree Bonaparte); …….. Excuse me, I need to go and book a flight at once …..

    Have fun! Paris is one of my favourite cities, and it is very easy to enjoy.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  19. Giggling Gourmand says:

    Sigh. I wish I were the one going to Paris. I’d stick with some black skinny jeans, a moto jacket, a couple simple shirts, a black dress, one pair of flats, and one pair of heels and then fill the rest of my suitcase while I was there!

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  20. ML Williams says:

    I just returned from paris a month ago and could have worn basically the same outfit everyday and would have gotten away with it. It was around 60 degrees and rainy the entire time we were there. My uniform was flats (black or tan), J. Crew Ponte Pants (navy and black) a Barbour jacket and a scarf. I got mistaken for being Spanish more than once (which apparently is a large compliment as opposed to being called an american by a parisian).

    My suggestions would be to layer, to bring lots of black, and bring scarves- they really are perfect for all occasions.

    My only issue was shoes. After day 2 of my pretty Zara and J.Crew ballet flats my feet were NUMB. the parisian streets are NOT kind to one’s feet and are also slanted and often composed of cobblestone= not even walking surface! I ended up buying a pair of keds type tennis shoes that were Coral from H&M and wearing them everyday. You’ll see tons of parisians in Superga, Keds and Converse tennies if you in the under 30 crowd you will fit right in.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  21. Deb says:

    another option for a gold shoe: https://www.jcrew.com/womens_special_sizes/sizes512shoes/size5/PRDOVR~36266/99103163015/ENE~1+2+3+22+4294967294+20~~~0~90~all~mode+matchallany~~~~~quorra/36266.jsp

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  22. Erika says:

    I live in Paris. Cute, comfy ballet flats or low peep toe wedges are great options for shoes…echoing the comment above, the cole haan air bacara ballet in nude and the cole haan air tali open toe wedge will let you walk for hours (the #1 way to spot an American tourist is by footwear). Bring a trench coat and a slim umbrella because it rains a lot. Cotton dresses are great for every day, and they breathe…important in summer because nothing is air conditioned. On that note, if there is any possibility that your thighs might rub together and chafe in the heat, do yourself a favor and bring a stick of Bodyglide because I have found nothing like it here. Finally, a smile and an “est-ce que vous parlez anglais?” go a long way towards diffusing that Parisian attitude. Nobody will ever mistake you for a Parisian (after years I still get asked where I’m from) but blending in a bit makes you less of a target for pickpockets, scams, and rudeness.

    Also–longchamp bags in the airport duty free shops are half of what they cost in department stores in the US (the large shopper is 65 euros). If you can wait until you’re on your way home, it’s an amazing buy.

    Enjoy! It’s the best place ever. And make sure you have room for the clothes you will buy. comptoir des cotonniers sort of is the French equivalent of j crew, and beyond that there are so many cute boutiques. Rue des Rennes in the 6th has lots of shops in one place, as does rue de vielle de temple and surrounding streets in the Marais. Finally, you must get Chantelle bras at the store in Place d’italie. The selection is huge and just ignore the ugly mall-ish surroundings.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  23. GingerR says:

    As a veteran of numerous seaside Rhode Island weddings I advise the bride to wear a casual outfit -think Ralph Lauren/nautical- and carry a cotton sweater with her. Once the sun goes down if you’re on the water the breeze will pick up and you will be scrambling to your car looking for something to put on! Are you marrying someone from New England? I hate to stereotype New Englanders, they are lovely hospitable folks, for whom public frugality is a virtue – so don’t go overboard on a fancy outfit and be sure to get in line for the dinner promptly because they aren’t prone to wasting food, particularly lobster!

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  24. Kat says:

    Skinny pants and jeans, classic ballet flats in leather and soft suede (cranberry, forest, blue marine), short suede booties, interesting and feminine skirts paired with plain tees, short leather jackets, sexy sandals, sleek leather totes, sexy sandals, minimal but good jewelry, hats, and most important, confidence! Enjoy!

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  25. kathleen lisson says:

    I got to go to Paris for my honeymoon last July and wore dresses and flats. The city got me in the habit of wearing a scarf in the summer, too.

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  26. lizzie says:

    Regardless of the season, a good pair of sunglasses, scarves, a tailored jacket/blazer, skinny jeans, a well cut blouse, tops that can be layered, etc. will serve you well in Paris. Agree with all the previous comments about avoiding the bulky tennis shoes and shorts if at all possible! If it’s too hot for pants, wear a dress or skirt. For shoes, I like toms for spring/fall and tall flat black boots for winter. If you are doing a ton of walking and it’s warm, I’d suggest black or brown chacos or a similar sandal with a strong sole and arch support https://www.chacos.com/US/en-US/Product.mvc.aspx/18810W/0/Womens/ZX-1-Unaweep-Wide-Sandal?dimensions=0 – if you wear them with skinny jeans and the rest of your outfit is decent, it works pretty well. I’ve traveled a lot in Europe and there are days when you have to figure where you land on the suffering for fashion/totally giving up and wearing gym shoes continuum. If being happy with a particular day of your trip depends on your ability to walk a lot in reasonable comfort- and especially on cobblestones – I think it’s okay to land somewhere in the middle on the shoe front as long as you don’t sacrifice elsewhere!

    July 1, 2013/Reply
  27. Maria says:

    If you want an idea for what to wear in Paris, try browsing the A.P.C. website (https://usonline.apc.fr/). It pretty much sums up what Parisian women would wear on a regular basis. In fact, you can just head straight to the A.P.C. outlet in Montmartre on your first day, and buy a wardrobe for your whole trip there. If you need additional inspiration, Maje and Sandro are quintessential brands.

    Comfortable shoes are key, as you will be walking a lot. If you must wear sneakers, Superga is a good call. For a bag I like my Celine trio crossbody or a Goyard St. Louis tote. Scarves are great, so are blazers, oversized tops, and a neutral pallet, and bring some heels for going out.

    If you’re going in August, I would stick to more laid back styles, as most Parisians leave for vacation, and the city is not as dressy as it is the rest of the year. Also, it’s a myth that Parisian women en masse look amazing all the time, most shop at Zara and H&M just like the rest of Europe and the world.

    July 2, 2013/Reply
  28. BarefootBodhi says:

    One thing to remember about Paris is that there are a LOT of tourists there. It’s highly unlikely you will be mistaken for a local, no matter how well you dress, particularly if you don’t know the city like the back of your hand. You don’t want to perpetuate any American stereotypes, but it’s not necessary to try to “dress French.” Also, since pickpockets are a problem, I love my REI cargo pants with zipper pockets. The pockets are hidden, so they don’t look like cargo pants, but I know I can stash a little cash or a subway card in a pocket and not worry as much about it getting nabbed. I haven’t worn them in Paris, but they were my go-to in Rome. I did a little over a week there with a pair of grey Rendezvous pants, a black half-circle skirt, a slew of solid-colored t-shirts and sleeveless shirts, and a black wrap cardigan. Ballet flats or Mary Janes for walking. Something with a thicker sole if you’re not used to walking on cobblestones. Scarves are great if you already wear them regularly, but if you don’t you’ll probably look uncomfortable trying to pull it off on vacation.

    July 2, 2013/Reply
  29. Erin says:

    I was in London/Paris for two weeks at the end of May/beginning of June. It was in the high 50s/low 60s and rainy quite a few days. My uniform for just about the entire trip was skinny pants/jeans (I wore JBrand 811s in navy twill, grey twill, and dark denim); a silk blouse on warmer days, a knit sweater on colder days (lightweight merino from JCrew, open-weave knit from Velvet, etc); a cute scarf; a blazer (a navy Theory jersey knit on warmer days, grey wool JCrew on cooler days); and either flat riding boots or Tory Burch flats (already broken in & were very comfortable). When it was really cold or raining, I wore a basic trench over the entire thing. I also used a great MBMJ cross-body bag (nylon with leather trim so I didn’t worry about rain) that fit the essentials + a small umbrella – the outside pocket was great for Metro tickets. I was comfortable the entire time and was mistaken for a local several times in London. Also, I have to say that the pickpocket issue seemed very overblown by guidebooks, etc — we went to some touristy areas (Versailles, the Louvre, etc) and rode the Metro constantly and had zero issues — BUT, we weren’t traveling in a large group, didn’t speak loudly on the Metro (seriously, so many Americans are so annoying about this!), didn’t wear sneakers or flip flops.

    July 2, 2013/Reply
  30. Alys says:

    A packing tip:

    For trips of less than two weeks I tend to choose a color palette for my trip so everything can mix and match. Gray/royal blue/navy blue/white would be an example. Mix in pops of color with accessories like a mustard scarf, or a white scarf with colored polka dots.

    Simple cotton dresses will take you far.

    I second Maria’s suggestion of buying a few pieces there. If you pack neutrals it’s easy to mix in what you find.

    July 2, 2013/Reply
  31. Krysta says:

    I know everyone has said this about Paris, but I cannot stress enough to wear COMFORTABLE shoes, flats are recommended. I don’t remember seeing a lot of people wearing tennis shoes unless they were obviously tourists. Paris has so much to see, but everything is in a different part of the city, so you’ll be doing LOTS of walking. I went in the fall and by the time I got back to my hotel room from the Louvre my feet literally hurt so badly I couldn’t put them back on the ground after sitting down. One of my friends that was there with me bought new boots and ended up with terrible blisters all over her feet. So really, wear shoes that you KNOW are comfortable. I promise you would regret many of your memories from Paris being plagued by horrors of hurting feet.

    As someone else also said, watch out for pick-pockets! When I was there I wore a small cross-body purse and made sure to always keep it in front of me. I recommend others do the same. I’m glad I wasn’t carrying a bigger shoulder bag because it would have been pretty inconvenient and uncomfortable for me to haul around.

    The weather in Paris can vary greatly. It can be freezing or scorching, depending on when you go, and it rains frequently. I’ve been in March and I’ve been in October. In mid-March it was still only 2 C and I FROZE. When I went in October the weather was beautiful, but I was glad that I wore layers to account for adjusting temperatures and different activities. I loved Paris in the fall, and if I ever get to go back I would go back then.

    My wardrobe when I went in October consisted mostly of skinnies and boots/flats with cardigans to layer over my outfits. And don’t forget an umbrella! 🙂

    July 3, 2013/Reply
  32. Hannah says:

    I lived in Paris for close to two years and my biggest piece of advice is cute comfortable shoes, with comfort actually taking precedence here. Despite what everyone likes to think, Parisian woman are infinitely practical. They realize that nothing destroys shoes like Parisian cobblestone streets and dashing for the metro. However, they are also practical enough to know that life goes easier when you are looking cute and put together, so these comfy walking shoes still have to look cute. Go for boots (in cold weather) and flats with a good sole.

    Also, one time I went (at 8 am on a Saturday morning) to the grocery store wearing black sweat pants, but fairly tailored ones at that, and a t-shirt. I ran into the mother of a family I babysat for and she looked horrified at my attire and then worriedly asked if I was ill. Lesson learned: it is never acceptable to wear sweat pants.

    July 3, 2013/Reply
  33. Lauren says:

    Buy a bag in Paris. Brands such as Lemarthe and Lancel are not available in the States and make a chic, timeless souvenir of your trip. Anything I buy in Paris seems to be fashionable in the States for at least 3-5 years, so you can’t really go wrong, even at moderately priced shops.

    I was in Paris a few weeks ago and bought a Lancel French Flirt handbag in an aubergine color. I’m obsessed with it!

    July 14, 2013/Reply