Footwear, Parisian Style…
For me, part of the fun of traveling is observing what people are wearing in different parts of the world. While style has certainly become much more global in recent years, I do often pick up on some distinctive regional “accents,” and Paris is no different.
Here’s the second installment of my Paris Style Report, from December 2018. Because of the cold conditions, my observations were mostly limited to outerwear, shoes and accessories.
A couple of caveats: the people I’m seeing out and about may or may not be Parisian, or even French. I’m not trying to make those distinctions, just reporting on what I see being worn.
Paris is a vibrant and diverse city. And as with many major cities, the styles you see will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. For example, the Saint Germain (Left Bank) area where I stayed is a bit more relaxed. The Marais and Canal St. Martin areas may tend to be more eclectic and funky. The 8th and 16th arrondissements tend to be upscale and classic, and more often what people picture when they think of “French” or “Parisian” style.
But with regard to footwear, some things are constant, regardless of neighborhood. First, you’ll almost never see women out in sky-high stiletto heels. 2″ seems to be about the max, and most of those will be block heels. Comfortable shoes rule the day. Second, they’re fine with visible socks or other hosiery and often use them to accessorize and coordinate with the rest of the look.
So what are the most notable Paris shoe trends this winter? (And as always, I’m just reporting, not endorsing. 😉 )
Parisians have taken to sneakers in a big way! I’ll have to admit, I was surprised to see that even in near-freezing weather, sneakers (sometimes with bare ankles) were still ubiquitous. The bottom left photo in the collage at top is pretty representative of how I saw them styled. Everything from sleek and classic white styles to colors and embellished styles, to more funky and trendy “Dad” sneakers. (Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger!) Mostly lace-ups, mostly leather.
I did not see high-tops or slip-on styles worn.
No surprise here, ankle boots are a practical and comfortable style for cooler months. I saw mostly simple shapes in dark leathers, with low stacked or block heels. I did notice some with subtle stud detailing (see photo at bottom right) and just a few lace-up combat or hiking styles. Pants were either worn over the top of the boots, cropped, or cuffed to just above the top.
Uggs And Oxfords
Yes, you read that right. I spotted several people in Ugg’s and similar boots. Ugg seems to be making a big retail push in Paris. I passed at least two stand-alone Ugg stores, as well as prominent sections in department stores. Mostly what I noticed people wearing were the classic style boot, either in tan or black.
I noticed a few women wearing oxfords, either platform-soled or low-heeled styles. Usually in neutral colors with some menswear detailing. These shoes tended to be part of a more tailored outfit, rather than with jeans or more casual looks.
I did not see very many women in knee boots, and don’t remember seeing a single pair of over-the-knee boots, nor did I see any in shops.
The takeaway: I think you can safely bring those sneakers if you’re planning a trip to Paris or another European city this year. 😉