It turned out I wasn’t unique in this particular obsession; at the Fodor’s discussion forum, about every other Paris thread addresses attire. Fodor’s seems to have taken notice, and recently put together a guide that you can download and print, entitled C’est Super Chic: How Not to Look Like an American in Paris. It showcases three French style archetypes (based on age), rudimentary tips for tying a scarf, and general do’s-and-don’t’s for dressing in Paris. If you’re looking for basic information and have never travelled in Europe before, you might find this basic guide helpful, if a bit stereotypical.
While I did observe that not all Parisiennes are as super chic as the hype would have us believe, one style stereotype that holds true is that scarves are ubiquitous. Women of all ages and all styles utilize scarves to add an accent of color or texture to their ensembles, tied or draped in an almost infinite number of ways. Being less than talented in the clever scarf tying department, I was delighted to find that Hermes.com offers not one, but two downloadable pdf’s (from the Scarves page, click on the “playtime with your scarf” link to the right) that each demonstrate different ways scarves can be worn, including as belts, skirts and tops. If one does not live near an Hermés boutique where one can get a scarf-tying lesson from the staff, this is the next best thing. (Une femme has a serious hankering for an Hermés scarf, which as yet remains unrequited.)
A scarf can be a fabulous accessory to turn up the chic on an otherwise ordinary ensemble. A well-chosen scarf can add a touch of color near the face, soften up an otherwise structured suit, rescue a bad hair day, or help define a waist. Scarves in all price ranges (and a few tried-and-true ways to wear them) are indespensable in a French woman’s style arsenal, and a great way to some Parisienne flair to yours.
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