LA sur la Seine - une femme d'un certain âge

LA sur la Seine

LA by way of Paris
How une femme has incorporated and personalized “un look Parisienne”

Many styles observed frequently in Paris aren’t that different than what one sees here in Southern California, adjusted for climate bien sur. Jeans tucked into boots, longer sweaters, and slouchy bags are some examples of popular styles in both regions. Women here do wear more color, jewelry and maquillage, but several of the overall trends translate quite easily. While I admire the well edited simplicity often observed on les Parisiennes, I’ve found the unrelenting sobriety of more “strict” Parisian ensembles a bit too oppressive for me. By keeping my clothing simple and sophisticated and adding some color and fun and whimsical accessories, I’ve struck a balance that incorporates my favorite aspects of Parisian style and works with both my body and personality.

Above, I’ve taken what is a common autumn look spotted in Paris (long sweater, lean pants, boots, neutral colors) and added some favorite accessories. The earrings, watch, patent bag and scarf add some fun, sparkle and color, and lighten up the look a bit. In warmer months, I’d swap out some of the darker colors for lighter neutrals, and go for a brighter color accent.


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  1. November 9, 2009 / 2:34 pm

    My memories of LA/So Cal are of *much* more colour worn there than in Paris, which is natural, given the sun, quality of the light, and proximity of the ocean. LA wear looks more like Nice (or Barcelona) than Paris to me.

    But then, back when I was in LA regularly no one wore Uggs in the middle of the summer, either!

  2. November 9, 2009 / 2:43 pm

    I wear something like this, albeit under a coat, and with a red bag or a chocolate brown one, at least once or twice a week — it’s my go-to outfit. Although I’m also likely to have two colour accents, wearing a purple scarf with the red bag, and I’ll probably wear red gloves as well. Mind you, I suspect by now the Parisians are also into coats, gloves, scarves and, especially, umbrellas — their climate is not so different from my own West Coast above-the-49th one!

  3. November 9, 2009 / 3:12 pm

    I love that you’re taking the elements that appealed to you there and customizing them for your lifestyle, climate, and preferences.

    I admit your Street Style: Sweater/Boots post was my favorite because Materfamilias and I share the same sort of weather. But sure, why not play around with the look in sunny LA, where boots can be suede and sweaters unveiled in all its glory?

    You can always decide to do Surfer Chic if you feel pulled in that direction…perhaps at 60, ha.

  4. November 9, 2009 / 3:43 pm

    Well done, chere D.P.

    You’ve created your own look which is what it’s all about. It’s what THEY do so well and you’ve already accomplished.

    I will seek advice for my knit project — I was going to say knit-purl project, but of course I don’t purl. In fact I don’t knit either.


  5. November 9, 2009 / 4:19 pm

    I’m still jealous that you went to Paris and still grateful that you shared your trip:).

  6. LaurieAnn
    November 9, 2009 / 5:16 pm

    I enjoy your Polyvore sketches. This latest one is certainly one of your best and most truly wearable. I’m more of an “apple” shape so I look for an uncluttered front to outfits; this is very similar to a look I’ve worn for a few years now. The fleur de lis earrings are are a perfect find!

    One thing I truly do enjoy about being Une femme d’un certain age myself is the peace of mind to enjoy fashion and style without feeling as though it compromises my intellect. It’s gratifying to find other women on the internet enjoying the same.

  7. Edwina
    November 9, 2009 / 5:33 pm

    A very attractive outfit that I can imagine wearing comfortably here in the SF Bay area. Thanks for putting this one together.

  8. November 9, 2009 / 6:36 pm

    I love how you take the Parisian look and add a little California to it. It’s perfect for Northern California. Color wise I think we are somewhere between Paris and LA.

  9. November 10, 2009 / 2:29 am

    Duchesse – to some degree that’s true (much more color). On the other hand, in some parts/social milieus one does see a lot of blacks and greys, especially among the more fashion-conscious. The blessing/curse of LA is that there is really no predominant style (unless you count hoodies, Ed Hardy tees, Uggs and flip flops). Having read some of the comments below, I’ve realized that my style sensibilities are much more San Francisco than LA (having grown up in the SF Bay Area) so that’s informing some of my choices too.

  10. November 10, 2009 / 2:32 am

    materfamilias – I love your red-purple color accent pairings! When I’m feeling particularly adventurous, I’ll do blue and green.

    Vix – thanks! yes, one advantage to living somewhere that doesn’t get oodles of rain is the ability to wear suede more often.

    Tish – merci bien! If you want to see some inspiring knitting, check out materfamilias’ blog!

  11. November 10, 2009 / 2:37 am

    LPC – I’m hoping you get the opportunity to visit Paris soon…

    LaurieAnn – thank you very much! I’m an “H” shape myself. These styles that skim the torso (as long as they are not bulky) are a godsend!

    Edwina – merci beaucoup! Having grown up in the Bay Area, I really gravitate toward an SF-centric style.

  12. November 10, 2009 / 2:40 am

    Cynthia – thanks! I would tend to agree with you about SF style. It’s *generally* more sophisticated than what one sees in LA, without taking itself too seriously.

    Miss Janey – thank you!

    Anoninoz – thanks so much!

  13. November 10, 2009 / 1:35 pm

    Yes, I would say your Polyvore is very San Francisco! Once when I visited friends in LA their friends asked them if I was in mourning- as I wore black all the time 🙂

  14. November 11, 2009 / 3:51 am

    I wear a hell of a lot of black, but I am very in favor of color. It’s easier on the eyes!

  15. tiffany
    November 11, 2009 / 2:18 am

    I am SO getting those Fluevog booties for myself soon … Love that outfit!

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