Paris Style Report: December 2016 (Part 2)

winter accessories trends in ParisIn this second part of my Paris style report, (see Part 1 HERE) I’m focusing on accessories. Temperatures during my stay were warmer than normal, so while people were out enjoying the weather on the streets and in cafes, they were not as bundled up as one would expect for December. Still, I observed some trends and common themes…

Thanks to Nordstrom for their sponsorship of this post. All ideas, words and opinions are my own.

Shown above: hat | scarf | gloves | bag | boots


While many days during my visit were warm enough to skip the hats and gloves, women in Paris almost always wore scarves. As with clothing, I can often discern some scarf trends. This visit, I noticed most often:

  • chunky knits
  • plaids (though usually subtle and low-contrast, and classic Burberry check styles often spotted)
  • some graphic prints (often monochrome)
  • bright color accents (almost always a solid color)


Even when Parisiennes are carrying high quality or designer bags, styles are discreet and understated. You rarely see flashy styles, obvious logos or lots of extraneous hardware. This trip, I noticed mostly tote styles and simple shoulder bags. Softer bags outnumbered highly structured bags by about 3 to 1. Occasionally I’d see someone with a very small crossbody bag, but it was always supplemented with a tote or shopper. I noticed that when women were wearing head-to-toe black, navy or charcoal, they’d often have a lighter neutral or colored bag (red, blue or burgundy) to lift the outfit.

Hats and Gloves

As mentioned above, it was warm enough during my stay that on most days hats and gloves weren’t needed. It was mostly in the evenings that I noticed them, and here too I picked up some trends. Chunky knit caps with fur or faux-fur pompoms were most popular, followed by slouchy knit beanies. I did not notice many women at all in wool fedora-type hats. When I did see women wearing gloves, they almost always were leather, usually a neutral color but sometimes I’d spot a cobalt blue pair.

Nordstrom has an amazing selection of accessories and bags, and I had no trouble finding the same kinds of pieces I saw in Paris. They offer free shipping (as of today, they are still able to deliver by Christmas Eve) and free returns. They carry a wide range of products and sizes, including Petites and Plus.

Check back tomorrow for some Paris street style photos!

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  1. I started to get curious about when retailers started calling knit hats “beanies”. Traditionally, a beanie was a small, fitted cap, often of smooth fabric, like a skull cap, that fit high on the head. Midcentury kids wore them, like “Tubby” in the Little LuLu comics. Occasionally, beanies had little propellers on top!

    But, as far as I know, they weren’t knit hats, and they weren’t slouchy. Sigh– I’m pretty sure no one here will be interested in this obscure evolution of terms, but I’d love to know…

    1. nell, I have no idea. 😉 I’ve seen them referred to as “beanies” on a few retailers websites, so that’s what I went with. If that’s incorrect, I’ll change wording to “caps”.

    2. I think of beanies as the ridiculous little caps we had to wear during Freshman Orientation week in college (1964), but as one who lives, and once worked, in “knitting world” more or less full time, I think that beanies came to mean what used to be called “watch caps” when Americans started paying attention to British soccer, and David Beckham started wearing a “beanie”. Now Beanie is the word for many sorts of knitted and crocheted caps, although in Canada its called a tuque. (I do obscure real well)

      I think what you saw in Paris would be ordinary Fall clothing for the northern half of the country. The colder we get, the more practical the clothing. The light weight down coat (which I rarely hear called a “puffer”; that’s reserved for the more serious puffy coat worn when it gets below the single digits) is a blessing for milder winter days, and great for travel, but serious winter is dangerous without an even heavier coat…and a scarf and or a cowl, and a hat that covers the ears, and gloves much more insulated than what you picture. And while layers are important, at least one of them needs to be heavy!

  2. Hey, thank you all for your input. You are absolutely correct, Susan, the retailers are all calling these beanies now, and why shouldn’t you go with that? Thank you for indulging my musings. I enjoy finding out why terms evolve and change over time.

    If I’m not mistaken, pencil skirts used to be called “straight” skirts. Let’s see, there are other examples that escape me, rats!

    And in another category entirely, we are all supposed to say “sea star” now instead of “starfish”, are we not?

    That pictured scarf is handsome– I love a plaid scarf…

  3. I think “watch cap” is from a knitted uniform hat that sailors wore while they were on watch. But use of that term might vary from location to location.

    It’s great to know that in hat and scarf, at least, I’ll be in tune with Paris street style! Thanks, Susan!

  4. I’m enjoying these posts because I was so focused and fascinated by the puffy coats on everyone that I paid absolutely no attention to anything else they were wearing!!!!!