Paris style report: l'automne 2009 - Pants, Scarves - une femme d'un certain âge

Paris style report: l’automne 2009 – Pants, Scarves

When it comes to les pantalons, denim continues to dominate, whether blue, black, grey or tan.

Skinny jeans, either tucked into boots or worn with ballet flats are still popular, but by no means the only style seen. Many women I spied, including les femmes d’un certain age, are wearing rolled or cropped pants (the better to showcase those great boots and shoes!).

Sometimes it’s just a single, shallow roll, rather than the Full Boyfriend.

The woman wearing these pants was in her 60’s and fabulous! Cropped silver hair, chic ensemble, and walking at such a fast clip with her friends that I had to follow her for several blocks to get a good shot of these pants.

Wide legged, cuffed trousers are also seen, worn at traditional lengths on women of all ages. (See yesterday’s post, picture with Red Bag Woman or the second woman in the patterned coat for a typical examples.) Among the younger women, I spotted a few in baggy denim jeans/pants. What I didn’t see were the very distressed or ripped denim jeans that seem to be having a heyday in LA.

One sees pants like these above, or M.C. Hammer-esque harem pants only very occasionally. The wearers appeared to be of a more artistic bent, and it does not appear that this style has made it into the mainstream, yet. Or perhaps cooler weather has consigned them to the back of armoires for the moment.

Capturing good scarf pictures was challenging, as almost everyone was wearing sweaters/coats over their scarves, due to the cool weather. However…

Les hommes are just as versed in les foulards as les femmes.

One sees every conceivable type of scarf worn, but the oblong or shawl versions wrapped several times around the neck (ends either loose or pulled up in a half-knot, which I’ll show you later with one of mine) were what I observed most frequently. Much to my chagrin, I did notice that the only other women wearing Hermès carrés were quite a bit older and very conservatively dressed. When it comes to silk squares, one sees few if any fancy knots or ties; scarves are usually draped around the shoulders either over or under a coat or jacket, and loosely tied with a single knot, or worn loosely Ascot-style.


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  1. Marie-Christine
    October 22, 2009 / 1:15 pm

    I’m afraid that you’re right about the scarves – ladies clearly over 80 are allowed whatever makes them feel happy, but younger ones should know better. Hermes bags yes, but not scarves, not this decade. And fancy knots say ‘American’ :-). Actually the trends I see are more texture, and larger size (more like a shawl in LA, but worn as a scarf). Hand-knits are also making a comeback, finally.

  2. October 22, 2009 / 2:03 pm

    Jennifer, our hotelier in Paris, expressed something close to sympathy when she learned that Pater had given me an Hermes scarf for my birthday. Rather forthright (ha!), she let me know that they’re considered rather stuffy, matronly, bourgeois, in Paris. I still love mine!
    Chuckling at the image of you walking for block after block at a good clip trying to catch up to your stalking victim for a shot of her pants — the street fashion photographer gig is clearly a challenging one!

  3. October 22, 2009 / 2:44 pm

    So much fun to have this glimpse of Paris fashion first hand. I’m thinking that I need a new pair of boots this fall!


  4. October 22, 2009 / 3:08 pm

    I love your photos. Thank you for showing all the variety of looks that you find in Paris.

  5. mary-scott
    October 22, 2009 / 4:48 pm

    Did you notice whether anyone was wearing metallics in Paris? Metallic shoes, belts, handbags, etc? Or is that an American look?

  6. October 22, 2009 / 4:56 pm

    Your observations match my own. Where 20 years ago, I saw Neuilly’s 19 year olds wearing them as belts with their jeans, they have all but vanished on anyone under 70- and a certain 70 at that.

    They have always been considered bourgie by a certain crowd. And with the expansion of Hermes, especially into Asia, the exclusivity-adoring Parisiennes are not feeling them right now.

    Who cares! Suspect I’ll receive another this Christmas, and it will be welcome, but I too forgo fancy knots.

  7. October 22, 2009 / 5:15 pm

    Stalking ladies for blocks now, eh? Incorrigible!

  8. October 22, 2009 / 6:40 pm

    Miss J is thoroughly enjoying MIss Pseu’s Frenchy travelogue!

  9. Lisa
    October 22, 2009 / 12:57 pm

    Nice pictures! I just bought a pair of skinny jeans yesterday and wore them turned up once with my driving shoes. Your pics gave me reassurance that 55 is not too old for this look.

    Have your ever done a post on all the different jeans that are on the market? Might be interesting.

    Thanks again for all your stealthy photo work while in Paris.

  10. October 22, 2009 / 8:30 pm

    Was thinking the other day at least 85 percent of French women wear scarves every day, all year.

    BTW, merci for the scarf trick chez Angelina. Now I love my new scarf even more thanks to you and your wizardry.


  11. October 22, 2009 / 8:51 pm

    I too am laughing at the thought of your stealth with camera action after the woman with the great plaid trousers! 🙂
    Wonderful fashion report – thank you so much for them – have thoroughly enjoyed hearing about what they are wearing in Paris… Would have loved to go there myself whilst I am back in UK but sadly not this time but your reporting has made up for this!

  12. Sher
    October 22, 2009 / 1:55 pm

    It seems pretty much all is acceptable. except for flare legged pants.

  13. Marsi
    October 22, 2009 / 2:59 pm

    I love it when men wear scarves. They look so handsome.

  14. metscan
    October 22, 2009 / 4:49 pm

    So true, what Marie-Christine said about Hermes scarves; I haven´t seen them in my part of the world either for a long time. And I definitely understand the need to show off the shoes. You have made sharp observations-once again! Thanks!

  15. October 23, 2009 / 12:55 am

    Sadly, I agree with Marie-Christine about Hermès scarves – all my Paris friends, whether 35 or 75, think they scream “vieille bourge”. I do appreciate you showing them so I can appreciate the artistry of the printing and the quality of the silk, though I wouldn’t be caught dead in one.

    Oddly, my arguably even more bourgie silk Lanvin scarf (picked up at a church bazaar in Outremont, a posh district here) does pass muster. Perhaps because it is simply striped.

    Alas don’t have the skinny bum for skinny jeans, so I pass on those. Lisa, of course 55 is not too old for that look, nor is 65 if you have a wee bum.

    These photos are great and I love today’s men though they are too young for me. Yesterday’s would be fine, but he is too square-jawed for my tastes. My man-fix of the day is chez Duchesse…

  16. Frugal Scholar
    October 22, 2009 / 6:16 pm

    These pics are great. When I first visited Paris (early 70s), the Parisians REALLY looked different from the Americans. Now, not so much. The Parisians are all wearing the ONE thing that is au courant–a few years ago, Camper bowling shoes. But in addition to that one thing, the Parisians have a look of confidence that we Americans can’t quite match.

  17. October 23, 2009 / 1:20 am

    laqgatta and Pesu: I’m posting on the carres tomorrow (Friday).

  18. ...
    October 22, 2009 / 6:21 pm

    I like “tes aventures à Paris”.


    Easy Fashion Paris

  19. The Good Life in Virginia
    October 22, 2009 / 7:41 pm

    another fine post. you’ve got me thinking and rethinking about my ensemble for february/march.

    have a most wonderful weekend.

  20. October 23, 2009 / 2:47 am

    Lisa – thanks! I’ve never really considered myself an expert on jeans, as so few brands actually fit me well. I’ve had luck with Gap Curvy and Not Your Daughters Jeans, but just about everything else out there is too long, too small or cut too low for me.

    Marie-Christine – yes, the more hand-knit-looking scarves and sweaters were definitely on-trend!

    Sher – that’s true, didn’t see any “bellbottoms!”

  21. October 23, 2009 / 2:54 am

    materfamilias – I’ll have to wear my bourgeois scarves at home, I guess, where most people don’t know an Hermès from a Talbots.
    🙂 I really was afraid I was going to get busted by these women, but managed to get the picture without them calling les fric on me…

    Lorrie – I don’t think one can ever go wrong with a good pair of boots. They really don’t go out of style.

    Marsi – I really hated to block that young man’s face. He was a real cutie.

  22. October 23, 2009 / 2:57 am

    Belle – glad you enjoyed. I enjoy many of the Paris street style blogs, but wanted more to capture what the everyday people were wearing.

    mary-scott – not really a lot of metallics. When they are worn, they tend to be in small doses and subtle. I’ll have some more notes on this in tomorrow’s post.

    metscan – I saw so many great shoes that were so worth showing off!

  23. October 23, 2009 / 3:00 am

    Duchesse – last year I noticed that people were wearing their silk squares tied quite simply, and have been trying to do that more than the elaborate knots in the Hermès booklets.

    WendyB – I know, I’m so BAD!!!

    RML – if you love them, wear them. I did wear mine a couple of times while I was there an no one threw rocks at me. ;-p

  24. Leanne
    October 22, 2009 / 8:00 pm

    I love the photos and commentary! So fun to read… thanks!

  25. October 23, 2009 / 3:02 am

    Frugal Scholar – they do have an air of confidence, don’t they? Camper bowling shoes, eh? I’m having a hard time picturing that…

    Fred! – I was actually hoping to run into you out and about. You’re still one of the kings of Paris street style!

    Miss Janey – Thanks, I’m glad I’m not boring everyone yet. 😀

  26. October 23, 2009 / 3:03 am

    Good Life in Virginia – thank you. You’re going to Paris in February?? How exciting!

    Leanne – merci bien!

    tishjett – it worked for you then? I’m so glad I could help!

  27. October 23, 2009 / 3:05 am

    Anoninoz – thank you. Yes, she was a fast critter….

    Lagatta – ouch! Well, I’ll just have to wear mine here among the heathens…

    Duchesse – looking forward to seeing your perspective.

  28. October 23, 2009 / 10:09 am

    Well, those Parisiennes can be VERY cutting about such matters. What is funny and ironic is the very bourgeois put-down of calling out someone for being “vieille bourge”!

    I’m sure the Hermès scarves will become much sought-out vintage in a few years…

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