Appropriate attire Paris

What I have to say here applies to any situation where you are traveling outside of your comfort zone. When we are at home, we know how to dress, we know the codes and we usually know these rules without giving them much thought. However, when we travel the same codes may not apply. We may not realize this, sometimes to our chagrin and at other times, at our peril. You may know this, however, please bear with me.

Short shorts, beach-style clothing and flip-flops are not appropriate attire in Paris unless you are at The Paris Plage (an artificial beach constructed each year along the right bank of the Seine during the months of July and August. If you want to visit, check your traditional guidebooks for details).

When you move around Paris it is best not to call attention to yourself unnecessarily. If you want to be treated the same as everyone else, you need to try to appear to be the same as everyone else. You need to blend in. Inappropriate attire makes one appear as someone who is not from here, as someone who is foreign, clueless and vulnerable. Why set yourself up for disrespectful treatment?

I have attended events in Paris where the majority of women were dressed in black. While this preference for black can give rise to varied commentary and analysis, we can conclude that this is a wise choice. Dress codes have become more casual; a pair of well-fitting jeans, ballet flats and a tailored jacket can be dressed up or down as required and you will fit in perfectly. This concept applies to both men and women, (women simply add a silk scarf to your ensemble, men, a linen one). The French admire fabric and cut.

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