Monday, October 09, 2017

What are the Shop Windows Trends in Paris - October 2017

My shop window photographs didn't come out well at all this trip - it was either too dark, or too sunny and you could see more of me than you could of what I was photographing. But I took lots of notes, so I can still share a lot of what I saw!

First up, rest assured that when you get to visit Paris, you don't have to dress up like something madly fancy - most of the people we saw on the streets were wearing the original Vivienne Files Common Wardrobe of jeans, sneakers, simple tee shirts and sweaters, with a snazzy scarf! That's such a change in the last 20 years or so since I first visited. Once upon a time, you would never have worn sneakers, nor jeans...

Just as we had on our last visit, we're still seeing lots of grey jeans, and tons of New Balance shoes. More noticeable what what we didn't see - nary a trenchcoat in sight (that stereotype fell flat!), no high-heels (except on the fashion week wannabe's trying to be noticed), and NO DISTRESSED JEANS. Virtually nowhere. Hallelujah, may that catch on in the US...

Probably the most ubiquitous trend we both noticed in shop windows was pleated skirts - the kind that we used to call crystal pleats? They're usually in a synthetic fabric, and the pleats are permanent. These are fun, graceful and swishy, made to be worn with a sweater or untucked top, over boots, flats or even canvas shoes. We saw tons of them, in every color and print...

pleated skirts
olive brown skirt – Uniqlo; black print skirt – Uniqlo; black skirt – Marks and Spencer

More often than not, the skirt would have a "chunky" turtleneck over it. We also saw a few people wearing massive turtlenecks, but they were rushing the season a bit, and suffering the mild weather for their style-victim pains. Still, on a freezing day, these could be a glorious comfort!

chunky turtlenecks
maroon – Polo Ralph Lauren; ivory - Bronchu Walker; red - Woolrich

Of course the majority of people on the streets were wearing scarves - that's really true! I noticed more green scarves than I normally would see - maybe coincidence, or maybe some budding trend? But the greens were always muted and soft - we saw no acid lime green, nor even a bright leafy shade...

green scarves
mint & ivory – The Accessory Collective; waffle knit – Banana Republic; rectangle – Image Diary; marled wool – Bloomingdale’s

This is a trend that I'm also seeing in the US - a dark-ground print dress (or skirt). I often seem them described as "black florals" which isn't exactly accurate - we saw them with every dark neutral color in the background. I love this because so often flower prints are confined to warmer weather... And a print dress can help camoflage a number of things we'd love to have unnoticed.

dark print dresses
black – Dorothy Perkins; leopard – Karen Millan; red - Velvet

This was interesting - Belovedest noticed it before I did. There are a lot of "fake" baseball or lettermen's style jackets available in Paris right now, as well as lots of bomber-style jackets that have all kinds of art or embroidery on them. Many of them looked very "ripped-off" from the jackets that men wore during the Second World War and the occupation of Japan - lots of dragons and such...

I wish my pictures had been better - there were a handful of shops that were shamelessly copying the Kenzo jacket shown at the top left. I'd like to be a fly on the wall when that gets fought-out...

Frankly, this is a trend that didn't interest nor amuse me - this is a tough silhouette to wear! Anything that sticks out below your jacket looks ungainly, and if you don't have a trim waist, these can be unflattering. Plus they just scream 1980's to me.... (notice that top right photo - cropped jacket AND high-waisted jeans!)

black & red floral – Ralph Lauren; black wool - Cuyana; bronze - Muveil; varsity jacket – Opening Ceremony

Speaking of high-waisted jeans - THEY'RE BAAAACK.....

Okay, you don't have to wear them all the way to your waist, and they don't have to have pleats. I'm honestly happy to see some jeans available that don't reveal my undergarments, and that don't give the world a... view... if I kneel or stoop down. A bit of moderation is in order. Now, if they can just give us some jeans that aren't skin-tight!

high-waisted jeans
black – Madewell; blue – Marks and Spencer; grey – Frame; dark blue – L.L.Bean

The most pervasive chic-sightings I had were of women dressed in a variety of tones of one color - usually grey (often with a green scarf!). I don't know if it's a legitimate style direction, or again just something that I noticed in our neighborhood...

One place that it was REALLY apparent? The Marais Uniqlo store, where I saw a number of women purchasing an armload of clothes - all in shades of grey. I think it's going to be a "thing."

autumn and winter clothing in shades of grey
shirt – Uniqlo; military sweater – Uniqlo; down vest – Uniqlo; duffle coat – Uniqlo; cashmere turtleneck – Uniqlo; scarf – Eileen Fisher; tee – Uniqlo; corduroy pants – L.L.Bean

Lots of metallic shoes in the shop windows, including the absolutely absurd "pre-soiled" shoes shown at the top right. For an absolutely scandalous price, I might add... There are lots of better options, and you have the questionable joy of getting your shoes dirty on your own?

metallic shoes
loafers – Halogen; ballet flats– Cole Haan; white & silver – New Balance; gold – Converse

I didn't some serious power shopping - should I share?


What is in the Shop Windows of Paris - October 2017
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  1. This is a fun post! I see a lot of these trends here in the south of France, but with the weather still mild we don't see many sweaters or jackets yet. Based on what I see with my teen, gray is very on-trend. Long skirts can take flat shoes, especially creepers and oxfords, in a way that short skirts can't. Maybe because the silhouette is more like trousers? I also see young women wearing dressy trousers with athletic shoes. The trousers tend to be of the "carrot" cut, either flat-front or pleated at the waist, with pockets, and narrow at the ankle. The fabric is often some tweedy look, pressed with a sharp crease. My teen is very unhappy that I got rid of my circa-1988 brown leather bomber jacket a few years ago, after it had gone unworn for so long and I figured that '80s silhouette would never come back.
    Re skin-tight jeans: I also see plenty of the "boyfriend" style. A French friend who is a lawyer wears boyfriends to work, with reasonable kitten-heel pumps and, yes, a trench.

  2. I'm loving the grey trend at the moment especially as many are silver and blue toned which is more flattering for me. I also love the oversized polo neck jumpers, although too mild at the moment to indulge.
    As for the other trends - not my style at all. Sharon, U.K.

  3. Janice,
    Thanks for the "window shopping " update ! So glad to see that distressed jeans are passé! Hope this catches on in the USA ! Grey isn't me , but I can enjoy it for a season seeing it on others.

  4. Yes this is a fun post. The dress style - jeans sneakers simple tops and scarves is how I dres 90% of the time. After searching for a long time for jeans that are comfortable, stretchy and flattering with a bit higher waist, I found Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans. They are available in about 15 washes and colors. I live in them and by coincidence just ordered a grey pair. I have two denim washes, khaki, taupe, navy and stone. I alter them to take in the waist and take out the back pockets to help minimize my hips. They are cigarette style and mimic the slim leg style without being tight. They are available from a number of retailers. I am becoming fond of grey and will be purchasing a couple tops/sweaters this year in grey. So this is good news. Love the pleated longer style skirts too! Bomber jackets? never! And YES please tell us what you bought in Paris. Janice Collins, Washington DC

  5. I came back from Paris about a week ago and some of the things I noticed, like you, were no trench coats and no ripped jeans (thank the lord). Also, unlike in the U.S., no fluorescent colors, no sparkles, no bags with fringe or grommets, no clothes with logos, no sweatshirts or fleeces, etc. People weren't necessarily dressed up but they looked a lot more put together, probably because they weren't wearing the foregoing. I saw a lot of people dressing in black. I also was struck how all the woman who were wearing skirts wore beautiful black stockings. I didn't see any bare legs. Also like you, I saw everyone wear scarves, even the men, and even when it was too hot for a scarf in my opinion.

  6. The color palette this season is wonderful for me. With the abundance of burgundy, olive and grey in the shops (all three of my main colors!), it will be easy to find what I need to finally replace core items that are nearing the end of their life cycle, but harder to resist temptation! A shopping plan/list is a must before heading out the door since I will be replacing more items than usual this season.

  7. I am enjoying grey enormously this season. It's been four years since I started transitioning my wardrobe and I need little in the way of new clothes.Thanks to the Vivienne Files. I did buy a grey Eileen Fisher tunic and grey herringbone jeggings in NYC last month but I expect to wear them frequently. I've got one of those pleated skirts from Paris and I'll try pairing it with my grey turtleneck or cardigan.

  8. You did so well, despite your photography constraints you got the message across. Thanks for sharing your observations, Janice.
    Yipee to high-waisted, ditto to non-distressed if you mean torn and cut up, that's not for a lady of vintage. Yipee to grey, lots of, and teamed with soft green (love that combo). Yipee to the dark background tiny print - there are few prints I've liked in the shops, all a bit 70s curtains and not flattering on most whereas the print you describe is universally flattering. Hmmmm, sunray pleats may leave me on the fence a while longer, not flattering on my chunky short body. Reminds me of my early teens.
    And YES! Of course you must share your power shopping with us!
    Hugs, x.

  9. You'd better share! I'm on pins and needles here. :)

  10. A fun and informative post. I can't understand the pre-worn look - I take great delight in wearing new or new-looking clothing. Love grey and hope to see it in the shops for a very long time. Thanks for sharing your observations!

  11. Yes please - power shopping post. Thank you very much for the interesting post, as thoughtful as always! Pure joy to follow your blogg.

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  13. Hi Janice, Great Post! Love the pleated skirts. Would you be interested in writing a Guest Blog post around capsule wardrobes for footwear? Thanks!

  14. I was also in Paris very recently with nd noticed, gray and black beautifully fitted tights and stockings and everyone wore scarves wrapped around their necks. Wish it would get a little cooler here..sweating in a sleek new outfit is not a good look!

  15. Not a fan of the bomber jackets, I will never buy something pre-soiled, and the muted green scarves will never find their way into my wardrobe (the colors are lovely just not on me). I love the grey on grey, pleated skirts, and might even get myself a flowered dress or two (if I can find ones that flatter in both cut and color. Thank you for this view of upcoming trends.

  16. I almost bought one of those pleated skirts last month but refrained, because no matter how much I like them on others they really don't look good on me. I could live in all gray clothes, though!!!!! I love your Paris posts.

  17. So enjoyed your post and the latest Paris street fashion looks! Love pleated skirts with big warm sweaters - perfect for the cold weather fast approaching.

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  19. I like the phrase "moody blooms" to describe the floral on dark background trend. As always, I enjoyed your post.