June 4, 2018
One of the advantages of the unexpectedly warm weather in Paris is that I got to see the entire city shifting into their warmer-weather wardrobes!
As I always do when I travel, I tried to keep my eyes open for things that I saw – in stores or on people – that were different from what I would see in Chicago. In Paris, there were LOTS of things that caught me eye – so much that it’s going to take me 2 days to tell you about them all!
I can’t swear that white eyelet is a trend this year, or if it’s just something that everyone pulls out and starts to wear when the weather warms up. It really is more of a classic… But we saw lots of cute little dresses, and PLENTY of tops with eyelet trip being worn with shorts, flowing skirts, and cropped pants. They looked fresh and crisp without being hard-edged or too starched…
Another fabric that we saw in large quantities, in every kind of garment, was chambray. I was particularly taken with the printed fabrics on a chambray background; it’s not easy to find examples to share with you, but this first shirt is the quintessence of this idea:
Overall, the single fabric that emerged the most quickly, and seemed to dominate a LOT of outfits, was linen. Linen in every possible color, shape and style you could want for summer! Many people – male and female – wore classic linen shirts with the sleeves rolled up, and maybe an extra button open… It looked great with khaki pants or shorts, or white pants.
Despite what we were always told in the past about how people dressed in Paris, we saw lots of people wearing shorts. Younger women wore denim cut-offs (often with black tights under them!), but most adults, and a good share of younger people, were wearing linen…
And don’t be afraid of the drawstring waist – they were EVERYWHERE… (I bought the top shorts in grey – actually a melange of black and white – and I can highly recommend them!)
Lots of women past the first insanity of adult life were wearing beautiful linen tunics…
Probably the most eye-catching thing that we saw was a LOT of yellow, on people of both genders and all ages, in every possible garment. While many of us can’t wear yellow really well, if it looks good on you, this is the time to start watching; if it’s popular in Paris this year, it won’t take long to get to the rest of us!
We saw a lot of particularly pretty yellow dresses… What fun that could be! If you struggle to incorporate yellow into your wardrobe, a cardigan is always an easy way to start gently… and this skirt includes both those lacy notes that I mentioned, as well as some sunny yellow.
There were still women wearing pants, even as the weather got quite warm. Lots of the pants that we saw were lightweight fabrics in striking prints! Nobody wore them with a matching top – usually they were worn with a simple tee shirt. They were always loose, fluid, and cool looking – in both meanings of the term!
I have more observations that I’ll share on Wednesday, as well as a few other images from Paris that I was able to take. In the warmer weather, I found that either the sky was too bright to take good shop-window pictures, or that it was pouring rain and I didn’t WANT to take pictures! That said, I did grab a few images that I want to share…
Alison Gunn says
I used to be very intimidated by the idea that people would be so well dressed in Paris that I couldn’t possibly keep up, but it turns out that the masses in Paris don’t dress anywhere near as fancily as I once assumed. But after having spent many summers in Europe, I have seen very few women wearing shorts; perhaps Bermudas, but certainly not short shorts, not unless they are young girls. Most women in Paris I saw last summer were wearing dresses, culottes, and skirts. I kept seeing the ‘uniform’ for mothers in Paris, the white linen shirt and black skirt, which I thought was rather ironic, since that’s almost all I had with me for temperatures in the 90s, that and a black dress.
Taste of France says
Well, until a few years ago, no Parisienne would have been caught dead in athletic shoes, and now those are worn all the time, even with dresses. It sounds like the shorts ban has fallen as well (there always were lots of people wearing shorts in Paris, but they were tourists). I certainly see them in lots of shops.
I see lots of white eyelet and white lace down here in the south, but also plain white cotton dresses, almost like old-fashioned nightgowns. Which makes me tempted to buy an antique nightgown and wear it as a dress.
It makes sense that Parisians would adapt their clothing to the warm weather, because most homes and even some offices lack air conditioning.
I love the printed chambray look as well. I bought a similar shirt this spring from a consignment sale for a few dollars and really like that it’s different from a plain blue one. I’ve also been eyeing linen as a way to buy clothes that will last longer than a season or two. My T-shirts wear out so fast!
The link for the printed chambray shirt doesn’t seem to be working, FYI.
Their site seems to be down for maintenance. Isn’t that the way of things sometimes?
Most links are not working for me in awhile. Maybe since the blog was reformatted?
I always look forward to your post-travel analyses. And I’m particularly excited about this one because Yellow! Eyelet! White dresses!
Janice Collins says
LOVE this post! White eyelet! Also linen- I have a linen shirt in navy white check – so loved that I wash it by hand. Looking fir another linen shirt but was undecided on color. Now I’m looking for chambray or light yellow. LLBean has a washable linen shirt that is kind of chambray – the color names on sites can be very confusing! Also love the ruffle sleeve tee and ordered it in the yellow and the “red” which looks more like coral. Hope they are flattering on me! My husband will be happy for the bright colors. The loose print pants, draw string waists – so many ideas here! Janice Collins, Washington DC
Interesting Post! Thanks! Lise
Mary Ann says
Just wondering why you’ve changed the heading and format of your site. Your previous format was charming. I very much liked the Vivienne in mosaic at the top from the entrance to the galleries Vivienne in Paris. Yours is one of my very favorite blogs (also because you live in Chicago as do I) but I find the type style and new format somewhat generic, not as unique and appealing as it was. The content is as wonderful as ever tho.
Mostly because the old system on which I was working was never maintained by the hosts, and began to be more and more full of glitches every day! I would spend an hour just making sure that the font size was right throughout a post, or checking that everything didn’t suddenly align to the right margin, or the left, for no apparent reason.
I think this one will improve as time goes on, especially the ads. I have to admit to being pleased so far because my revenue is up some, and beginning to approximate a reason $/hour for my time! It makes it easier for me to justify not getting a “real” job this way…
Thanks for telling me what you like and don’t like – I appreciate your honesty, and that you took the time to share!
Janice Collins says
I really like the new format although I also loved the heading on the old blog more . It is so much easier to post a comment now. I stopped commenting because half the time they would not post or I had to post twice. Great that you are being reimbursed more as your blog is so darn helpful and your talent – pure genius. BTW you definitely should write a book. Is one in progress? Janice Collins, Washington DC
I love yellow! Thanks for all the ideas.
Dame Eleanor Hull says
The illustration at this post looks familiar:
How bizarre! I’ve never heard of any of these people before… I wonder why they just grabbed it and used it without contacting me?
Dame Eleanor Hull says
That’s what I was wondering. I’m sorry to be the messenger. I normally only lurk on both sites, but when I didn’t see an attribution (and Moira usually does attribute illustrations), that bothered me.
sania from zagreb says
As I see now, it is corrected.
Dame Eleanor Hull says
Yes, I left a comment and now there is a correction.
What a wonderful, fresh feeling post that is both Parisian and yet applicable to the rest of us in a non intimidating way ! Love the eyelet , how charming ! I must look for a piece or two !
When in Paris much of May I saw linen •everywhere•, and sold in shops, in various price ranges, most of it quite pricey except for those boxy pieces sold at the street markets. The French do not have the North American dread of wrinklesin linen, but my Parisienne clotheshorse girlfriend says, “I think the Italians wear linen better than we do.”