Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How to look French

 You still need the same three things to look Parisian---
1. A long scarf carefully arranged to look haphazard.
2. A cigarette
3. An expression of boredom.

French women don't get fat, or so they claim, and it sure isn't common. Like New York, Paris requires a ton of walking, groceries have to be carried home on your arm and everything is expensive. But they can wear the skinny jeans and look good, even women of a certain age. 

French women don't wear any type of athletic shoe when they aren't actually engaged in athletics. Denim is rare for anyone post college. And while flats are everywhere, many women are in heels. ON COBBLESTONE! I am in awe.

French businessmen look well groomed and wear expensive wool topcoats, but we don't see many of them because they aren't on the subways and the office towers are all outside the city center. The rest of French men have 3-7 days beard, wear leather shoes with fairly pointy toes and are not necessarily slim. 

What strikes me is a lack of variety. Not many blonds and red hair is very rare. No punks, no goths, no metalheads or tatts, though that may be because its winter and we can't see them. No facial piercings, no bizarre hair color. No one is flying their freak flag. Have I already been in Austin long enough to think that everything goes is normal? 

In short, if you are not wearing a colorful parka, jeans and white gym shoes, you will not look American.

 Our coats are black and our shoes are too, so several times a day, we are taken for locals; people speak to us in French. We are working on scarf technique, but I have this tendency to smile, which is a clear giveaway. 

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