Slow Travel Talk  Hop To Forum Categories  TRAVEL  Hop To Forums  France    what to wear in france

Moderators: Panda, Roz

Closed Topic Closed
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
what to wear in france Login/Join 
Slow Traveler
posted
hi,
we're leaving in 3 weeks and i still haven't faced the issue of what to wear. (i hope i'm not rehashing; i looked through the old posts and didn't find much on france.) i know i won't pass for european, but i don't want to stand out like a sore thumb.
i expect it to be very warm. at home i'd wear shorts, but i don't want to do that in france. i've been told to wear skirts. what length? loose or straight? colorful or conservative? i'll probably bring a pair of slacks for the evening. are capris worn? what about solid colored T-shirts?
for footwear i'm thinking of buying a pair of comfortable walking sandals and maybe another pair of comfy shoes.
what about men -- do they always wear pants in the heat of the day? i'm guessing yes.
in general, is the dress similar to that of italy?
thank you!
 
Posts: 154 | Registered: 03 March 2004Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Where in France. In Paris as in New York you wear your best looking stuff for dining at a great restaurant. But if you are staying in a place like the Marais, I dressed very casual, yes capris in hot weather(not white-too resort looking)Neat clean non-flashy colors, are fine. I wear guazy cotton skirts in the south or La crosse t-shirts and dresses only because all pack lightly Men don't need sport jackets at
casual places but always appreciated at fine

dining.I've rarely seen bare skin in dress
except on some tourists.
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post

Moderator Emeritus & Gathering Hero

Slow Traveler
Picture of kaydee
posted Hide Post
Hi Debbie,

I know you're going to Provence, and perhaps have read on the Italy board that you will be there too? And-- as cigalechanta has asked-- are you going to Paris?

You can't take two wardrobes, and you need to pack light. The same clothes work for France and Italy.

Capris are fine and I'll wear them most of the this summer in Provence-- one black pair and one white pair probably. You might take one or two pairs of slacks and a skirt or two, depending on the way you like to dress. Then a variety of tops, with maybe a scarf or two which you could use as a shawl to dress up at night. I would keep to simple colors and stay away from super-bright colors and patterned clothes that you would wear to a beach resort.

You will need good walking shoes/sandals that you can wear on uneven, cobblestone streets and maybe a simple pair of sandals for the evening. I'd also recommend a straw hat of some sort.

I'll also be taking hiking clothes...

Kathy
 
Posts: 5722 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee & Bonnieux, Provence | Registered: 20 October 2003Report This Post


Slow Traveler
Picture of SL Jones
posted Hide Post
Debbie, you will find that the dress is indeed similar to what you will find in the more cosmopolitan parts of Italy. European women are often comfortable and casual yet stylish. They tend to wear skirts more than we do here. Comfortable sandles will be fine- don't sacrifice comfort for style. In Provence women often wear cute sundresses in the warm weather. A few skirts (any length) and some nice tops will take you most anywhere.

I always take at least one big long light weight (maybe gauzy) scarf. It can be knotted fashionably at the neck to dress up a shirt or top, or worn as a wrap, or a belt, or even a headscarf in a cathedral. And it takes up almost no room in the luggage. That's also a fun thing to shop for when you're there.

Solid t-shirts? Fine, but fitted ones, not baggy ones. And certainly not with sports logos on them! Capris? Fine, in a basic color. European women certainly wear shorts and athletic shoes and all that, when they are involved in athletic endeavors such as walking or hiking or working out or taking their kids to the park on a hot day..... But they don't "live in them" as many American women do.

Linda
 
Posts: 1591 | Location: Outlying area of Chicago | Registered: 15 September 2004Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
As one who travels across France but is in love with provence, I can say that jeans(that I live in at home and elsewhere) are not popular in Provence and the Cote'A'azur except for men.
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
t-shirts are perfect and travel well. I take along one silk one to wear with purty skirts for dancing. But I am probably twenty years older than you are. The dress in Paris is not terribly different from that in NYC.

There are many "tribes" in French cities - chic businesswomen and ladies who lunch, more bohemian people who work in the "creative" professions, and, as in NYC, people whose job it is to look beautiful.

You can pick up some fun things to round out your wardrobe for not very much at a big marché aux puces, local market, or a trendy but cheap store such as H&M.
 
Posts: 934 | Location: Montréal | Registered: 29 January 2006Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
The only thing I would add to the wonderful guidance you've received so far is to be sure and take a very comfortable pair of black slacks. Even though it's summertime, you will find them a staple, as it seems that black in Paris is a "seasonless" color. I'd probably stick with neutrals for tops and such, whites, khakis, and use the accessories for a splash of color. Enjoy your trip...wish I were going this soon...

Jennifer
 
Posts: 318 | Location: Gulfport, Mississippi | Registered: 19 March 2006Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
thanks, everyone, this really helps!

here's our rough itinerary, tho it's not all figured out yet:

-london, 2 days (closest we could get with our frequent flier miles. get to see old friends, while overcoming jet lag)
-tgv to paris, rental car to nantes, where my husband has a conference for 3 days. kids and i may or may not go to brittany, depending on how we feel.
-one week rental in lourmarin. hardly seems like enough
-4 days somewhere else. waiting to hear about visiting people who live in an old monastery that used to be my great-uncle's house, and where i stayed as a kid. unfortunately this is back in a small town near bordeaux. it'll be a lot of driving, backtracking, but i'd love to see the house again and show it to my family
- 3 days in paris (been there several times, by no means know it well, but we've found we thrive less well as a family in big cities, so limited time here.)
-back to london for a day before leaving.

total time: a little over 3 weeks. not long enough!!!

not going to italy, i just like to read about it because i've spent a lot of time there and i love it.

this trip is sort of a 50th birthday present for me. Red Face) i've been trying to finally learn french, but i'll tell you, learning is not as easy as it used to be!!
 
Posts: 154 | Registered: 03 March 2004Report This Post

Slow Traveler
Picture of suncoast
posted Hide Post
Debbie,

When are you going to be there? I will be celebrating my 50th birthday at Chenonceau on July 4th and Craig's (husband) 51st birthday, July 8th. I am taking skirts, tops, a couple sundresses, a jacket, and comfy shoes. I was in Paris last year in the middle of July and I had to buy a sweater to wear at a gas station for our outing to the Loire.

Ginger
 
Posts: 5069 | Location: Naples, Florida | Registered: 02 May 2004Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
When I travel during the warm months, I always take a shawl in case it gets cold one day or night.
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
suncoast,

wow, you needed a sweater? wasn't last summer really hot in france?
we'll arrive in france june 27. our rental in provence goes from july 1 to july 8. i hope chenonceau is one of your favorite places-- what a nice way to spend your birthday! (i actually turned 50 a few weeks ago.) have a wonderful time!
 
Posts: 154 | Registered: 03 March 2004Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
for a 3 week trip i'll bring enough for about one week. we'll only be in a place with a washer for one week, so i guess the rest of the time we'll wash stuff in the sink at night...? is this what you do? i usually wear cotton, but i've read about these quick to dry fabrics. what do you all think about this stuff? is it comfortable to wear? not sure if i want to invest in a week's worth of special clothes to wear only every couple of years when we travel.

btw, what about men? pants during the day in summer?
 
Posts: 154 | Registered: 03 March 2004Report This Post
Slow Traveler
Picture of Paolo in the Luberon
posted Hide Post
My wife will confirm that I know nothing about fashion, but as a Provence resident this is my dress code:

Shorts if it's hot
Jeans if it's not

Am I missing something?

I don't wear jeans if I go to a decent restaurant, but I always see jeans in even the fanciest places - the French are more relaxed about dress code.

You should definitely bring a sweater or shawl, as even in the summer there can be evenings when you will be glad of it.

Paolo
 
Posts: 199 | Location: Menerbes, Provence | Registered: 22 April 2005Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Definitely take a sweater or shawl, and I always take a jeans jacket (though of course that wouldn't do for fancy restaurants) - summers can be hot or cool in France. Brittany can definitely be chilly, and anywhere hilly can be cool in the evenings.
 
Posts: 934 | Location: Montréal | Registered: 29 January 2006Report This Post

Hero-2006


Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Debbie,

I've been wearing a winter jacket to work via foot and Metro in Paris in the last week, so come prepared! (Lighter jacket and a warm sweater would do.) Having said that, if you pack for cold it will probably go up into the high 80s Fahrenheit. Then the Parisians will thank you for nudging the weather back to normal. At least the sun is out!

Dave
 
Posts: 1641 | Location: Paris | Registered: 04 January 2005Report This Post

Slow Traveler
Picture of pedmar
posted Hide Post
As i go to many defilé de mode in >Paris. The Shorts as a fashion item is back!!!! for woman great for summer days in Paris. Men, still better get in a jean.
of course the advise of a summer jacket or sweater is sound. Jeans are good too. walking shoes meaning light shoes are ok; better walk in Paris.
 
Posts: 3500 | Registered: 17 April 2006Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Yes, Shorts are in the collections but as my French friend says, no one over 12 should wear them in the city, and never-ever short short in the provinces.
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Le short as a fashion item means on models who are 6 feet/1m80 and no more than a size 4/34-36...
 
Posts: 934 | Location: Montréal | Registered: 29 January 2006Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
I have been very reluctant to answer this thread but feel now I must, for whatever reason!!. When John and I moved to France over two years ago, I downsized my wardrobe. I had been a Magistrate in England and my work meant I wore suits. These I bought with me as did John his suits. Since being here I have worn no formal attire, John has worn a suit to a wedding, and was the only one dressed formally. We are going to a Communion service tomorrow and have had great difficulty asking what to wear, my upbringing said a Catholic service, said head and arms covered, not so,I still feel I should wear a jacket and will do, John is wearing a Blazor and Chinos.I wear normally a skirt and top when in town or maybe jeans and trousers, in the height of Summer,shorts. I would not dream of wearing shorts to eat out,but feel comfortable wearing three quarter trousers.I also wear loose fitting Summer dresses. For walking I wear decorative'flip flops' but for serious walking I have 'Timberland' walking boots. I have never felt uncomfortable.I think if you have an outfit, especially if you want to eat in a special restuarant, that is sufficiant,we have friends in Paris and our clothes have never let us down as long as you have something a little smarter. A shawl, I would certainly recommend, I buy mine from Tie Rack and rarely wear a coat here.For visiting old towns a lot of the street are cobbled,flip flops are fine but remember your feet get hot and 'slip' ,so maybe trainers are more sensible. The answer is what do you normally wear and what is comfortable for you without going to a lot of expense.
Happy holidays
Judy
 
Posts: 146 | Location: Montignac Sur Vezere | Registered: 12 May 2005Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
thanks judy. why were you reluctant to answer this thread? i appreciate your response.

from what you and others have said, it sounds like it's less formal than i expected. jeans and shorts: are jeans flared or straight? in the spectrum of "kind of sloppyish"(my kind), to crisp and neat, where would you say they fall? what length shorts? and with skirts / dresses, are bare legs OK, with sandals? in cathedrals is it necessary to cover your arms and head?

i'll definitely bring a shawl. thanks, everyone, for that suggestion.
 
Posts: 154 | Registered: 03 March 2004Report This Post
Traveler
posted Hide Post
Debbie, my husband & I have been wearing the quick dry clothes when we travel to Europe for the past few years, shirts & pants. Yes, they are comfortable, we wash them in the sink at night & they are dry by the next morning. We find that khaki & black pants work great, & it is easy to coordinate tops/shirts to go with them. I always take a scarf/shawl to dress up my outift at night. We wear comfortable walking shoes during the day & take black sandals for evening. Have a great trip!
 
Posts: 36 | Registered: 16 March 2005Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Bare legs are fine in France; I've seen very chic women going bare-legged with skirts and dresses. I tend to avoid shorts in France, but then I tend to avoid them here except when I'm doing fitness cycling (as opposed to cycling in town to work, shop or see friends) or gardening. Those short trousers, like long capris, seem to be more common.

Except for business and fine dining, modern dress in France is not particularly formal, but you will see the small ways in which it is chic, and especially, you will note a lot of women (and men) of our age who still dress and act alluring.
 
Posts: 934 | Location: Montréal | Registered: 29 January 2006Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
If you travel in the south, then cord-sole sandals ("espadrilles") are a must.
 
Posts: 387 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: 02 February 2006Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
david,

are espadrilles still readily found in southern france? they used to be ubiquitous and i would buy them every trip. but i haven't seen them more recently. where are they found? do you know if they're still made in europe? (ass oposed to china or someplace.)
 
Posts: 154 | Registered: 03 March 2004Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
yes, you can find them sometimes in chains like Casino, (local grocery stores or markets. Harder to find are the French jellies, fisherman style sandels. Someone stole my last pair I bought in Moustiers.
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Well, yes, most of them are made in Asia... You could probably find them in those huge supermarkets that seem surround every city now, like "Carrefour", where the French like to gather every saturday to load up. But you can find them in various places, and in most regions in France throughout summer.
Hey --this online store will let you have real ones delivered to your door (at a cost)! http://espadrillesetc.com/index.asp
 
Posts: 387 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: 02 February 2006Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
The ones I saw are made in France but anyway i order mine made to order from France at:

http://www.123voyage.com/index.htm
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
I think they originally came from the "nations" that straddle the French-Spanish border: the Basque country (Euskadi) and Catalonia. I have a friend (male) who is a proud Basque (as if there were any other kind) and he always wears handmade espadrilles in the summer.
 
Posts: 934 | Location: Montréal | Registered: 29 January 2006Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
they started in France:
everything you wanted to know and were afraid to ask Smile

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espadrilles
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Sorry to be a pedant (not really, I rather enjoy being a pedant about silly things, as all translators and editors doWink), but your article says they were made in CATALONIA for centuries. Part of Catalonia lies in modern-day France, but the larger part lies in Spain, where its largest city, Barcelona, is located.

Not that they couldn't have been made elsewhere in the general region, from natural materials and more as a protection from rocky soil and shores than from the elements...
 
Posts: 934 | Location: Montréal | Registered: 29 January 2006Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
I'm looking to replace my stolen French "jelly"fisherman sandals. Has anyone seen them in Provence?
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
I googled for you and found the originals for sale here http://www.lameduse.com/
 
Posts: 387 | Location: Paris, France | Registered: 02 February 2006Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Thanks Dave!!!!! The Queen
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
David email me at hotmail about your apartment rental in the marais.
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post

Moderator and Gathering Hero

Slow Traveler
Picture of teaberry
posted Hide Post
cigalechanta - my SIL bought me a pair of the jellie sandals home from Provence about 10 years ago, and I LOVED them! Thanks for reminding me of them and to Davidkorn, thanks for the website.

Cigale - when I was in Provence at the market in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, I snapped the photo below, thinking immediately of you.

cigale
 
Posts: 10474 | Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA | Registered: 25 November 2005Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Thanks, my tribe is all over Provence as they are the symbol of that earthly paradise Smile
 
Posts: 1804 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post

Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Lovely! That is so sweet. Kitty

Hope you find your jelly shoes!
 
Posts: 934 | Location: Montréal | Registered: 29 January 2006Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
are these blue-painted ceramic numbers easy to find in provence? i love them.
 
Posts: 154 | Registered: 03 March 2004Report This Post

Moderator and Gathering Hero

Slow Traveler
Picture of teaberry
posted Hide Post
Debbie -

I saw these at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue's market, but I didn't have my eye out for them anywhere else. Sorry I can't be of more help Frown.

Terry
 
Posts: 10474 | Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA | Registered: 25 November 2005Report This Post

Moderator Emeritus & Gathering Hero

Slow Traveler
Picture of kaydee
posted Hide Post
Debbie, I have seen these around. You could find them at a large market or town.

But I have to say I'm very impressed with the CIGALE! And how neat that Terry took a photo to share wiht us-- loved it!

Kathy
 
Posts: 5722 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee & Bonnieux, Provence | Registered: 20 October 2003Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Hi Debbie,
Like you, we love the blue enamel numbers and letters , but were unable to find them here at all. We asked at our 'Marie' and were told the numbers were allocated by the Commune.My son, in England, went to a visiting 'French Market'and sent us these details.We have used them and now advertise our Gite using the sign we had made by them.www.thefrenchnumber.com They quote the price and postage. e-mail; mailorder@thefrenchnumber.com I also have the phone number if required.
Hope this helps.
Judy
 
Posts: 146 | Location: Montignac Sur Vezere | Registered: 12 May 2005Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
Went to the Pentacost service yesterday, as I said previously was a little concerned, our 'local' church I have been well informed holds approx 500 people, yesterday there were extra chairs and people waiting outside listening to the service. What were people wearing? Anything at all!! I did not see shorts for either men or women, but strappy t'shirts were worn.Skirts and tops, men wearing linen suits or very casual. The father of the child we were supporting,wore slacks and shirt, with a casual cardigan. The women made more of an effort, but still very casual, t'shirts with matching skirts, a few suits but colour was paramount surprisingly. John wore blazer and chinos, I wore a summer two piece and jacket, not out of place at all. the out fit for me lasted the restaurant at lunch and the evening meal, John did change into a short sleeved shirt for the evening.I really think what ever you feel comfortable with is your choice and if you look like a holiday maker what the 'heck' you are on holiday!!!! just enjoy yourself.
Love
Judy
 
Posts: 146 | Location: Montignac Sur Vezere | Registered: 12 May 2005Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
well, the hardest part of this whole thing is almost over: buying a few decent outfits. i bought a few pairs of capris, but i really think most of my shirts will go better with denim.

so, the question is, will denim capris, if neat looking, be less appropriate than other color capris? i'm bringing capris in other basic colors, but none are as versatile as jeans. i just don't want to be the only non-american wearing them.

thanks.
 
Posts: 154 | Registered: 03 March 2004Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
As someone else who lives in the country in France, I have to second the comments that people here are really quite casual - you hardly ever see anyone with a jacket and tie in a restaurant. I thought of this today as the French news station was showing shots of a Michelin starred restaurant in Arles (Atelier) and everyone was very casually dressed, at least at lunch. No shorts, but just about everything else.
 
Posts: 309 | Location: Dordogne, France | Registered: 08 March 2006Report This Post
Slow Traveler
posted Hide Post
good! i'll look for some denim capris tomorrow! thanks.
 
Posts: 154 | Registered: 03 March 2004Report This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  

Closed Topic Closed

    Slow Travel Talk  Hop To Forum Categories  TRAVEL  Hop To Forums  France    what to wear in france

© SlowTrav.com 2000 - 2014
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use