IMG_4694Good riddance, Gloria. Spain and southern France were pummeled earlier this week by Tempête Gloria, which flooded a bunch of places, including Carcassonne, where the Aude river ran into the streets despite having a large floodplain where vineyards, vegetable farms and parks are adapted for soaking up surplus water.

We didn’t get out much, because il tombait des cordes (literally, it was raining ropes–imagine rain falling so hard it seems like ropes–but more akin to raining cats and dogs). Now the sun is out again and it’s in the mid-50s F. As you can see from the photos, even bad weather here is pretty mild, except when we get three months of rain in two days, and even then it wasn’t cold.

I’m seeing lots of young women wearing black tights or semi-opaque nylons with white athletic shoes and skirts, like in the top photo. Sometimes the skirts are short, sometimes long like the one above. I don’t follow sneaker trends but hers seem unusually spiky. Also, the guy next to her has some very colorful Nikes.IMG_4575Winter white is another trend. The young woman’s white skirt, this woman’s white pants. Do you wear a sweater as a scarf? It gives her a nice color accent, and, hey, if it turns out to be colder than she thought she can put on the sweater for an extra layer. Practical!IMG_4771A white coat. Her boots were interesting but my toes hurt just looking at those heels. IMG_4213Another white coat, with white boots. And a scarf. Always a scarf. IMG_4577Even on men. Hanging insouciantly.IMG_4768You also can coordinate your white coat with your white dog. However big it looks, in reality it was bigger. HUGE.IMG_4364Red is even more popular as a coat color. Note that the top of her bag is red. This coat had a lovely swing to it as she walked, thanks to the pleats in the back.IMG_4254All-in for red.IMG_4255She looked so good–straight posture, good haircut, shiny shoes, cleverly tied scarf, that red coat. IMG_4256Also red accents, on the right, or all blue, on the left. The audacity of a red artificial flower in her hair–I love it. I want to sit and have coffee with her and hear all about her life, because I bet it’s interesting. Not easy to see, but she’s wearing a long red pencil skirt with flat red boots.IMG_4766A monochrome look also is popular. This woman paired gray glen plaid pants with gray high-tops and a gray coat.IMG_4776A different neutral–camel. Her bag was in the same Burberry-esque tartan as her scarf. For all I know, they’re both real Burberry; I didn’t ask to check the lablels. Boots and coat both camel. It all went with her hair, something I noticed with lots of women, especially redheads. French women pay attention to which colors work for them and they make the most of it.IMG_4777She was just one of the redheads I noticed wearing coppery colors. There were several others whose photos didn’t turn out. Once you notice one, you see so many! What impresses me is that this shade is hard to match, and it isn’t always on trend, so you can’t just walk into a store and expect to find what you want in that shade. They must collect and curate constantly, making sure what they choose will last several seasons.IMG_4695This is quite a different shade of red, and it matches her coat exactly. She gets points for confidence.IMG_4770Another example of flamboyance, with an oversize hat and a furry coat. You don’t wear that to blend in. She also looked like she would be interesting.

How do you cope with winter? Do you hunker down in black and wait for it to be over, or do you have a fantastic, fun coat that makes you happy every time you put it on? I’ll cop to being boring in black–black sweater dress with black leggings, black boots, black bag, and either a brown or dark gray coat, depending on the weather. I have fewer and fewer clothes as time goes on, and wearing forgettable clothes makes them seem less monotonous. Are you also a minimalist or, like some of the examples here, more flamboyant?

28 thoughts on “Looking Good in Bad Weather

  1. As I get older, I’m trying to inject more quirky stuff into my wardrobe, while still being age-appropriate. That said, I do resort to a lot of black skirts, black pants and black jeans, but then choose more interesting layers on top, plus colorful shoes–pink, purple, red, green, etc. And I really enjoy my collection of silk scarves, which are colorful to the eye and so smooth to the touch. My winter coats are oh so boring, though.

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    1. I’m with you, girl! Via thrifting, I have 8 winter coats and jackets. Perfect for any mood or occasion. Tons of scarves and LOVE my hat collection. Won’t go out without one. All in all, dressing is always an adventure.

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  2. You ARE very observant, so much that I’d feel bad entering your orbit. But then, on the other hand, I absolutely could have been the one in the ‘flower in hair’ photo. As per my mood and level of being joyful/feeling sorry for myself, I wear lots of colours, be as daring as a model or try to blend in with ‘just a hint of follie’ such as a wild foulard, an English hat or some flower(s) in my hair…. I’m just back from the market with many stops to get rendez-vous, say hi, get some medication, and I was addressed TWICE by strangers who enquired or commented on my hair (really wild and white).
    I also find (thankfully) that you can now walk much more freely about in France than you did years and years ago. In Paris there are so many different nations at any time that no style is hitting you as unusual. And you are right on one point: Same as you and million others, I shop much much less, combine what I have differently, add some witty detail or some elegance with an accessory, the only weakness I can’t do without, are my shoes. My poor feet DEMAND comfy footwear and I am giving away hardly worn shoes all the time because it becomes more and more important to not have the perfect combo but wear something I can walk in longer than just 5’. The problem with the sneakers is that most of them have to be tied and funnily enough my arms get shorter all the time…

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    1. You are lucky to have good hair. There are so many things that are out of our control, like having good hair. I like to see how people either make the most of their features or compensate in other ways, by playing up something else, or by just not fighting, say, by cutting it super short.

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  3. I have a collection of coats, all in neutral colours, but lots of different scarves. Never leave the house without one, as I’m prone to a stiff neck if caught in a draft. Love the look of the long white skirt, but in winter? Around here it would be filthy in five minutes!

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  4. Love all this street style! I would be drawn to all these as well. Great to see real women out living life while looking stylish. I look for ways to add color in this drab season – I wear silk flowers on my dark coats. My style is getting more dramatic as I age – confidence, I think! I love crazy earrings and just got my first pairs of over-the-knee boots…

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    1. Interesting earrings are great. There’s an older woman I see, pushing her walker, and she always wears huge chandelier earrings. Why not!!! They’re not just for special occasions and not just for young women.

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  5. Love this! I hunker down in a black puffer for the school run but wear nice wool coats with scarves if I’m going out. You’ve provided lots of inspiration.

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    1. Puffers are great when you want warm and/or waterproof. And when you already have enough to carry; a heavy coat can be HEAVY, and it’s such a relief to put on a lightweight down coat. But yes, wool coats look so much dressier. However, the Moncler puffer coat/dresses that were recently shown at Paris Fashion Week were pretty darn fancy.

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  6. Thank you for the “peek” in the streets. I was so happy to see so many of the shoppers had either a push cart or their own carry bags – hopefully brought from home. Wish more American shoppers would do the same – we need to stop using those white plastic bags.
    I enjoy your website – always makes me want to go to France again – so much to see and do.

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    1. Carcassonne’s market is at Place Carnot, in the center of the Bastide, or “New Town,” which was built by St. Louis in 1260 (I love how old “new” stuff is here). As such, the streets are narrow and many are closed to traffic on market days. So you have to park several blocks away. Other shoppers live in the neighborhood. Either way, a basket or shopping bag or cart is necessary. Most vendors provide small plastic or paper bags for purchases, but they are too small to carry much. I reuse them until they are in shreds. I’ve noticed many young people have cotton bags.

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      1. All of the towns around here have banned the plastic bags for years, but the stores will sell you a paper bag if you forget your reusable ones. I have more than a dozen of them. If I do get my hands on a plastic bag, I save it because it isn’t really single-use. I always have a need for it. It’s good to remember to run a bunch of the cotton bags through the wash now and then.

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  7. I love your street scene posts. I wear black a lot, but I also have a mustard coloured coat, that seems to stop traffic, and different coloured shoes and boots. Oh yes, and a disgraceful amount of scarves and shawls. Still, it’s mostly black, with pops of colour on my feet, or around my neck…or both. I hardly ever shop, but do love browsing in secondhand and consignment shops. I have enough clothes, since I have my – uniform – it’s easy to look interesting, and it puts a smile on my face. And yes, and one of my ever present hats…
    Ali

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  8. A couple of years ago, I acquired a vintage ankle-length wool greatcoat for the really cold days, and it’s worth its weight in closet space. One of my winter faves is a short coat of (I think) sheared beaver, very politically incorrect but oh, so warm. And scarves, always a scarf. I’m getting more adventurous about styling them, too.

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    1. Good for you on the scarves! So many tutorials out there. Shearling is so very warm and windproof and should last a lifetime. That’s the thing, isn’t it–lasting? Because a vegan leather (what is that anyway? plastic?) coat that falls apart after four winters isn’t as sustainable as a shearling that goes for several decades. I have one that’s 20 years old and still looks good.

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  9. I appreciate that the French seem to dress up more often. And the best is to strut your best look at the market! Not all of it is my style but I just love that people care how they present to the world. I don’t think they would much appreciate the very casual (and often sloppy) look so popular here of yoga pants, hoody, and tennis shoes. I like the sophisticated palette of black but trying to inject more color in my life. And coats? Don’t get me started. Because my job keeps me out and about, coats become my professional dress so I have quite the assortment in many styles and colors which my husband just rolls his eyes at 😉

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    1. I think one reason I show more older women than younger ones is that the very young tend to wear the same thing–skinny jeans with sweatshirts or sweaters. Not very interesting. They are as cute as anything, but not because of what they’re wearing. They do wear scarves, from a young age.
      Coats last and if you get something classic enough they can last for decades. So if you get a new one every few years–hardly excessive–and keep the old ones, you can end up with quite a collection.

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  10. What a wonderful town Carcassonne is with it’s fabulous market, and stylish friendly locals. We were so fortunate to get a week of beautiful weather when we stayed in your Airbnb in December. It’s difficult to envision the Aude flooding the streets, yikes! We have lovely memories of pausing to watch the river flow beneath the Pont Neuf or Pont Vieux while walking up to Le Cité.

    Love your photos of people on the street. My fav is the young woman in the black leather jacket and white skirt. Oh, to be able to pull that look off! In the US, white is strictly for summertime so I love seeing it worn in France “off season”. And, it amuses me to see so many people in sneakers…flashy sneakers, plain bright white sneakers. Twenty years ago people in France would actually stare at my feet when I wore sneakers!

    Sigh…missing your weather…even with the rain!

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