Before everybody bundles up in winter gear, here are a few final fashionable moments from this fall.
The woman at the top has it all: Mustard. Orange. Leopard. Rolled cuffs. Great glasses. Great hair. You can’t really make it out, but her bag was orange with a narrow turquoise-green strap, picking up on the turquoise in her shirt. This one is the opposite: monochrome from head to toe. I cut off her also awesome hair (simple bob) but even her graying blonde color went with her clothes and looked good.More mustard. Two examples of what to wear for Saturday shopping. I like to think their choices reflect their personalities. I love the flowing duster but I’m not much of a flowing kind of person. Much more of a blazer type. How about you?Speaking of flowing, lots of long dresses worn with sneakers. Love it. Same day, not that long ago! It was warm! I love that she went for bold color. You can’t really tell but she had great posture and moved fast through the crowd.Another long dress, this one with impractical boots. The skirt was tiered and very big when the wind took it, but otherwise made of a material that hung straight down. Interesting.I love the straight business skirt worn with sneakers.This is a lousy photo but it was to show the little details: a canvas bag with a cool rope handle, the shirt cuffs folded over the sweater.
One thing I’m seeing in shop windows but not so much on the street are high-waisted pants, especially dressy wool pants. Shown with shirts or sweaters tucked in. I like it.
The fashion sightings are getting harder as we move into the rainy season. Folks are covered up and it’s hard to take pictures while holding an umbrella. Although I have to say that even if it’s raining, don’t forget your sunglasses. Sometimes you need them AND the umbrella at the same time. Crazy. When I lived in Brussels it was the opposite: even if the sun was out, it would be only momentary and you’d better have an umbrella ready.
Are you colorful or neutral? Bohemian or business?
Before the weather changes too much–and it’s very summery here today–here are the street style photos I’ve gathered over the past two months.
Some “trends” include white dresses, like the one above. Though a printed sheath dress like her friend’s, with flat sandals, is very popular as well. And note the two girls on the left with their short skirts, tucked-in tees and white tennis shoes–another look among the younger set.
Metallic accents are everywhere. In the top photo, the woman in white has metallic accents on her bag and sandals. The dress below has gold leaves all over it. I saw so many women in versions of this dress, some long, some very short, some, like this one, short in front and long in back. There was a woman at the market in a long, Greek goddess version of it, and she walked as regally as the dress deserved (and disappeared into the crowd before I got my phone out).
The woman was so crisp on a hot day. Slick chignon. somewhat structured straw bag, perfectly pressed dress and ramrod posture. She brings me to another trend: crisp and tailored.
While we’re on people doing their own thing, here are a few more. I admire their confidence.
Color is another trend, especially red.
Which brings us to white pants. If the fabric is lightweight cotton or linen, they are worn loose.And if they’re denim they can be more form-fitting.While not a trend, per se, these women managed to look cool despite the heat. Loose dresses rule!Which looks appeal to you? Are you wearing similar styles?
French men seem as keen about fashion as French women are. Here’s a look at a few trends I spotted.
French men wear scarves. Granted, not so much in July and August, although I have seen some guys with crinkled cotton knotted loosely about their necks. In cooler seasons, the gigantic cashmere scarf wrapped multiple times is as common on men as it is on women.
The biggest trend is with the pants. The young ones are going for a very lean silhouette with what’s called “carrot” pants that are a little big on top and that taper to a tight ankle. And then they either crop them or wear them rolled up. With white socks.
Color is another trend. BRIGHT color. Be bold! Be not afraid to mix! Dare to match your shoes and pants!They manage to look good even while biking.A jacket even in hot weather. I thought this guy was so dignified, and his assistant was so attentive.Do you see the same trends where you are? What of these rolled-up carrot pants? And the wild colors?
What do French women wear when the weather turns warm? Long and flowing, short and sporty, or just trim and no-nonsense seem to be the major trends I spotted recently. And they aren’t afraid of color, even though black and white maintain a strong presence.
The dress on the right above was striking, even without the over-the-top coiffure and the dressed-to-be-noticed friend in white and yellow. There were lots of long skirts that caught the breeze.
Tops and pants (usually one or the other) also were billowy.
Black and white are popular.
Sneakers reign, including with dresses. My aching feet celebrate this.
Lots of colors, especially red, yellow and mustard.
Florals seem to be popular, especially on pants (like the white and blue ones earlier). Especially large prints on black.
The ones below have that je ne sais quoi easy chic I associate with French style. Absolutely nothing special, nothing to grab attention. Understated. But thought-out, neat, just so, without crossing the line into too much.
Anything here that you would wear (or are)? Are you seeing the same trends? It fascinates me that despite global chains like H&M and Zara, everybody does style a little differently.
Before the weather changes too much–it was downright hot yesterday–and these photos make everybody uncomfortable, I needed to give a nod to the stylish people I’ve encountered.
At least some of them. It isn’t easy to take photos! I always have other stuff in my hands and have to search for my phone (at least now I have a phone that takes photos. New for me. Such a convenience!). And my targets are on the move, sometimes very speedy. Plus there are lots of other people getting in the way. I tip my hat to those who manage to take good street style shots.
As you can see in the first photo, low boots, not too bulky, with cropped or cuffed pants are popular. I also have seen a number of young women with cropped pants that are more flowy, wearing high socks that match their shoes (for example, wide black pants with red socks and red shoes). Not a look I would adopt, but if you’re a daring type…
Similarly, I see lots of people–men and women–matching their pants and shoes. These are just the two shots I got, but I have seen more red pants/red shoes combos than I can count. Even mustard pants with mustard Pumas. Olive green is everywhere, as I noted previously. This lovely lady was entirely dressed in sage. I have seen so many others; one who impressed me wore olive from head to toe, and her olive boots had a metallic sheen. I’ve seen other monochrome outfits as well, such as a woman in a silvery gray, with silver boots. This has always been a chic choice when done in black, but it’s in other colors, too. A French style tip that anybody can pull off anywhere–dress completely in one color. Matchy-matchy is back.This lady was dressed to travel. I blurred her face. Note her simple-yet-a-statement necklace and pretty earrings. Her red jacket was fitted and matched her suitcase. The jewelry and jacket make her look dressy despite jeans and (red) ballerinas. And she had an excellent haircut. She had a little makeup on–neither “made up” nor bare-faced. Just soignée–well-maintained.I’m not artsy or bohemian enough for this look, but kudos to her for mixing a leopard coat with an Indian bag. And her boots have embroidery. I bet she is interesting.Sorry about the awful photo, but it’s to show pants I see all over: self-tie, rolled cuffs, high/natural waist. With or without the cargo pockets, but in light, silky fabrics, not the usual twill.With the weather changing, I’ll be hunting for summer looks, and I’m still gathering men’s pics. Anything here that you would wear? Do you see the same trends where you are?
Before the weather changes too much, I want to share the street-style photos I’ve been collecting. Usually I am doing something else–I’m no Bill Cunningham, who spent hours at the corner of 57th and Fifth, snapping fashionable Manhattanites on their way to work and inventing street-style photography. So my hands are full, my phone in my bag, and I have to fish it out, open the camera (a feat in itself with bifocals) and try to catch up with my prey, often while pulling a shopping caddy and navigating market throngs.
So it takes me a while to get a collection of photos. These have been collected since January, which accounts for the climatic range.
What catches my eye are people with flair. Or personality. It’s a high bar here, because nearly everybody dresses up to go to the market or to go shopping in town. Carcassonne is far from France’s fashion epicenter, yet I appreciate that people make an effort. I’m not interested in fashionistas wearing the latest off the runway. Or young models or those who could be, who look good no matter what they put on. I like seeing real people with style.
My visiting cousin remarked on it–the contrast with farmers markets in a big U.S. city, where everybody looks like they just took a break from weeding the tomatoes to pop by the market and sell or buy some produce. It’s beyond casual to the borderline of grungy. My cousin was surprised to see a vegetable vendor here with perfectly manicured, painted nails.
This lady seemed to part the crowds as she walked through the market. She had perfect posture and walked with purpose. I asked to take her photo and she agreed, saying that often happens. We chatted a while and she told me her age–78!!!!! I have seen her since at the market, recognizing her sans chapeau thanks to her shopping caddy. She is always striding like Shelley Hack in the Charlie perfume ads (speaking of which, OMG somebody has a blog just about that!). I was with a friend once when I saw her–too far to catch up. She had a great haircut (of course) and was wearing jeans with boots and a fur vest. My friend sniffed and said something about another 40-something woman trying to look like she’s 30. I informed her that this woman was nearly double that age. That changed everything. Goals.I don’t know how old this lady is, but her hair also was impeccable. And despite walking with a cane, she had rod-ram-straight posture. Also, you can’t really see it, but she was wearing a cleverly tied scarf.
Note the couple on the left in the same photo, with matching sweaters. I should do a post on couples’ style. I very often see couples with coordinating outfits. Do they plan it, or does one see the other putting on, say, a mustard-colored sweater and then decide, hey, I’ll wear my mustard-colored jeans, to cite an example I spied on Saturday.
So much to note here. Cute straw bag. Both have sharp haircuts. Both wearing scarves–cotton for spring–and hers matches his shirt. She has on patterned tights. That leads me to another tangent: tights. Especially now that the weather is mild, but bare legs would be too much, colorful and/or patterned tights are everywhere.
Let’s go back to my favorite demographic: the older women who will not be invisible. Women get either ogled or ignored when they’re young, and then just ignored. I love seeing the ones who make staff spring to attention to serve them. It doesn’t depend on beauty or being tall or thin. It does seem to depend on walking into everyplace as if you owned it, like the woman below.This lady was so straight, considering she had a walker. She wore leather gloves, and when she sat down for a coffee on the terrace near me, I saw her perfectly manicured nails matched her hat. A friend of hers walked by and greeted her with the bise. Both wore dangling earrings.
This woman has my admiration for going to the market on a bike! While wearing a skirt! Note that in the photo on the right, her coat and bag match. And on the day on the right, it was raining. I want to get to know her.
Some colors are clearly trending. Red is big. Red with black. Red with gray. Red with red.
Olive, sage, hedge green, whatever you want to call it, is big. I saw three women–and three men (not with the women)–in three days completely dressed in olive.
And camel is still going strong, a good color to bridge winter to spring to summer.Did any of these strike your fancy? Are you seeing similar trends?
French men wear berets. They wear other headgear, too, but berets are right up there. Red or black. Some great, big ones, in the Basque style. Worn completely, whole-heartedly straight-faced, mostly by older men. They are not trying to pull off a look. They are not being ironic or kitsch or retro. They are just putting something on their heads because they always have done that when they go out, especially in winter, and the thing they have in the closet is a beret. Because they are French.
I love it.
In an era of H&M and Zara and Levis and everybody around the world wearing the same things, it is great to have a few people who wear some tradition item just because they like it, or because they’ve always done it (tradition), and not because it’s some kind of costume.
That said, the styles of hats seems to have proliferated lately. Another very popular version–even more popular than the beret–is the closely related newsboy/golfer/driving cap, which looks a lot like a beret that is pulled forward, but unlike a beret, which is shaped like a crêpe and can be pulled or puffed to different looks, the cap actually has a defined shape: it rises straight up from the back of the head, then slopes down to the forehead. It may or may not include a bill.
Other men opted for felt hats with brims. Smaller trilby styles to broader-brimmed fedoras. What I didn’t see many of? Baseball caps. At least not in winter.
French women also strutted an array of headgear.
Do you wear hats? Which style? I admit to having two berets, but I don’t wear them as much as I used to. Both black, bought in France. They are easy to slip into my bag in case I get cold and can be pulled down over my ears if necessary. Plus they don’t smash or electrify my hair the way a knit cap (called a bonnet) does.For more about French chapeaux, check out FranceSays.
How I love the fashion trend of flat shoes. And they are everywhere, on women of all ages. I started really paying attention, and I spotted some trends, at least among the fashionable women around here in the south of France.
Lace-up oxfords are popular. My podiatrist told me that lace-up shoes are good because they hold your foot and adjust to the width, whereas slip-ons can slide around. (The fact that I had a podiatrist explains my enthusiasm for flat shoes, eh?) Don’t you love the ones in the top photo? Not loud but not quiet either. Interesting. The woman told me they were extremely comfortable and advised looking for the handstitching around the sole as a sign of quality.That said, simple low Chelsea boots were ubiquitous. Also, note the cuffs. Slim pants or jeans, either cropped or cuffed.
Shoes should shine. No scuffs! When I lived in Africa, my students would shine their shoes daily; in fact they were always impeccable in their uniforms. People today are so sloppy. They have so much and take care of so little. I like how so many French iron their clothes and shine their shoes.Shiny shoes can mean patent leather. Not just for summer anymore. You can even wear them in the rain.
Otherwise, black shoes don’t have to be plain Janes. I loved the black-on-black paisley on these.
I spotted bows, especially at the back of the ankle, on several women. And lots of stud details.The athleisure look is everywhere, too. Plenty of women were wearing outright running shoes, but there were also lots of comfortable-but-not-great-for-sports Chuck Taylors and Stan Smiths. On the main pedestrian shopping street, a shoe store that used to sell dressy heels (escarpins) now is called La Toile (the Canvas–like canvas tennis shoes) and sells athleisure shoes for men and women. Not a heel in sight.
Even the models in the windows of dress shops are sporting flats.There also were lots of flat-heeled high boots, but I didn’t get good shots. I think I saw two women in all in relatively high heels, similar to the ones above. Certainly no stilettos. And as for heels, make them count.All that said, not everybody here is making an effort to live up to the French stereotype of high fashion. It’s quite typical to spy retirees going out to the boulangerie for their daily baguette wearing plaid flannel bedroom slippers. And sometimes they wear them other places, too.Are heels finally dead? I hope so.