I’m taking a few minutes here and there to go back through my pictures of the trip I took this spring to Paris and Greece. It’s a fun way to bring back memories. My daughter Avia and I would sit at a street cafe and I, at least, loved to watch people walk by. We were in a lot of tourist areas and I thought for sure I’d see a stark difference between the well dressed french and the scruffy americans but that wasn’t the case. I’d mark someone in tennis shoes and a baseball cap as a tourist and then hear them speak the fluid native tongue. Although, men in checked pants, bare ankles, and a suit jacket were always very French. And if there was facial hair it was pretty much always impeccably groomed.
I have a question. Do you obsess about what to wear when you travel, especially abroad? Not like I have vast experience with traveling abroad. I’ve always loved clothes and also LOVE to travel as light as possible. And I’ve alway read about how the French are impeccably dressed and groomed. So I spent ages of brain time figuring out what to wear.
I was in a border town for half a day many many years ago when I traveled around Germany on my own right after college. I think it was Strasbourg? The town literally straddled the border so half was French and half was German. I distinctly remember that on the german side the people were rather un-groomed and often slightly unwashed but the environment was impeccable. Buildings, windows, streets – all scrubbed clean and a box full of flowers in every window.
Just over the border on the French side the environment was positively grungy with dirty buildings, cigarette butts everywhere on the ground – and dog poop. But the people looked like they all had stepped out of a fashion magazine, and they smelled like perfume. No practical shoes anywhere.
Funny but I didn’t notice the women being any different from American women in any large city on this trip. The men were definitely better groomed and seemed more free to wear color. I like the groomed look – guess I’m not a fan of the current american shaggy beard look.
The picture that got away? A picture of a very well dressed couple walking down the street holding hands. Very upscale business casual. She was in a very nice spring dress and heels with a fancy handbag and jewelry. He was in a button down, tie, dress shoes and socks…. and a straight denim miniskirt.
Again – I love places where people freely where whatever they darn well please!