Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Style Consciousness When Traveling Abroad

Closet Content Analysis: What is it to adopt another style?

Choices: Feel confident in your body and your clothing choices!

Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.
- Epictetus

The key to style is to be self-confident in all that you wear. This was my "ah-ha" and although I have read it elsewhere before, it rang true more so than ever when my future sister-in-law emailed me about her upcoming trip to France to visit my husband and me.
I was reading your blog about what to wear in France, etc. . . . I'm glad you put your blog together . . .  There are probably lots of people (like me) who read it but don't necessarily post comments. . . . I'm trying to determine what clothes to pack. I want to look "Frenchtastic" but be comfortable. Should I buy some skirts/dresses, or am I ok in shorts? I have two scarves that came from France (one from Linda and one from you [Thank you for my b'day gift.]) I'm not sure how to wear them or what to wear them with in late June in France. Should I bring them with me? . . . Despite your advice that I will look like a tourist, I intend to bring my running shoes.  :)
My response was:
I would not wear shorts in Paris, but you will be in the country (our town is country living) and of course the "American" way of dressing is quite fine here. Really most of what I have posted applies to the cities more than to the country. Although running shoes are still for runners, walkers and hikers and not so much for just walking about. I go for walks in my runners and wear loafers to walk otherwise.
Bring the scarves, or don't, and plan to buy some here. I do not yet do the scarf thing but I say to myself each week, "I must start wearing scarves"; yet as you see by the titles of the . . . two (previous) posts (on traveling to Europe), it is first important to be comfortable in your own clothes. We are more universal now than we ever have been because of the internet. Of course, we all look like tourists. After being here for six months each year, I just have to open my mouth and they know I am a foreigner. 
I don't know why we are so pre-occupied with looking local? . . . There are two things to remember: it is the summer and everyone is more casual; it is the country and everyone is more casual - feel comfortable in your own clothes! 
Three generations of women - are they tourists or locals? I have no idea. They do look comfortable at the Saturday morning market in Ste. Foy La Grande. Photo by JoyD, August, 2012.

So my advice really is to accept your clothing choices and to observe that we are not so different after all. It seems ridiculous to buy a new wardrobe of clothing that you may never wear again for a trip where you will feel uncomfortable.

Yet, for centuries women from other places have wanted to look French, or more specifically Parisienne. Many women have shared that they are nervous about looking too foreign.

I found the following on a New York Times post, This is What Parisienne Looks Like . . . 
It's the fantasy of the entire world of women, even French women, to be the perfect Parisienne," said Bertrand de Saint-Vincent, the society columnist for Le Figaro and author of Tout Paris, a volume of essays on the Parisian glitterati, their style, their parties, their foibles.
When someone writes "it is the fantasy of the entire world of women", I think: Really? I can't imagine - "an entire world of women"?

Even though I spend some effort in maintaining this blog on clothing, I agree that . . . 

Of all the things that you wear, your expression is the most important.
- Janet Lane

Visit the following for previous posts on style:
What is it to be Chic?
The Way we Dress: What is Chic?
A Style Philosophy

Or visit the following for previous posts on travel and dress:
Traveling Europe: Clothing Observations
What to Wear When Flying for 2 Days
Packing for a Two Week Visit in Europe
Business & Tourist Travel Wardrobes


  1. Thank you so much for posting a lot of this good info! Looking forward to checking out more.


    1. You are most welcome. It is with pleasure that I post my observations, which may or may not be re-directed as advice.


Your comments inspire me and so I read them in gratitude and reply with delight. Thank you.