There's nothing like walking down the Champs Elysees and seeing hoards of French teenagers posing with side pony tails, acid washed jeans, spikey little boots, jelly bracelets, and long belted sweaters to make you feel like you're really REALLY old. After shaving one side of my head like Cindy Lauper in the "Time After Time" video, I had hoped that I would never be faced with these atrocities again. Granted the 80's has been worming it's way back into U.S. mainstream wardrobes for awhile– and I must admit I love the music–but when you come to Paris it's on a whole different level.
Think "Breakfast Club" with a twist of bohemia and a little hint of goth. Washing hair and blowdrying it is definately last year's ish. Just drape it across one shoulder in a semi-side-ponytail. If the acid wash thing doesn't float your boat then try a long skirt with a big belt–et voila! Forget the strappy little purses and go big and hippyish. Heavy under eye make-up and lots of mascara. Basically your ensemble should look like you ran through your wardrobe and came out wearing whatever stuck.
Colors for fall are muted thankfully, because if the 80's dayglow look hits the "Champs" then I definately have to get outa here. Browns, dark teal, purple, some cream. Black is always classic–thankfully. Spring and summer colors are way out (ah oui!, c'est vrai) and anyone caught wearing pastel or white is automatically put into the tourist category. Velvets are "in" for both guys and girls. There's almost a little touch of romantic/goth in the fall air. Everything is dark and seductive with a soft glow.
Ways to achieve the Paris look at any age and must-have's:
1. Tuck the tightest pair of jeans you have into your boots.
2. Stripped shirts
3. Big Belts
4. Big earings
5. Anything off to one shoulder (but you know this already)
6. Layered tops belted.
7. Vaurnets anyone?
8. Long necklaces and tons of black jelly bracelets–You MUST accessorize
9. Wash hair every 2nd to 3rd day
10. Blazers (jackets) over everything–for guys too, this is a must.
11. Something velvet, preferably a coat
12. Something in your ensemble must be designer.
13. Converse shoes
Of simply get out that old box stuffed in the garage with clothes you thought you might pass down or donate to the local high school theater. Ca c'est parfait!