February 13, 2010
I gave up long ago on the idea that I might ever effectively emulate the effortless chic of your average parisienne. It’s an innate sense of style that one is either born with or without, and it has become abundantly clear who has it (most Parisian women) and who doesn’t (me). I’m OK with this. But upon moving to Paris, I made a shocking discovery: not only do I look like a hobo compared to Parisian women, but also compared to their impeccably dressed children. This was a harder pill to swallow.
But it’s undeniable; there is a significantly shorter—but equally intimidating—set of fashionistas roaming the streets of Paris, and they put me in my place (style-wise) on a daily basis. This realization initially sunk in one day when I found myself on a bench in the Tuileries next to a 4-year-old girl who was clearly way cooler than I will ever be. I was immediately overcome with “outfit envy.” It’s the same way I feel about the girl in the photo above. Every last detail—from the classic trench, to the trendy nautical striped shirt, to the perfect ballet flats and the playfully rolled cuffs—is absolutely spot-on and leaves me shuddering as I remember myself at age five: decked out in OshKosh B’Gosh overalls, fluorescent-colored stirrup leggings, L.L. Bean turtlenecks, and poofy hair scrunchies. On really fashion-forward days, I would rock the almighty slap bracelet. To make matters worse, I usually had peanut butter in my hair and magic marker all over my face. My look was indeed effortless, but it was far from chic.
Now, surrounded by these dapper young ones, I can only gawk in amazement and resolve to dress my own future children in head-to-toe Bonpoint. It’s not fair, and it never will be. Parisians—mini and full-sized alike—just do it better.
Written by Tory Hoen
After attending Brown University and spending two years in New York, Tory bought a one-way ticket to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a writer (and of drinking wine at lunch). During her time in the City of Light, she chronicled the euphoric highs and the laughable lows of ex-pat life on her blog, A Moveable Beast. Though she's now based in New York, she travels frequently to Montreal and Brazil, and she'll use just about any excuse to jet to Paris ("I ran out of fleur de sel"). A regular contributor to Hip Paris, Tory also writes for New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and she is a co-author of Gradspot.com's Guide To Life After College.
Website: Tory Hoen