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Eight Paris Essentials and Why You Need Them

Girls’ Guide to Paris, a fantastic online resource for fabulous things to do in Paris, helps to answer here every antsy traveler’s questions about packing for Paris. This article was also written by HiP Paris blogger friend Robin Locker, of My Mélange

Paris Rain Cafe Book UmbrellaMilena Mihaylova

Packing for any trip can be frustrating and daunting. But when you’re heading to the fashion capital of the world, the task can seem even more arduous. You know that Parisians are stylish and chic, so you want to do your best to fit in. But you also want to be comfortable, without toting around unnecessary stuff.

Most women I know spend hours mixing and matching outfits, piling every available piece of clothing on the bed until it disappears under a mound of fabric. And though there will always be two types of packers—those who believe in taking only a carry-on, and those who just can’t fathom the thought—there are some essentials any girl headed to Paris should bring along.

trench_umbrell dave bloomDave Bloom

Black. Lots of black. Black is classic and always in season, and it matches easily with almost every other color, which makes it perfect for layering. Dark clothes are flattering on all figures and hide wear and tear better than their counterparts, so they will be more forgiving if you splash some espresso on yourself. And every girl needs a little black dress for a nice evening out in the City of Light. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 20 Comments »

It’s True Because the French Say So: Rules To Live By

French people are born with an innate sense of how to thrive in their natural habitat. Dressing well, eating well and comporting themselves with general discretion are key elements in this survival strategy. But there is also a set of hard-and-fast rules that underlie the attitudes and behaviors of the population and provide crucial (albeit completely illogical) societal structure. When I was preparing to move to Paris two years ago, a friend warned me about these rules. To the outside observer, they sound like a collection of crazy Old Wives’ Tales, but to the French, they are serious business. If violated, they will probably lead to instant death… or worse.

French Women Scarves Paris A Cup Of Jo, Egor Gribanov

Note: The rules need not be substantiated by any kind of real factual research or tested logic. We don’t know why they’re true, but we know they are because they always have been. So stop asking questions.

1. Wear a scarf at all times. It’s no wonder that the French have multiple words for different kinds of neck adornments (écharpe, foulard, fichu, châle, etc). If you go outside without one, you will not only violate the rules of French fashion, but you will also risk your life. Your neck is fragile; protect it. Note: scarves cure not just the common cold, but nearly all known ailments.

2. Be suspicious of air-conditioning. It is unnatural and is to be avoided at all costs. Anyone who has suffered through a sweltering August night in a Parisian garret can attest to the fact that the French take this rule seriously. Some hotels provide an exception—tourists can be sacrificed—but your average French family steers clear. Better to overheat than to die of a mysterious AC-related affliction.

Paris Woman Street Girl’s Guide to Paris

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 33 Comments »

Meilleur Ami: The New Secret to Simple French Chic & French Scarves

how-to-put-on-scarf

Photos Fabrice Fortin for Paris By Appointment Only

Stylish, understated accessorizing—there are few things the French do better. Especially the men, and especially when it comes to their scarves. After a decade of careful observation I’m convinced that the entire French male population has been genetically perfected to give good scarf. Believe me, if I had a dollar for ever time a visiting American guy friend asked me to give him a French echarpe tutorial, I’d be a rich lady.

handsome-french-man

But the next time someone asks I’ll give my neck a rest and introduce Meilleur Ami instead. Launched in November 2008, Meilleur Ami is a new niche Paris-based men’s accessories brand whose name is its promise—to create designs that behave like best friends. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 1 Comment »