Fashion in Paris: Autumn Edition
Aoife Grimes McTavish
Friday, 25 November 2022
Aoife gives her guide to dressing Parisian while maintaining your own sense of style as we prepare for Paris fashion week in February.
When discussing fashion in Paris, it is important to emphasise that everything I write is based both on my love and fascination with fashion, and observations I have made when walking around the city. Where dopamine dressing and bright patterns and cuts have increased in popularity in London, monotone colours, immaculate tailoring and the use of different textures and layers to add weight to one’s dress have remained popular in Paris. There is no shortage of fashion week models walking around in trendy low-rise Diesel skirts and knee-high black boots, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Most Parisians opt for something that prioritises both comfort and style; take your basic turtleneck and trench coat, then coordinate your colours. Clogs, too, a returning 1970s and 80s trend, are frequently worn by the city’s “it girls”.
It is less common to see people sporting athleisure clothing when walking around Paris. Many tourists prefer leggings for comfort, but often, these can look too casual. If you want to blend in but stay cosy, try instead tailored trousers from Uniqlo, Arket or from one of the wealth of vintage clothing shops around Paris. For brands that prioritise inclusivity and sustainability, you might consider: Kotn, People Tree or best of all: download French Vinted. For a smarter look, consider a button-up shirt with well-cut jeans, accessorising as you please.
Whether you are prioritising comfort by wearing two sizes up or going for the perfect tailored fit, the Parisian style has a lot to offer you. An appreciation for the harmony and cohesion of the city’s architecture, its way of life and culture is all reflected in the fashion. Many will reflect their personality in small and expensive signature pieces, for example, jewellery from Les Néréides or Louise Damas. Colourful hats and scarves were also a welcome addition, with many sold in stores, such as Carhartt, American Vintage and pricier independent Parisian-based venues. Combining signature accessories with neutral or toned-down colours and tailoring, allows Parisians to maintain a wonderful air of sophistication.
Moving into autumn, proper layering is a must. For example, leather jackets are ideal, and there is no need to buy them new. The vintage, rustic look can add a lot to the aesthetic. Stolen from the runway model look, black boots are also popular and can be worn with knee-high socks for a pop of colour. A good jumper or fleece, paired with a scarf for texture and colour can help create a sophisticated, confident look.
With Paris fashion week fast approaching, the city is moving fast to transform itself into an avant-garde runway. This is an exciting time to walk around, for the conservative nature of Parisian dress will be thrown out the window. You will see bright colours, hand-tailored garments and exclusive designer pieces sported throughout the city.
Although Paris certainly has its own inimitable style, self-expression and identity should always remain the top priority. Queer fashion, gender identity and cultural garments should be celebrated, rather than put aside for the sake of blending in. Ultimately, Parisian fashion is about expressing personality, while at the same time being in cohesion with the city’s aesthetic qualities. Taking advantage of the quality, cut and style of French clothing, whilst also rejoicing in showing your personality and identity is the best way to dress with Parisian style.