Thursday, June 6, 2013

Anything Goes

I know I spend too much getting ready each morning and agonizing about how to dress for Paris.  I have spent the better part of the last ten years trying to Frenchify myself and imitate Parisian style.  Last year I even changed my signature platinum blonde hair colour to a rich brown in an effort to look less North American.

Most days here I blend in well with my beaten up Longchamp, skinny jeans, plain t-shirt and a scarf draped around my neck.  I know some of Paris' subtleties - how to cross the street against the light and that you don't pay with a 20 euros bill at the patisserie - and I have mastered my Frenchy Bitchface so I rarely get bothered.

Yesterday I didn't want to squeeze myself into my skinny jeans again which is why I ended up under the unflattering lights of the H&M change room on the Champs.  All I did was sweat and spin in a tiny circle analyzing every visible piece of my flesh for cellulite and jiggles.  I didn't buy anything.

This morning I sat sipping my café crème near the École Militaire métro station exit and watched as dozens of beautiful women, all ages and shapes, strutted past in their Thursday morning best.  Flat black boots joined with fishnet stockings and short faded denim shorts; a tiny floral sundress with gladiator sandals; a beautifully cut dark navy blue blazer paired with a jet black, skin tight pencil skirt and classic black patent leather pumps; and studded Uggs and a short flouncy polka dot skirt.  I caught glimpses of cellulite, chipped pedicures, ripe zits and yellow teeth.  Most everyone was wearing a scarf. 

A large part of what makes Parisian women so stylish is their confidence and I can't buy that even at the most exclusive French boutique.

I visited Montmatre today and was disappointed to see a brand new Starbucks in Place du Tertre.  I was even more disappointed to see a tourist carrying a Venti coffee and hunk of stale banana bread over the threshold of Sacre Coeur.

View from Sacre Coeur
I want to appreciate Montmatre so plan to visit again at least once on this trip.  I feel that for every local and for every awestruck tourist there is some random guy trying to sell me something I don't need or trick me with a scam.  When I visited the first time in 2003, I was "attacked" by a man with a friendship bracelet and the mistake cost me 15 euros which was my then daily food budget. Clearly I am still angry. 

Sacre Coeur carousel
A tiny bit of shopping today at the lovely Princesse Tam-Tam.  Some of my necessities were worn out and needed updating.  Dishwater grey is not an appealing colour for women's underwear!

Paris cats...

Even though I delight in watching the Paris dogs enjoy full access to the city I am truthfully more of a cat person.  I usually come across strays throughout Paris and today I discovered some in a park near Sacre Coeur.

Do you see le petit chat?  Bonjour!


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