Monday, May 04, 2009

Chaussures à Paris

JB and I are headed to France in a couple of weeks with his family. We've got all the main stuff (hotel, tickets) booked and now I get to worry about the most important part:

What do I wear?

For some reason I'd assumed late May in France would be warmish (it'll probably be in the 80s or 90s here in Alabama) but several Web sites said the average is 57 F. What the heck. That is cold.

So I'm putting it to you guys. Have you ever been to France (or somewhere nearby) in the spring? What would you recommend packing? We'll be in Paris mostly, but we're taking a detour to Provence for a couple of days. I've never been to Western Europe and am not sure what to expect.

Intellectually, I understand that nobody on the street will care how I'm dressed. But emotionally, I NEED to look cute. And comfortable. But especially cute. I got these comfy flats in my favorite color a couple of weeks ago:

I'd also read at Cup of Jo and a few other places that Parisians love Chuck Taylors. It's weird because those are like the most American shoe ever. But they solve the problem of what to wear that's super-comfortable to walk in but will go chicly with lots of stuff. I wanted these sooooo badly:

They're a special edition by artist Camilla Engman and used to be on sale at for $30. But after scouring the internets I could only find them in men's size 13. And some on ebay in women's 5 1/2. Not helpful, as I wear a 9.

But I found these:

...and got them on sale with a fab coupon (google search) and free shipping here. They came in the mail Friday and are a lovely lavender color in real life. But I pulled them out of the box and...surely my feet aren't THAT big? Apparently the company sent a Men's 9/Women's 11 instead of a Women's 9/Men's 11. So I hope the correct size comes quickly and that the correct pair aren't as boat-like.

Meanwhile, JB and I got French phrasebooks (we both had a few years of high school French that we barely remember). We entertained ourselves in Barnes & Noble for at least 30 minutes telling each other stuff like "I would like chicken" and "To the cathedral!"

The best phrase, hands-down, was in my book: "I think there is something wrong with the brakes." I hope I don't have to use that one because by the time I looked it up and tried to pronounce it, we'd probably be dead.

I'd be grateful for any suggestions of good restaurants, shops, etc., as well as clothing tips.


Dominique said...

It's not cold cold in Western Europe in spring, but light layers and sweats aren't a bad idea.

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

French fries, french toast and french kissing are about as close to France as I have gotten. I guess that would be a 'no.'

Melissa said...

I love the shoes...yellow greatness!

Justus M. Bowman said...

Dad: I don't know what you should wear, other than clothes. Just be yourself.

Anna: Gee, thanks, dad!

Mom: Now, Anna...your father's right. High school is a big step, but you can't let other kids live your life for you.

cerrissa said...

the chucks will be perfect! i got a light pink pair in the fall that i wear non-stop.(i normally wear a size 8.5-9 and had to get size 8 for them to fit) other than that lots of black if you want to blend in. i personally love to wear mime stripes and a beret in paris ;) definently layer! leggings with a dress will be perfect with your new yellow flats :)

Anna Claire said...

Justus- lol. Everyone needs something unimportant to obsess over. Many men obsess over baseball stats or spring recruitment or cars. I choose to obsess over shoes.

Cerrissa- so glad you think so! I got a striped t-shirt a month ago at Gap and have been wearing it nonstop with a yellow scarf. I thought I looked very French but Diana said I looked kind of like a sailor...oh well.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Hi Anna! I was in France the first two weeks of June and yes, Paris was a bit chilly, especially in the evenings. I was glad I had brought a sweater and a light jacket with me on the trip. We also went out to Normandy beach and it was windy. Mont-Saint Michel, a monastery on the northern coast was windy and cold, too.

But in Southern France it was warm and very nice. Short sleeved tops, no jackets. People were on the beaches, but it was not hot by any means.

Hope this helps! Have a blast - France was spectacular!!!

Other advice: Say "Bonjour" every time you enter a store or cafe. That is expected and the norm there. Don't be afraid to speak French, even a little if you can, when ordering, etc. They will appreciate it and be much friendlier to you. Speaking our little bit of French with people was one of our favorite parts of our trip. ;-D

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Forgot to add . . . the women there do not wear sneakers. They wear flats and heels. I wore sneakers because I was walking so much, but it's obvious who the Americans are by our dress. They won't hold that against you though, unless you're not friendly and polite by saying hello when you enter a store and making eye contact with the shop owner. (We don't usually do that here.)

Another very important phrase to learn/know/use: "je voudrais" which means "I would like". You use it when ordering or buying anything! Then if you know how to basically pronounce things you can just use the menu or the signs posted by the food in the deli, etc. and add what you want to "je voudrais". For instance, "Je voudrais un limon" "Je voudrais une beignet" and "Merci!"


cerrissa said...

Comme une tres chouette sailor francaise !!

how's that for a dose of bad franglais for your day...really stinky cheese bad. hehe :)

Sarah said...

My sis is in Paris as we speak and she has told me that it's very chilly and has rained/showered nearly every day. She also said that the fashion is alot like the states, but it's quite disturbing that oftentimes the boys are skinnier than the girls : ) She'll only be there til this weekend (until the big move, of course) but she checks her email and facebook often, so I'm sure she could give you lots more advice!