Friday, July 22, 2011

How to Dress in France

If you want to look French, it helps to have a little fluffy dog. Bonus points if he knows how to play checkers.
           If you have ever lived abroad or spent some time in another country, then you've probably faced the rather dismaying experience of walking into a store, restaurant, or some such public forum, and then having someone speak to you in English, before you even open your mouth. Sometimes it may be to patronizingly offer directions (in your native tongue, which is intended to only deepen the burn), and other times it may be an attempt to be helpful so that the Poor Tourist doesn't have to slaughter the subtle French "r" sound, which sounds like instant sexiness when a French person does it, but rather like gurgling mouthwash when Americans try. Perhaps before you were greeted, you were about to start speaking in French. Perhaps you live in that town. Perhaps your French is even better than the heavily-accented English you were just assaulted with. Yet despite any linguistic skills you may possess, you cannot help but reach the conclusion that storekeepers and servers across the nation are still able to identify you instantly as Most Definitely Not French. 

           "How?!" you may be asking yourself. "Is it something about me? Is it how I look? How I dress?"

           Yes. Yes it is. 

American fashion.
French fashion.

How to Tell if You Are Dressed Appropriately in France: 
Answer  honestly to get an effective evaluation of your wardrobe.

1) Are you comfortable? The correct answer should be "no." End of quiz. 

          If the answer is "yes," try again. Put on some higher shoes, some tighter leather leggings, some more scarves to get tangled in your shoulder bag, and cinch that belt a few more notches around the small of your waist. If you are unable to breathe or walk, you probably look French. If you are unable to eat, this is considered an extreme bonus. Your thighs should be looking more French within the month. For bonus French cred, spritz some eau de cigarette smoke and try to look bored and faintly hostile towards other women.


  1. This is great. I just failed the quiz. I've been walking around Lille in my rainbows (horror of horrors)!

  2. I'm rolling on the floor laughing! I've never been to the US but considering the shock I had when I started to live in the UK, I guess you're not that far from the truth... ;-)

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