by Fiona McMurrey
Courtesy of the Tab.

It’s not that the French hate tourists, it’s just that when you’re surrounded by a plethora of historically important monuments, and are exploring an elegant city it’s necessary to look the part. For the French, dressing well is a sign of self-respect and respect for your surroundings so without further ado, here are few tips to help you make sartorially wise decisions for your next trip to France!

1) Never, under any circumstances, wear a red beret!

For the love of Kylian Mbappé and all things holy, please do not wear a beret, particularly a red one if it is not winter and if it is styled abhorrently, which is to say worn as a cultural tschotske or pseudo- signifier condensing the rich history of France into mass produced souvenirs produced in a sweatshop that will be forgotten the moment you get home. I am telling you this for your own safety, if you choose, heaven forbid, to wear a red beret you will be robbed and targeted by all pickpockets and Parisians who don’t always stop at crosswalks - consider yourself warned.

2) If you’re going to wear stripes, don’t recreate a stereotype!

We all love a good mariners, but not when paired with jeans, flats, a scarf, red beret, and a baguette, you will either get robbed the moment you Jardin du Mars to take a look at the Eiffel tower or the moment you leave your hotel or Airbnb. For a true French twist on the timeless classic, opt for a loose striped shirt then pair it with straight leg jeans, a belt, a black blazer, a tousled bed head, large sunglasses that say “vous m'emmerdes” to the world, and a pair of unique black boots, for a sense of cool French cohesion!

3) Do NOT dress like Emily in Paris!

It’s not that the French completely omit color from their wardrobes, but rather that the ways in which they choose to incorporate it are more strategic, subtle, and often in the form of accessories. Take for example a pair of ochre coloured, slightly visible, socks that match a small ochre coloured print on a blouse or a scarf, that also matches a pair of indigo slack and an olive green sweater.

4) Leave the Athlieusurewear at home!

In an article for the New York Times, the resident fashion editor of the publication, Vanessa Freidman, writes that the easiest way French people discern which tourists are American is by their rigorous commitment to wearing leggings outdoors and wearing activewear everywhere regardless of the place and the occasion. Leave the leggings at home and bring your favorite loose jeans, plain white t-shirts, button ups, blouses, and boots, sandals, or casual non-athletic sneakers and you’ll be on the right track!

5) Avoid Logomania!

Most French people do not wear tons of logos on every item of clothing in their outfit and in fact, it can be seen as bad taste to do so! A well tailored pant or blazer speaks volumes more about your knowledge of fashion than a belt with an enormous logo, or anything printed with a specific high-fashion brand.

6) Don’t neglect the unique parts of your personal style!

French style is all about highlighting what is important to you, especially if any of your pieces are inherited or lovingly passed down from your parents, grandparents, or from so far back in the family that no one alive can remember!