It's hot in Paris. 90 degrees. No air conditioning. I closed my shutters all day. 7:30 pm. I have no more bread for breakfast tomorrow. I have to go to the bakery. I am in shorts with an open back t-shirt that Julianne left behind. I look like a 16-year-old....(I am slightly older!). Can I go out dressed like that? I am thinking... No women my age wear shorts. I am going to look like....not sure what. But it is way too hot! Then I decided: No way! I cannot go out in shorts in Paris. I pulled a jean's skirt and left the open-back t-shirt. That does not work either! I could not be bothered to change my T-shirt so I tucked it tight in my skirt so it would not open. I had a light bulb moment. THAT'S A REAL CULTURE SHOCK!!!!! I suddenly realized the culture or lifestyle difference between Paris and New York in the way women dress. 20 years spent in the U.S. and I never thought twice about going out in shorts. Saint Ambreaous, in the morning, the über snooty place in NY with the best cappuccino in town, has women sipping their cappuccinos in their exercise outfits, shorts, leggings, pajamas ...name it. In Paris, I will not even wear my leggings to buy my baguette!
Ok, Paris is the capital of fashion, and as a French woman, we have to live up to our reputation. Making an effort, thinking about what to wear, what works, trying to add a touch of originality to our outfit are things we mull over every morning. It's good for our self-esteem, and it's pleasing to the eyes. So fine, let's stick with no shorts!
Now, the other question is why did I think it was not age-appropriate? Now that I am passed my fifties, I have to think about hiding certain body parts? That's a downer. Depressing. It's true that dressing like a teenager does neither look elegant nor classy. Every age group has their do's and dont's. Every age group has their codes and style. When we dress, we have to think in terms of attitude, elegance, allure, style and we should not be trying hard to look like our daughters. That's a big NO!
But goodness gracious, do I miss the freedom to walk around in shorts!!!
xoxo from Paris.