How delightful to open my email yesterday and receive this…
” I’ve been reading your blog for a while and am so happy for your new baby coming and your farmhouse, ahem, adventures. I’m curious about your opinion on something. If you were going to Paris and Vienna for a week with a 4 mo old constantly at the breast nursing and a 3 yr old, and could only take one carry on bag for your own clothes, what would you pack? And what pair of shoes would you take? Leaving on Thursday, a little nervous and even more so stumped.
Oh goody goody gumdrops! This was SO exciting! First of all, I am a nerd – having not been to France in a DECADE and knowing, sadly, (OH SO SADLY) that it could be another decade before I get to go again -well- I live thru other’s trips and love to get my sticky fingers involved any way I can. It doesn’t get much for more fun than telling someone what they might wear while there.
Now, since it’s been a decade I really have no idea what is being worn on the streets of Paris. When I pack I pack to suit my own fashion personality (a classic with dramatic tendencies) and I leave some extra space to make some purchases that might make me feel that feeling of being… one of them.
I WANT this book!
So. If I were you Tana… here’s what I am thinking. First, at this stage in your life – it’s got to be practical. And for practicality I went with button up blouses. Much easier, in my opinion to undo a couple button and whip out (discreetly of course) a boob than to lift up a buttonless shirt and expose that muffin top that most of us still carry with a baby your babies age. I would rather flash a boob than muffin top any day of the week.
Especially in Paris.
Did I just say that?
Here is the board I put together for you…
In my past observations I have noticed les Parisiennes are either very trendy or very classic. I LOVE a classic look (my sister in law is probably rolling her eyes – she knows what a junkie I am for the classic look) and figure you simply can’t go wrong with a smart, structured, pulled together look.
One of my all time, favorite go–to outfits is a pressed, white blouse, a trouser-like pair of jeans, killer belt and high heals. Being Spring – I would wear a bright colored trench and carry a killer bag. Big enough for diapers and maybe even a change of shoes.
I have the flattest feet in the world so in Paris I reserve the heal wearing for the evenings where I am walking a block or two to go out for dinner. Otherwise, I have to wear a sturdy, comfortable pair of shoes. Maybe boots – but even then, I am like an old lady with the nasty foot pain.
And don’t forget le foulard.
Never, ever forget your scarf. Like, don’t even step outside to check the temp without one.
So, you have your white blouse. Now you could also pair this with a pair of black trousers. Lord knows, you are in Paris and you could dress in black head-to-toe all week long and NEVER go wrong. Again, thinking of your coat as part of your outfit – that final accessory that makes it more than just a blouse and pants.
Next, a fun skirt. I LOVE the one I found for this board. You could wear this with the white blouse, the orange shirt or the green one. I mean come on – that’s three outfits right there.
Don’t know if you and hubby will brave an evening meal with the little ones – do it. Don’t be afraid. The French might not have tables full of children out for dinner – but it’s your trip and they can kiss it. I once went to le Select (FABULOUS people watching) and was pelted by twin boys with spit wads.
Les Enfants Roi.
And this is where you could wear any style of LBD. I picked a sheath here because I love them. But even one with more flair – like the style of the skirt would be fun, feminine and springy. Heals of course.
I love these clothes because they are simple but tailored and my own personal style would be to really have fun with the jewelry. I love the look of rolling up the white blouse sleeves to a three-quarter length and adding a fabulous cuff or mass of bracelets. I love a big ring on my right hand middle finger and I am a sucker for dramatic earrings. And don’t forget your sunglasses and a great belt.
Remember- I’ve got colorful here with neutral accessories but you could totally reverse it – like a camel colored trench and a big colorful bag instead.
One other thing – By layering with the trench and scarf you will be able to be more comfortable in Paris. I find it a city of many temperatures. It can be 42 degrees outside and breezy and then you go down in the metro and almost die of heat stroke. I hate that. I am a hot box and HATE indoor heat.
It can get really windy going up and down and in and out of the metro too. I always carry a spare rubberband on my wrist.
I think these outfits work. They will allow you to “dress to travel” (I personally like to dress for dinner and dress for flying – I never wear jeans on a flight). and have a couple outfits you can feel great in and hold your own in the fashion capitol of the world — or is that Milan? I think you could also fit this in your carry-on and leave room for you to bring a piece or two home.
There are expensive and very affordable stores all over the city.
There you have it. I hope that helps. I am sure the readers will offer their opinions as well.
What would YOU have said to Tana?
Tana also asked for hints on what to do while there. I am going to try to work that up for her by her departure next Thursday.
Always in Fashion… or at the very least TRYING.
Photo credit top to bottom:
Barnes and Noble
Muffin top – http://www.antonybennison.com/2010/03/31/that-muffin-top-image/