Alright, so I am not going to set myself up as an expert in how to get that certain “je ne sais quoi” that French women tend to have. I will however give you my observations while I share this outfit that I wore on our last day of our stay in Paris. Here are a couple of things I learned from observation of the most chic women in the fashion game:
- Never look like you made a huge effort on your appearance. French women do not appear as though they spent hours in front of a mirror making themselves up. In the spirit of that, I literally wore the least amount of makeup this day and did the bare minimum to my hair. The bare minimum meaning I braided it the night before while it was damp, and then took it out of the braids the next morning. Voila, effortless, wavy hair.
- Wear classic pieces with a twist. I started to notice that French women tend to wear more classic pieces rather than sport super trendy looks. This ensures that they always look polished and put together. I played with this by picking classic pieces that have a bit of an edge to them. Instead of just a plain white button down, I opted for a tuxedo-inspired version. I also wore high-waisted jeans, but because they are cropped flares, the look feels a bit more current.
- Never underestimate the power of a great scarf. I bought this scarf earlier in the day while at the flea market, and I really think it added the perfect pop of visual interest to what would’ve otherwise been a more basic look.
- Pick a pair of shoes that you can actually walk in! While going out in my Louboutins was pretty fun to do, during the day you gotta go with shoes that you won’t want to chuck into the Seine by midday. With chunkier heels and sneakers becoming more and more popular, this is easier than ever to pull off in a more fashionable way.
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Photos by Wendy Jones
One thing I knew I needed to do before I left Paris was check out their flea market…I knew it had to be epic! Unlike the flea markets I am used to here in California, this flea market is a permanent one where vendors have these little stalls that almost look like tiny garages. I loved looking through all the different shops because each vendor definitely had a theme for their shop.
One thing to know is that this flea market is sort of behind a more swap-meet looking market. If you don’t know better, you could be fooled into thinking the people selling the questionable leather jackets and Yeezy shoes is where you want to go, but it is not! This is a great blog post I found that helped me find my way, as it gives you great detail in how to find this flea market.
This is a massive flea market! If you are like me and love to shop, you should give yourself at least a couple of hours to get through all of it. Also, make sure you come prepared with plenty of cash if you mean to shop…otherwise you might have to sadly miss out on the perfect pair of vintage Dior sunnies. Keep in mind that the area where the flea market is located is not the nicest, and according to a friend of mine who lives in Paris, there are many pick-pockets in the area. Just make sure you’re aware of yourself and always have control of your stuff, and you will be fine.
After the flea market, we headed over to see Sainte Chapelle, a gorgeous gothic-style church that is situated near Notre Dame. I knew that I had to see this church because I learned about it in Art Appreciation last spring and was blown away by the pictures of this incredible place. I had tried to see this church on the day we went to Notre Dame, mostly because they’re so close to each other that it seemed more convenient to do them together. However, that did not end up happening because on that particular day, there was the longest line outside the church to get in. Unlike Notre Dame, this line did not seem to move quickly, so we bypassed it that day to go do something else…most likely to drink some rose. 😉 It all ended up working out for the best, because we went at the perfect time around 5:15pm, which is 45 minutes before their closing time at 6pm. By this time, it seems as if the masses of people who would’ve been there earlier in the day had died down, most likely due to the fact that it was about to close. This ended up making the experience that much nicer because the church wasn’t too full of people.
Sainte Chapelle is incredible because of the fact that the majority of its walls around almost entirely made of stained glass. This church was probably the smallest one I saw in all of my European travels, yet the light coming through those beautiful windows kind of struck me in a different sort of way that I did not feel at any other church we visited.
After leaving Sainte Chapel, we wandered over near Notre Dame, where I caught this cool shot. Apparently there used to be a bridge where people would lock these padlocks and throw the keys into the Seine. Because the bridge was getting so weighed down, they cut the locks off. This doesn’t seem to stop people from locking their “love locks” all over Paris wherever they can find a spot!
We decided to get dinner at a spot that came highly recommended to me by several people. Relais de l’Entrecote is a pretty basic restaurant: they only have steak and frites on the menu. Simple it may be, but unpopular it is not! We walked past this restaurant the night before and there was a line of people waiting to be seated, which is apparently pretty normal. When we arrived, we were once again super lucky with waiting in lines, as there were only a couple people in front of us.
This restaurant is great if you want a delicious French meal for a reasonable price. If I remember correctly, I believe their one menu item of steak and frites is 28 euros, and this includes a starter salad. On top of that, once you’ve gotten your food, there’s always someone coming by your table to offer you seconds of steak or fries. All I have to say is the mustard-buttery sauce they pour over the steak is so delicious! I tried to learn what it was, but apparently it is a secret family recipe so I was out of luck there!
Well, that brings my Paris travels to an end! I hope you all are enjoying these travel posts, because next up is Barcelona! Make sure to leave me a comment below letting me know what you think!