Simple French Travel Style

Parisian summer twilight, 2006

Everyone, I am so excited! Today I depart for mon voyage des reves to France for two and a half weeks! My trip is taking me to Paris and Provence, as well as Gent (in Belgium), Metz and Lille. I’m impatient to see new and old friends, eat lots of wonderful food, and spend my time walking around and taking in the sights I love and discovering new places that I will return to in the future. This blog will be pretty quiet during that time, though you can expect another Creative Money Maker and a few other posts. When I’m able to find Wi-fi I will updates Twitter and Instagram, and I will try to post some of those shots here as well.

Those of you who travel know that preparation and anticipation is part of the journey. I spent months planning the outfits that I would take to France. I knew I would need layers, because I’m going to be in both the north and south, and the summer weather there either seems to feel like November or a canicule. I also know I will be walking a lot, so I’ve left all my four inch platforms at home. When I travel I favor clothing made out of basic fibers like cotton with solid, neutral colors over anything too fancy. In addition, I never check a bag, so all of my clothes have to be adaptable and easily washable. Here’s a sneak peek at my travel style:

Pour Paris

Paris from the Tour Eiffel, taken in 2006

J Crew tank top, American Apparel skirt, Sam Edelman sandals (this outfit is being optimistic for summer weather in Paris)

Simple, big city style is what I have in mind. Casual and elegant – a look that can go from morning to evening.

Pour Provence

Roussillon, in Vaucluse region of Provence, taken in 2008

Jennifer Glasgow blouse, American Apparel shorts, Saludos espadrilles

Warm tones, bright sun, old stone houses and the mistral were in mind when I picked out this outfit.

Pour la plage et la piscine

Pool at the Provence vacation rental, 2008

Esther Williams swimwear bathing suits, Nine West sandals

Flattering, retro-styled swimwear to while away the sunny days in style.

Pour l’avion

Departing Keflavik

I’ll be flying Iceland Air and get to pass through a place I want to return!

Mavi slim jeans, J crew shirt, Converse sneakers, and a generic linen scarf

I always freeze on the airplane. I always wonder about those who are able to wear flip-flops while flying – every appendage of mine feels like an ice cub when in the air, so I have to layer up. In addition, this time I have to change planes in Reykjavik, so I know I’ll need to be able to walk quickly, as well as wear an outfit comfortable enough to try to nap.

Pour partout


Photo taken with the Digital Harinezumi

Nola bag by Les Composantes, Moleskine notebook, Muji pen, Plan de Paris par arrondisement, Matt & Nat wallet, Jimmy Fairly sunglasses, Origins “Silkscreen” pressed powder, Benefit “Nice Melons” eye shadow, Dior mascara, Staniac lip stain, digital Harinezumi camera by Power Shovel, Weleda lip blam and my favorite necklace. Not shown: my Canon DSLR, an essential!

I’m bringing very few extras. I only packed two books in English because my favorite activity in France is buying the newspaper, magazines and novels. aI like to keep my makeup and accessories even more minimal than usual when I travel. I’m not packing nail polish or lipstick because I hope to acquire some of the French Essie nail polish while I’m there as well as Bourjois lip and eye makeup. Nothing fancy, just basic French things that I love.

What do you pack when you travel?

Jouez vous au tennis? Non, pas de tout.

I hate to say it, but I’ve never liked tennis. My mother and grandmother are ardent tennis fans and tried to teach me how to play it when I was little. I got mad because I couldn’t just hit the ball as hard as I wanted. At that point I was too young to understand that many sports are about controlled strength. Sensing my disinterest in the sport my mother tried to appeal to logic. “It’s a good skill to have,” she explained weakly. I think what she meant was that it was a good way to network with the wives of rich business people you or your husband may be trying to impress. This made me even less interested and brought out my disgust of WASP culture in general. Even as a small child I knew I wanted nothing to do with the dominant, upper-middle class New England elite. Not for me. So needless to say, I have not picked up a racket since the age of 9. However, this year I got sucked in to the excitement and drama of the French Open, or le tournoi de Roland Garros pour les francais. Will I watch Wimbledon and the US Open? Maybe, but what also got me interested was all of les filles whose blogs I love and their Roland Garros inspired style. Stephanie, of the Byglam blog, put together some really nice ensembles inspired by the tournament, and like I have done before, I bit her style a little bit in coming up with this summery, sporty get up. Also, just in case, I found this list of tennis terms in French to study for next year.

Ready for the courts

Keep your eye on the ball

Shirt: Built by Wendy, Skirt found at Housing Works, Bensimon sneakers, Nola Springtime bag by Les Composantes
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