Many people coming to Paris see it as the city of fashion. This is a true idea, but fashion in Paris is a bit different from fashion in London for example. If you want to dress fashionable in Paris, you have to never forget a very important fact: always and in every condition stay elegant, classy and distinguished. The way they look is a very important thing for Parisians. It is unthinkable for us to go out with not perfectly washed hair for example. Everything is about being stylish. Check out our 101 lesson on Parisian dress code.
But it would have been too easy if every Parisian was getting dressed in the same way in every quarter of Paris. Every area has its own spirit and this almost completely changes the way they dress up.
I like to distinguish three categories of stylish Parisians with each their own particular quarter.
The first type is the bobo. These people only swear by one word: vintage. And arts too. You’ll find these people mainly around Saint Germain des Prés in the sixth district.
Colorful trousers, shirts, hats, espadrilles or leather shoes, stylish sunglasses, vintage bags, these people are very recognizable because you can tell with only one glance at them that they spent at least three hours just thinking about they would get dressed this very day.
They are the type of Parisians at which, we, students laugh the must, maybe because they are the ones like who we look the most.
The second type is the hipsters. You’ll find them mainly in le Marais or in the north, near the Canal Saint Martin. They are the ones that look the most like people in London or other trendy cities.
Mainly rich young people between twenty and thirty, they are maybe the only Parisians that are going to follow a fashion different from the classical Parisian fashion, especially fashion from New York or London. They all get dressed in some special labels like H&M, Urban Outfitters, and American Apparel.
They are the one that you will see with some skinny jeans, original sunglasses, ironic tops, cowboy boots, converses, many accessorizes and apparently casual hair. Being a hipster is not only a way of getting dressed, it is a way of thinking. Hipsters think green, reject blind consumption and form and very tight community. Don’t only dress like a hipster, think like them.
Another very important category are the classical bourgeois. These are people from the upper middle class, who tend to be quite conservative. You’ll find these people especially in the 16th, 7th and 5th district. They wear classical Parisian fashion and only swear by one word: elegance.
Their favorite shops would be Maje, Sandro, Zadig et Voltaire, Vanessa Bruno, Comptoir des Cotonniers. Because they are quite rich, they can afford to be dressed in good materials like silk or cotton.
They are the most criticized type of Parisians because we can see from the first glance at them that they are rich. IN France, we love to say that they “stink money”. Well now, it is your turn to choose which people you want to look like. Or what would be even better: create your own style!