Paris attracts millions of tourists each summer, and rightly so. World-class museums, legendary restaurants, rich history, an influential cultural scene and iconic architecture make Paris an irresistible destination for travelers from all corners of the globe.
Parisians are also known for their fashion prowess, evidenced by the haute couture fashion houses that are home to the fabled city.
So, if you are planning on visiting Paris this summer and hope to increase your odds of blending in, I've compiled a list of 5 fashion faux pas you should avoid. And yes, it is possible to be comfortable AND fashionable!
1. Tennis Shoes
Also known as 'sneakers'. I am not suggesting you wear stilettos or don your best oxfords, but there are alternatives to sneakers. Parisians reserve their sneakers for exercising only. So for them, it's odd to see a restaurant patron wearing a pair of white Reeboks at lunchtime. It's worth it to invest in a pair of neutral colored walking shoes that you can wear all day and still look stylish. Trust me, you'll get your money's worth.
2. Backpacks and Fanny Packs
Nothing screams 'rob me!' like a fanny pack or backpack. Why entice pickpockets by giving them an easy score? Instead, place wallets in your front pocket or wear a cross-body bag that keeps your hands free and remains in your line of sight. Better yet, why not buy one in Paris? It sure beats the heck out of a lousy souvenir shirt.
3. Souvenir Shirts
Save your bragging for when you return home. No one in Paris will be envious of your "I heart Paris" T-shirt. If you wear one, you might as well go for the tourist trifecta and carry a giant city map and wear a huge camera strap around your neck. That's a joke. Please don't. If you insist on buying a cheesy souvenir, buy a refrigerator magnet - such an underrated object. As I digress...
4. Sandals with Socks
You will definitely turn heads walking down the Champs-Élysées and it won't be because of your piercing blue eyes. Do I really have to explain? Either wear sandals or closed-toe shoes. There is something unsanitary about the sandals with socks combination and whether you are in the City or Light or not, it's never a good idea.
5. Sports Logos
Flaunting your beloved team jersey immediately pins you as an outsider. Don't get me wrong, I love my sports teams and have some paraphernalia of my own. But save the baseball caps for a baseball game. Besides, why provoke animosity by wearing a rival team's jersey? Keep it simple and wear neutral colors, free of logos and you may find yourself in a situation where a Parisian is asking you for directions.