A subject that has been extolled many times over but not on this blog so I might as well throw it out since it's something I think about often as I travel between London and Paris a lot. Bear the city style generalisation for this post.
This weekend, fellow blogger Cachou of Les Histores De... dropped by London for a weekend of some retail therapy. Cachou is a stylish gal, having a real eye for things and a superb sense of chic looking both cute and cool at the same time. As we were perusing many many vintage stores, being a girl into her hats, she tried on various numbers of them but even though she looked fabulous in all of them, she commented on their suitability for roaming the streets of Paris and said people would judge and criticise her for wearing such extravagant fanciful hats. I on the other hand, saw nothing wrong with the hata. Sure, in London, it would invite a few stares but nothing that would make you go against your instincts. Cachou also enlightened me as to the ways Parisian style was not as experimental as London style and that Parisians can be ultra-critical and quite conservative. But when she admired the way London girls dressed as we were walking around, I thought of the infinitely more 'pulled-together' femmes of Paris.
PARIS // LONDON
It made me think about the way I dress when in Paris. It's true that I do streamline my look a little more. Where the edges are rough, I straighten them up, metaphorically speaking. Less fanciful layers, less crazy accessories and just a bit more simplicity. It's not exactly a style compromise but a style adaptation (the 'a' word being integral to my style). I have always admired Parisians for their ability to look 'finished' and Facehunter pictures don't lie..... Paris seems to have no rivals in meaningful style. Style that transcends trends, is intelligent and speaks volumes rather than making immediate WOW impact.
PARIS // LONDON
But in London, there are no inhibitions and I feel free to indulge in many things in terms of the way I put clothes together, or choice of accessories. I'm not saying everyone walks around looking like a crazy dresser but somehow there's a comfortable tolerant vibe that I feel. I'm human too and of course if an outfit invites a lot of negative reaction, then of course it makes me hesitant to wear something. The fact that London provides me with that comfort zone makes me appreciate the city for that reason.
However when I'm in London I do wonder, and perhaps it's a 'grass is greener on the other side' situation, whether Londoners need a little restraint sometimes and slow it down with the rapid trend-swapping. Vice versa, when I'm in Paris, I also wonder whether a little less judgement wouldn't go amiss and perhaps a more open attitude would do this capital of fashion some good.
PARIS // LONDON
So now Londoners and Parisians will probably throw cyber tomatoes at me but I am curious how many have similar thoughts of their respective cities or in fact have no bias whatsoever and can judge the two cities objectively, something which I strive to do when getting hauled into London vs. Paris style discussions (something which comes up a lot....and gets repetitive very fast....) but obviously, it's hard when you live in one city and visit the other. This wasn't intended to be a 'Which city is better' type post but rather general observations on the differences so please, no hate comments - merci beaucoup.