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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

Chic for 2 Weeks

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

What to wear in France?

Every single piece of clothing I have packed is not going to be good enough. Not good enough for Paris, anyway. I’ve gained so much weight. Nothing fits and nothing in my pack could be described as fashionable. Nothing worth mentioning.

Comfort, yes.

Cheap, yes.

Big, yes.

Fashionable? … hard no.

Here is my big tip for anyone considering travelling … lose weight. Do it.

Don’t be like me and blatantly ignore the extravagant gym membership. Eat the healthy food and drink the healthy water.

When you are tinier, there is so much more room for being stylish. Of course, being smaller also means packing smaller clothes, which translates to more room in your suitcase.

It’s a win win.

Small also lends well to buying new clothes and not feeling intimidated by stores that cater to 0-2.

Other than that...

Black is always in fashion.


Regardless of the latest swank craze or the vogue vibrancy you may see on TV, black is always the safest option. Believe me. I’ve tried, tested and trued the bright colours in city settings… and let me tell ya, they don’t always mesh. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’m fairly confident Paris is no exception to the rule.

Let’s start with footwear.

A nice comfortable pair of sneakers? Right?

Seems reasonable. Sneakers can almost be considered a necessity.

A good pair of sneakers is vital to travel.

I remember doing a full day total of 23kms in San Francisco. For my epic city exploration journey, I was wearing cheap, flat shoes. Zero support. Not only did I almost wear a hole straight through one of my non-existent soles, but I don’t think my poor feet ever fully recovered.

Yes, I did an impressive city trek of 23km in one day, but with a pair of good shoes, I might have done 24. I remember lying in bed that night, my feet absolutely throbbing. I was, and still am, determined to not let that happen again. I am set to conquer the city of lights with appropriate footwear.

My aunt is adamant about soaking up everything chic and culture, and had been doing extensive research into what was and wasn’t frowned upon in the world of Parisian vogue.



My brand new, never-worn sneakers were… light grey. They veered more on the ‘light’ than the ‘grey,’ making them almost as far from black as stark white.

I do own black runners… but… they’re old. In fact, they’re so old, they’re not even black anymore. A dirty dark grey would best describe their colour. Absolutely nothing about them screams hot. In fact, the only thing they scream is “throw us out.”

As someone desperately trying to fit in, and not stand out as the typical tacky tourist, these shoes would not seal the deal.

So… my new shoes…

Should I even take them?

Now I am no stranger to the hazardous consequences of new shoes. I have fallen prey, on numerous occasions, to the blisters, bruises, bumps and blood that a new pair of kicks can provoke. Despite loading up on moleskin and plasters, I was veering towards walking away from this potentially silly decision.

I wanted black shoes like everyone else.

It could have been a real tantrum moment, had I not spent so much money on this particular pair.

Poor me.

Poor me with the brand new, light grey runners.

Desperate and discouraged, I devised a cunning plan of action…

Plan B.

Leave brand new shoes at home and take old shoes. No.

Plan immediately aborted.

Those old stinkers have certainly served me well, and although I’ve not quite reached the irreversible point of tossing them to the trash, they are a far cry from ‘international-travel’ acceptable.

Plan C.

Dye them.

Don’t be ridiculous, Joanna.

As absurd as it may sound, I seriously considered this. When I really sat back and thought about it though, it seemed a bit of a desperate attempt to fit in and I abandoned it quickly. I was hardly a professional textile dyer.

Plan D.

Leave new sneakers behind and take black winter boots.

To be fair, my boots are really comfortable… but a possible 23km comfortable? No.

Winter boots didn’t scream out spring chic.

Plan E.

Buy new shoes all together. Ugh

I’m not made of money. And although people might think a trip to France is dirt cheap, it is not. I could hardly afford another decent pair of shoes, only to cater to my own vanity.

Brand new, light grey shoes it shall be!

Next… a jacket.

I have to bring it back to the beginning of the blog, and the colossal amount of weight I’ve gained. I have a plethora of jackets hanging in my closet… and none of them fit. I needed something rain proof, stylish, elegant, comfortable, light… and black, preferably. Nothing was harder than trying to find this. I must have visited 15 stores, and finally opted for the Inspector Gadget wanna-be beige, double-breasted, multi-button-up trench coat.

My plan was to dye it as well, but I was immediately reminded by friends that it was not a good idea. Once again, I am definitely not a fabric pro… and I could already envision the splotchy and sloppy job I would do. Good ideas, such as this one, tend to not always work out in my favour… Past experience has more than proven that to me. It was high time I paid attention.

So I am now in Paris… in my crime-fighting trench coat and my Jerry Seinfeld sneakers… and guess what? I am surrounded by many bright shoes and beige jackets.

My biggest problem now?

I think the bigger my belly gets, the more my feet shrink?

I feel I’ve gone down a 1/2 shoe size… which makes for an irritating jaunt around the city. Tips of the day - don’t rely on buying shoes online… and try them on before you venture halfway around the world.

And the jacket?

Well… it’s a bit too long for my liking and the buttons are killin’ me…

What can I say? Ahhh… first world problems…

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