A Subtle Summer in Paris

I've never stayed in Paris for the summer.

Somehow I always end up fleeing for lakes and forests and places I can be barefoot. This summer, however, I will be in Paris. …and I will be extremely busy. Two fashion weeks, a few workshops, consultation with The American Church, and dog sitting as well as the usual retinue of photoshoots, collaborations, and blogging. …but I am so ready to be home for a while. 

As an adventurer I am excited to have a dog at my side while i explore Paris. Brady is the coolest dog. he chills at cafes like he was a french-born pup, and he has enough energy and initiative to walk for hours. So in that department I am totally stoked.

As a stylist, I always start packing in my mind months before I travel- and here is the problem: I never really wear clothes in the summer. I tend to spend my summers on lakes, boating and swimming and running barefoot through forests. at most I will throw on a sweater for a bonfire, or white pants for a wedding. I can't stand being too warm. Enter Paris- the city I love (and love blending in with). there is no option of just wearing swimming wear, or riding one's bike around in a speedo and tank top. its not that kind of place. it is a place where, while not a formal attire city, one is discouraged from wearing shorts of any kind. This is changing gradually- but the ethos remains. if you want to look french you must look discreet. Last Spring I tried my hand at breaking the rules. I wore a pair of black shorts. I acknowledge that by current american standards they were a bit short- but the French reaction was extreme. A garment that received no attention in Chicago or Small midwestern towns- received, umm… too much attention on the streets of Paris. People GLARED. they applauded as I passed by, they called and whistled and stopped in the streets. It kind of got out of control. I did not even dare to enter the Marais. No way. and at a party, shorts were just an open invitation to touch. So no. I won't be wearing shorts in Paris, perhaps ever again. Attention is not really what you want in Paris. Good style gets subtle nods of affirmation. And good style in Paris is subtle. 

I find myself at a cross roads: blend in, or stand out. I will strive to find a balance- to be true both to my own style, and to the style of my new home- but I can't help but feeling conflicted about it. 

I have already set to brainstorming compromises- which includes creating a Pinterest board. I am thinking of simple black and white color palette- perhaps boring for summer- but will look crisp and polished. statements in small ways like a vest or suspenders- that add a style element without adding warmth. The Fashion weeks will be more difficult to dress for. Perhaps i will be the ironic rebel in denim paint-splattered overalls? Here is a look into what I am planning for Spring/Summer 2013:

  collage images via Pinterest

    Jonathan Randall Grant
Culture Keeeper

What about you? Culture Keeper would love to hear your stories of style and adventure.