How inexplicable Parisian women are, – wrote Balzac. Maybe their charm lies in this inexplicability? How does a true Parisian woman live? What kinds of sport are the trendiest in the fashion capital at the moment? Where do Parisians meet their friends, where do they go shopping, what do they eat?
I have lived in Paris for nine years already, and I’m happy to tell you about the routine of Parisian women’s lives and the secrets of their charm.
Here are the Healthy eating habits of Parisiennes!
Let’s start with what Parisiennes eat. Somewhat surprisingly, HER breakfast wouldn’t correspond to a belief in healthy living: coffee, croissants, a sandwich of bread and butter and orange juice. (more…)
My last post was about where in Paris it is better to choose a hotel or apartment to rent: “Good” and “bad”Paris’ districts .
Talking about good and bad districts, sights and tourists, I should also warn you about another Paris “trademark”: pickpockets.
You’ll meet pickpockets mostly near the Champs Elysées, Montmartre, Notre Dame Cathedral. But all the touristic places: Opera, Lafayette Galery or Printemps, Trocadero, etc. are concerned. For sure, tourists are their favourite victims. Paris hustlers are used to work in pairs. Their favourite tactics: a well-dressed person starts speaking English to you, for instance, asking how to get to some place. While you are answering, his partner works over your pockets or bag. Be careful. Be aware that according to French law children under 13 are not liable to criminal prosecution, so unfortunately teenagers often do this “business” practically with impunity.
Be especially careful with: using your smartphone standing near the RER or subway door, girls with “charity” clipboards to sign, ATM distractions, a Paris trademark: “lost precious ring” that a stranger supposes to be yours… and other well-known common pickpocket’s tactics.
Paris is divided into 20 districts (arrondissements), situated like a snail with its beginning in the centre. I highly recommend choosing your hotel close to the centre and the River Seine, the most prestigious quarters are situated on its right and left banks.
On the right bank are mostly business and tourist quarters, almost all the main sights are concentrated here – the Louvre, the Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Montmartre, Gallérie Lafayette. And on the left bank is the “true” Paris, bohemian, student-oriented, less touristy. Here the Pantheon, the Luxembourg Gardens and the famous Latin Quartier are located. Yes, and the Eiffel Tower also. The closer you are to the River Seine (in central parts of the city) the calmer and safer the quarters are. Personnaly I can highly recommend the 6th District – with it’s unique antiquarian shops and cafés with these charmingly old-fashioned “garçons”. Here you’ll still find this slightly bohemian, this one-of-a-kind Parisian atmosphere, that makes you love this city, without really being able to explain why.
I do recommend not staying in the northern parts of Paris. Paris’ “Harlem” is situated in the 19th and especially 20th districts. How do you know in which district your hotel is located? Look at the hotel’s postcode, it’s always included in the address. All the Paris postcodes start by 75. 75001 – first district, 75002 – second district… So, if you’ve chosen the hotel in 75020 – you’ve got it, it’s best to look for another one. And what are the most prestigious Paris districts? One of the most expensive is the central business quarter, the 8th district. And the most chic is the quarter of Haussmann’s buildings and its very bourgeois public in the 16th district – chic, for sure, but, frankly speaking, a bit dull if you come to Paris to have some fun.
The famous French style, one and only… The style icon Ines de Fressange wrote in her book “Parisian Style”: “In the end there’s no rule. It doesn’t matter what you wear, as long as it suits you & as long as you feel pretty.” But, at the same time, in spite of their famous love of combining (sometimes incompatible things, but with what class!), Parisians have THEIR brands.
DO you know the four brands which “Parisiennes” prefer this season? Maybe to your surprise, in everyday life Parisians never wear Chanel, or Dior, or – by no means – YSL or something like this. In 2015 there are three brands, via a combination of clothes from which you’ll always recognise a French taste: Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot. Needless to say, Zadig & Voltaire and Isabel Marant (well, ok Marant – it was mostly in 2014, wasn’it?). And as for the office style, French women prefer « Caroll ». Here are the addresses of stores of these and some other French brands, and, be sure, It’s worthwhile going:
– Maje : 9, rue du Cherche-Midi
– Sandro : 26, rue de Sévigné
– Zadig et Voltaire: 22, rue du Bourg Tibourg
– Kookai : 82 rue Réamur (highly recommended, the range is completed by THIS season’s collection with a shortage of some sizes three times a week !)
This is for brand discount stores. But there is also another way to buy luxury brands in Paris with up to 70% discount – and sometimes even from this season’s collection! (more…)