What Women Over 40 Should Pack For Paris

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fashion collageA better title for this is, “What one woman over 50 researched, purchased, packed for a winter’s week in Paris during Fashion Week.” (The 40-age-mention was for Google searches.)

I realized my “upscale” travel wardrobe was sad. Unpolished. Kinda crappy. Sure, I could pull together a few days of fake-it fashion for IACP.  But Paris?  After a lot of web surfing and planning, here’s what I packed:Trench

  1. Trench coat, black.  Read all about that, here.
  2. Black unadorned flats.  No way could I wear my standard “walking shoes” – Nikes (which SCREAM “American tourist!!”). Obviously, I’m a slave to comfort over fashion. Knowing we’d walk some distances, I went to a Sports Shoe Store and found My New Favorite Business Travel Flats. These are what local women of every age wore in Paris.
  3. Scarves. The French tie exquisite-yet-casual knotted scarves. Even a bébé wears a scarf there, so very chic. I packed three.
  4. Red lipstick. I shopped specifically for a lipstick for Paris. And to avoid any Anne Hathaway-wannabe impressions, I had the girl at the counter pick it out for me.
  5. Little black dress. slippersWe had an awards dinner to attend.
  6. Tights, leggings, skinny slacks. Colors of the season there are black, gray, charcoal, taupe, chocolate brown. And mink coat. I brought black.
  7. Boots. Facing wintery weather and lots of walking distances, boots for sure. Mine were purchased in San Francisco, the instant I stepped off a plane last winter. I was feeling suddenly FRUMPY. I was in SFO to speak at the Fancy Food Show, everyone there wore skinny slacks and riding boots. Ye-gad! I marched my sorry ass straight to Bloomingdales and instructed a shoe salesman, “Do not let me leave until you sell me a pair of awesome boots.” He was fab, and my black riding boots are {click your tongue here}.
  8. Lined leather gloves. Warm. Good grip.
  9. Great belt. I packed a belt, but never wore it because it wasn’t great – too garish. So on our Paris shopping day, I purchased my now-favorite slim belt at phenom department store, Lafayette. Denise talked me out of a frugal model with her newly perfected French “no!” (accompanied by the appropriate hand gesture, not vulgar, just the right sweep to accentuate that No!)
  10. Subtle gold loop earrings. Parisians ooze, “Don’t notice details, just take in my whole picture.” EXCEPT handbags. Big, splashy, heavy, very Louis Vuitton.  Tons of LV, everywhere; this is the Mother Country. The only LV I own is a modest, worn out wallet, which I dug out and brought along. Who am I to deny my wallet such a nice trip?  I didn’t bring a handbag; my travel trench doubles for that (you read about it yet, right?).

I was in Paris, thanks to my food pro friend, Denise Vivaldo. She was a nominee (and won!) for her Food Stylist’s Handbook in the Gourmand Awards, was conducting a food styling presentation at the Cookbook Fair, and GENEROUSLY offered me her “spare bed.”  Here are other posts on our trip:  Pierre and Paulette, a Parisian Love Story and of course, Eating in Paris.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Worth The Whisk May 23, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Patti, those are Clarks brand. Good walking shoe. I also recently bought a pair of Sketchers that are plain, black slip-ons.

2 Patti May 20, 2016 at 8:05 pm

The black flats you wore in Paris, what brand are they? Thanks.

3 Worth The Whisk June 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

In that case, Alisa, I should drop that to 30!! LOL.

4 Alisa Fleming June 3, 2014 at 11:57 am

I don’t know Patti, I think your title is for more than google searches. I’m around the corner from 40, and this sounds like the perfect packing list – now to get my behind to Paris!

5 Sara June 2, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I’ve never been to Paris before. Now I shall be well prepared! 🙂 You have such wonderful adventures, Patti!

6 Worth The Whisk June 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Barbara, so jealous of your upcoming trip. Now you have the packing list.

7 Barbara Keckler June 2, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Love this ~ I am traveling with my daughter to Paris in the Spring and hadn’t given a second thought to what to wear!

8 Worth The Whisk July 22, 2011 at 8:09 am

Judith, I would try Amazon and Ebay myself. Or just google that question, it is out there somewhere. Good luck and enjoy Paris.

9 judith walsh July 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Do you know where I can purchase the Hotel de Crillon cookbook. I have phoned the hotel but they told me that they no longer have any copies. I will be in Paris next month and will go wherever necessary to get the cookbook.
Thank you.

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