Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Parisian chic, of a certain age . . .

I can't imagine what nerve one has to muster to ask strangers if it's okay to photograph them for one's blog. I don't think I could do it. Instead, I pretended I was immensely interested in architectural details such as those above in order to capture such certain-age inspiration as this
And yes, once she'd strapped her helmet on, she motored away on her bike, an elegant woman probably in her cinquantaine.
More stealth, as I pretended to admire the Orangerie in the Lux. Gardens, sun-lovers bathing in its warmth against the wall
including this very chic woman
and this one -- note the luxurious removal of the shoes. You know how good those stockinged feet feel in the sunshine, don't you?
Against such chicness, I hesitate to show you my "what I wore" for the day, but it's in the contract, isn't it? My Burberry trench over black slim jeans, black patent brogues, a black-and-white silk scarf.
The belted look isn't great for me, but Pater says I'm being too self-critical, bless him. Not sure what Mr. Beast to my left thinks . . .
but it warmed up enough that I decided to leave the belt fastened behind me and the buttons undone
I think I prefer wearing the coat this way.

My very favourite look of the day, though, was worn by these two women in their 70s and 80s (the one pushing the bike was at least 80, judging her in comparison with the 80-year olds I know). Both chicly dressed, beautifully groomed, sensibly shod, and with inspiring energy. Made me add a few things to my wish list for my 80s . . .


  1. Oh what lovely shots. Your stealthiness paid off wonderfully! I can just feel the warmth of the sun against the Orangerie.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.

    It's a grey morning on the Island, with rain in the forecast.

  2. Oh, fabulous shots; you are an excellent street style spy! So happy to see "sensible" shoes too as part of those soignée ensembles. You look as if you fit right in. I always wear my trench open, with belt tied in back or stuffed in pockets, that's the only way I can get away with a double-breasted coat.

  3. These pictures make me ache for Paris - how I envy you! I was delighted that you also noticed the French women's willingness to shed their shoes with the first warm sun. (When I was there during a very unseasonably warm period, I came to understand the origin of the facial expression of so many French women on the street - I have never seen so many bandages, corn plasters, etc., in my life - il faut soufrir, I suppose, and they did not shirk.)

  4. The woman at the top is so "me"! Kind of a relief that all is not minis and supertight. You look like a happy explorer, belted or not. (Maybe one of those right angle lenses would help you stalk the elusive Parisienne in her habitat.)

    Like you, just love seeing the carefully dressed 80ish women in good tweeds and shoes, so different from so many seniors I see here in awful track suits and running shoes.

  5. Love the last photo particularly! And I think your trench is very chic. I noted your comment on Duchesse's blog about retail plans ...

  6. Great shots. The sensible yet chic 80 year old one is particularly nice.

    You look fab in your trench - the length is perfect on you and I like the belt too.

    I'm soooo envious!

  7. There is such a natural chic about all of these women...sunning. I wear a down trench much of the winter and my belt is always belted up in back...so I don't drag it places I shouldn't. I'm so impressed you found time to comment at Rags today!

  8. If the French could bottle that chic - well I guess it wouldn't be so awesome :-) You look adorable and fit in very well...

  9. That last photograph is a slice of Parisian heaven non? Keep them coming.
    I feel your pain on the belted front, why, oh why, am I less Lauren Bacall and more Clouseau? Me you understand not you!

  10. What a wonderful holiday you're having. I showed mom your post, when she saw the last photo she said " I have to ask Joel to get my bike out!"

  11. I love the photos of the older women looking stylish and comfortable. I'm also inspired by the lady with the bicycle.

    You look beautiful. Paris suits you.

  12. Lorrie: You're welcome! I hear some sunshine is coming your way too -- my poor colleagues on the picket lines have been out in awful weather these past two weeks!
    Pseu: It doesn't work when it's too windy or rainy, but I think I'll be mainly going for the unbelted now that I've seen the photographic evidence!
    Marsha: Too funny. No shirking indeed! Although as Pseu notes, the sensible (yet still reasonably chic) shoe is showing up more regularly.
    Duchesse: Just looking at these women in their lovely yet sensible fabrics and lengths, you just know somehow they'd be interesting conversationalists as well. Somehow the outfits quietly speak integrity . . . (and yes, wouldn't one of those early right-angle lenses be a treat!)
    Tiffany: and some retail has already been achieved. Let me just say that MaxMara seems more affordable here . . . more later, if I choose to 'fess up. . .

  13. Thanks, L'age. I imagine you're thinking back to last summer's Paris visit. It's a wonderful city, isn't it?!
    Terri: Yes, I might be a convert to the back-belted trench. And I only wish I could keep up with more commenting, but it does seem unfair to my guy, so I've been keeping it to a minimum.
    K: Ssssh, there's probably some crass Am. company working on that right now;-) and thanks -- we seem to be fitting in well enough that we get asked for directions. . .
    Alison: At least we're not quite Columbo -- he's another guy who wore a trench memorably if not stylishly! and yes, I LOVE the last image, so Parisien.
    Sister? (Hil? Rachel? Kathy?): and did mom tell you I called her from Paris to wish her Happy 80th? She was pretty tickled.
    Susan: Thank you so much -- I like to think it suits me as well.

  14. Sunshine in Paris and your terrific pictures! Thank you. Yes, these women are inspiring for being feminine no matter what their ages.

  15. Love your trench coat!! And would love to see what you bought at Max Mara - the outlet store here has been closed for renovations for 3 months and opens on Friday, when I'm heading to Berlin. It's supposed to be quite cool there this weekend - 5-7 degrees - so packing will be layered knits.
    I'm so glad you are posting, such a lot of inspiration!! P.

  16. Lovely photos--thanks for the glimpses!!

  17. Jane: Thank you! Aren't they inspiring women?!
    Patricia: Have a good time in Berlin and stay warm. I'll probably share the MaxMara buys eventually . . .
    Miss C: You're welcome.


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