petite anglaise

July 29, 2004

what not to wear

Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 1:52 pm

My favourite dress ever was a short, gauzy, off-white miss selfridge number with lots of sequins on the bodice which glowed under UV lighting. Not the most tasteful of outfits, I readily admit, but this was 1994. It was always worn with trainers as I have never mastered the black art of walking, let alone dancing for hours on end, in strappy sandals.

Sadly, since I moved to France this dress has had only one outing, accessorized with a wand.  To a fancy dress party. It has now been reluctantly consigned to the ‘dressing up clothes’ bag for the toddler to marvel at one day. In Paris, at least in the circles I move in, dressing down is de rigueur, and something of an art form. Sequins are scorned as cheap and tacky (with hindsight I tend to agree), and are not even acceptable on club wear. Exposing swathes of flesh is also seen as ‘unelegant’. (Teenagers of the UK take note: showing your goose pimpled midriff in December when you haven’t been sticking to government healthy eating guidelines is simply not attractive).

In my years as a Parisienne I have acquired a wardrobe of boring discreet, mostly black clothes which leave a little more to the imagination. The Frog prefers me to dress down and would love it if I consented to throw away my make up altogether. Male insecurity speaks: “you’ve pulled, so now let me drag you back to my cave and you need never attempt to make yourself attractive to the opposite sex again And none of that nonsense about how you are doing it for yourself, not for other men.”

Clearly I do not agree with this attitude, but as it happens the Frog needn’t worry. Since becoming a mother, my idea of putting an outfit together consists of finding the least crumpled clothes in the ironing pile and praying that they will match.


  1. you are living the french version of my life! or I am living the Portuguese version of yours! (although Portuguese teens show off their variably wobbly bellies all year round too. gross).

    Vitriolica Webb | 07.29.04 – 4:57 pm |

    Comment by Vit — October 8, 2004 @ 8:48 pm

  2. The firt time my own Mr. Frog saw a herd of drunk, overweight, underage girls grouped on a street corner, clutching alcopops and clad in little more than croptops and mini skirts he asked in all seriousness whether they were prostitutes:!: I laughed and told him they were waiting to get into a club, they would be at school on Monday. But from that day to this my once “original” dress style has become DULL and when I go home my friends tell me I dress like an old woman. Gack! Thirty years old and I don’t look a day over fifty… You have all my sympathy.

    Comment by Suziboo — October 11, 2004 @ 12:53 pm

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