The French are renowned for their fashion (as I am known for stating the obvious). And, since arriving here, I have been amazed how they dress themselves on a day-to-day basis. Sure, most of us can dress up nicely when we try, but they clearly put in that effort every day. I am beginning to wonder if having that level of fashion sense and awareness is passed along genetically.
I am often the only woman on the train each morning without eye make-up, black lacy tights and knee-high, pointy-toed boots. Usually I blame spending each day in a laboratory full of chemicals that actively try to ruin my clothing for my lack of wearing anything that could possibly be seen as fashion forward. However, I work side-by-side with French colleagues that look like they just stepped out of the pages of a “What to Wear This Season” magazine spread.
However, sometimes this couture courage goes (in my very humble opinion) a little too far. Even in France. An outfit that, in the mirror at home, seemed to be ‘daring’ becomes just bizarre when hurrying through the metro on the way to work. Or a pair of shoes that seemed ‘funky’ on the rack are, in reality, just the first step in your transition from a normal everyday guy into a pirate. Especially when paired with those slouchy crushed velvet pants that were hiding in the back of your closet:
(How exactly would a French pirate sound? The French “r” is already so unique.)
So, I give you pirate guy. My inagural post for what I hope becomes a weekly tradition, “Friday French Fashion Faux-Pas,” or FFFFP, which is actually the sound I make when I see one of these in front of me. Usually as a result of me trying to stifle laughter.
This guy hurried past me (using his large caned umbrella as a walking stick with a distinguished rhythm) one morning as I was on my way to work early to prepare for a meeting. I immediately forgot about the presentation I had been outlining in my head and ran after him, pulling my camera out of my bag and snapping photos in as inconspicuous manner as possible (which, I’m sure, was not at all). The crushed velvet pants tucked into the heavy-duty pirate boots were topped only by the soft lilac scarf and 3-day beard growth. I saw the beard as I passed him on the stairs into the metro. I purposely looked back, to check for the tell-tale lace cravat that would have indicated that a puffy shirt was under there, somewhere. Unfortunately, no visual evidence – it was obscured by the soft purple haze of his scarf– but I would have bet money on it. Do you think Disneyland Paris is hiring?