Q. I am going to France with my girlfriends in November and trying to figure out what clothes to take with me that are comfortable for travel/exploring, but also fashionable enough that I don’t feel like a total dork in France. And I need boots that are comfortable yet stylish and maybe the same standards for a pair of walking shoes? I am 24, so I do not have much money to spend.
A. Well you certainly want to be fashionable, but not overdone. Stick to classics and you’ll be successful in fitting in with the French. Pack thin merino or cashmere turtleneck sweaters or v-necks to layer over button down shirts. Dark jeans, denim trousers, wool-lined pants like a nubby tweed pair and a dress that can easily transition from day to evening. Layer the dress with a sweater and wide belt for day and wear alone with great accessories at night. Add a fitted stylish blazer jacket, one that isn’t meant for a suit. Pack one solid colored coat for the whole trip with a hem that hits just above or a few inches below your knee so it will work with your entire packed wardrobe. If you choose to bring an additional outerwear piece, then go with a fab leather jacket.
Keep accessories simple—leather gloves, a pretty scarf and a wrap to wear with your dress at night if it’s chilly indoors. Pack a few fun jewelry pieces like an enamel bracelet, charm or beaded necklace and an oversized ring plus a few sets of varying size earrings. You’ll need a day bag with pockets inside to carry camera, credit cards, sunglasses, etc. and a clutch for evening. And certainly get ready to treat yourself to a few items over there. While the US dollar is not strong in France, a girl has got to do a little shopping when with girlfriends!
Here are a few suggestions for your feet that will look tres chic with just about anything you pack:
1. ‘Edie’ shearling-filled boot, $225 at bananarepublic.com
2. ‘Stella’ boot, $248 at bananarepublic.com
3. Kenneth Cole Reaction Make Love, $159 at piperlime.com
Simple, toned down “sneakers” for walking when you want to give your boots a rest. These work while athletic sneakers won’t do.
4. Poetic Licence Desert Star, $70 at piperlime.com
5. Cole Haan Air Kayden Sneaker, $152.06 at zappos.com
6. Cole Haan Air Keegan Slipon, $168.95 at zappos.com