Thursday, September 11, 2008

No age limit to pay attention to your looks!


The weather continues to be nice so I went back for a walk to the Luxembourg gardens. I took this photo thinking that even if these two women have a "slight" difference of age, both of them paid attention to what clothes they would wear today! In French we say "Clothes don't make the monk" - l'habit ne fait pas le moine - but I don't really agree... You can deduct a lot of things by the way people dress, at least in France. In England people are judged by the way they speak, in France they are by the way they dress!

69 comments:

  1. Interesting juxtoposition of the Miss Marple with Joan Jett! I think Marple's got some great pixel shades though that perhaps Joan might want. ;-)

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  2. In France they are what they wear, in U.S. we say you are what you eat! A lovely day and a lovely photo.

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  3. Nanoseconds! GF Coltrane.

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  4. The men chime in first! Nice to read their opinions.

    I like Joan Jett's style.

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  5. Jeff, my vision is going too as I said that beautiful young lass next to Miss Marple looked like Joan Jett...no way does she look like JJ. I got all verklempt in all of a nanosecond! I was going for Alexa's record, but it was a lame comment.

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  6. Is Miss Marple walking on air?

    (Coltrane: love the names!)

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  7. This is amazing, because I read somewhere that women in France tend to wear a lot of red and black when they are youngish, then move in to brown and pink as they age. And just by snapping a random pair of pedestrians, you proved what I thought was a wildly risky generalization. But there it is!

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  8. I don't know Cali, but I like the word "pixels." ;-)

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  9. I like it! Et les yeux (et non les oeufs) brouillés, ça fait très pro Eric. ;)
    I think that in France, people, women especially, pay a great attention to the clothes they wear. Don't really know why. That's not the first thing that comes to my mind when I wake up but I admit that I don't go out if I feel bad/ugly in my clothes. Too girly, me?

    Coltrane, GF!!

    Uselaine, what about me? I wore white and green today... :)

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  10. And my grandmother always told me, "Pretty is as pretty does." (But she also never left her house looking less than perfectly turned out, and never wore a pair of pants in her life.) To me, both of these women look very chic and very French (same thing perhaps).
    coltrane -- tu really dechires, mon capitain!!

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  11. Guille - That's exactly why I used "tend to", young lovely girl that you are. ;^) Perhaps you are too young for all that black and red just yet. Or maybe you are what we call "the exception that proves the rule".

    I'm wearing (olive) green and white today too, but Americans are known for wearing lots of blue.

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  12. Eric, I like this photo very much. Canadians are not known for our fabulous fashion sense but living in Barcelona for three years has been a real education for me. Outfits (for lack of a better word) that I would have worn in North America are simply not acceptable in Europe... partly, I think, out of respect for other people.

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  13. Good for them for taking the time to look good!

    A few years back I started refusing to wear certain items such as sneakers and sweat pants in public, and to never leave my house without fixed hair and makeup. This came about as I encountered more and more parents dropping their kids off at school in their PAJAMAS! There may come a day when I cannot make the effort any longer; until then, I will do my best.

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  14. Suzy! I don't know where you live, but I thought that only happened in Willits! Grown women go to the supermarket in pajama pants and tank tops and even house slippers!

    Are you old enough to remember when having your slip showing was completely embarrassing? I am.

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  15. What a lovely, beautiful thing to say "slight". I forwarded a copy of your comment and photo du jour to my mom. She has always been in love with Paris. And she pays attention to her appearance.

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  16. Very cool that the older woman still takes pride in herself and dresses for the occasion. I know there are many people here who wear pajama pants and slippers around town... I've even seen women with curlers in their hair under a scarf in town. (What are they waiting for? I don't know) It just seems rather odd. I always wear makeup and fix my hair and make sure I have nice looking clothes on when I go to town. I would hate to be caught wearing my "around the house" clothes anywhere!! I think it is about pride in yourself.

    The younger woman looks good too, actually very cool outfit!! Wish I could wear one like it, but then I couldn't leave the house with it on!! :)

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  17. I must admit, I never wear makeup. I better just stay in Willits.

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  18. uselaine, makeup is optional. I only use it because I need it!

    The pajama game is played in San Jose every morning. It's rather funny seeing a teacher try to have a serious conversation with a parent wearing Spongebob Squarepants pajama bottoms!

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  19. Great Paris fashion photo! And Eric thank you so much, as it will help me in my packing for Paris. I fall between these two women age-wise and style-wise, so I'll shoot for a style happily in the middle of these two.

    Coltrane great GF snag; and I cracked up at your Miss Marple/ Joan Jett references. The 80s- style leggings are probably what made you think of JJ, so all is forgiven.

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  20. Thanks Eric for adding to my raging obsession about what to pack for Paris in November. My hope is to "blend in" rather than "stand out" ( as an American tourist). My momma always said, "It's better to be underdressed than overdressed." A wise woman.

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  21. I've never been one who particularly paid much attention to what I wore (the attire of private schools killed my interest in high fashion, erphh!), but I must admit my sojourn to Europe in 2004 really opened my eyes to how AWFUL my wardrobe really is! [PLUG for Zazzle coming!]That's why I'm considering a SIZZLING ZAZZLE TIE! Lois, you've a great fashion sense. Maybe you could help me out on this one. Soosha's already told me to go for it (the tie on the left). Your thoughts? ;-)

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  22. Well, we Miss Marple ladies have to do the best we can with what we have left...I am more of a sweater and skirts gramma. With a few sparkles thrown in. There was a time when I never left home without a scarf around my neck. But now they are only winter time accessories.

    Coltrane: Congrats on being GF...What goes on the crown today?;)

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  23. "It's better to be underdressed than overdressed."

    I assure you, Virginia, that the women of Willits have taken that advice very much to heart. But as David Sedaris pointed out in "Me Talk Pretty One Day", American tourists can be instantly spotted going to a "nice" Paris restaurant by the clean white matching sneakers they are wearing for the occasion. Maybe it would be better to contradict Mom's advice this trip. 8^)

    Suzy - I'm certain I "need" makeup in any universe but my own. 8^)

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  24. Hmm...I was just checking out the tie selection in La Zazzle Boutique and now there is nada! Maybe, a Metro keychain or an apron (yes, I'm messy in the kitchen).

    Gramma Ann...with fall in the air (I know some don't want to hear that), I'm thinking of a carmel apple display. Although, if it's on my head, these apples won't last long.

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  25. I like how you found the comparison of the older woman and the younger one. (by the way, I like the younger ones shoes :) )

    Hi Gramma Ann!

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  26. Coltrane: lol, anyway you will smell delicious. But the drumsticks will get gooey~~~

    Hi Tanya, good to see you are back..

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  27. Wow Coltrane - deux jour in a row!
    What can I add to yesterday's accolades? This is thumpin' thpecial for sure! You've got them beat; gone all the way to home bass; you're on a roll. Its a brush with celebrity. So, you'll need a celebrity name....can we call you Tom, Tom?

    Ok, ok, I can hear you all screaming: "Aaaarggh....stop it, stop it, now!!"

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  28. What a cute lady and great picture. You should check out this new travel site I found, baraaza.com. You can upload pics from different places I think yours would really represent Pairs well.

    Nicole

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  29. No, Carrie, don't stop. I love it. And peut-etre Coltrane will "snare" the prize again tomorrow and become the "cymbal" of all that is golden-fingered at PDP!

    coltrane -- I have a Jerry Garcia tie that I just picked up at Macy's. Why? Just because it was SO on sale and also so cool. E-mail me your address and it's yours.

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  30. Your photo and the above comments remind me of a comment I saw posted on a blog about Argentina. An American who lived in Buenos Aires wrote about how he saw a very fashionably dressed woman walking on the sidewalk ahead of him. He followed her for blocks intending to maneuver himself into a position for a greeting and meeting. When he finally caught up to her and saw her face for the first time, he realized that she was probably older than his mother.

    I am an American and I am horrified at the impression we must make upon Europeans by the way we dress. I hope that some Europeans will realize that many of us are much better dressed at work in the U.S. than when we travel. Especially with the airline luggage restrictions, we must pack a very limited wardrobe when travelling, with an emphasis on practicality, not style.

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  31. Carrie and Alexa...now there's already The Smashing Pumpkins, but I shall name your new band The Smashing Apples since you've seemed to royally thump me silly with your percussive remarks. I've gotta tell you, you two certainly know how to CRASH a party! ;-)

    Alexa...too kind of you to offer the Garcia tie. Tell you what...if your brother doesn't want it (which he certainly might), I will DEFINITELY get you my address. :-)

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  32. Great photo! I agree.... you can tell a lot about a person by the way they dress... whether you are in France, the US or? wherever.

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  33. Uselaine,
    Sneakers???!!! wash your mouth out young lady! HA Oh no,no no. Not that kind of underdressed I promise. Sorry for that confusion. I won't be looking like the chick on the right, but hopefully not the sweet lady on the left either. I don't even wear sneakers here in the US of A unless I am off for a walk. Like my last visit, black with some scarves/jewelry. As Olivia says in her books, "Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!"

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  34. I beg your pardon! Genteel women of the South have a reputation very much like the women of Paris, and I should not forget that. I find it hard to believe that my cousin Cathy and I shared a grandmother - she is as pretty as Ashley Judd.

    In Willits, we do dither a bit about our apparel for dinners out; Tevas with blue neoprene or red?

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  35. USElaine, "I must admit, I never wear makeup." I have a few friends like that. They say that they don't have an artistic flare for make-up; and it makes them look "made-up" when they apply it. They are beautiful women and take care in their appearance -- so, I am guessing they know what they are doing. I have never seen them in make-up.

    Coltrane and Alexa, How about a nice silk scarf instead of a tie. A man came to my gallery (he was from Europe) and he was wearing a beautiful oblong off-white silk scarf. I told him he looked handsome with that scarf; he gave me his scarf -- I tried to give it back -- he wouldn't hear of it.

    David, "he realized that she was probably older than his mother." Some women just walk old -- bent over. My mom walks like she is a young girl. She sort of glides down the rue. It might be because she is a dancer. Anyway, what happened to your friend; has happened to my mom. I'll let you in on a little secret. There are Parisians who don't know how to dress, or even what century this is. Especially, on Île de la Cité. I have seen some very French characters -- god bless their souls. I don't think they have been off the Île -- since forever?

    Eric, Do you design scarves?

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  36. Eric "A walk to the Luxembourg gardens" Yep, it still happens. As I have told everyone, I am reading "Lost Illusions"; I thought I would say that I am at the part in the book where he, Balzac, writes, "... strolled in the Luxembourg Gardens; dined at Flicoteaux's; and went to the theater at ... The Wooden Galleries of the Palais-Royal were, at this period..."

    PS: My mom thinks you are very talented.

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  37. Fabulous juxtaposition, Eric. Love this shot and your words.

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  38. it makes them look "made-up" when they apply it. Exactly. And it takes so long to do, and costs so much, and, and... If it was as simple as the Milton Berle approach, I might reconsider. 8^) I know. I am sooooo perpetuating the stereotype of the small town frump. But I do go so far as to pull out the two or three whiskers every couple of weeks.

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  39. uselaine -- you are SO funny! I have a cousin like yours. She actually majored in Clothing at college (really). I finally had to tell her one day that I don't have "outfits," I just have clothes. On the other hand, I always dress un-American when I travel in Europe: no jeans or sneakers, plenty of black.
    Have always worn eye makeup, because without it I look like an albino rabbit. Never used to wear lipstick, but now I put it on and say "Oh—THERE's my face!"
    lois -- if coltrane would prefer a silk scarf, I have plenty of those—but the tie is kinda cool (elegant yet funky). I think Jerry G. dug out the box of 64 Crayolas every time he dropped a tab or lit up a doobie! Ironic that his designs wound up on ties, though, considering his own tie-dye wardrobe.
    Anyway, now I'm digging through my books, looking for my copy of Illusions Perdues; you're making me think it might be time for a re-read.
    coltrane -- have provided my bro with dozens of ties. Send address.

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  40. Nice post on 'fashion sense'. When I was in Europe last year, I noticed that people in different countries take to winter clothing differently. And the differences can be vast!

    In Germany and Austria, it was common to see people wearing thick (colourful) windbreakers without paying much attention to whether they look like fashion disasters.

    In France and Italy, it was the exact opposite. Women in Rome had their mink coats out as early as November, strutting down the streets confidently. And in Paris, the preferred colour was classic black. No colourful Sesame Street windbreakers!

    Hmmm...

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  41. USelaine
    Americans can be spotted here too wearing their very white trainers. Brazilians are even worse as they add a pair of track suit buttons to go with their obviously new shoes and in case you didn't notice the outfit they ensure that they speak very loud so everyone can pay attention!

    Virginia
    You should ask Petrea what to wear. She has extremely good taste in clothing. In her last trip to Paris she just blended in. For you to have an idea how efficient she was in choosing her outfits, Guille called her Parisian Lady... I guess it can't get better than that.

    Eric
    I'm generalizing here but French people tend to appreciate beauty in most areas including Archtecture, Gastronomy, Literature and lately, unfortunately, even in footbal.

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  42. Coltrane

    Ties to Coltrane? Oh no, not another one falling for your charms???!!!

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  43. Eric - I've seen that older woman in the Lux Gardens! I imagine she lives in an elegant nearby apartment. Then again, she may live in a tiny studio but still fare una buona faccia (make a good face - not sure how you say it in French).

    I never dress like a fashion plate, but I have had people speak to me in French, even ask directions, in Paris because (i) I don't wear sneakers (ii) I carry a handbag rather than a backpack (iii) I sometimes wear a skirt, not jeans.

    At first I was aghast at the thought that people get around in their PYJAMAS! (I have never seen that) but then remembered elderly people in Japan often get about in a yukata (robe-like garment usually worn at baths)

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  44. Eric - I like how the contrast extends to color too. Even their hair is an accessory that compliments their look. Noth of these women show that they have a plan for the day.

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  45. Interesting post...

    Miss Marple and Joan Jett won't get mad with me if I say that they look being simple like what is seen in the picture.

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  46. Guys wearing scarves are definitely "in" these day. I think it's a wonderful look, but not one that everyone can pull off. I imagine Coltrane could, though.

    This post makes me miss my grandma!

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  47. In LA you see a lot of women trying to look like what they see in magazines, which means they're all wearing the same thing. Walk down any street, eat in any restaurant and you'll see women wearing similar tops, pants, shoes, hair, make-up. They're all dressed alike.

    What I liked about Paris was the people were well-dressed, but each person had their own style. They weren't trying to imitate anybody. This, in the world's fashion capital! As Katie mentioned, the girl on the right is wearing what I would think of as 80's leggings. The lady on the left is wearing a classic outfit, clothes that never go out of style. Both outfits look good on their particular wearer (might not look so good reversed!).

    I used to leave the house in just anything unless I had an interview. Now I take more care, I enjoy clothes more. Make-up's less important, whatever makes you feel good. Too much is unattractive, that's my philosophy.

    But first thing in the morning on my own quiet street, I walk the dog in a baggy sweater and stretch pants. Tant pis.

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  48. Sneakers and tracksuit: NAIL THEM UP! I accept them only if they are worn by sportive people, running for example. I know, I'm a little bit sectarian LOL. But even in private I think that's an attempt to fashion. And soooo anti sexy.
    One will never see me with this kind of clothes (since I don't jog!).

    It often happens in France too, to see people wearing their pajamas in the bakery or at school when they drop their children...yeah, awful. It also happens to see grandmothers with their curlers! (but THAT's funny).

    Actually I'm tough, everyone is free to wear as he/she wants. But it hurts my taste. LOL

    "Tous les goûts sont dans la nature" as we say in French.

    Petrea: "in just anything"?!! LOL

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  49. Guille: right. I should clarify! "Just anything" for me would have been jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of boots. A daily uniform, not very interesting.

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  50. Hey now, guille, I've worn my jimjams when dropping Owen off at school before. Sometimes you and your kid both oversleep and all you have time to do is force them to eat their breakfast before rushing out the door!!!

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  51. Ok Soosha, but your story was an exception, right? I know that you don't do that on purpose ;)
    BTW I'm with you about men wearing scarves...but it's nothing compared to men wearing...suits!! Oh Gosh!LOOOOL

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  52. Well, I do have some cute jammies! But no, I definitely don't go wearing them to drop him off daily. Actually, I feel sloppily dressed when I drop him off wearing my workout clothes because I'm heading to the gym!

    And yes, you can NOT beat a good looking man wearing a well tailored suit. Unless it's a good looking man wearing a well tailored uniform of importance, such as a police officer, fireman, or sexy english teacher uniform!!! ;oP

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  53. Oh, I guess I should probably warn you, poor Coltrane! I'm in a very playful mood today because of my recent spat of good luck. Yesterday I won enough at the casino to treat my best friend to a nice dinner and then today had a great meeting with Owen's teachers and father and we've got an excellent plan in progress for helping him have the best year possible. I love how much his teachers adore him and want to help him. There is nothing better in the world than a great teacher!!!

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  54. soosha_q, NO! I think we need an intervention.

    Lovely, and very true, sentiment about great teachers though. My baby's new 3rd grade teacher was laid-off only one week into the new school year. I think the other parents were as said as I was because they all got dressed that morning to say goodbye to her. :)

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  55. Soosha...THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. One of my favorite teachers was my 6th grade English teacher (he too loved Groucho Marx). Go figure! He constantly pushed us to our limits but he was genuine and cared and we knew it. He could also put you in your place...which we often needed. Nevertheless, we knew he cared enough about us to laugh and to sometimes get angry. When I joined the speech club the next year, we worked together a lot on rhetorical devices and conveying through the spoken word. I was never so nervous in my life to give that first speech, but via repetitions (many many speeches) and a good guide, it eventually got easier. He was one of the major influences (and I've had many excellent teachers) in my approach to working with students of all ages.

    Glad you had a great meeting with Owen's teachers. It means a lot to us teachers when parents do take an interest and actually come to PT conferences. Sorry to ramble on, but you caught me at the end of my day of teaching. I've got to go and clean out an office at the university now. May not get around to GF today so bon chance all! Ciao!

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  56. You won at casino?! How lucky you are...

    "Unless it's a good looking man wearing a well tailored uniform of importance"
    Servicemen, judges, lawyers...AHHHHH LOL
    (Some) Teachers are hot too. The power Soosha, the power...

    Nothing better in the world than a great teacher, that's so true. A good teacher saves lives.

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  57. And someone good at living teaches salvation!

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  58. soosha -- I love to hear that someone had a really good day. Thanks for sharing.
    My daughters had some terrific teachers—and have since become friends with a few of the people who taught them in high school (which I think says something positive about all the parties involved).
    I could never have taken the kids to school wearing my pj's—I took them on the subway!

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  59. Awww, glad I could bring a smile to most everyone's day. I'm soooo sorry to hear about suzy's kids teacher, though! And you're welcome Coltrane. Yeah, my 7th grade english teacher had a HUGE impact on my life. Sounds like your teacher and he had a lot in common. And I just saw my 9th grade math teacher last night. She's retired from teaching but staying active at my local grocery store. I'm always happy to pop in for a few things and have a talk with her. Dang! I just lost my train of thought. My brain is going "would you stop babbling on PDP and get to yoga already? You've put it off long enough today!!!" Can't argue with my own brain, I suppose!

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  60. I don't know if anybody commented on that yet, but here they say "don't judge a book by its cover" rather than Les Habits ne font pas le moine. Regardless of what people say, in both countries, I might add, people just don't apply the principle.

    Example: I see a huge difference when I dress "casually" and when I don't, in the way people respond to me, even here in California which by French standards is already extremely casual.

    When I went to Rome, a couple of years ago, I noticed something else, too. Older women, there, dress very well, put make up on, and try to appear "sexy", and in most instances, I would say they do a pretty good job at that (I won't even comment about Paris). Here in the States (or in California, at least) it is, regretably quite different.

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  61. The older lady is definetly well dressed, there's not many older ladies here in Aus that dress like that...not that I've seen anyway! =)

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  62. Look at that style!
    www.bryansoderlind.com

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  63. But before you even open your mouth, you're judged by how you look. Doesn't matter where you are. It's just life. Humans can't help it. Without actively thinking about it, their brains have determined if you're rich or poor or middle-class, whether you're male or female, and what your style is. Especially if you're different from them.

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