Paris – Through Gail’s Eyes


There are lots of things I love in this world.

My family, friends and France are absolute givens, as well as being kind of obvious. Any regular reader would have guessed those things with relative ease. My slippers, red wine and getting dressed every morning would probably be a little harder for many of you to pick. But let me tell you right now, I’m a fan of all three. (Remind me to tell you why I love getting dressed every day sometime soon.)

Another thing I love is hearing from Distant Francophile readers. Especially when they generously share their perspectives on Paris and France. I’m always fascinated by fellow traveller’s impressions of the place that captured my heart all those years ago. I read everything I can get my hands on! So you can imagine how excited I was recently when I received an email from DF reader Gail outlining her observations from a recent trip to Paris.

And luckily for me, Gail was more than willing to let me share what she’d seen with all of you.

Paris – Though Gail’s Eyes


Gail shared that she saw lots and lots of tennis shoes.  Not the ones we wear for working out, but fashion tennies that were bold, bright, shiny and gorgeous. (I just love Gail’s words there).  Some had coordinating little half socks that stuck out just a bit from the top of the shoe.

Given Gail was in Paris during summer and it was apparently pretty warm while she was there, it’s unsurprising that she also saw stacks of dresses.  According to Gail, the lovely French women are wearing flirty, short and colourful dresses with their tennis shoes.

Interestingly, Gail saw just three scarves while she was visiting Paris.  That probably makes sense given the weather. She also noticed that the Parisians are wearing a bit more jewellery but usually just a single necklace.


Gail did something that I’ve always wanted to do but I have never got around to and had her hair done at a salon. I’m growing my hair out at the moment so perhaps that’s something I should consider doing when I’m in Paris on my own again next year.

Apparently her stylist really took her time and Gail also received a wonderful head massage. Gail confessed that she looked sort of ‘French-ish’ when her hair was done and she had a great time walking around with bouncy curls. Definitely something I should get around to doing, I reckon….I’ve always lusted after ‘French-ish’ hair.

Apart from her own hair experience, Gail reports that hair in Paris was definitely very ‘unstyled’ with lots of long, loose hair and a pony tail or two.


Like so many of us, Gail wishes she had the gorgeous skin that French women are so famous for. And, overall she summed the whole make-up scene by suggesting that she really didn’t see much make-up at all. Gail advises that she saw just a little eye liner, some mascara and a bit of blush and lipstick. This aligns pretty closely to my own observations from a couple of months ago, although blush didn’t really stand out to me.

Thank you so much Gail – I really appreciate you getting in touch and for letting me share your recent experience of Paris.

Have you visited Paris recently? Were your observations similar to Gail’s? Or was Paris looking different through your eyes? Either way, I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Until next time – au revoir.

About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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4 thoughts on “Paris – Through Gail’s Eyes

  • Linda

    I have not yet been to France but I have been to other cities in Europe where I have enjoyed noticing the style of the women. Berlin comes to mind. Whatever city it is, it’s so enjoyable to see a little more sophistication, intentional and subtle style than what I generally see around me at home.
    I would love to hear why you enjoy getting dressed everyday. I do too but I’m not sure I can really pinpoint why or put it into words, other than it gets my day started and makes me feel better about myself.

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks so much Linda – I’ll definitely post about ‘getting dressed’ very soon. I smiled when I read your comments about Berlin. It may well be the only European city that I haven’t spent much time ‘people watching’ in. But that was definitely due to the fact that, while we were there, the temperatures fell to -18 degrees celsius. Great big warm coats were absolutely the order of the day in Berlin.

  • Taste of France

    Yes to all this! And I do think the lack of scarves is a function of the weather. Though I’ve seen a few men with little scarves knotted around their necks.
    I have planned to write about how to get your hair cut in France–I’ve been taking photos. I used to go to Paris a couple of weekends a month when I lived in Brussels. Sometimes the weather was miserable and I was just tired of walking and walking. And one can drink only so much coffee (or wine) at a café. So I would pop into a salon and get my hair cut. I will try to remember to let you know when I write about it–how to pick a salon, the vocabulary, the customs.

    • Janelle Post author

      Hi Catherine. What a great idea to post about the whole Parisian haircut process! I can’t wait for you to write about that – and no worries if you don’t remember to let me know when it is done. I’ll keep my eyes open. Knowing the ‘local rules’ would make it so much easier. My next visit to Paris will be without Scott, and I think spending my time getting my hair done will be time well spent and will give me yet another view of Paris. A great big ‘thank-you’ in advance.