I Was So Surprised By What They Are Wearing In Paris

What they are wearing in Paris

I honestly didn’t expect to be writing this post.

Following our last few visits, I’ve reported back on what they are wearing in Paris. This time around, I’d already decided that such a post would most likely be a little boring. I was genuinely thinking that it was very unlikely that anything would have changed dramatically since our last trip.

And in many ways, I was right.

Sneakers are still everywhere, as are black ankle boots. No change there.

Trench coats are always a Parisian spring staple, and this year was no exception. (Although I have to share that I did notice a variation in the cut. This season they are a little longer and a more voluminous style was popular. I’d almost describe the trench coats I saw as a cross between a trench and a duster coat. Beige was the most common colour I came across.)

Florals popped up again and again, particularly in frocks and tops and especially when the sun was out. This lined up with what I’d found the last time we were in Paris in warmer weather.

And, regardless of the temperature (there were extreme variations while I was there), that dash of mustard I saw last year has spread everywhere. I noticed everything from mustard tops (some with floral prints to combine a couple of trends) right through to a striking pair of mustard tights.

But then I came across something I really didn’t expect to see.

Louis Vuitton bags.

And they were everywhere.

What They Are Wearing In Paris

Now I know monogram is back in a big way at the moment, but even so, I didn’t expect to see it so often in Paris. After all, folklore – as well as plenty of articles on the internet – inform us that Parisian women never carry Louis Vuitton bags.

Although I’ve never fully understood why the French brand, so coveted in many other parts of the world, lacked popularity in its home country, I have to agree with all of those articles. Through all of my people watching over the years, I have never seen anywhere near as many Louis Vuitton bags being carried as I did on this trip.

That said, they seem extremely popular at the moment.

Surprise – Louis Vuitton

The Louis Vuitton bags first hit my radar when I noticed a woman on the Mètro. She was maybe in her late fifties and she was nursing a vintage monogram bag on her lap.

Later that same day, I crossed paths with an older couple walking their dog in Saint-Germain. Madame held the dog’s lead in one hand and a Stephen Sprouse Roses Speedy bag in the other hand. I was so surprised by the sight that I was too slow to capture the image with my camera.

From that moment on, it felt like I was swamped by an avalanche of Louis Vuitton bags. I saw them in supermarkets. And in cafés. And I promise you that I followed my own rules of making sure I was observing French women rather than my fellow travellers.

At first I thought perhaps only older women were carrying the bags. But there were also a great many younger women toting the distinctive coated canvas bags – particularly the Neverfull. I saw them perched on prams and slung over the shoulders of numerous young mums. And the backpacks were popular too.

At first I was keeping track of the number of Louis Vuitton bags I saw. But by the end of our trip I’d well and truly lost count.

A Possible Explanation For These Sightings

The only explanation I can offer for this explosion of Louis Vuitton comes in the form Brigitte Macron. The wife of the French President is clearly a fan of Louis Vuitton. Many of the pictures published of her feature both outfits and accessories from the French brand.

Perhaps her influence has given Parisian women permission to dust off their vintage treasures – as well as their newer purchases – for now, at least.

Have you travelled to Paris recently? Did you notice a greater number of Louis Vuitton bags? Or perhaps you noticed something about what they are wearing in Paris that I missed? I’d love for you to share your observations in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.

Please note – This is an unsolicited post and no compensation of any kind has been received from the brands mentioned in the piece.

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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10 thoughts on “I Was So Surprised By What They Are Wearing In Paris

  • Taste of France

    That’s interesting. I always see some, but haven’t noticed a plethora of them here in the south. On the other hand, some years after the New York Times reported that Goyard bags were the NYC “it bag” of the moment, they have become ubiquitous in Carcassonne. They started being made (by hand) locally and have become the must-have. The two brands cost about the same–both out of my price range!

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks Catherine. Maybe it is just a Paris thing for now. I know what you mean about the Goyard bags. Over the years I think I’ve seen far more of them in all parts of France than I have seen LV bags.

  • Alisa

    This is so interesting!
    I agree that Brigitte Macron is likely part of the trend, she is very open about her taste for LV and there is no question that the brand is about as ‘French’ a brand as exists.
    Hmmm…I wonder if carrying a LV bag could be a quiet political statement indicating support for Macron’s policies?
    Or is that reading too much into it?
    I’m going over next week, I’ll keep a particular eye out for LV bags!

    • Janelle Post author

      Hi Alisa, I hadn’t really thought about the LV bags being a political statement but it is entirely possible. I’ll be really interested to learn if you see as many LV bags as I did while I was in Paris.

    • Janelle Post author

      Congratulations on your new purchase Lori. I really hope you enjoy it. Sounds like you and I were in Paris at around the same time – it’s interesting to know that you saw the LV bags to.

  • Michelle Hamric

    I thought I remembered an article about French women and jewelry that you wrote awhile back, but I’m not having luck finding it. Anyway, my question is this. Do French women wear more gold tone jewelry vs silver tone? Color systems seem to indicate gold for warm skin tones and silver for cool. I’m more neutral/ slightly cool so I can wear either, although I always feel that silver jewelry some how feels more dressy/formal than when I wear gold. I think gold tone jewelry has a level of sophistication/ chicness than silver tone jewelry can’t offer. Any thoughts on this are very welcome. Thank you!!

    • Janelle Post author

      It’s an interesting question Michelle. My first thought is that you should wear whichever tone you feel best in on any given day. It all depends on the look and the feeling you are going for. But have you thought about combining them? There was always this rule (at least when I was growing up) that you had to wear either silver or gold, but not both. These days I see a lot more women ‘breaking’ this rule, and combining the shades. Personally I think it makes for a unique, confident and sophisticated look.

    • Janey Bright

      I live in SW France and I’ve just bought a Pochette métis in the traditional monogram i am considering whether to send it back as I keep thinking it could look ostentatious or naff, so I haven’t used it yet. It’s a cute bag though and I love the style but I don’t like it as much in the plain leather. Somehow the monogram suits it. Any thought?

      • Janelle Post author

        Hi Michelle, I hope you’re having a great day in south-west France. The question that springs to my mind is – who are you thinking about when you wonder if the bag might look naff. It seems to me that you think the bag is quite lovely, so I’m guessing that you are wondering about what others think. While part of me wants to encourage you to wear what you love, one of the things I learned in style coaching is that you won’t wear something if you don’t feel confident about it. So if you love the bag and it will give you joy wearing it, then hang onto it. And if you think others might be judging the bag harshly, and so never wear it, you are better to send it back and get something you will wear. Good luck – warmest, Janelle.