I’ve been in Paris for about a month now, and one overarching stereotype has proven true: Parisians always look chic. But with average temperatures barely breaking zero degrees Celsius, how can these women look so cool without being cold? These tips, borrowed from the French, will help you pick up the chic — and strategic — Parisian winter look.
1. Layers, layers, layers. One of the biggest secrets to staying warm while dashing around the City of Light is layering your clothes. Try wearing a sweater under a jacket (or two), or try your hand at one of the latest Parisian trends — the cropped leather jacket. Wear it under one of your sturdier winter coats and the wind won’t stand a chance. Plus, layering allows you to stay warm while you’re walking to class and not die of heatstroke once you’re indoors.
2. Gloves and scarves. Not only do they keep your neck and hands warm, but these accessories provide another way to spice up your outfit. A French woman’s outfit is never complete without a signature scarf. Whether it is a knitted infinity scarf or a silk printed one, scarves serve to add a little color to the French woman’s otherwise solemn, black winter look. A pair of smooth leather gloves will keep your hands from drying out in the cool wind and also make you look extra chic.
3. Boots and booties. Everyday, I see French women adding a few inches to their natural height. But how can they walk around everyday in heels? Heeled and wedged boots are the solution. Leather boots, whether they hit at the knee, ankle or somewhere in between, are incredibly popular in Paris. They keep your feet warmer than flats or stilettos and still give you that added height. Wearing ankle boots unzipped is quite trendy among Parisian college students, as is the Wallabee-esque wedge boot.
4. Chic outerwear. Capes and coats are the cornerstone of any winter wardrobe. Because it’s so cold in Paris during the winter months, most people never see what you have on underneath your outerwear, so it’s important to choose your coat wisely. Bell-shaped or cape-like coats are very of-the-moment and look great paired with skinny pants tucked into your favorite pair of boots.
5. Tights galore. Young Parisian women are currently having a love affair with tights and leggings. Black tights, patterned tights and sheer tights are commonly seen poking out under luxurious coats or wool shorts. Plus, layering your tights and leggings keeps your legs from feeling that winter wind chill!
HC Abroad blogger and UNC junior, María Angeles Gontaruk models a leather jacket from Zara in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. Jackets like these are perfect for the transition from winter to spring.
Photo 1: Ankle wedge boots from Zara. Boots like these are seen everywhere on the Parisian streets. The wedge design is very trendy and makes walking extra comfortable. Win, win.