While accommodations and sights are a vital part of your Parisian vacation, there are a few other considerations that you need to keep in mind before your trip. The most important of these things is to walk the walk like a Parisian and not looking like an obvious tourist. There are numerous ways to transition into the air of the Parisian persona. We’re going to break it down into three categories for you: the look, the air, the food.
Rule number one: leave your brightly colored, branded clothing at home. The French embrace the simplicity of neutral colors and don’t feel the need to advertise the brand of clothing they are wearing. They let the clothing and its quality speak for itself. There is no need to advertise the brand you are wearing.
You don’t have to bring your best pieces with you but dressing nicely is some of the best advice we can give you. Your clothing should be prepared to take a stroll through Jardin du Luxemburg, a visit to the Louvre or hold up to the street style of an outdoor café.
Scarfs are the best accessory you can bring with you. They’re versatile and allow you to change up the same basic outfit. Make sure you bring broken-in, comfortable shoes for the day (you’ll be doing more walking than you thought) and save your heels for dinner. When it comes to your purse or bag, having a bag that zips up and isn’t easy to break is extremely important. It makes it ten times harder for you to be pick-pocketed when you bag is zipped up tight.
We’re not talking about the literal air of Paris her, but the persona that the Parisians have. They’re confident, serious and they’re never lost. While everyone hopes to obtain these attributes, it’s pretty easy to fake it until you make it. The way you hold yourself is a key aspect of looking like a Parisian, shoulders back, chin up, don’t slouch: any place you are this will immediately make you appear more confident. Looking as if you are not lost even if you are, gives the air that you are not to be messed with or targeted. The best advice for this category is to keep your head up.
The French take their food very seriously. There are a couple of big no-no’s when it comes to food, dining and eating in Paris. Time moves differently in Paris, there is still the hustle and bustle of big city life, but there is also the slow relax demeanor the French are famous for. There is no need to eat on your way somewhere and to go coffee is only for transport. Food is meant to be thoroughly enjoyed, thus you need to take time and care while enjoying your food.
Dining in Paris has its own etiquette. Forget what you know and embrace the change. Unlike those who were raised in the States, the French hold their fork in their left hand and their knife in their right hand. Resist the temptation of switching your fork to your right hand. They say the knife should be held as an extension of your hand. Use the knife to push food onto you fork.
All that delicious bread served with you meal is meant to clean your plate when you have finished your meal. It’s also a great pre-dinner munch. Make sure you break off just enough bread for a bite and then place the rest off to the left side of the plate on the table. There’s no need to rush while enjoying a meal in Paris, or anywhere in France really.
So, slowly sip your wine and embrace all there is about walking the walk like a Parisian.