I wasn't looking for the "must-haves" or classics while in Paris, but there they were right under my nose, worn sunny mornings by women who walked to work or ran their errands.
I am assuming these are not tourists, because of the neighbourhood, time of day, and their assured movement (no maps, no checking street names) but who knows?
The scarf: always present, always emphatic:
The trench: Feminine detail is the secret ingredient:
Abundant black, even in high-60sF weather. The woman in the background is as formally-dressed as anyone I saw going to work:
Black and red sweater-coat, a long grey tunic, leggings, heels and the big ecru scarf, lots of jewelry, long grey hair—loved this look:
Given the unseasonably warm, sunny weather, her white jacket looked fresh as the day:
As the day warms, we can see what's under those coats. A marinère dress (stripes are the French woman's pattern), worn with bright red-orange trainers, which are often paired with dresses or skirts.
Shoes of fine metallic leather on awoman (of at least 60), who wore them with a black pencil skirt, off-white blouse and black blazer.
A woman in a classic navy sweater, white jeans and scarf, whom I wanted to show to reassure anyone who worries about what to pack, if you visit. You already have something similar, I'll bet. (Also, she is not a skinny little thing; there are all sizes here, despite what that book says.)
Though all hues of blue comprise the official spring colourway, some women give theirs a spark; I loved her accents: purple scarf and trilby:
And in one of the great crossroads of the world, there is the occasional surprise of someone in national dress, like her exuberant ethnic prints:
What didn't I see? Makeup, at least by day—not even lipstick on many women (and not just youth).
I became rather obsessed with this lip shift, and eventually spotted a bit of sheer rose and the rare flare of poppy red. Nor did I see the shiny-wet gloss that some North American women favour. When the sun set, colour came out, so those bags and briefcases must be hiding a makeup kit.
Nor did I see multi-colour eye makeup (the sort of effort that rules YouTube makeup videos) in daytime. My post on Isabel Marant was a harbinger. The one time I glanced into a face precisely painted with everything possible was that of an octogenarian in fishnet gloves.
Women of all ages turned their faces to the long-awaited spring—and I hope, applied their sunscreen.