The instructive Inès: How not to look like a tourist

This photo of the French fashion icon (and recent Légion d' honneur recipient) Inès de la Fressange was featured on The Sartorialist blog. Lagerfeld's muse and a designer herself, she is often a reference point for French chic but was born and reared in Argentina.

Those of us who wonder, "Why do I look like a tourist when I'm in France?" need
only observe.

Here's your decision point: look like a tourist, so what- or adopt a more local attitude. That's your call, and if you yearn for the latter, Inès obliges with a few lessons.

Of course you'd think, "I can't take white pants, they'd be ruined after one lunch" and you'd be right. So roll three pairs together in your bag and check out the nearest cleaner. You get a break during the other seasons- everyone's in black- but in summer, tough tourist noogies, cherie!

There are other touches to borrow more easily: an eccentrically-cut jacket that will go with everything, a stack of Indian bangles, only $5 for twelve from

If a jacket's too warm, look for a top like this by Isabel Marant, miles more polished than a tee.

For sunglasses: high end is essential (as with the bag). The quality is visible from across the street. You might be tempted to 'leave the good ones at home' which is precisely what creates the tourista look.

ale season's here, you can pick up great summer sunglasses for a song. I found designer brands (from Fendi to Marc Jacobs) on sale at Winners, for $50-$90, at least a 75% reduction.

Inès favours flats with pants, perhaps Tod's sandals like those shown above, never running shoes or those running-shoe-hybrids, like these Privos, gaaah.

If you want to walk for miles, compromise and at least change them for lunch or dinner in a restaurant. A pair of ballerinas or fine sandals tuck inside a bag.

Note the easy, almost messy hair. I spot so many
North American women who spend time (a lot of time, when they could be strolling by the Seine in beautiful morning light) obviously doing the hot rollers, flat iron, supercoif thing.This is not hairdressing, it's taxidermy.

Hair should look like someone (Mathieu Almaric?) could run his fingers through it.

Mlle. de la Fressange celebrates her 51st birthday next month. The last truc is to relax and smile like that!


Deja Pseu said…
Duchesse - I swear we are on the same wavelength these days! I love, love, love this look. (I'll confess, I've clicked on it a dozen times since Sart posted it, just studying the details.) Nice choices you've posted as well!
materfamilias said…
Some very good advice here, Duchesse. Of course, it's a bit tricky to work it with a carry-on, so perhaps I'll have to change my ways . . . ;-)
Duchesse said…
ma: Her jacket is genius. I err on the side of too-basic, and I'm gonna get over it before next Paris trip (Oct.).

Carry on days are over, too much stuff to bring home.
materfamilias said…
you and pseu will be there at the same time? what fun!
as for the carry-on vs. checked, what I've got to reconcile myself to is trusting my baggage to the airline -- this year we brought a (small, admittedly) pastel nude back with us, and luckily it fit in the carry-on, because I would have been very nervous relinquishing it!
Deja Pseu said…
Duchesse - how did I miss that? We'll be there the 12th - 17th.
Anonymous said…
Now this is the sort of advice I love - how to look like Ines. If only.
Duchesse said…
Deja Pseu: Argggh, Oct. 23- Nov. 6, un dommage.
Anjela said…
So simple- so chic- so lovely!
Let's all meet on the Terrace of the Ritz Carlton and people watch Hah hah hah!
I live in white. I sleep in white.
You gave some great ideas on this posting.
I agree totally about the white pants and if not three pairs have the maid pop them in the laundry.....Non?

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