Sneakers and jeans: Fashion Do n’ts in Paris?

Are sneakers a hardly acceptable ‘dress-down’ device in Paris, or a style statement which United States tourists can utilize to their advantage? The Senior Editor of web publication Paris Eiffel Tower Information, Phil Chavanne, reviews the topic from all angles.

Being the Senior Editor of Paris-Eiffel-Tower-News. com, visitors’ emails have a wonderful tendency to find their means to my desk. The silver lining of it is I am enabled to pause vainly as a specialist on all that is Paris, and give my slim knowledge of the French funding to academic tourists. Among the many inquiries used, one keeps coming back: “Is it took into consideration poor taste to use sneakers in Paris?” Ah-ha! That’s a problem P.G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster would certainly have been delighted to jump on. Following in the steps of this worthy role model, I will bring a response to this existential torture at last with thundering authority.

Paris, French style, sneakers


Paris-bound travelers are usually of the viewpoint that French females are die-hard fashion targets. This insurance claim is most definitely exaggerated, though accessibility to stylish clothes is greatly helped with in Paris where females publications such as ‘Elle’ and ‘Figaro Madame’ determine what’s classy and also what’s not.

In my modest point of view, perennial preferences look quite alike in Paris and also New York City City. Globalization tends to homogenize fashion, making work-a-day wear similar in big cities.

Despite, the sneaker issue remains valid. Tennis shoes are now such a commodity in the US, exactly how is it in Paris?

The normally accepted company outfit code in France generally bars sneakers from going into the corporate setting, except for low-level positions. Hence the Parisian female puts on fine-looking city shoes to visit work, unless the business which employs her grows a sporty image in which sneakers find an all-natural home.

Tennis shoes have become layout icons in their very own. Adidas, Puma and Nike each have their own Parisian shops, as well as crank out even more designs a persuading fashion-victim could quickly tremble credit report cards at.

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What major distinction in shoe-attitude could we identify in between French and american she-consumers? The latter will use tennis shoes as design products, not as workaday shoes. Sneakers won’t be bought for convenience, but will certainly locate a simple means into a limited handbag when they enhance dress-down trousers and make their owner look great. The She-Parisian likes tennis shoes that make her feet look thin, tiny, and also sophisticated.

A simple eye the sorts of sneakers most typically seen on ladies’s feet in Paris is telling: you will not see any large, agreeable, comfy-looking, plain vanilla sneakers You will see little, thin-looking, flat-sole, developer tennis shoes.

For the same factors, a pair of Stephane Kelian or Robert Clergerie footwear will often be favored over a pair of attractive Pumas. Footwear are a style statement, as well as the more downplayed it is, the much better.

Exaggeration is a cardinal guideline in French fashion. This is why the little black dress is such a fashion symbol, as well as why Audrey Hepburn will constantly be remembered as The Quintessential Fashionable American Lady.

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Tourism in tennis shoes.

When you take a trip to Paris, all this does not imply you can’t use tennis shoes!


For one thing, sneakers are typically comfy walking footwear. As the greatest method to uncover Paris is to stroll along its roads, wearing shoes in which you feel comfy covering 5 miles a day at a leisurely speed is a vital choice. It will influence your basic state of mind during your remain in the French funding.

If these are your finest walking footwear, do not back off from using tennis shoes.

My 2nd factor refers to the ‘look issue’. Will I look good in the streets, or will I be the laughingstock of all these snooty, dressed-up, fashion-conscious Parisian females?

You are a traveler, this is your very own time in Paris! Tennis shoes and jeans are worldwide. Unless you clothe in 80’s nightclub clothes with polka-dot sneakers, no one around you will mind your appearances.

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And if they ever discover your jeans, LL Bean trekking footwear, as well as Patagonia coat, well, push involved push, they could believe you’re American. Therefore what? Probably they will appreciate your visiting Paris.

Dining out in sneakers.

Does it mean you can use sneakers all over, on any type of as well as every occasion? Not so.

As an example, can you have supper in a dining establishment shoed with your brand-new white tennis shoes?


For the sake of it, allow’s visualize you are walking along in your Levi’s lands and also jeans Finish boots. It’s now dinner time, you are hungry, and also scanning the landscape looking for an encouraging restaurant. The food selection displayed outdoors is appealing, prices are within your comfort area, the area is not so jampacked … Ah, but guests are dressed smartly.

I have yet to see a door sign showing ‘No Sneakers Allowed’ in Paris. Next to those uncommon snobbish areas, no restaurant will certainly reject to seat you since you wear casual sneakers.

And also the issue is that being awkward is a proven method to kill your meal. Your attention needs to be in your plate as well as on your food, not on your shoes and also garb.

My sensible regulation is ‘Dress according to the lieu’. If you plan to eat in restaurants at expensive, dressy restaurants when you are in Paris, just bring your Pradas. Better yet: pay a visit to Stephane Kelian’s as well as Robert Clergerie’s boutiques in Paris, and purchase on your own gorgeous-looking footwear by these Parisian designers.

An evening in sneakers a the Opera


There are other areas where sneakers just will not cut it.

The Music hall is just one of them. But I know nobody who would certainly be so crazy as to wear jeans and sneakers for a night at the Opera. For that reason the sneaker issue is regarded moot.

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What regarding the cabaret? I say it is far better to dress up when you intend to spend the night at ‘Moulin Rouge’, ‘Lido’, as well as ‘Paradis Latin’. The phase is the only place well lit in these locations, individuals around you will typically dress up for the event. You will be a lot more comfy in some formal wear.

If you are boarding a watercraft for a supper cruise, don’t put on sneakers. On the various other hand, if you merely want to cruise up as well as down the stream, tennis shoes are fine.

Galleries? Forget style, put on very comfortable shoes. Nobody will certainly look at your shoes, art gets on the walls. But strolling down the Louvre galleries is an exhausting experience: so much too see, many galleries, so reduce the rate. The good medical professional’s guidance: opt for pillow as well as comfort.

Art gallery ‘vernissages’? Style is your hint. Art galleries are small, vernissage nights are short. Evening gown, black preferably, nothing fancy, as well as good-looking layout footwear. No sneakers.

Finishing up

Dress for the area you go to. Load an elegant pair of footwear, or get one when you are in Paris.

Don’t back away from sneakers for various other not-so-formal celebrations. Wear them shamelessly in the street. You will certainly mix simply fine if you nurture a set of jeans and a set of tennis shoes.

So be comfortable in your sneakers, and enjoy the view.

The latter will wear sneakers as style items, not as workaday footwear. For one point, tennis shoes are usually comfortable walking shoes. Next to those rare snobbish areas, no restaurant will refuse to seat you since you use laid-back tennis shoes.

I understand no one who would be so silly as to clothe in jeans as well as sneakers for a night at the Opera. If you are boarding a watercraft for a supper cruise, do not wear sneakers.