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I know, there are fashionable people all over the globe, but let's face it: Paris still sets the pace. I've collected some clues about what regular Parisians are wearing from the Paris-based blogs I check out regularly and a quizzed a couple of friends who just got back from a vacation in the City of Lights about what they saw:
Artist Carol Gillott lives in New York but makes regular pilgrimages to the fashion mecca, which she documents on her photo- and illustration-heavy blog Paris Breakfasts. She's noticed a lot of leggings—especially in dark colors ("The French are pretty conservative and stick to their grey and black")—and high ponytails and topknots. However, my friends Gwen and Mollie also observed "bedhead that looks perfect." So you can still have messy hair—as long as it's the right kind of messy.
Color does seem to be passe in Paris, although blogger Amy Thomas of God, I Love Paris notes pairings of gray and navy and outfits with a soupçon of leopard print. Also, despite all the emphasis on outrageous heels coming this spring, flats are still big. Most people in Paris do have to walk a lot.
Chunky knits—often paired with thin tees—are always welcome trends during a Chicago winter. You also might want to dust off your BeDazzler—Gwen and Mollie noticed a lot of shiny and metal accents, as well as outfits either inspired by or in homage to Michael Jackson, such as military jackets with sequined epaulets. And while they might be a cliche, striped shirts and berets were also spotted, with another classic French touch: "Of course the most popular accessory is the baguette," says Gwen.