Ready To Wear: Natives of every country have a signature sense of style
Ah, Paris in the spring.
I find myself strolling down Rue de Rivoli taking in IM Pei's glass pyramid in the sunshine, past tourists peering into Angelina – where, whatever the weather, little white china cups full of thick, sweet, hot chocolate are served – and on to Place de la Concorde, where traffic never sleeps.
I would be more footloose and fancy-free were I not carrying the tools of my trade – laptop, notebooks, travel documents and, inevitably, a glossy coffee-table tome the size of a coffee table. Still, I have half an hour to kill before a lunch appointment so I wander into Tuileries Garden, where shoes are invariably wrecked. Only look at the street-style pictures snapped during the ready-to-wear shows and note the film of stone-coloured grit embedded into even the most upscale footwear and you'll see what I mean.
If ever proof were needed that the natives of each country have a signature style, then it may be seen here. Despite temperatures in the 20s, the Italians are wearing heavy leather biker jackets, snake-hipped, dark denim jeans, leather shoulder bags and boots, immaculately applied make-up and, of course, big, dark glasses. For these fashion-loving souls, taking one's clothes off any time before August is uncouth. Then come the Americans, in plaid shirts, more denim – not snake-hipped, not dark – and oversized flyweight jackets covered in pockets. It's so much more practical to fill these with personal belongings, after all, although the odd rucksack is also on display.
The French, meanwhile, apparently oblivious to the descent of many, many visitors, eat their lunches on benches strategically placed all around and smoke. They're in the kind of "normal" denim – straight-cut, snug, but never too snug, and vaguely ethnic shirts (current Isabel Marant-style) that they sport so effortlessly. Let anyone else try this at their peril. It represents the type of vaguely louche, but somehow still smart, appearance that is difficult to pull off.
And, finally, there's me. Having left the house at 6am mindful of the chill London air I'm wearing a black wool coat, cashmere sweater, skinnies and sneakers; I am hiding in the shade and feel like... a nosferatu – le style anglais indeed.
Life & Style blogs
Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
Manuel Noriega fails in bid to sue Call of Duty makers for using his likeness in video game
Sex with more than 20 women 'reduces risk of prostate cancer'
Six months on bail – for being sent spoof video of a ‘tiger’ having sex, that was really a man in a tiger suit
The post-porn wave: why some young people are shunning videos of misogynistic sex
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Number of global billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis
- 3 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 4 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
- 5 North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teachers needed in Cambridge...
£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education are lookin...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: English Teacher - Saffron ...
£90 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Primary School Supply Teache...