I have obviously recognized the difference between quality and quantity and subsequently the championing qualities of quality (insert giggle here) vs. its contender, but pretending to be French the last several days has taught me more keenly about the importance of simplification.
Frankly, the looming lesson started while I was packing for this trip. A six day trip anywhere never mandates a suitcase heavier than 25 pounds and so at 50, it’s bewildering that my decision to cheat the system (e.g. figure ways to get on flight without paying overweight fees) outweighed (pun intended) the more practical solution: unpacking the large percent of things I would likely not need. Were navy blue 7 inch platform lace ups really necessary if hunter green 7 inch platform lace ups had already made the suitcase cut?
My dad once told me that “things ruin trips,” I think he was right.
When I arrived, I unpacked and looked into the black hole of familiar threads uncomfortably staring at me. I tried to justify the very crowded small closet with fashion week. “I’ll wear the red satin Carven skirt to Louis Vuitton, and I need the very similar, almost exactly identical red wool Three Floor skirt for the preceding day.” I didn’t need either. It took approximately ten minutes upon arriving to remember what I already knew but had foolishly forgotten after my semester abroad: when in France, you do as the French do.
I came upon a devastatingly French woman yesterday wearing a pair of black jeans, a grey t shirt and the most majestic green fringe jacket. I saw her again today, she was wearing the same outfit. The French motto seems to go: wearing what makes you happy because it makes you happy and not because you’re feeling guilty because you bought it but haven’t worn it in a long time. It is a (the) key to pleasant living.
A pair of well fit, somewhat high waist boot cut cropped jeans with comfortable sneakers for day, perhaps an interesting boot for night would have done for the entire trip sprinkled over a graphic t shirt, one plaid shirt and maybe–maybe, a sweater.
I also really want a pant suit but I think that’s because I am a perennial product of my changing environment and the women here do masculinity better than even Italians do. Here is the brief assortment of what I intend to wear this fall in its entirety. You’ll notice a pair of Nike track shorts at bottom left–there is something novel about taking current trends to their source and dropping them off in favor of the original. As for the rest: A.P.C trench coat, J. Crew navy cashmere sweater. It will work independently or paired with the Club Monaco men’s plaid at right.
The Comme des Garcons mens t-shirt just above the boot-cut vintage Levi’s Made & Crafted will suit your daily needs without falling victim to the hard-to-resist Balenciaga interpretation of the same thing with the gold Tod’s loafers at right. The ubiquitous Isabel Marant booties at bottom for your nocturnal desires. Sometimes investing in a “season-it” just feels right.
The McQ by Alexander McQueen cropped pants beg for a pair of Golden Goose sneakers (and matching jacket,) will work with the plaid, the t shirt, the sweater, the plaid and the sweater, the t shirt and the plaid, or the trench coat topped with a very romantic Rag & Bone wide brimmed hat. Wear socks because it gets cold and buy some funky sunglasses from ASOS because like red lipstick, they change everything.