I haven’t been to Paris in 13 years. 2015 was so good to me, that I ended up going twice.
The first time on vacation, and the second time for work. As I walked the streets, I was hit by a visual cornucopia of fashion, style, and a celebration of being a woman.
What follows is a list of things that are true about being in Europe, particularly Paris, France. Things that I apparently forgot being away from Europe and was reminded of both times during my travel.
Women are sexy in any age. How?
They wear hills (high, sultry heels) regardless of the age.The same goes for figure fitting outfits, be it a curve-hugging dress, a tailored suit, or a short cut skirt, regardless of age.
At least one piece they are wearing has a hint of sensuality. Be it a lacy camisole, a side-slit skirt, or an ankle lace-up pumps.
At least one piece was a statement piece. Sometimes it was aSaint Laurent bag, Louboutin pumps, or an Hermes scarf. Other times it was non-brad, that made just as much of a statement. A bold jewelry piece, high heeled pumps, silk scarf, or a tailored coat turned the woman from invisible into noticeable.
Upkeep is a must, botox isn’t. On the streets of Paris, I glimpsed women in their 70+ with a new dashing cut, nails freshly painted, and make-up fully done. As much care as these women put into their appearances, their faces looked like a face of a naturally and gracefully aging 70+ year old woman. There were lines, created by laughter and sadness. The hair was often gray, untouched by color dye. There wasn’t botox, or an unmovable facial expression, or pucker fish lips created by fillers and so frequently seen on Park Avenue.(I am sure it exists in Europe, but I didn’t spot much of it, nor did it seem like an epidemic we are seeing here in America.)
It made me feel not afraid to age. These women, regardless of age and without the help of botox, seemed to be getting the most out of their day – going to meetings, having coffee, dinners, visiting museums. All of which was done with dignity. Instead of trying to keep your face unchanged, the focus was on style, personal grooming, and manners. That made me feel empowered!
Just as important is that it reminded me that style is a choice. It is independent of age, money, or whereabouts and has a lot to do with how we as women feel and whether we choose to celebrate it and express it through the way we look.
No doubt, it is easier to be stylish in Paris, because the infrastructure supports you (chic stores, product selection, women that surround you). However, this choice of celebrating womanhood and beauty at any age, is possible anywhere.