I recently did a short trip to Paris. It was supposed to be longer, but due to an emergency we had to leave early. But nonetheless, here are some interesting things I learned about Paris in August.
Leaving from the west coast, we flew from there to London, then connected on to Paris. It is a long flight. West coast to LHR (London Heathrow) is a 10+ hour flight. The trip from LHR to CDG (Paris, Charles deGaulle) is a short trip. But there is a one hour time difference between the two areas.
More than just a time difference, there is a definite difference in weather. Paris in August was cool in the early morning and the evening, after the sun went down. In between, during the main part of the day it was warm and became humid. It didn’t seem so bad at first, but you realized when walking around that the humidity was up. Many of the buildings we attended, the museums, were okay, but warm. I don’t recall a single place that was cool with the air conditioning that is so common in the USA.
Many of the restaurants were open air, with outdoor seating. That is helpful when you don’t have a lot of air conditioning, and humid weather. And in the evening as the day was cooling down, it made sitting outside very comfortable.
Another interesting thing I noticed what what people wore. Many of the women wore dresses, skirts, or loose pants. Even then their tops were light weight, loose, and what appeared to be cotton type of shirts, woven or knit types of tops. One women I recall wore a white loose knit top with a pair of loose, maybe linen beige pants, with a pair of light brown/tan sandals. Her top was loosely tucked into her pants. Nothing was tight, nor was it heavy fabric. To be honest, even loose clothing fit them beautifully. You didn’t see straps falling off shoulders.
I noticed many young women wearing light dresses or skirts, usually with the top loosely tucked in. I found it interesting that though they were casually dressed, they looked very put together and polished. Clothing was fitted to the person, not too loose, not too tight.
I didn’t notice much in the way of makeup, but some did wear lipstick. Large dark sunglasses were common. The only time I saw leggings, they were of the exercise variety and it was on someone actually exercising. We saw people at the Luxembourg garden jogging. That was the only time I really saw leggings.
To be honest, it was very impressive to look at. I felt like something of a hick. But I could easily understand why they wore what they wore. Only once did I actually see someone in all black. And that person was wearing lightweight loose black pants (think like a linen pant) and a black patterned top, again loose. They also wore black sandals. But for the most part few people wore much black. And if they did they also wore some other color with it, like a light beige, ivory, cream, lighter pink, grey, or other light color. I did notice some young ladies in leather skirts (not sure if leather or faux) but even they wore light tops, including wide strap tank tops. Not many wore spaghetti straps, but I did notice that in order to not show bra straps, some women tended to wear strapless bras.
When I think about the glow so many of these women had, I realize that part of that glow came from the humidity. But I also noticed the lack of much makeup. With that kind of humidity that makes sense. If women wore makeup, it was a very natural look, but also one that did not melt in the heat. In some ways it looked like highlighter, but it wasn’t. Though the women glowed, I can’t say I saw much in the way of sweat rolling down anybody. The only time I noticed anything close to that was women or people wearing close fitting tops, and those exercising.
All in all, dressing for the weather is the best advice you can follow for comfort when traveling.