Fashion Staples To Wear To Avoid Looking Like A Tourist In France

Certain clothing choices will reveal that you're an American tourist before you ever have the chance to butcher the little French you might have learned for your trip to France. Whether you are enjoying a cup of tea at one of the cute cafés in Paris or studying the art in one of France's many museums, many travelers hope to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb among the French crowds. Luckily, French style is timeless, classy, and always seems to be relevant.

The outfits you will want to wear on a Parisian adventure will likely differ from your everyday wardrobe, but these pieces will look great abroad and at home. Odds are, you probably already have many of these pieces. While comfort might be your priority while traveling, you might want to swap out a few articles for more elevated options that will be equally cozy and exponentially more stylish.

How to avoid looking like a tourist

American loungewear and athleisure is a major no-go for the French. Walking around an American airport you're likely to see plenty of fliers in athleisure sporting leggings, joggers, and sweats. But you might want to avoid athleisure while walking around your French destinations. Leggings are a major giveaway that you are a tourist in Paris, according to The New York Times' fashion writer Vanessa Friedman.

However, you won't want to rely just on television shows and movies to style your wardrobe for a trip to Paris. Another major giveaway that you are a tourist in France is trying too hard with your outfits. In France, less is often more when it comes to style. Your first instinct in packing for your trip to Paris might be to throw as many fancy and colorful items into your bag as possible. But you do not want to only pack over-the-top outfits. Excess is not in for Stéphanie Delpon, co-founder of the creative agency Pictoresq. When Vogue asked Delpon what she thought of the fashion in the Netflix show "Emily in Paris," Delpon had some critiques. "To put it simply, Emily is not my style. It's not the items she wears per se that I don't like. It's the accumulation — the pink foulard, the pink and violet hats, the curled hair, the superimposing of patterns and layers of flashy colors," she said.

How to blend in

The New York Times' fashion writer Vanessa Friedman notes that French style is often understated. Opt for elevated basics: a white button-down shirt, straight-leg jeans or wide-leg trousers, and a neutral-toned blazer. If you are choosing to wear a T-shirt, avoid anything with a logo or abrasive design. Think comfortable business casual when packing for France. Sneakers, jeans, a white T-shirt, and a black blazer would make a great outfit for walking the streets of Paris. You will look sophisticated without appearing that you have been trying too hard.

The effortless chic style of the French hinges on not going above and beyond with colors, accessories, or statement pieces. "The French style is all about creating space to breathe, carving out empty zones where beauty and character can emanate naturally," Stéphanie Delpon told Vogue. Remember: less is more and neutrals are in when deciding what to wear in France.