Much ink has been spilt (and many listicles typed) on the subject of advice on dressing like a Parisian, and this may be the most confusing tip of them all — don't take advice. Women's Wear Daily added fuel to the burn-all-your-sweatpants fire on Friday with its headline, "French Resist Fashion Advice, Survey Finds."
The article cites a report shared with the French Federation of Women's Ready-to-Wear, in which market research firm Ifop polled 1,003 women aged 15 to 65 on their shopping habits. It "found that most French women are oblivious to trends," writes the trade. "For 51% of respondents, being fashionable meant being yourself." You know, they all have that je ne sais quoi. The vast majority of respondents (75%) said they trust themselves when making clothing decisions; 21% ask the opinions of partners, friends, and coworkers; and a mere 4% heed the advice of a sales associate, which is always, "It would look super-chic with ze noir skeeeneee jeans and a boo-tee." (Bootie, not booty – Parisiennes don't have the latter.)
Daniel Wertel, president of the federation, called the results "absolutely deplorable," and noted his group is putting together programs for retail staffers. They "will receive training both in sales techniques and image advice, which I think is very important to create customer loyalty, so that we will finally stop seeing figures like this," he said, "and so people stop saying that Paris is the city with the worst customer service." And, the best unofficial motto, "C'est Pas Possible." (Women's Wear Daily)