Thursday, 17 October 2013

I'm too chic for my shirt.

Since living my new life in France I have noticed one thing in particular. French women are hot. Their casual look is the English equivalent of spending 3 hours getting ready to look suitable for the outside world. And in La Rochelle, being hot also involves riding bicycles in 5 inch heels. Doesn’t get much more chic than that, does it? I have to admit I once saw a lady in Liverpool Street trying to look good whilst cycling in a suit on a Boris bike – it was neither chic nor cool because she had decided to wear crocs and her laptop bag was quite frankly, hideous. 

Anyway since being here, the urge to flash the cash for new outfits and shoes is near enough uncontrollable. Having already mentioned that all my students look like they’re about to walk the runway while I don the same drab outfit everyday, I can’t help but think that I should’ve bought more garments with me to France. But the best part of my day is checking out what the teachers are wearing. Women walk around school looking like they’re 30 years old and displaying the new Massimo Dutti collection. Most of them are actually 50 and they look better than me…awkward.  I mean you get good looking cougars in London, but even in a small coastal town like this they’re everywhere. Heels, fitted chinos, hair did, nails did, lips did…everything seems to be did. So why does it all seem so effortless here for EVERYONE? Simply because image is important to the French. Maybe not for all but the majority of people I see on a daily basis seem to take much pride in their appearance. And they love it when you compliment them because it is assurance that they are looking extra fly.

Hopefully I can also adopt this notion of care for one’s face, nails, hair, outfit etc. However, coming from suburbs of London, everything is thrown out the window when it becomes socially acceptable to walk to Tesco in your pajamas and slippers for some bread and milk.  Yes people do that. I shall end with a quote from a teacher who works at my school and has now become my shopping partner. It really does convey the parallel universes of where I come from and where I now live. 

“ I could not bear to leave the house without doing myself up. Even if I’m popping to the bakery for a baguette I always make sure I have my hairdryer at the ready, my Chanel lipstick and my blusher. Because even the baker deserves some eye candy in the morning and I deserve to be looked at, because you know, I’m a chic French lady!” 

She knew she looked better than the Eiffel Tower.