Saturday, May 7, 2011

European men are different

Originally posted on La Vie En Fifi, 20 October 2009

(above, moi outside Paris Opera House. I did not know one does not belt the trench then, one ties it. I do now).

During my European trip, 2001 - first and hopefully not my last, I spent a few days each in Paris, and Rome. Firstly, I dressed up. Knowing we would be travelling through Paris (a female friend and I travelled together - both of us were single at the time) I packed a skirt and high heels even though travelling with a back pack.

My travel companion, on the other hand, wore track pants (gathered at the ankles), a sweat shirt and a bum bag (fanny pack). Such a shame. One of our days was spent seeing the sights and the other, shopping, window shopping, and soaking up the atmosphere. On the shopping day I suggested we split up for that day and meet back at our hotel later on. I feel a bit mean about this, but I wanted to enjoy the ambiance of Paris by myself, and in appropriate attire!

(above, outside Sacre Coeur, Montmatre). In Paris, a young man came up to me and asked if I would like to go out with him. 'I'm only in Paris tonight', I said. 'One night is all I need...' he replied. And not sleazy either! Rather, fun and flirty. I declined politely.

Next in Italy (above, viewing the ruins in Pompeii, so worth the bus trip). The same travelling companion and I walking along a footpath in Rome, admiring beautiful building after beautiful building, wondering at what family-run trattoria we should dine that evening.

Next thing, a suave and svelte Italian gentleman on his scooter (of course, they were everywhere in Rome - young women in pencil skirts and high heels with open-face helmets on, balancing a coffee on the handlebars and stylish young men in fine cut suits) rides close to where we are walking, making kissy faces to us. Again, fun and flirty.

These light hearted encounters just add to your day. No wonder French and Italian women like to dress up!


  1. Hello Fiona:
    What fun all of this sounds. And, of course, or so we feel, always to look one's best especially when out and about in such chic cities as Paris or Rome. Belts are best never buckled - always loosely tied or, indeed, left dangling!

    Enjoy your weekend.

  2. Great story! I must have missed this the first time around on your prior blog. I'm glad you posted it here. Your trench coat is tres chic.

  3. I am from the UK, but since living in Spain with my hubby, we zoom around Seville on our Vespa in very much the same fashion; tight skirts, high heels (me not hubby!), you name it, it happens on our Vespa. Hardly ever use my car actually. The only problem is you must have a hairstyle that you can just shake and it will still look fab once you've removed your helmet, otherwise you walk around with "helmet hair" all day. Not even European men would find that enticing ;-)

  4. Ooh la la Fiona...
    it sounds like such a fun filled adventure!

  5. What great memories! I think you looked amazingly chic--no wonder all the European men were falling at your feet. : ) xxBliss

  6. It sounds wonderful, and you look lovely!

    I'll never forget one of my last sights when I was Paris. I'd already checked out of my hotel and I was sitting at a sidewalk cafe having my last coffee and there was a group of scooters parked nearby. A women walked towards them, very slim and chic, put on her helmet and hopped on one of the scooters and drove away. As she drove off my eyes zoomed in on the orange satin stilletos she was wearing!!! Very French!! I so wish my camera was not packed ready to go!


  7. What chic outfits you had on, Fiona! No wonder the European men coudn't resist! :)

    *Blog topic request: would you kindly do a post on your travel wardrobe for that trip to France and Italy? How did you fit your chic items in a single backpack?

    Merci et a bientot,

  8. We need a bit of this in the States. The flirty world here is severely lacking in European swagger. Lucky for me, I got a European, but he's more of the tall, dark, brooding type so I don't see any Vespa jaunts in our future.

  9. Your story is exactly why one should dress properly no matter where you are! The older we get, the more we thrive on positive attention, and I think there is something very sexy about a 40+ woman who dresses well and walks with confidence.

    I still belt my trench at times when I want to show off my waist. And also when it's cold. The trick is to not look like a sausage. If you look like a sausage, then IMO absolutely leave it unbelted.

  10. What a fun post - "One night is all I need" -- Only a French playboy can be so confident!
    I never belt my trench - I hardly even wear a belt with it and when I do - It's tied. xx

  11. Fiona, I was in Paris, March 2001. What month were you there? If I had seen you, I would have thought you were Parisian, as you look very chic in these pictures!
    Kathy B.

    1. Hi Kathy, I was there late April. Imagine that!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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