It's crunch time and with only two full days left before we start vacationing, I'm scrambling to tie up some loose ends, organize our apartment and get everything packed in time for our Wednesday flight. In the midst of all this sorting and packing, I'm noticing a trend with my packing rationale, and I'm starting to realize how segregated my wardrobe is. Living in two different yet equally dashing cities has caused a multiple-personality disorder in my closet. It's interesting to see how how many articles of clothing I have hanging or folded that have never seen the light of a Paris day. And, it's crystal clear to me that my fashion sense is split up into two very distinct wardrobes.
My Paris wardrobe is so much younger, edgier and totally trendy. Black flats, low-heeled boots, tapered-leg jeans, tunics, and layering sweaters in monochromatic tones. Practical streetwear for my city-girl lifestyle. And my rain boots and umbrella are always within arms' reach in the likely event that the rain clouds roll through after a perfectly sun-drenched morning. Ah, Paris.
Contrastingly, my non-Paris wardrobe (or I suppose my Austin wardrobe) consists of flip-flops, multicolored tank-tops, strappy stilettos, pumps and sandals, tube-tops and patterned dresses. Anything that I can get an even tan in while running around during the day or be comfortable walking in from the parking garage to happy hour in the evening. Rarely is there a need for sweaters or boots, umbrellas or coats, yet a week's worth of swimsuits are always on hand should a spontaneous trip to the pool or lake be required.
Sifting through my "take" and "don't take" piles, it's pretty clear to see the lines that divide my two-faced wardrobe - comfort and color. Paris is a walking city, and that's pretty evident by the amount of flats and low-heels that I'm planning to leave behind while I'm vacationing in Austin. I thought I'd wean myself back into wearing longer talons by sporting a pair while out on the town last night, and man did I remember quickly why heels and Paris just don't mix! It's just as well, though because I seem to fit in well enough with the flat-shoe-sportin' boho crowd that I frequently find myself surrounded by. And, as funky as I consider my Parisian-leaning wardrobe to be, I find it's far less colorful than its American counterpart. I don't know why exactly, but I've somehow managed to steer far away from the festive hues while running through the rues. I'd like to think that it's a side-effect of the less-than-festive attitude I've adopted since becoming a resident of the "least friendly European city," but I'm pretty sure it's simply a case of wanting to fit in. Bright colors can get big stares here and I'm of the kind that favor blending in more than sticking out, so I tend to keep it neutral.
I'm excited about stepping back into my heels without the added worry of how far the walk will be to the metro, and I'm looking forward to going strapless once again without the added self-consciousness that comes from gawking, sleeve-wearing pedestrians. Paris may be the best-dressed city in Europe, but although I'd like to think that I contributed to that title, I'm pretty sure I stayed at home when they took that survey. So, I'm enthusiastically leaving comfy and drab behind for these next few weeks to remind myself what it feels like to be part of a fashionable world without paying mind to the typical concerns of a foot-traveler. Which, coincidentally, gives me another excuse to do some shoe-shopping.