After spending a busy first two months in Paris and SciencesPo finally briefly paused for a fall break, I had the time to spend some serious time exploring the boutiques in Paris.
After walking for hours, I found a sweet looking store in the 6th that sold only tights. Having heard about the wonders of French stockings, I eagerly walked in. A middle aged woman dressed elegantly in the seemingly effortless way every Parisian women seems to pull off looked intently at me as I walked through the door. “Est-ce que je peux vous aider, Mademoiselle?” She asked over her spectacles. “Non, je regarde, merci”.
After looking at the many options, I settled on some grey tights that looked warm.
“Ah, bon choix. Ils sont en promotion.” Said the woman. After ringing up the stockings, she said “Ça sera 35 euros.” 35 Euros? For a pair of tights?! On SALE?! Are they made of Cashmere? I wanted to ask her. “Quel est son prix original?” I managed to say instead. “50 euros Mademoiselle.” I almost choked, but I had been determined to buy something so I gingerly took out my wallet. “Est-ce qu’il y a d’ autres collants en promotion?” I asked. The woman sighed and looked around. “Mais oui, j’ai une promotion sur les collants rouges, verts, bleus…” “Est-ce que vous auriez des collants noirs en promotion?”
The woman looked at me like I had suddenly grown orange hair. She scoffed in the way Parisians only do to tourists.
“Le noir n’est jamais en promotion.” She said, nonchalantly.
Later that day, as I walked around in my new grey tights, I realized that the items in my closet had grown increasingly monochromatic. I no longer thought that wearing more than three colors in one outfit was okay. Oh, and forget about not wearing something that was black. Over the course of two months, Paris had changed my wardrobe and the way I thought about fashion. Parisians were no longer able to tell me apart from other Parisians, black had granted me the power of not being branded a tourist.
Black is never on sale.