Paris Fashion and the Blue Work Shirt

June 6th, 2009

The employees at the Garden Center where I work must wear a navy blue work shirt while on the job.






I have found many ways to ‘work’ the navy blue work shirt.







I am pretty much a professional navy blue work shirt worker…







It gives my little niblet of a brain something to chew on in between trying to work out all the world’s problems.






Recently, I have been reading through some vacation guide books to both London and Paris and I ran across some fashion advice for Paris…

Here is the advice…

Wear black

Minimize jewelry

Go bra-less

Clear polish

Funky glasses


Bring a scarf or two

No matching required

Small backpack

Great t-shirt


I actually think I may be able to handle this list, except for the nail polish.  I can’t really tolerate nail polish.  It makes me feel like I can’t breathe.  I don’t have any scarfs, but I can purchase a few inexpensive ones before we leave.  The Country Doctor is insisting that we pack everything in backpacks and no one is allowed to bring a suitcase.  I guess this means I will have two backpacks, a huge one for all my stuff, and one tiny fashionable one for the streets of Paris.  

I have no problem not matching things.  I was born mismatched and have managed to stay that way with little effort.  If I do need help mismatching my clothes, I can always seek guidance from the Country Doctor.  T-shirts- no problemo… especially navy blue ones.  Funky glasses  - maybe a cheap pair from Target?  Bra-less….. hmmmmm… this is not really an issue for me.  I don’t really need a bra, at least not physically… but maybe psychologically and emotionally.  I have never been a big jewelry girl and I have NO IDEA what Chucks are so I will probably just go with my trusty Born sandals.  Hopefully the Parisians will not be too offended by comfy pair of Borns.  

So I am pretty confident with my Paris fashion itenerary…

Surely, even I can put together a t-shirt, a scarf, no jewelry, no bra, funky glasses and  a mini backpack!

One thing is FOR SURE and that is that I can CERTAINLY avoid the CAMP LOOK!

Then I found these photos of me trying to decide what to wear during our visit to P-Dub’s ranch….








Oh dear no!







Please not!






Lord help me!







And this is what I ended up wearing on my first night at her ranch.

I call this look…





Going to Camp.

I think Paris is going to be terribly disappointed in me.


  • I suspect that Paris will never be the same after your visit. And I mean that in the most positive way you can imagine.

  • Chucks are just Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers:
    I think they would look fab with any of your outfits above. If you go to the Converse site, you can custom make your own pair.

  • Be sure to check out Rick Steves web site for packing recommendations:

    Just remember – go for comfort! Stuff that packs and travels well, can be layered, and hand washed in a sink always is high on my list of stuff to pack!

    Remember, too, that you’ll be walking a ton – and your comfy shoes are the wisest way to go! I – personally – love wearing compression hose when I’m in Spain cause I walk miles and miles each day. It really helps!

    You’re gonna have such an awesome trip! I’m so excited for you!

  • OH, those last britches – are you seriously taking them to Paris? hahahaha Okay, I’m just kidding. :)

  • Oh, what a great trip! A couple of pointers, gleaned from going carryon only to China for 2 weeks. Get thee some Camp Suds (, you can wash clothing, dishes, skin, grody shoes, anything at all with it. A tiny bottle lasts the whole trip. Get a skort in a dark color that is in quickdry fabric, with pockets. Wear it everyday. You will look snazzier in a skirt, without leaving a lasting impression on the Parisians should you drop something. You can get a button front shirt in this material as well. Bring a couple of spaghetti strap tanks, and you can make a bunch of looks. You can pick up scarves cheap on the streets of Paris, no need to pack.

    Really, no matter how you dress (we lived in Europe for 4 years) your jaw-dropping gawk will give you away everytime as a tourist. Have a great trip!

  • Bernadette:

    Bra-less in Paris? Let me tell you – we European women DO wear bras! (Except the Hippies and the bra-burning feminists) I don’t know why you Americans believe that stupid chliché.

    As a tourist, wear comfy things – the most important thing being the shoes! Everything else is secondary.

    I’m sorry about my bra rant.

    Greetings from Austria,


  • jamoody:

    Advice from my teenager who practically lives in chucks…..if you are going to be doing a lot of walking, wear a different shoe. Chucks have no arch support and although he wears them daily and is used to them, if we are going to be doing a lot of walking and he knows ahead of time, he will get out the athletic shoes…choosing comfort over his love of Chucks everytime!!!

  • A few things I learned from my trip to Italy…get comfy shoes. And get them well in advance so you can break them in. And pack those blister band-aid thingies. Life saver.

    Black is good because it doesn’t show spills/dirt so you can wear your stuff a few times before it needs a wash. Plus it goes with anything.

    Actually, finding laundromats and doing laundry can be quite a fun adventure over seas. Hubby and I went to Italy for 16 days with 2 pairs of pants and 4 shirts each. One big backpack. But we also stuffed an extra duffle bag in there for all the stuff we knew we’d bring back. And we did. Plus another bag we had to buy! (well, those 6 bottles of wine were a bit much…)

  • I’m glad some one knew what Chucks were..occupational “Chux “is what they put under you in the hospital. You know those little blue pads that look like large diapers!! What a relief, can’t see how they would be necessary unless there is no TP in France. Bon Voyage and Bonne Chance!
    Votre amie,

  • Hey — I liked those outfits in the mirror! You look cute!!

    I ditto the comfy shoes. I swear by Danskos…

  • First of all, I would like to talk about the navy t. You are doing the right thing, IMO, by layering. At least that’s what the under 30 set seem to be doing. So it must be okay, right? And I really don’t think you can ever go wrong with a Nautical look with your navy. Just add a stripe or something somewhere…unless you live in Kansas, and then nautical woulnd’t make sense…but you don’t…oh. wait. never mind.

    Thanks for sharing the Paris list. I always wanted permission to go braless. I have realized too late that I could’ve been doing that for YEARS and now I”m old and saggy and it’s just not fittin’. I lost my chance. I threw it away.

    The backpack thing. I agree w/CD. It’s totally easier that way. Went to India with one army surplus back pack. Of course, I came back with more, but that’s the point. You need room to bring things back….and that’s where CD is going with this. He wants you to buy lots of stuff in Paris.

  • Cherie:

    Rechelle, I’ve been thinking about your cute backpack idea all day. Let me just say that I lived in Paris and even though I was very careful about my money and all, I was almost pick pocketed twice.

    Once on the metro I had a purse with a flap and one of those little metal turn thingy’s to “lock” it. They guy only managed to unlock it, but not get into it because I felt him messing with my purse.

    The second time I had a leather backpack with the same locking thing and a draw string. I was in the metro going through a turnstile near the Musee d’Orsay when I was rushed from behind by some teens. The guy managed to get the lock undone, but not get my wallet because it was jammed in the very bottom. (it happened VERY fast)

    I have now found what I think it the perfect travel, cute backpack. If you’d like the website let me know.

    Hoping for you to have safe and fun trip! No place in the world like Paris!!

  • What guidebook are you reading? Is it from this century? And I second the Chucks being uncomfy – no arch support plus they run really narrow. Plus you’re, um, too old to get away with wearing Chucks.

    Now, wearing Chux to handle those incontinent moments at the Louvre might be a good idea.

    Oh yeah, and have fun. I am extremely jealous.

  • Is it wrong that I absolutely LOVE the “going to camp” look? I’m so not a fashionista. My friends keep trying to teach me, but… I think I’m just a lost cause. Chic Europeans (or chic Americans) would fall over and die looking at me.

  • Sandy:

    Maybe we should call TLC’s “What not to wear”.
    hee hee, J/K :-)

  • Kellye:

    You look great in your navy shirts. You are an incredibly agreeable wife to go to Paris and only take a backpack. I guess it can be done, but I need a Tammy Faye Bakker-sized toiletries and make up bag.

  • I could do this list except for the bra-less part. Lord knows I do not *physically* need a bra, but it is a very great emotional need. I need the kind that works Miracles. And I have this midwestern sensibility that says pokey is tacky. Also, I think I would just go with no nail polish, but clear wouldn’t be too terrible.

    What do you mean you don’t know what Chucks are? I’m pretty sure I saw a picture of you on this blog with a pair of low top Chucks. I had a moment of shoe envy. Even though I am not one of those girls who must have a million pairs of shoes, I think I wouldn’t mind a wardrobe of Chucks. They are the old style Converse. Ooh! And Josh is decorating a pair for me with his artwork right now. Custom, one of a kind Chucks!

  • Um, someone said “too old for Chucks”? Exsqueeze me? No! You are never too old for Chucks unless you decide to be. As for them not being comfy, can’t you add one of those insoles that gives a little padding and arch support and wear the right socks? Too old for Chucks!

    • Jenni – I always say ‘exsqeeze me’ too. And then I wait for my old friend Jon to say ‘baking powder’ but he never does anymore because he lives in Austin now. It makes sense to no one but us and it always made me laugh my head off.

  • Anelise:

    Chucks look retro cool. But sans arch support they make your feet ACHE. Bad, bad idea for Paris.

  • Susie:

    Last summer, my husband and I went to Italy. Venice, to be exact. We had this brilliant idea that backpacks would be the way to travel.


    Tell the Country Doctor that you’ll bring a backpack if he’ll carry it. Both his AND yours. We didn’t even have to dug the $*$^%^% around much because we stayed in the same place the entire trip, but I’m telling you, the havoc that piece of hell wrecked on my back was enough for a month of chiropractic care. And we had GOOD backpacks!

    Please, please, I beg of you, implore the Country Doctor to reconsider this travesty. SUITCASES are of God; BACKPACKS ARE OF THE DEVIL!

    Thus ends my tyrade.

  • I think you need to go to Olson’s Shoes in Aggieville and check out their selection of Merrell’s. They’ve got some that would be excellent for lots of walking plus they’d look good with pants, skirts or shorts. As for clothes, what about that line of travel clothes that you can literally wad up and it doesn’t wrinkle plus it will dry in no time flat so you can wash it out in your hotel sink? I’ll see if I can find a link for you. Watch your email.