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Dress styles; some differences between France and the UK

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Dress styles; some differences between France and the UK

Postby mattyman » April 11th, 2014, 3:43 pm

The purpose of this post is to illustrate some differences in the way people dress between France and the UK that I've noticed, as well as what some of my French friends have commented-on.

There's one friend I met through couchsurfing who I visited Ireland with back in May last year. He commented, whilst in a pub in Dublin about a girl in short-shorts showing her butt cheeks (nothing that unusual for the UK, Ireland being part of the same cultural sphere) and mentioned that you'd rarely see that in France.

In September, I went to France to do some masonry restoration work on a monastery in the Auvergne region, after which, I spent two days in Paris on the way home.

There's another friend who I met during my time there who I should mention. When we talk about some of the differences in the way that people dress in France and the UK, she describes the French as 'judgemental' in that respect. She describes French people as being judgemental in how you dress.

However, she spent one year studying in Vancouver prior to that and when she speaks English, her accent sounds strongly north-American. She did describe the way people are so much 'freer' and 'expressive' in the way they dress.

I must say that during my time in Paris, I didn't notice anywhere near as many girls in skimpy hotpants as you would in the UK, despite the warm weather. Most of the ones dressed like that were either British or American. Here in the UK, it's not uncommon to see girls dressed really skimpy, even when the temp just nudges the 10C/50F mark.

Another thing I should mention: regarding what my couchsurfing friend says about girls France and the UK. He says that there's noticeably more fat girls BUT, the beautiful ones are ultra hot by comparison. He describes there being much more extreme in beauty levels in the UK than in France. From my observations during my time in Paris, I have to say that I agree.

In my opinion, I'd describe the way that French girls dress as generally less 'loud' and in-your-face, and more discreet and modest than British girls (on average, not in absolute). I would say that it's a more sophisticated, classy, smarter, yet toned-down look. Personally, I prefer it. I also noticed noticeably more young women in summer dresses. I cannot say that I noticed any young women with dyed hair, peircings or tattooes. I must say, I do prefer that.

I don't know, maybe modesty is still valued there to a degree, maybe they're not as politically-correct as the UK? I get the impression that the French are less politically correct, that they're less afraid to say that some things are 'trashy' or 'tarty'. My female friend (who's now studying in London) says that if you dress outlandish or provocative manner, people stare at you in a judgemental manner.

Having said that, when I was in the Auvergne, some of the towns I visited did have some rather chavvy-looking people, but not as much as my home town and not as many provocatively-dressed girls. Certainly weren't any young kids dressed that way, as you'd see in the UK frequently.

Haven't done a trip report on this, because at the time, though I thought I'd bring this up because I was discussing this subject with my CS friend the other day, and thought that this maybe an interesting set of observations to share.

I wonder whether any of you guys have notice similar observations?
mattyman
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