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She has that, ‘je ne sais quarantine’

She has that, ‘je ne sais quarantine’

By Sadra Sumner

If you’ve been day-dreaming about being somewhere a bit more chic during this lockdown, let me level with you: Paris is equally as humdrum as your living room right now.  Even a good face mask makes the lot of us look like we’re doing home renovations, and even Parisians are stepping out in their pjs and rumpled shirts; a big ‘no-no’ for citizens of the fashion capital.  It’s a strange time to be living in Paris.  But it could also be the perfect time to take your wardrobe to the next level.

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Looking at the future #StayHome #StaySafe #TakeCare #DreamTomorrow #LoveFromMaje #Maje

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There are a few simple things to do in quarantine (in addition to cleaning your bathroom cabinet) to get your suitcase ready for your eventual trip to Paris.  Why not take the time now to prepare for when the travel ban is lifted so that you can enjoy your next vacation?    

Taking care of your clothes like the French

Most Parisians don’t have dryers.  Most don’t have big back yards with cool breezes either, so it’s the drying rack next to a window, and fingers crossed that your neighbor isn’t a smoker, although that’s highly unlikely here.  The point is, you don’t need to put everything in the dryer.  Take special care to lay your more fussy sweaters (here’s looking at you, wool & cashmere), or even ones that risk looking dingy after a few too many tumbles in the dryer, out to dry in a well-ventilated area.  Your clothes will last longer and look newer, and you’ll be oh-so-Parisian!

You have the time now, there’s no excuse not to hand-wash that shirt.  A spritz of detergent, a few swishes and scrubs in the sink, a wring, and voila.  You’ve graduated to a new level of adulting!  Lay it out to dry with plenty of towels underneath to absorb the drops, and tuck it away neatly when fully dry.  This process is great when you accumulate a few white pieces that are susceptible to picking up other colors in the machine.  Neutrals are classic staples of any French closet, but keeping them crisp and true to color is key.  

If you’re swapping out your sweaters for more summery clothes, consider depilling your sweaters before you pack them away.  You have the time now – take advantage of it! You’ll be thanking yourself next autumn when you get them back out and see how new they look.  If you don’t have a depiller, you should definitely consider investing in one – they act like little razors on those pesky fuzz balls that make a sweater look worn out.  French women pride themselves on investing in long lasting pieces, and this is a great way to get more mileage out of your favorite winter threads. 

Find all of your buttons in those little plastic button bags, empty them, and put them in a jar in your closet.  Have a button you’ve been meaning to sew on?  Now’s the time!  If you’re all buttoned up, this 15-minute project will make that quick button swap much easier when time is of the essence.  Unique touches, like decorative buttons, can make a jacket or a blouse stand out without being too loud.  Consider changing out some of the original buttons for more intricate ones – tailoring clothes goes beyond the hem.  When you do step out in Paris in your DIY one-of-a-kind piece, you’ll be glad that you took the time to make it unique!

Have you located that one item in your closet that you just can’t part with?  Put it on and wear it around the house for a few hours.  Quarantine may not be the time to wear pants, but what about just these pants for a half the day.  Still feeling comfy in them, or like you want to tear them off and burn them?  That should give you your answer to the ‘donate’ or ‘keep’ pile question.  Parisians, although known for their investment pieces, are also great about donating clothing.  Local charities work with apartment buildings in the city to organize pick-ups once a month, so those once-loved rompers can find a new home.   

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When your domestic travel ban is lifted and you are able to travel again, you might want to treat yourself to a shopping spree in the capital.  Brands like Sezane or Comptoir des Cotonniers are known for their trendy yet affordable styles.  With its deceiving name, American Vintage is another French-owned and operated company that started in Marseille and never ceases to produce modern, comfortable clothing.  Finally, the SMCP brands (Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot & De Fursac) offer ‘accessible luxury’, as they call it.  We just call it accessible fashion!  These would be great addresses to include in your post-lockdown, stylish wardrobe, ready for your European vacation!

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