Dress for Success

Santa Rosa, California,
November 02, 2014




I don’t think this is going to work.


According to Alex Wagner, founder and director of A La Carte Paris, there are 10 Mistakes Visitors Must Avoid. These include such things as eating dinner before 8:00 p.m. (good to know), wasting time at the Eiffel Tower and wasting d’argent sur le Champs Elysees (quelle surprise), and mixing up “tu” and “vous” (what “eed-ee–oat” doesn’t know his familiar from his formal, mon dieu!)

Doesn’t seem insurmountable. Let’s read on.

Uh oh . ., Mistake No. 4 . . . that one could be a problem.  “Dressing Like a Tourist.” Hmmmm . . . anyone who knows me knows sartorial is not my strong suit. (Worsted, maybe, but not strong.) This is a faux I can paw right out of the park. Shit.

Better read up. Hmmmm….casual but elegant? I can do that.

Orrrrr……maybe not.

According to Alex, no Levi 501s. (There is a another make and model?) Jeans have to be dark, tight fitting and straight cut. (Uhhh boy). No T shirts where the sleeve might fit more than one arm? (They make them to fit only one?). No running shoes with space age synthetic fabrics and upturned tips. No fleece? No backpack? No belly belts (which Alex says your stylish Parisian derisively calls a waist banana). What kind of backward country am I going to? How do you say “I’m screwed” in French?


Okay, talk to me Alex. I take “in-struc-zee–own”

Leather shoes? Check. A man purse? Really, Alex? A “hand held vintage sports bag or an over the shoulder satchel no smaller than 8 1/2 x 11?” Jesus Alex, I’ll look like David Beckham . . . okay, maybe not David Beckham.

And a scarf.

You’re kidding me, right Alex? A scarf? I haven’t worn a scarf since my mom outfitted me with idiot mittens in grade school. You know, the ones with a string that went through your sleeves up and over the shoulder to connect them so you wouldn’t lose them on the way home from school).

Not just any scarf. Say’s right here. Has to be 70″ long; not your standard 60″.(Who didn’t know that?) and it has to be tied in yer “classic Parisian or European knot”

Hmmmm….U Tube!!!

Thank god for Antonio Sentena, the founder of “Real Men Real Style.” Tony has an instructional video on how to tie a scarf in a Parisian knot. Atta boy Tony. Let me get a mirror . . .”uh huh . . , fold in half . . . got it . . .make a loop . . . pass loose end through the loop . . . and “Voila!”

Repetez, s’il vous plait . . . I’m screwed.

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