In which I conclude that we will never be style icons

 Carcassonne city walls I took this as one of a series of shots trying to capture the sunlit, glittering fountain framed by the city walls.

Carcassonne lower city is laid out in grid pattern like many other iconic cities worldwide. It is (architecturally) stunning, clean, stylish, neat and fashion forward.One must conclude, everything that I am not.


As I flipped back through my shots, I noticed almost all featured an archetypal smart city dweller stylishly dressed, usually in black or versions thereof, often with co-ordinating small dogs.

I noted my own flying to UK oufit. On Thursday last it consisted of sawdust crusted jeans, biker boots, comfy teeshirt and cardi that had seen better days, plus giant shawl to pull on, or rip off, as the changing temperature dictated. What was left of my fingernails were caked in plaster.

This put me to reminiscing that, even when I was young, reasonably cute and skinny, I was never going to win any fashion awards. Outside the occasions where I must wear formal dark work suits, my casual style is way left of any centre known to the chic woman.

I recall my first husband ( If you listen to my sister, I have had truckloads) coming home from his Monday- Friday soujourn in York taking his Masters Degree (long story) saying “looking good today Gill!” . At the time I was wearing ancient cut off Levis over woolly patterned tights , base ball boots  and a man’s sweater covered in holes and patches ( and paint stains of course)

I expressed suprise at this flattering but unlikely statement and queried it. “But that’s your style!”  he said. He was right too. Not that I am alone in this, see photo below  of Trev.. yes he IS wearing socks and slides…. at least I am rocking scruffy slightly French country cool.


IMG_20160121_150521French floor







I must be, my outfits raise nary an eyebrow in Campagne.



About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to In which I conclude that we will never be style icons

  1. Lynda says:

    Me either. Classic ware for me: Jeans and t-shirt, merino wool socks (winter of summer) with a roomy round-toed solid leather shoe. I dress in layers year round, because I never know when my internal thermostat will suddenly go full tilt blast furnace and melt me where I stand. 😛
    Will I still be in the same garb as above at 80 plus? No, well, I honestly can’t say. By then I may be wearing some version of a maxi dress (unisack) affair.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. zipfslaw1 says:

    As I wait at the gate to board the plane for CDG, I like to try to guess who’s American and who’s French. I’ve never tried to validate my guesses, but with some people, it’s just not that hard…

    Nice use of “to rock”!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bizzyella says:

    So true, so true. The real money is in Paris, so the Parisians — and probably the Lyonnaise, the Bordelaise, anyone from a real city — dress in great clothes and drive great cars. French taxes being what they are, where do they get that money? I brought all this hippie wear from California, thinking the countryside was just the place for it and it is, most of the year. In summer or when I go to a “real,” i.e., recognized by Parisians, city — in my neck of the woods that would be La Rochelle but Carcassonne would work just as well — forget it. I don’t need to dress up but I’ll feel better if I do. I guess it’s a sign of how long I have lived here that what used to feel oppressive now feels normal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gabriele says:

    My first trip to France and Ariege I was happy to see there seemed to be an invisible barrier that kept out the Fashion Police. But I have to confess when I saw a bus with tourists stop at Fontestorbes I did a double take at a woman wearing a dress which appeared suitable for cocktails or posh receptions. The top had some draping which was at an angle, but it was the skirt that got me. It looked like those scalloped curtains that have a line of trim where the fabric is gathered up before swooping down to rise to another line of trim.
    I could see that the design would remove any concerns about wrinkles in the fabric from sitting a long time but I still kept on thinking of Gone With the Wind where Scarlett made her dress from her curtains (but not scalloped).
    My friend, no student of womens’ clothing, even took a second look and since no one else on the bus appeared so ‘stylish’ asked if it was a new style?
    (3″ heels completed the outfit).
    I found myself not identifying with the fashion police but with the French and pronounced: She’s not French. He nodded his head, nothing more needed to be said. Being less than soigne (even much less) was very acceptable but trying to be too much so–no elan, no style, no (may I say it?) taste, she had to have come from someplace else. He pointed to the bus parked on the verge (before the place was changed) and it was from an eastern European country.
    Someone told me the French appreciate authencite…and remembering that I think that’s what you have… in design and in yourself…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Osyth says:

    Two comments: 1) My granny always said ‘fashion is what suits you’ – she was right every time and 2) my dad was a crack skier. He learned in the 1940s way before it was fashionable and never saw the point of taking fashion onto the slopes. Over the years he donned his bobble-hat slub coloured anorak and whatever cords he had to hand with Norwegian sweater whenever he hit the pistes which was often. One year, he came back from Verbier and said mysteriously to my mother that he seemed to have been adopted by some rather nice young men who insisted on buying him drinks and called him ‘Grunge Grandad’ … It was the mid-90s … he was, just for that moment a fashion icon. Not that he wanted to be – he just thought they were jolly nice young chaps. Move over dull black-clad french people … their’s a new kid on the block and just you see, she’ll be in fashion one of these days and you will be emulating her 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Style is relative. Who wants to clean up dog poop all day? It’s bad enough having to avoid stepping in it. You have a fantastic life. Maybe you will just have to be a lifestyle/travel icon? Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. poshbirdy says:

    It’s unfair to judge yourself by the outfit you wear home, Gill. When you two dropped me at the airport I put my second (bulkier but much shorter) coat over my longer one, because I couldn’t fit it in my hand luggage, and I looked like a total bag lady! That aside, you always look like a rock chick to me, regardless of paint stains and scuffs, which only add to the ‘relaxed’ effect

    Liked by 1 person

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