The experience of moving to a brand-new city in another country can be daunting but also an exciting, fresh chapter in your life. There’s nothing like roaming around your new neighborhood and taking in all the sights—including everyone’s fashion sense. Well, that’s exactly what Ryan Norville did when she and her family decided to move abroad and live in Paris. “I’ve always loved escapism through travel, and when I made the decision to leave New York, it was mostly for the quality of life of my two kids,” she said. Luckily, Norville and her son are fluent in French, and though she was born and raised in NYC, Paris felt familiar due to her many travels there. Norville is a content creator, artist, and owner of Oat Cinnamon Studio—a design studio based in Brooklyn—so she still plans to travel back in order to oversee larger projects when needed. Why be bicoastal when you could be bicontinental, right?
After settling into her new surroundings, she noticed immediate differences in the outfits and style of Parisians. Most importantly, it’s more than just the stripes, basket bags, Chanel slingbacks, and berets often depicted in films and television shows. (Looking at you, Emily in Paris.) The culture is so rich, and Norville has some key observations and insights about what “French style” really is. Keep reading below for her takeaways about five things Parisians gravitate toward… and five others that have them saying “non merci.”