Arts + Culture

What Not To Wear: Dress Codes Worldwide

by Eimear Lynch

France

At a meeting: Dark, tailored, unflashy suits by Dior Homme or Jil Sander for both women and men (who need not wear ties).

On the street: Avoid bright colors—even kids' clothes in France come mainly in cream, navy, gray, and brown—and take care to shun the plethora of other offenses: pleated chinos, walking shorts, sport sandals, baseball caps, golf attire, loud logos, sneakers, T-shirts, and sexy clothes. "In France, it's always best to keep things simple, neutral, and classic rather than too trendy," says Miles Socha, European editor for Women's Wear Daily.

At a party: On a normal night out, overdressing's okay, but if it's black-tie, underdress: Men should wear business suits sans ties, women should slip on cocktail dresses, and for a normal night out, femmes should keep it simple, silky, and black.

P.S. "One's shoes and belt should always match," advises François Delahaye, former general manager at Paris's legendary Plaza Athénée. But, he adds, a man's tie should never mirror his silk pocket square.

Next: What Not To Wear in Germany ›

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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