Its time to get packing. Our first destination is Hossegor, a gorgeous vacation village built around a marine lake in the 1920’s. Nestled between the foie gras eating Landes region and the explosive (sometimes literally) tapas loving Basque region, this is surfer territory. An ironic destination for someone who left the Santa Cruz mountains of California, in search of city life. We come here every year, pedaling our dune bikes between the tennis courts and the beach, where we boogie board. And then, we eat.
So what exactly does a Parisienne pack for her French holidays? Her Carte Bancaire, bien sûr. Okay, that is a joke I made up, inspired by the horrible J-A-P jokes of the 1980’s. The ones that accused me of making reservations for dinner.
But seriously, if she is very lucky (I’m not that kind of lucky) an Eres bathing suit and some more sports-y beach wear. A pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers are probably stuffed into her market basket cum beach bag. Another favorite beach bag is the freebie given at the pharmacie when you buy Avene sunscreens. When not hitting the beaches, she may be sporting the practical but stylish Upla bag, or an even more practical and completely functional Bensimon bag. If she does not have a Bensimon bag, it is likely that she is wearing their very affordable, quite simply, yet annual popular canvas sneakers.
And she is probably throwing in some navy blue. And white. And a combination thereof. I blame it on the traditional navy and white striped, St James Breton fishing sweaters, which have been popular since the 1850s. Fashionable Parisienne‘s strictly follow the “never wear more than three colors at once” rule, even on holiday, and this one single, although historic garment seems to dictate the Parisienne‘s vacation palette year in and year out.
While once just a heavy wool sweater worn to survive the elements, you’ll now find marine stripes in every collection, from the luxury houses to discount chains, available in an entire range of styles; from heavy wool to nearly transparent cotton, blue with white stripes, or white with blue stripes. When not on a sweaters, the stripes can be spotted on everything from dresses, to tank tops, canvas bags to beach towels. Only pants seem to be spared the Breton sailor look, and that’s probably because they manage to make even the Parisenne derrière look wide.
For her feet, she has probably thrown in a pair of Les Tropeziennes, an affordable knock of of the classic K Jacques still being handmade in Saint Tropez. And her Aigle rainboots, because no matter where you go in France, rain is always possible. Anything is possible, really.