Avoiding the rude tourist stereotype takes relatively little effort. A little planning on your part will actually make for a more pleasant trip regardless of the destination. But for those traveling to Paris, learning how to mix and mingle with what is oft described as an impenetrable social culture can be done.
First, grab a copy of Ines de la Fressange's "bible" of French fashion know-how Parisian Chic. In this crimson paperback she gives you the most amazing immersion lessons on mastering that certain je ne sais quoi our French counterparts are known for.
Not only will this handy tome demystify your packing list for Paris, it will give you a foundation for wardrobe building and chic dressing at home and abroad. Ines's now iconic book goes beyond merely discussing the all important casual street style look by also telling you the ins and outs of where to go and when to go. Boutiquing, grooming, wellness and manners are all covered in this indispensable book. Grab your copy and hold it tightly, it is as essential as an LBD.
Ahhhh, language. Mastering small talk is key when asking for directions, ordering coffee and trying on shoes. Frankly, communication is a skill to be mastered and taken seriously.
If you're looking to go beyond the traditional Rosetta Stone style language courses and learn Parisian slang and commonly used phrases of the local chic set, try Parisienne French. Warning: this is not your mama's translation guide. Some of the phrases will make you blush, but most this small hardcover is a font of useful information for expressing yourself in the native tongue. Edgy and cool, this little book will fit neatly in your clutch and come in handy in almost any situation you find yourself in while exploring the city of light.