2 years ago by

My sisters, I was about to write you a post about feminism just now. I was flying through it, my fingers typing 300 miles an hour on the keyboard, when suddenly I thought to myself: come on, just chill out for two seconds.

That’s enough of being deep, spiritual, self-fulfilled, and having an amazing perspective on the world.

Let’s be rich, light, carefree, and let’s just talk about clothes for a second.

Or actually, let’s talk about my day on Saturday, which will henceforth be known as “the worst dressed day of my entire life” – okay. The truth is, there have been others, some even more embarrassing. Let me remind you that I’m a former Fashion Week warrior and I’ve worn my share of questionable looks, just like any self-respecting fashion girl.

But this one was extra special, because besides being dressed badly, out of season, and wearing no makeup, I totally forgot who I was. I forget who I am all the time, honestly. Apparently, that innocence is part of my charm (so, I said I was done being deep and spiritual for two seconds, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop being pretentious).

The day began nice and warm in my bed at La Clinique la Prairie where, like any modern woman, I was doing a detox (I’ll tell you all about my detox next time – I promise I didn’t get any enemas). My alarm clock didn’t even have a chance to go off – I woke up bright and early overflowing with health and jumped right into the shower.

That day, my plan was to take a flight to Paris to meet up with my sister and her children, hang out for awhile and have a nice, relaxed dinner of detox broth before catching my flight back to LA the next morning.

So I put on my fuzzy robe, made myself a detox tea (yes, EVERYTHING was detox), then it was time to get dressed to leave. I had prepped my outfit in advance and I was congratulating myself for being so annoyingly perfect.

Except I hadn’t thought about my look as a complete outfit AT ALL.

I put on my burgundy cashmere sweat suit, which was a gift from my sister – super pretty.

I put on my Gucci moccasins, who knows why. I guess I think they’re sort of chic with a cashmere sweat suit.

So far so good, if you don’t look too closely. I mean, it’s still a sweat suit with moccasins, after all. But hey, you’ve either got fashion in your blood, or you don’t.

Except. On top of all of that, I was wearing an enormous faux fur. Which was bright red.

Where else would you want me to put it? A huge fur like that doesn’t fit in a suitcase! That’s the kind of thing that, if you take it with you on a trip, you have no choice but to wear it. It’s like traveling with a hat, or an umbrella, a dog, or a lover. Just don’t do it.

I had taken it with me because it was way below freezing in Paris when I arrived two weeks ago.

And at the time, it seemed PERFECTLY LOGICAL.

Already at the airport, I could already tell the Swiss people were looking at me funny. Swiss people are pretty chic. They like subtlety, discretion, they’re naturally polite and it’s very calming.


Pfffft. Even though I’m like everyone else and don’t care what people think of me in the airport, I still took note: think for two seconds about what you’re going to be wearing wherever you go, even if it’s the Geneva airport.

A few hours after my airport defeat, I was slumped over in a Parisian restaurant that was NOT GOOD AT ALL (hey, it happens) with my sister and her twelve children (it’s crazy how children multiply when you’re not looking) (no, I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t seeing double – it’s just that all the kids brought their friends along), and suddenly, I felt it was imperative that we go to Béline.

That’s what my sister and I call Céline.

Obviously, she understood the urgency right away, and we left all the kids with a responsible adult (who was outraged about the mission they’d just been given) and we headed off to Béline.

Me, in my bright red fur, sweat suit and Gucci moccasins, of course, and my sister in, uhh…well.

Wearing a cashmere sweat suit, a faux fur (brown, though – phew!) and Gucci mocassins.

Yep, we were dressed exactly alike, like idiots. We hadn’t planned it, we’re just like that – we dress the same all the time without realizing it, her in the chic version, me in the “bohemian” version (another way of saying messy and disheveled).

Anyway, since I’d traveled that morning, I had “forgotten” to wear makeup. And since I’d traveled that morning, my cashmere had taken on a rumpled appearance. My bag (which was white – hey, I forgot to tell you about that part) weighed a ton and a half because of the trip and the too many things in it, which gave me the grace of a discus thrower.

And as for the fur, it hadn’t changed a bit. Red, enormous, unmistakable.

I could have organized myself a bit better (drop the fur off at my sister’s, break my promise about not opening my suitcase, take two seconds to do my makeup) but if I were an organized woman, you’d know it by now.

Oh, and the weather?

Yeah, the weather was changing.

A brilliant sun was caressing the streets of Paris.

An ideal Saturday afternoon.

Pfff, pfff, pfff.

Pffff. I was burning up. It’s starting to get hot, I said to myself as I passed by L’Avenue at the corner of Avenue Montaigne and saw all the pouty lips out eating lunch on the terrace, some of them wearing t-shirts.

But a few degrees weren’t going to stop me from going to Béline, I said to myself, as I felt my skin start to glisten and my armpits heat up. I had a moment of silence for my organic deodorant.

I knew I’d just given it a mission made for maximum strength anti-perspirant and it was going to fail miserably. Yeah, yeah, you know what I’m saying. Don’t pretend like the natural stuff works.

So I was badly dressed, my face wasn’t done, I was probably going to smell like sweat soon and we were on our way to Béline.

And when I got to Béline, that’s when I had forgot once again who I was. Ah, my natural humility is going to be the end of me.

I had high hopes that no one would recognize me. Even though I was clearly visible, I was SO not up to the standard of French chic that people associate with me (a reputation I’ve gotten largely despite myself, let’s just say we’re French just so people think we’re chic).

At Béline, it was fire and fury. All the women wanted to get their hands on the latest pieces designed by Boebe Bilo (OK, OK I’ll stop) before they disappear forev…

OK, interlude, hands in the air, chin down, eyes closed, everyone repeat after me:


Oof, that feels good. Because seriously, a world without Phoebe, it’s going to be hard for us. And for Zara, haha.

…so, before they disappear forever. There were tons of people, and there was also an event going on with models walking around in the store, hot servers offering drinks and snacks (haha, snacks!)

Despite all that, some kind soul (I don’t know what we’re supposed to say these days, saleswoman? Is that politically correct? Help!!!) a saleswoman, let’s say, came to “help” us. In other words, she followed us all over the store to make us feel guilty for not buying anything.


It’s difficult to describe how an outfit that’s slightly awkward in an airport becomes an impossible tragedy the moment you step into a temple of good taste like Céline. You suddenly feel like a hyena (a red one) in the middle of graceful swans.


I tried to hide in my fur, telling myself that I was sure NOT going to pass for someone very elegant, but there was a good chance I’d pass for someone very, very rich. I’ve often noticed these days, the richer you are, the more likely you are to wear distressed sneakers and distressed sweatpants – with either a mink fur over it, or a gold watch covered in diamonds, or an entirely redone face, or all three at the same time, and that’s the complete Bingo.

But hey, my fur was faux, I had no fancy watch on my wrist, and my face was probably shiny but certainly not redone. Even so, there was a glimmer of hope.

Yes, yes, I admit, I don’t know why, but I started to feel self-conscious.

Fortunately, I thought to myself, I look stupid, but no one will recognize me, so at least there’s that.

I ended up buying a purse out of guilt (it was so pretty!) (I mean, I think?) (shit, did I really buy it to apologize for my appearance?) (naah, it really is beautiful). When suddenly the nice saleswoman says to me: “AH, THAT WILL BE PERFECT FOR NEW YORK!”

I raised an eyebrow.

I hadn’t told her I lived in New York. Plus, she was three years behind.

I couldn’t decide which part was more annoying.

Fuck, Garance Doré had been unmasked! I hid my face three times deeper into my fur.


We left Béline feeling triumphant, and it was exactly 12,000 degrees outside. I managed to convince…

Oh la la, this is all getting way too long. I’ve got things to do!

OK, let me just give you a short summary, otherwise you’ll still be reading this tomorrow. And, how do I put this – this post isn’t exactly required reading on women’s place in society these days… OR IS IT?

Okay, so in short, we went to have tea afterward in a Parisian palace – I can’t tell you the name (OK, the George V) where the cakes were not good at all, and we got to observe “palace” fashion (Wow Balenziaga IS REALLY ALL THE RAGE in palaces, and plus the brand is written in such huge letters everywhere, in case you were confused and thought you were looking at a repairman with a passion for gold watches covered in diamonds) (if you don’t follow, go look at the Balenciaga “work wear” fashion shows) so we finally decided that no matter what we do, no matter what we say, what nice things we amass, and no matter how much we go to Céline, the best of the best of the best, in our opinion, and what works whether you’re in a palace or a plane or the subway or anywhere else, is JEANS AND A WHITE T-SHIRT (WITH GOOD DEODORANT).

Oh, and Bucci moccasins, of course. Dropping the mic.

Translated by Andrea Perdue


Add yours
  • You are so refreshing???

  • I love picturing you and your sister in the exact same outfit in different colors. Of course she wore the same sweat suit–she got you yours. She was probably thrilled you wore it.
    On the one hand, you have a point about jeans and a white T-shirt. On the other hand, the world would be boring if everybody did that. I enjoy seeing the occasional burgundy cashmere sweat suit paired with red faux fur. It sounds FUN. Probably all those swishy Swiss at the airport were thinking, “I bet she is great at a party!”
    The more universal question, though, is what kind of coat is warm enough for winds barreling in from Siberia and yet not too heavy for the warm spring weather that can follow just days later?

  • Merci Garance, j’ai mon mascara sur les joues avec un tel fou rire!
    Je crois que quand même je l’aime bien cette fourrure toute rouge, c’est tellement beau le rouge. C’est flatteur au teint comme couleur, et avec ton immense sourire habituel je suis sûre qu’en fait ta sœur et toi étiez parfaites. Des nounours en couleurs chez Béline, c’est une image qui me plaît!!

  • une seule chose à dire: XPTD
    ces récits sont THE BEST ici :-)

  • Chere Garance, rien qu’a la vue de la (tres belle) illustration j’ai su que j’allais passer un bon moment a lire votre post que je ne lis qu’en francais. Mais la, j’etais contente de ne pas m’etre maquillee ce matin parce que a partir de “ce qui me donnait la grace d’une lanceuse de disque”, j’ai craque et j’ai pleure de rire en lisant le reste ! J’adore ce genre de posts qui deviennent rares mais quelles perles.
    On se reconnait toutes et tous dans ces textes hilarants. Merci !

  • hahahahhahahhaa
    I really missed your writing, Garance! Temperature-wise, that’s basically how I feel in NYC EVERY SINGLE DAY, entirely over or under dressed, ugh!

  • Sunny Side March, 15 2018, 11:54 / Reply

    Qu’est-ce que tu brouté dans la Prairie ?

  • hahahaahah Trop fort j’adore !

  • La prochaine fois Garance -and team-, tu devrais essayer le Meurice et les gâteaux, que dis-je, merveilles, de Cédric Grolet. À déguster ou à demander à emporter pour le mettre sous cloche sur la cheminée (je ne fais pas partie de sa famille, je n’aime juste pas voir quelqu’un manger de mauvais gâteaux ).

    Et for our English speaking friends visiting Paris, go to the Meurice – that place where Sex and the City wasn’t shoot- but for sure the place-to-be regarding Gateaux, pâtisseries and other highly delicious French stuff.

    Btw, I loooooove your honesty ! :-)

  • I loved this. Your “moment of silence” made me laugh out loud. And I NEED to see the Céline!

  • Love hearing your hilarious voice, Garance! We miss you when you’re going for too long!

  • Mariateresa March, 15 2018, 1:30 / Reply

    Adorable! Sei grande Garance!

  • I haven’t read anything so funny and entrancing for a very long time!!! Garance you are the best, I have some of my own “worst-dressed days”, you reminded me of one of them (you can read it here)

    Your sense of humour is just amazing! love you :)

  • Oh garance – to see life through your writing… ??????


  • I love this…you are so authentic and refreshing …Thankyou for sharing a situation I’m sure we have all experienced in some shape or form and for me more than once in such a humorously descriptive post

  • Lisa Walker March, 15 2018, 3:44 / Reply


  • Oh, I loved this piece so much! Reminds me so much of when Garance Dore was first translated into English.

  • indeed i just arrived from work, if you have written for feminism although deeply interested i would not had the mind to read it. This was perfect and so much in the sense of “i know what you mean” made the same mistakes in an effort to get out of the typical outfits!!Thank you very refreshing post!!

  • Ana @champagnegirlsabouttown March, 15 2018, 4:33 / Reply

    Ha, this is how I kind of feel a lot in Paris which is concerning, given that I meant to be moving there this year. This post is for me Garance! :)

  • therese March, 15 2018, 4:37 / Reply

    Why is it that the outfit looks so perfect in your head but in reality wtf? I love your stories. This made me laugh out loud today at work. We’ve all been there minus the celebrity factor. But who hasn’t hidden in a store or restuarant when they saw someone they knew on one of these days.

    Thaks for a great laugh and a little humility.


  • Maryanne March, 15 2018, 4:39 / Reply

    This is why I used to love your website.. please more of this!!!

  • Oh Dear Atelier Doré,
    Reading articles like this puts a smile on my face. It’s light, witty, entertaining – and something so many women can relate to. Also loved the fun portyal of fashion brands and people!

  • Christie March, 15 2018, 10:48 / Reply

    Story of my life! Love this

  • Malea Jude March, 16 2018, 3:10 / Reply

    Oh, I just adore Garance’s voice and how visual this piece is! But also, can we talk about the never winning natural deodorant battle … Jeans, white t , and “Good” deodorant. We all know the struggle. I’ve tried a couple brands and they’re okay…but like Garance, I can’t rely on mine in any situation in which I “might” perspire, which is basically all day everyday. If healthy is chic and natural deodorant is healthy… Stinky can be chic right? HA! Any lovelies here found that special one that actually works? Please share ?

  • For me, Lavanila works just as good as the chemical laden ones. I’ve repurchased it countless times. The other natural brands I tried did not work at all. But I wonder if perhaps what works for one person may not necessarily work on another. You might have to try a few to find what works best with your body.

  • Franchement, chère Garance, ces récits de tranches de vie empreints d’auto ironie sont ce que tu fais de mieux (et le mieux!)
    Toujours une franche rigolade à te lire chaque fois (et c’est ce que je préfère ici)
    felicitation pour ce récit!

  • Garance, welcome back! I am so glad U feel better! You should spend more time with Your sister, it seems like You are the happiest together!

  • Oh Garance! How we LOVE you so much for making us laugh! That was a great read and we have ALL been there! :)

  • so hysterical! yes definitely white t-shirt & jeans & good deodorant

  • Le bon deo ! Oui j’insiste ! À glisser dans son sac ! J’ai eu ce petit prob aussi y’a deux semaines …après avoir couru comme une folle avec mon petit neveux … je me suis retrouvée à un événement … et mon nez , complètement bouché ne m’avait pas prévenu…
    heureusement que j’ai fini ma journée avec une amie j’ai bu un bon verre de vin et de rire pour oublié tout ça !

  • Garance, I’ve been following you for years now, and have never left a comment, but after reading this I couldn’t resist. I am literally laughing out loud!!! Your honesty, humour, and self-deprecation are so refreshing. You are a total boss, and an inspiration :)

  • Yes, yes, all of that ??

  • Ah ça faisait bien longtemps que je n’avais pas lu un post aussi amusant et décomplexé ici. Le passage à Paris t’a fait du bien, au diable le politiquement correct et aseptisé de la West Coast ! :)

  • Just pure lol stuff, thank you.

  • all it took was 1 night in paris for Garance to return!. sooo funny. missed this

  • You should have shared the blog post on feminism instead… might have saved this post for later

  • Christine March, 18 2018, 7:59 / Reply

    This is so funny!! I miss your writing!!

  • A true return to form! So refreshing, light hearted and made me have a little giggle out loud. Good to have you back Garance. Loved it.

  • This is hilarious. That bit about the deodorant is too real. I also use nontoxic stuff, and one day in court, I got super hot and I was sweating like I hadn’t in recent times past, and I was mortified. I was like, “where is the aluminum stuff when you need it?!” Ahh. *cue moment of silence for deodorant*

  • This put me in the best mood ever! Merci. ?

  • I really enjoyed this. Takes me back in time.

  • Hi Garance,
    Thank you for your writings. You are very refreshing amidst the ‘perfect’ fashion/style, etc. bloggers, vloggers and so much reminds me of me (OK, I think you are ahead of me in terms of style). I feel like I am constantly making these mistakes and have an illusion that one day I’ll arrive to a world of tasteful and elegant and chic group of people. Nevertheless, I enjoy the experiment and try to embrace myself as I am. And I like your deep and ‘overcomplicated’ parts. Merci.

  • Omg too funny. Bucci moccasins and your sister dressing in an identical outfit. Could you be the new Hiltons in your cashmere sweat suits?

  • Marie Therese March, 18 2018, 2:57 / Reply

    This ending is brilliant. Jeans + a white tee are my everyday uniform :)

  • Mia Cook March, 18 2018, 9:50 / Reply

    A great read. I was actually crying with laughter!

  • Michelle March, 19 2018, 1:27 / Reply

    The deodorant comment! Yes! This is me today wearing my weleda deodorant but it isn’t quite cutting it and I’m wearing a cardigan to cover the smell! I like Lavanilla too – its one of the only natural ones that doesn’t give me a rash and actually works.

  • I found out about Soapwalla from Garance’s blog. It saves my life and the lives of several “sisters.” It’s not an antiperspirant but it really cuts the smell, even the anxiety smell which is the worst.

  • Pictures or it didn’t happen ;D

  • Christiane Doll March, 19 2018, 10:24 / Reply

    You made my day.?
    I recognized myself.Love from Hamburg

  • Please do more of this posts!!!
    We really miss you

  • This post reminds me of the early days of your blog and its so fabulous… I didn’t realize how much I missed the Garance voice!

  • Photos?

  • Schmidt’s Deodorant Stick Lavender + Sage is all natural and does a better job than any standard deodorant I ever tried. I threw away so much money on every possible natural / organic brand out there and this is the only one that worked even better than the aluminum-full drugstore brand I used before.

  • Garance, you made me smile…this is why I used to love your website…please return to more fun & joy & laughs…had almost given up…you can discover & develop & grow but keep your humour & lightness & FUN!

  • HAHAHA mais merci pour cette belle crise de rire derrière mon ordi, ça m’a sauvé ma journée morose au bureau !
    Je voyage pas mal aussi et j’ai déjà fait des erreurs stratégiques vestimentaires de nombreuses fois. Je me sens tellement moins seule maintenant ! Même si je n’ai pas atteint le niveau de la fourrure rouge… :D

  • ahhh

    I totally relate, impossible outfits while traveling, it is difficult to make things work when you have limited space in the suitcase and many options to cover (a detox clinic in the mountains, a plane and Avenue Montaigne in a few hours….) and yes…. I too hate when saleswomen or men would not let me have a quick look at clothes in stores without following me, staring me, greeting me all the time, as if I was a compulsive burglar or they wanted to make sure I do not think that staring is a no-charge activity….. they should change that constant chasing attitude unless they really believe it is best for them to make every customer (actual or potential) uncomfortable.

  • I’ve just stumbled across your blog from the podcast you did with Violette and, oh my! I laughed out loud SO much! I really appreciate your sense of humor and honesty. It’s wonderfully refreshing and makes me feel like a best friend – in on the jokes and hilarious “Did I tell you about…?” stories that only friends are willing to share. Thank you for being genuine and truly you. Bissous!

  • As I saw Hedi Slimane’s Celine show yesterday, I remember this story and how you characterized Celine as a temple for good taste and wonder what you would be thinking about this new Celine. I particularly think it lacked originality and creativity and doesn’t reflect the good taste of the Celine house. Would love to hear what you think?

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