Shopping in France
When I moved to France, I discovered style. Those who have known me since I was a teen might argue I always had style, but in France, you dress the part...always.
To get that style I had to do something else —shop! I needed dresses! Before Bordeaux, I lived in Kiel Germany and then in a village outside of Kiel. On the Baltic, it was cold, wet. I was in farm country, not the glorious mini Paris that Bordeaux is.
My coats were wrong; my jeans were not stylish enough, my shoes were too clunky. I've had a bit of this — the changing of the wardrobe — with every move: A new country and a new climate calls for an upgrade, but in France, I was up against my biggest challenge...I had to find the clothing.
Shops with beautiful dresses lined the streets I wandered. I walked in ready to buy but was ignored. With rudimentary French, I tried to get some help with no success.
Finally, I found a dress I loved in a shop named Tara Jarman. I approached the clerk and asked in French, "Do you have this in my size?" She eyed me up and down like I was a huge hideous insect and said in English, "Madame, we don't carry things in your size" she snatched the dress, "try another store we have nothing for your type here."
Utterly deflated and feeling like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman I left the shop. Since this time I have purchased from many stores in Bordeaux, including Tara Jarman; of course, they have my size.
A friend of mine, Maria, taught me how to shop in France; the most important trick she taught me — dress the part! If you walk into a store well dressed and acting like a pro they will dote on you like your a princess. Try it...it works.
–Allison Ochs, Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife