Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School Fashions - French/American style

La Rentree - a little French & American styling..
What my girls are wearing for Back to School Fashions this year in Bordeaux, France

So I need to say up front - that its not normally my style to write a post on the fashion of my daughters.  But we had a lot of fun this year picking out new school clothes.  It's also enjoyable to watch them mix and match what they already owned with a few new pieces. We were fortunate also to have some visitors from the States bring us a few packages from some of our favorite US stores.  As an American, in general, I find clothing in France to be a bit more expensive than in the States.  The French do not have the constant sales like we find back home. There are two big sales times during the year and they last about 3 weeks.  The first one is mid January to clearance out Fall/Winter styles and the other big time is July to clearance out Spring/Summer.  Occasionally, one finds a few smaller sales.  The big thing in France are loyalty cards - every store seems to have a card.  The programs vary from accumulating points to use, special reimbursement certificates earned, special deals for card members and some stores even have on-going discounts for card members.  Bottom line is this is where you can save some money.  In most stores, these cards are free, just sign up, but for a few stores there is an annual fee - but this is definitely made up by the savings earned.  One store, I pay 25 euros a year, but in return I get 50% off all items, all the time at the store.  When I was shopping for Christmas, the cost of this card was paid for in one trip from the savings that was earned by having the card.  

It's taken me a little while to find stores that we like.  There are some that we know - H&M & Zara for instance.  New stores that we have discovered - Desigual, Orchestra, Okaidi & Kiabi.  I also have found some nice pieces through the catalog store, La Redoute (For Americans, think JC Penney).  Some stores have some great deals on certain items and then other items seem high priced to me.  One just has to be savvy about what they buy.  The other concept here in France also is that people don't seem to buy tons of clothes like in the States.  They buy a few key pieces and mix and match them with basics that they already own- leggings here, a scarf there.  I think some of this is based on cost of items, but I also think this is changing and it depends obviously on family income.  I have also found that the kids here are not as set on certain makers or designers.  You don't see Aeropostale, Hollister and Abercrombie everywhere and on everyone.  Certain styles and a few designers are popular at each age, but it's more about the style than the name.  Clothing is also sold at the markets, and this is very popular with the teenagers and young adults - especially sundresses, tanks, skirts..  This summer for example, my daughter and her cousin bought this adorable white cotton drop waist with ruffled skirt sundress.  I've often see this same cotton dress from the market worn by many different people and ages - and everyone is creative with their own - a belt with one, a scarf with another, and the other day I saw a university student wearing the same adorable white sundress with a denim vest.  I think girls here truly enjoy putting their "own" style into their wardrobe, whether it be with shoes, scarves, vests or jewelry.

So the following are some of what my girls have picked to wear this Fall:

For my 6th grader in middle school- (6eme en France) - 

Here she chose a cute t-shirt from Zara and matched it with a scarf (Zara).
Check out the ballet flats - very popular here.

Below it's a cute graphic t-shirt from H&M paired with popular black hi-tops.

Striped shirts and sweaters are in this Fall - here  the Navy & White sweater from H&M
paired with denim short, tights and ankle boots.

Fun ankle boots are all over the stores this Fall - 
many different colors and styles to match anyone's wardrobe.

Knitted sweater and ponchos are very popular -
This sweater happens to be from Delia's (US) paired with ballerina flats and gray skinny jeans (Zara)

It's still warm here - so this outfit is just a cotton sleeveless blouse
paired with a dark cotton skirt (Delia's) and ballerina flats.
A sweater over her shoulders or a cardigan left open would complete it for a cooler Fall day.

Shorts over tights are very popular here
Paired with a bohemian long-sleeve top (Delia's)

My middle daughter is entering 3rd grade (CE2 in France).  She has a bit of her own style and wasn't into modeling as much for me - but we wanted to show some of what she picked out.

Long sleeve white cotton blouse- tunic length/belted (Zara) paired with a great neutral scarf (Zara).
She would wear this with jeans or shorts and ballerina flats

Long sleeve purple jersey cotton t-shirt with small graphic design (Zara) paired with a faux fur vest (Zara)
worn with slim jeans

One of my favorites (wish she put it on..) - Adorable denim dress (Okaidi) to be worn with tights or leggings paired with a fun heart-printed scarf (Okaidi). 
 She also has an adorable red cardigan that looks great with this outfit! (See below)

Red Cardigan (Okaidi) paired with scarf and awesome suede ankle boots.

She did model her fun bright blue t-shirt with sequins (H&M)
paired with jean leggings (H&M) and her new black/pink high tops

Close up on the high-tops - loads of fun!

A summer romper (Okaidi) that could have a sweater or cardigan put with it in cooler weather.
She paired it with her fun ballet flats from last winter (amazing that they still fit her feet!)

Again, stripes are everywhere this season
Her black/white striped sweater (H&M) paired with a pair of black dress leggings (H&M)

Finally, here are a few pieces and outfits for my almost 5 year old.  She's entering Kindergarten or in France (Grand Section-Maternelle) She loves dresses and tunics with leggings.  But her main criteria in her style is it has to be soft and comfy!  She's always liked softer clothes.  She also knows what she likes and what she doesn't.  Each of these outfits were picked out by her at the store.

Long sleeve "purse" embroidered t-shirt (Zara) paired with brown leggings (tea collection)
 and fun ballet flats.

Long sleeve cream graphic t-shirt (Zara) paired with soft corduroy shorts (tea collection) and leggings

Here's my youngest modeling one of her favorite tunic length tops with matching leggings

Having a little fun with her big sister

Here school shoes this year are adorable and fun!  Dark grey Mary Jane's with purple flowers.
The striped area are part of the shoe making them warmer and more secure in fit.  
I also love the extra rubber on the ends.

I'm not sure what the back to school style is presently in the States for school age through high school kids - would love to know what is similar and what is different.  In summary, skinny jeans, stripes, shorts, graphic prints, anything denim, ballerina flats and scarves are very popular here. We had lots of fun this Fall shopping and putting it all together.  I'm sure as the year goes on, my girls will continue to be creative in how they mix and match their wardrobe.  It's nice to see them each develop their own sense of style.  So Happy Back to School everyone and in France - Bonne Rentree!  Hope it's a great year for all!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading and commenting - enjoy your day. Come back and visit again soon.

  2. Bonne Rentrée to all your gorgeous girls! They are rocking the French styles. Okaiidi is one of my favourites ever since my Mum bought something from there for a newborn India. Now she (India) is all about Abercrombie which IS all over Paris. At our school it's a de facto uniform;) What I really want to know is where you bought all those great shoes. We are having SO much trouble finding school shoes. Great post!

    1. Hope your girls had a great start too! My oldest was all about Abercrombie in the States but there are no Abercrombie stores in Bordeaux. We do see a few pieces from time to time..but not too many. The shoes came from a combinations of stores - Some ballet flats were clearanced that the market this summer - but the store -Chausse Expo - ( where I found most of them. Cute styles and reasonably priced. We also have another giant shoe store near us in Merignac - that again had some good prices. Hope this helps. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Great post!! I can't wait to show my daughter, she is also in CE2 this year. We are fortunate to shop in USA every summer when we visit family. Although I like the cute styles here, not much can compare to price and quality available in the USA. Also, Abercrombie is VERY popular here in Monaco these past few years, with kids AND Mom's as well.

    P.S. Why are their only blog-like choices for my name when I leave a comment? Some blogs have one option for entering your name how you want it to show (without my full name.)

    1. Thanks for commenting - I do agree - it is hard to compare price and quality of the US. My daughter would love to find more Abercrombie here - but unfortunately there is not a store in Bordeaux. We do get some items sent or brought over from the US - so that helps. Great to hear what's popular where you are.

      I think I fixed the blog choices for leaving your name - as you wish - I'm new to blogging - so I appreciate the feedback. Thanks. Bonne Rentree!

  4. Interesting post and your girls model the outfits so well! What a lovely collection of stylish back to school clothes. I love those very chic scarves, ballet flats and the bohemain top. Of course, so different from the UK with the traditional school uniforms.

    1. Thank you for your compliment! I have to agree - I love the scarves and flats too. It's nice to see them be more creative than they were in the US. I think my girls would definitely have a hard time going to school in the UK -I remember last year when my oldest came home from school after video chatting with an English school and the first this she said shockingly..."Mom, would you believe they have to wear UNIFORMS in the UK?". I think its all what you get use to..Visit again soon.

  5. Which stores have loyalty card programs? I can't believe I didn't know this.
    Your girls look great in these photos, they must have loved posing for all of these photos :)

    1. Yes, my girls have unfortunately (or fortunately) grown up with a mom who love to take photos...they have gotten use to it over the years...but will also tell me when they are DONE. They did have fun choosing their outfits. Loyalty cards stores...I know a mix of stores here - adult & kids - Okaidi, Orchestra, DPAM, Desigual, Somewhere, Monoprix, Decathalon, Intersport, Go-Sport - in addition to the grocery stores - Intermarche, Geant Casino, Carrefour...since all of those also carry clothing. Hope that might help..not sure what you have where you are or near you.

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting my blog - come back again soon. Love to hear from my viewers. Have a great week!

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks...we do work hard to find both fun lovely clothes but also within a budget...dressing 3 girls can get a bit expensive at times. Just checked out your blog - fun! I love traveling too! Come back and visit anytime - always love to hear from viewers.

  8. Your daughters are gorgeous!!! WOW hope France is treating you well.....maybe my giveway will help with your girls wardrobe and they will be looking FAB!!!!

    ZARA gift card giveaway for $400 on

    1. Thank you...France is a lot of fun! Total change of lifestyle and rhythm of life. Thanks for the heads up to your giveaway..I already visited. Come visit again soon and/or follow my on google.

  9. Hi I found you over on another blog I was reading .. Interesting fashion, looks very good. I was looking through the comments and saw that your daughter mentioned school uniforms .. We think it is an excellent idea, . it saves all the hassle of what are we going to wear, and it represents the school. My grandchildren started wearing uniform at the age of 4.. I think they will wear one up until they leave school age 17 or so.

    1. I like your point about school uniforms representing the school. Personally, I do think uniforms are not a bad idea. I think it's what kids get use children have never had to wear uniforms - so don't really understand the meaning behind them. We have talked about why certain schools choose them - but definitely a hard concept for them to grasp when they have always had a choice. I appreciate your comments - thanks for visiting and come back again.


Thank you for reading and visiting my blog. Feel free to leave a comment - I love hearing from people!

Popular Posts