Alexander McQueen at Paris Spring 2012 RTW

With fashion week at a close in Paris, I couldn’t help but notice the large amount of tourists trying desperately to look the part this week. You might be tempted on your visit to the city of chic style and design to dress up more than usual. This would be your first “tell,” as they say in poker. Parisian girls are known for their chic but more importantly, their blasé. As an American and fashion buyer for Calvin Klein, J.Crew and Abercrombie & Fitch, I’ve become well-versed in this look after living in Paris and dating a Parisian.

1. Don’t overdress.  Especially avoid what you might dress for an evening party during the daytime (or even the night time). Skinny jeans, a blazer and flats make a good outfit choice for any situation.
2. Don’t wear too much jewelry. Wearing none is in fact, a great accessory too. Instead, add a scarf and a great handbag.
3. Don’t wear high heels. Instead opt for ballet flats, sandals or boots (the low kind with a heel or flat to the calf). Avoid kitten heels, unless you want to look like an elderly lady from the 16th Arrondisement.
4. Don’t wear leggings.  Audrey Hepburn might have left her mark on Paris but instead choose a pair of (ultra) skinny black jeans.
5. Do wear stripes! They are always in vogue.
6. Opt for casual bags.  Louis Vuitton is for the Asian tourists. Longchamp is a great French choice. I use it to transport my groceries, for work and for a night out.
7. Leave your hair a bit tussled and messy.
8. Never carry a backpack or wear sneakers. Apparently they scream, American, to the French.
9. Speak softly. There’s an incredible quiet hum in the Paris subway because nobody is really above the other.
10. And never take out your map!

Do you agree? What have we missed?

Stay tuned for a behind the scenes Paris Fashion Week recap by Untapped correspondent and photographer Nina Westervelt.