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Teenage boy attire in France in June

Hello, all--I have searched the forums (fora?) but the latest advice is ~5 years old, and I know fashions do change, and my husband and I haven't been to France for many years. We and our 16-year-old son will travel in France for 2 weeks in June. We're not likely to do much/any fine dining. We'll be in Paris and Bordeaux, plus Dordogne. While it's unlikely we'll be mistaken for locals, we don't want to stand out too much.

My husband will bring lightweight pants and maybe one pair of shorts for the beach, plus t-shirts, polos and some casual button-up shirts. I will pack similarly, plus capris/skirts/dress. Is the advice still that people tend to wear dark/black at least in cities (like NYC)? Are khakis still not a thing there? The average temperature in Paris in June is 74 fahrenheit, but if there's another record heat wave, I expect all bets are off and we'll wear shorts and just own our tourist status.

Here, our son lives in track pants and athletic shorts (and questionable footwear that will not be making the trip :-). He is saying jeans, but I think they're too heavy, and of course don't dry overnight if you need to wash them in a hotel sink. What do teenaged boys wear in France in the summer?

Posted by
2354 posts

Honestly, I’d let him wear whatever he would wear at home. The idea that you will “blend in” as locals by wearing certain things just isn’t going to happen. You will not have a dress code unless you are going to very fancy restaurants. Be respectful in churches, where you may be expected to cover your knees and shoulders. Know that speedos are required for men at public pools (no swim trunks). He should be breaking in those new shoes now.

Posted by
14156 posts

I'd go with jeans or honestly even the track pants if that makes him comfortable. Just being gone 2 weeks he might be able to get away with not washing the jeans the whole time. I hope that doesn't gross you out!

I occasionally see some things online where people don't wash their jeans for weeks. In fact...I just googled it and some say only to wash every 10 wearings! So...wear one, pack one, maybe pack a pr of shorts if it looks like it's going to be hot. OR he can buy shorts there if needed.

Posted by
6996 posts

Is the advice still that people tend to wear dark/black at least in cities (like NYC)?

Nope. Plenty of lighter colors around.

Are khakis still not a thing there?

The ones with a lot of pockets aren't a thing, but plain chinos/khakis of the kind you'd wear at the office are everywhere these days. Shorts are fine, too, but again maybe not cargo shorts.

He is saying jeans, but I think they're too heavy, and of course don't dry overnight if you need to wash them in a hotel sink.

Jeans are totally fine. They're similarly bulky as some types of tracksuit pants (the cotton ones). And you do not need to wash them unless you spill spaghetti Bolognese all over you or something. I wash mines, like, erm... after 15 wears maybe? Like, when they start to feel looser.

Also, honestly he can wear track pants and athletic shorts too... Just maybe not at a fancy restaurant.
As for "questionable footwear", what do you mean? Ugly sneakers are all the rage! Now if you're talking socks and sandals... Yeah maybe not.

Posted by
3767 posts

My 17 year old son lives in plain tshirts, track pants and shorts and occasionally jeans. He wears in France what he wears in the US and has never had any issues. Let’s not talk about ugly sneakers — I believe that he is the reigning king of those. I don’t know what track pants are bulkier than jeans but my son’s are made by Adidas and Nike and are way less bulky than his jeans. Other than his extreme height, he looks like other teens, including local teens, that we have seen in France.

Posted by
3767 posts

There is a content creator who does videos in which she stops and speaks to Parisians who catch her eye about what they wear. The interviewees are always very interesting but even more useful is to look at the people walking around who are not stopped. That gives you great sense of what people wear. https://youtu.be/32Sa_5RLS-k

Posted by
87 posts

Thanks everyone for your advice! The questionable footwear are Crocs and slides with socks--not great for walking a lot--but he does have tennis shoes and should be fine there. The track pants are the lightweight Adidas pants, not lined with fleece like sweatpants. Sounds like I shouldn't worry about his clothing any more than I do here in the US.

JHK, your son and mine have similar wardrobes. Thanks for the link! That should be helpful.

Posted by
87 posts

And now I'm addicted to "What are People Wearing in Paris?" Thanks, JHK!

Posted by
8162 posts

khakis really vary over time. In general these are doofus American wear -- and then every once in awhile they are in fashion in France and you see people in them. But the idea that they are 'dressier' as they are in the US than jeans and that teens should wear them to be more formal is just wrong. Let the kids wear what they will. Virtually all kids his age will be in jeans or athletic wear. French boys don''t wear khakis as slight dress up wear.

I don't recall seeing a lot of khakis last fall; but EVERYONE including the little old ladies that once wore well kept channel suts seem to be in jeans -- until it gets too hot and then light weight slacks, skirts and shorts abound.

Posted by
5450 posts

Our mall in Vienna has a Crocs store. Everyone under 25 in Europe wears sweatpants and track pants. No one cares what a teenager wears.

Posted by
14156 posts

I’d definitely let him pack 1 pr of either Crocs or slides. He can wear them in the hotel or out in the neighborhood to get gelato, lol!!

You know we are going to want a Trip Report on how this works out.

Posted by
3767 posts

@brushtim. I am not the OP but thank you for the video link. I had not heard of this one. It looks great and now off I go down that rabbit hole.

Posted by
471 posts

We noticed more guys…men, teens, etc wearing shorts in Europe last May than our trips before. A teen wearing track shorts would not be that unusual. People still do tend to dress nicely in their more casual clothing.