I'm going to go ahead and guess this warrants a humble brag: I spent Valentine's Day in Paris.
My fiancé earned all kinds of points by planning our trip to France as a Christmas gift. He consulted my work schedule, made our flight arrangements and booked us a hotel mere blocks from the Eiffel Tower, all without my knowledge.
Paris itself was obviously amazing. Just being immersed in the French scenery and culture can feel like stepping into an alternate universe. And then, of course, there's the food.
I'm still going through withdrawal from being without the incredible coffee in Paris, and I find myself having crêpe cravings on the regular.
It's easy to see how one could feel inspired after spending even just a few days in France. However, for me, the biggest source of inspiration was not in the architecture or the cuisine, but rather, the fashion.
I felt creepy staring at so many strangers, but I couldn't help it; Parisian street fashion just begs to be looked at. Every day I saw so many ideas I wanted to replicate.
Here are six of the most common trends I noticed while across the pond:
1. Flared Coats
There is nothing classier than a flared coat. The ones I saw were often paired with dark skinny jeans or leggings and booties, creating a layered look.
Flared coats are ultra sophisticated when they are dark (like navy, maroon or black) and accentuated with gold buttons or hooks.
The pleated bottom that creates the illusion of a skirt is feminine and grownup.
Seeing all these coats around Paris was almost enough to make me wish it were the beginning of winter to justify purchasing one. Almost.
2. Ripped Jeans
Grunge is back, my friends. It is all about the artfully placed ripped knee.
This 90s-inspired look is trickling through America, as well, but it was overwhelmingly popular in Paris. I saw countless ripped jeans everywhere I went, but it's important to note these jeans were skinnies, not flares or bootcut.
When we think of this look, sometimes the pre-ripped denim of Abercrombie or Hollister comes to mind. The torn jeans I saw were nothing like that.
They were almost always black or dark grey, giving off an edgier look than the medium-blue wash of our favorite jeans from high school.
3. Bold Lips
Taylor Swift was onto something with her "red lip, classic" song lyric, but the shades in Paris are well beyond just red.
Hardly any of the girls I saw around the city were sporting nude lips. Instead, they were rocking bright pinks, deep maroons and even dark colors like blue and black.
The statement lip needs to be worn with very subtle eye makeup, like a skin-colored cream and a touch of mascara. If you are lucky enough to have fabulous eyebrows, they will compliment a dark lipstick perfectly.
4. High Tops
This one might have been the most surprising: High top sneakers were everywhere. Not the kind of high tops worn by middle school boys, mind you, but sophisticated and sexy high tops, like those created by high-end fashion designers.
This footwear looks amazing with skinny jeans (ripped or not) tucked into the tops of the shoes. Alternatively, these sneakers can make a skirt or dress more casual.
Bonus points: They seem super comfy to walk in.
5. Shorts and Tights
The shorts-and-tights combo has always been there, but for some reason, it always feels difficult to pull off. I don't know about you, but every time I try to do it, I feel like a little kid.
I saw this look a lot in Paris, and it's become clear what the trick is: Keep the colors relatively dark. If you throw lighter shorts on, or lighter colored tights, it just doesn't work.
Another trick is to wear a longer sweater on top and layer thigh-highs on top of your tights. This elongates both your legs and torso, making you instantly appear taller. It's a win-win!
6. Studded Booties
Booties have been a thing for a while now, but the ones I saw in Paris had all sorts of bling on them. Some had rhinestones, while others had metallic studs.
If you tend to shy away from statement pieces, these would be a great gateway shoe. They were eye-catching and added a little extra sparkle to an otherwise simple outfit.