48 hours in Geneva

Switzerland is not a country that was particularly on my short list, but it was an option to visit after our trip to Paris and Burgundy. I was not feeling very excited about it until I read this article in the New York Times. I thought, fondue, chocolate, and watches—what's not to love? So after our weekend of debauchery in Beaune, we hopped into our friends' rental car and drove a quick two and a half hours to Geneva. Here's what we did in our 48 hours there.


How to dress like a French woman

When asked to describe my style, like many people, I have a hard time putting it into words. I would call it "classic with a twist," but so would 80% of other women, and as a fashion blogger, I'd like to think I'm a little more unique than that. (That could be wishful thinking, however.) How I usually describe it is if Françoise Hardy and Betty Catroux had a child. In case you haven't heard of either of these iconic French women, Françoise Hardy was a folk singer in the '60s (still going strong today!), and Betty Catroux was one of Yves Saint Laurent's muses (and is now Tom Ford's). The former is a little boho-meets-rock-and-roll, the latter is sexier yet tailored. Together, they'd create a look that's edgy but feminine, classic but interesting, fresh but timeless. What better place to find the components of this look than in Paris?

48 hours in Paris

I first traveled to Paris when I was 13 years old—I participated in an exchange program in middle school—and while I've been incredibly lucky to travel all over the world since then, Paris remains my favorite city in the world. I'll take any chance I can get to visit it, even if it's only for a day or two. This was my fourth time visiting the city of lights, and while it was definitely a whirlwind, it was totally worth it. We only had 48 hours there, but we covered a lot of ground. Here's what we did.

What to wear with wide-leg cropped pants

I have a go-to pants cut, and that is straight leg. I think it's the most flattering for my body shape, and while I've been known to dabble in skinny or flared from time to time, I pretty much stick to it. But fashion has been stuck in a skinny rut for over 15 years, and the industry is itching for a change. Wide-leg pants are the latest contender, and while I had resisted them for months, I finally tried on a pair after seeing nearly every chic woman in Paris in a wide-leg crop. I still think straight-leg is my go-to silhouette, but I'm happy to have another fit in my repertoire. Adapting to a new cut is always a challenge, so here's how I put it all together.

My no-shopping month (and what I bought afterward)

As you might expect with a name like Cheryl Shops, I shop quite a bit. Probably too much. I had read Ann Patchett's column about her year of no shopping at the end of last year and it definitely stayed with me; a year of not shopping is probably unrealistic for most people (especially me, with the blog), but I figured I could do a month, especially so that I could shop in France and not feel guilty about it. I decided to not do any shopping in the month of August, until I landed in Paris on August 29th (to be fair, I started July 28th, so I had a full month). I was allowed to buy groceries, or to replace anything that ran out (like mascara or sunscreen), but no new clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. It was frequently a challenge to resist, but overall, a very eye-opening experience.

What to wear in Paris

Paris is probably the most stylish city in the world, and it's my favorite for people-watching (it's my favorite for a lot of things, but I'll cover that in another post). I know it's a cliché, but the women—and the men—are just so incredibly chic. This may be because Paris is a global fashion center, but probably more because dressing well is a culturally ingrained behavior. In other words, French women are just innately stylish. There's no way you can compete, but there is a way to blend in, and that's dressing in such a way that feels, as the French say, bien dans son peau—good in your skin. So I wore something that made me feel pulled together, confident, and like myself, and it was a reminder that I should always dress that way. Maybe I should go to Paris more often!