How To Not Look Like A Tourist On A French Beach
August 06, 2014
So you’re heading to the beach in France to relax and forget the world around you. But at the same time, you are in the capital of style so you might be wondering what French beach etiquette is all about. In France, looking French is all about subtleties. Maybe that's why they call it that little "je ne sais quoi" (I don’t know what) in the first place. Basic beach etiquette is fairly international but if you ask a French person, there are certain do’s and don’ts that will keep you looking more Frenchy than Touristy while basking in the French soleil.
WHAT TO BRING :
DON’T bring beer.
DO bring Rosé. Lot’s of Rosé. Only Rosé.
DON’T bring a backpack. Unless it's Herschel brand. Or unless you’re selling something from it. Cold beer anyone?
DO bring a beach bag.
DON’T bring pool noodles.
DO bring Beach Tennis Raquettes.
DON’T bring a tacky beach towel.
DO bring a chic sarong. Ladies only.
DO bring a book or magazine. EXTRA FRENCHY POINTS for the ladies reading Causette or men reading French GQ.
WHAT TO WEAR - MEN
DON’T wear boardshorts. Unless you are legit going surfing in Biarritz of course.
DO wear short-shorts. Mid-thigh is not too short and some ladies even still appreciate the Speedo. You stud you. EXTRA FRENCHY POINTS for wearing the French swimwear brand Vilebrequin or Parisianist’s new favorite Gili’s.
DO wear boat shoes or suede loafers.
DO wear sunglasses. But be sure to choose depending on your objective: Ray-Ban = cool, Persol = baller, Carrera = player
WHAT TO WEAR - LADIES
DON'T go topless: Unless it's a beach where everyone else is doing it, keep that bikini top tied in place. Tanning topless is a practice that seems to have died with the younger generations. As has the cliché that French women don’t shave their armpits...
DO wear a cute bikini or sexy one piece. EXTRA FRENCHY POINTS for wearing luxury French swimwear brand Eres.
DON’T wear a bikini with thong-style bottoms. You might be in the Cote d'Azur but you’re not in Rio De Janeiro.
DO wear flip-flops.
DON’T wear heels.
HOW TO ACT
DO buy ice-cream or candied nuts from beach vendors.
DON’T talk loudly or yell.
DO politely ignore those around you. Everyone is here to “get away” after all.
WHERE TO GO
DO private beaches. Typical to the South of France, restaurants often own beachfronts where they rent out beach chairs and umbrellas. Make sure to phone a few days ahead to reserve your beach spot and/or lunch at the restaurant.
DO public beaches for a more casual, towel on the sand kinda getaway.
Photo Credits: Rodrigo Menezes, Thor, marcore!, Natalitiameom, Vox Efx, Luca Mengoni, Mike Baird, El coleccionista de instantes