First of all salads, preferably with home-made French dressing rather than shop-bought mayonnaise, can be delicious if you use your imagination when creating them. Don't worry, I haven't suddenly turned into a cookery blogger. I'm just saying. One of the important things I noticed in France though was that, as well as seeing lots of interesting, tempting salads on the menus, the portion sizes were quite small. Is this the reason why French women don't get fat? Having read several books about this phenomenon, including the best-seller by Mireille Guiliano, I've realised that the common factor does seem to be portion control. You can drink wine and eats lots of delicious cheeses and even chocolate, but moderation is the key.
Back to fashion and my observations on the way that French women dressed in Toulouse and Bordeaux, assuming of course that the majority of the women I saw were French! I was a bit surprised at the lack of colour in French women's (and men's) outfits. Yes I was visiting cities rather than coastal resorts but, although this was towards the end of summer, we had lots of sunshine and warm weather and we are after all talking about the south of France, not the northern city of Paris. Neutrals obviously rule in France - unless anyone has experiences elsewhere in France to say differently?
I can't recollect seeing any fat French women, although they weren't all skinny by any means. No doubt that was down to healthy eating and portion control, as mentioned earlier. I suspect that the dark neutrals helped a bit in this respect too.
Fashion-wise, I noticed lots of women including "femmes d'un certain âge" wearing skinny jeans plus stylish flats that looked really chic on them. As well as not wearing bright colours, most women seemed to wear a maximum of two different colours. They also wore few accessories, although the scarf was omnipresent and I regretted not packing one. I felt slightly naked in comparison! The look of the French women that I saw walking about could best be summed up as "chic plus simplicity". The fact that I saw so many French women who were walking everywhere could of course be another clue to why they don't get fat!