Gallic Stripes


.Almost too excited to say it, but I’m on my way to Europe in about 48 hours!!  I will be away a couple of weeks but hope to post and perhaps even ‘tweet’ from there (my sons will be so proud of me… well, actually one will be, and one will be mortified :)) Needless to say, my trusty little Leica will be in my pocket.  I’ve been frantically packing, repacking, trying things on, sorting through accessories, downsizing toiletries, etc. etc.  Not that I need much (cough cough)  but nothing like a trip across the pond to inspire a Spring closet cleanse.  One of the places I’ll be going is Cannes, so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to post the homage to Breton Stripes I’ve been compiling.  My initial inspiration took root a few months ago, when I ordered the adorable pair of striped Uggs you’ll see further below. I was about to post when Mr. Ugg emailed to say they were sold out. Life goes on. Then about 10 days ago I received another email saying they were back in stock- Happiness!  Finally, my Breton striped beauties arrived. Wrong size. I called back- all sold out for the second time!  With rather pathetic determination I slid my striped boats boots back on again and reevaluated in several mirrors to see if the clown shoe effect was just a single mirror fluke- no such luck…so back they’ve gone.  If anyone wants a pair in size 9, call quickly and you might get mine. (note; they run BIG- I’m an 8, these fit like a 10)


Hepburn and Tracey

Classic Breton stripe long sleeve T-shirt by Petit Bateau


Sarah and Gerald Murphy

Breton stripes and the whole Cote D’Azur vibe always brings to mind the book “Everybody Was So Young“; the biography written by Amanda Vaill about Sarah and Gerald Murphy.  Good Summer read!


Jean Seberg



Espadrilles (lost the credit)


One of my most favourite books of photographs of the South of France; Lartique’s Riviera

(available on Amazon)

Chanel 2010

Oh how I adore this perfume and all the great old memories it brings back- such a classic! It made me feel like a real grown up.   A languid day in the sun, a nice refreshing shower, a white linen dress and a spritz of “Rive Gauche”= a perfect recipe!

Rive Gauche also now comes in a lighter version, which I have not tried



Raoul Dufy.

Petit Bateau

Love!  Even though cuffs don’t suit me (Skelator wrists) but in my summer fashion fantasy I have arms like Iman.

A large scale photo of old beach chairs I bought my husband for Christmas

Natasha Poly-French Vogue

What my husband probably wishes I bought him.




The Murphys and friends.


Great magazine.


Alice Temperley  New Diffusion Line.    Available at Neiman Marcus, B.H.  $250

THE Uggs 🙁

Slim Paley Photo

LifeBird on Duty



The Kiss




John Singer Sargent


Slim Paley Photo



Brando strolling the Croisette

Oh man…now THAT’S some Breton stripes!


PS.  I’m trying this; Packing 10 days worth of clothes into carry on NY Times article

And on that note, I better go unpack, repack and pack again…I’ll be up all night if you want to chat 🙂



  1. I love this post!!!!!! You will have a fantastic time. And Marlon Brando was definitely HOT! Just remember that Spring in Europe can be a bit chilly. So pack something warm.
    Have fun.

  2. Wonderful images — I love “the kiss”, beautiful. I used to wear Rive Gauche — I’ll have to try the lighter version. Are you going to the film festival? The breton striped shirts are wonderful. Have a great trip.

  3. Love it all, and thanks for mentioning Amanda’s wonderful biography on the Murphy’s.
    Be safe. Have fun. Relax,

  4. I love this post. gets me excited for summer! I sort of wish that Breton stripes went vertically, though, you know, so we could eat more croissants. Have a great trip Slim, and please post and tweet.

  5. The Uggs…………hmm……………….the espadrilles……..oui oui!
    Anyway, the Murphy bio is a must read for me every summer since it was published. Great recommendation. Have a marvelous holiday (?), assuming France is on your itinerary?

  6. Looooove the Balenciaga top! I’m also a lover of Rive Gauche, my grandma used to wear in the 70’s. You might want to check out the “Extreme” version, it was a limited edition release that smells just like it used to back in the 70’s without any of the modern tweaking that the current version has. I’m not sure that it’s still being produced but it can usually be found on Ebay. It’s really fabulous and worth the effort.

  7. I have the classic striped breton top that I got at a boat shop in London! Love, love love it! I love stripes! and I swear I’ve got those espadrilles…somewhere in my pile. I think I got them from GAP. wherever, I’m digging em back up. I have to have those UGGS too… go with my collection 🙂 (I was an UGG girl before Oprah made them famous)

  8. I love those t-shirts since I was a teenager. I live in Bilbao (Spain)near France and you can be sure that you’ll find these clothes everywhere, moreover it’s totally on fashion now (I hope you understand my english…sorry!) well since Picasso used them they are trendy.

    I’m going to fly to New York tomorrow so maybe we pass each other in the air!!

    Have a nice trip!!

    • Have a great time in New York!
      I’ll look out for your Breton stripes through the airplane windows!

  9. So wonderful! I love Sargeant but never knew he did nudes. Wow. My favorite thing about Rive Gauche is that it dates from a time when perfumes actually smelled different on everyone; it smelled like death on all my friends but divine on me. I love petit bateau also but have had to say adieu to the breton stripes. Tres bon voyage et bonnes vacances! The south is the best. St. Tropez in the off season is my favorite.

  10. Slim do you sleep, ever? How you put these amazing posts together so fast, is really …amazing.

  11. I love this post. Makes me want to go shopping NOW! Since that is not exactly possible, I can at least sit and ponder all of the wonderful Breton stripe items from here at my desk until I can go shopping. Thank you.

  12. Can you fit me into your suitcase? I bet my doctor could write me a medical excuse to go…..
    because I’m SICK of our winter weather. Expecting up to a foot of snow tonight and freezing
    temps. Cannes sounds like the perfect remedy! Have a wonderful time…..can’t wait to see your photos and posts. ; ) Safe travel!

  13. Happy travels! Every time I see that shirt it reminds me of summer. I’ve worn them since I was a teen. I am ready to pull out my sets as we speak. Have a great trip.
    au revoir!

  14. Great post, love the cute espadrilles.

    When in Cannes please try to squeeze in a visit to Ceneri, the famous cheese shop in rue Meynadier behind the sea front, and try their truffled brie (they invented it). It’s simply the best cheese in the world.

    I hope they will have cleaned up the mess from last week’s freak wave which destroyed a lot of the sea front in time for your visit.

    What are your other European destinations? Please keep us posted.

    Have a great trip!

    • Thanks so much for the tip Andrea
      Brie + Truffles- can’t think of a better combination!!
      I’m also going to Rome and London 🙂

  15. The French Riviera pics reminded me of my Dad’s photos he took when he was in the Navy in 1950. For Christmas this year I transferred all of my parents’ slides (about 20 years worth) to digital format. I had to smile when I came across his time in Nice, where my then 19 year old Dad took dozens of photos of bathing beauties on the beach. The 50’s bikinis were great – and the women were completely coiffed and enjoying the attention from the American sailors.

  16. hi slim,

    love those stripes! love that pillow especially.

    i didn’t read the ny times article yet but i’m a big fan of packing light. it’s my forte. i get excited thinking about packing for 10 days and 1 bag. weird, i know.


  17. hi slim,

    i’m back. just read the article and yep that’s how you do it. for ski clothes, b/c theyf are so much bulkier, i roll them and then rubber-band them and that compresses them even more. also, she has brought too many clothes in my opinion. she could get away with a lot less clothing and more accessories, especially scarves. you know where ever you are going you are going to shop so i leave some room for that. i’m a little giddy right now.


    • This is true Janet- I might be leaving a little room JUST in case I go shopping 🙂
      I rubber-banded some rolls too – I feel like a pro!

  18. Wonderful post as usual. I agree with Victoria, very fresh, timeless. Loved all your photos. The Chanel shot great . Marlon “Hello ” doing stripes superbly. Loved the John Singer Sargent beach shot.
    Looking forward to opening your post until next time .
    Bon Voyage! Have a wonderful, happy and safe trip, xo

  19. OH, Slim! I am SOOOO jealous! My 4 sons are all in Europe together right now doing a road trip together after college finals. They are having the time of their lives. This morning they were between Marseilles and St. Tropez. In the pics they sent yesterday, the weather looked great. I’m going to let them know about the cheese shop Andrea mentioned…
    I too, wore Rive Gauche..loved it!
    Gosh, every time you post art by Raoul Dufy, I really like it…
    So, if you see 4 twenty-something young men traveling in a white camper van that’s been spray painted PLEASE introduce yourself to them!
    I hope you have a safe and wonderful trip!

    • How fabulous for your boys Marcia!!
      Do you have twins??
      They are going to have such great stories and memories to share with each other and with you!

      • I know! I am so happy for them…no, no twins…I cheated and married a man with 2 young sons, I had a son and we had one together! Yes, I can’t wait to hear all the stories.

        Maybe you can sleep on the plane zzzzzzzzzz…after you decorate your seat…:) love that

  20. Have a wonderful, safe trip Slim.. Please visit the cheese shop for me, love my cheese. Looking forward to new pics. Great post. I too wonder if you ever get any sleep?????

    B J

  21. Oh, Cannes. I don’t know if this stuff is up your alley, but:

    There’s an wonderful ‘brocante’ (flea market) on Mondays (at the covered Marché Forville) and Saturdays in the main square. You can trawl for embroidered linens and vintage hotel ashtrays while everyone else goes to morning screenings. And there is awesome stuff there, french castoffs being ever so much much nicer than ours. For some reason, there are always lots of generously sized, sterling soup ladles. Why? Does soup get transported to french bowls differently now and they no longer need ladles? Hmm.)

    You know you can get your Petit Bateau shirt @ the Petit Bateau store on the Rue d’Antibes (they carry adult sizes. phew.) And there’s Blanc Bleu, also on the rue d’Antibes which only carries white and blue garments – like a super strictly edited beachy Ralph Lauren shop.

    Quirly on the Croisette has the best chestnut (marron) ice cream.

    Oh, and the Pharmacie Anglo-Francaise on rue d’Antibes has great deals on all those lovely French beauty brands we don’t have in North America. It’s always jammed as it’s now about half the size that it was a few years ago. Sephora is kind of a disappointment because it’s all the same stuff we have so it’s best to go to Anglo-Francaise or Marionnaud.

    And I love that your reader Andrea recommended that cheese shop on Rue Meynadier. Smart girl.

    Oh, and most importantly, please please eat a pan bagnat on the beach (salade nicoise sandwich, in case you’ve never had one. Lovely.)

    Can’t wait to see your pictures. Love your beautiful blog.


      • You are too kind. The pleasure is all mine (hope the list wasn’t too bossy.) French pharmacies are the best. I love how so many items are ‘behind the counter’ and you have to prove your case in order to get cough syrup (which is Creme Caramel flavoured. I got some last year and had to restrain myself from drinking it like it was liquid candy.)

  22. I had the same thoughts Marcie. What an incredible trip for your sons to experience together. Memories to start and stay with them forever. I wondered also as Slim did- twins?
    Bet you wish you could be a fly on the wall….. or not!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Perhaps Slim will meet them, it could happen!!

    • Oh yes, you don’t even know how badly I would love to be a fly on a wall there! But, you’re probably right…better off not!
      Yeah, stranger things have happened! They COULD meet her and that would make a good story for ME. I’ll tell them to be on the look- out for a woman in blue and white striped Uggs!

  23. Oh how i love Rive Gauche! – thanks for bringing that memory back for me … my first “grown up” fragrance – have not bought it in years?? i will have to locate a fragrance tester to see if it moves me the same way today – could be a classic summer fragrance to return to …. you have definitely inspired me to add blue and white stripes to my summer wardrobe … obviously a hot trend from all the other fashion press and blogs i have come across … you are always right on top of things and in the know – tres bien! … bon voyage mon amie!

  24. ooooohhhhh!
    Bon voyage Slim!

    If you have the time at any of the european airports, do go into the Duty Free shops to look for the most fabulous of body cremes…Rive Gauche :-)….it comes in a glass pot, is luxuriously amazing, and is simply to die for!

    p.s….was the first photo above taken at sunset in St. Barths? ooooohhhh! C’est fantastique!

Would love to hear from you!