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A mother and child sits on a bench outside of a restaurant that is painted red. Ylenia Cuéllar

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What Are We Wearing to Restaurants Now, Paris?

At Folderol, a combination natural wine bar and ice cream shop in Paris, neighborhood block party vibes feel distinctly Parisian

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Welcome to Best Dressed, an Eater series where restaurant diners show and tell what they’re wearing out to eat, from the small details to the splashy pieces — and how they approached getting dressed for each spot’s specific scene. After two years of inside time, how do we dress to go out these days?

Want to see what diners are wearing in Brooklyn and Philly? See all of our Best Dressed series here.

The outside facade of a restaurant that is painted red with text on a window that says Folderol and the number 10 above a door.
Ice cream and natural wine? Say no more.

The Place: Folderol
Location: Paris, 11th arrondissement
Concept: Natural wine and artisanal ice cream
Menu Highlights: Homemade focaccia, finocchiona, and other Italian cured meats for savory snacks. But the real draw is the vast selection of natural, organic, and biodynamic wines, and artisanal ice creams with flavors like cold brew and crunchy peanut, banana crème crue, olive oil, and apple crumble.

As an ice cream parlor and a cave à vin all under one roof, Folderol raised eyebrows initially. But the business swiftly drew a community of regulars to the space, the follow-up project to next door’s Le Rigmarole from chefs Robert Compagnon and Jessica Yang-Compagnon. Opened in early 2021, Folderol gave locals something joyful and delicious, initially in the form of bottles of wine and cartons of ice cream for takeaway, then glasses and scoops indoors when gathering inched gingerly back into daily life.

The space is small — 430 square feet with a horseshoe bar and a dozen counter seats that run across the perimeter — so the intergenerational crowd (which certainly skews younger as the hours wear on) regularly spills onto the residential street, a Parisian pastime that invariably attracts more people as the day goes on. It isn’t unusual to spot bon vivants huddled together on the curb, sipping their wine, licking their cones, and chatting in a way that makes it feel like a neighborhood block party. As for style, the fashion runs the gamut from high-end Jacquemus to nonchalant bohemian to unabashedly normcore.

Here’s how people turned out for a rainy-day apéritif at Folderol on a late Saturday afternoon in September.

Laila, 31, travel consultant, based in the 18th arrondissement

A woman holding a wine glass stands in front of a red-painted restaurant.
Dressing in monochrome and all-weather boots: a perfect look for Paris.

Eater: How has the pandemic changed how you dress to go out?

Laila: I got really comfortable in more casual clothing and I use less makeup than I used to. I think being in the comfort of my own home for so long helped me embrace the natural look. And I stopped wearing heels. I think I found how to look chic while casual and comfortable, which I definitely translated from the home space.

So how did you decide what to wear today?

I’m a monochromatic kind of gal so it’s always either all white, all black, all off-white. I don’t like patterns. Sometimes I’ll do all white with a different color shoe or coat. But what I’ve got on today is basically a version of my uniform which takes into account the changing weather.

And what is making up today’s uniform?

I’m actually wearing some of my partner’s clothes! This coat is hers, it’s by Ilana Kohn. My long-sleeved tee is from Cos. I love a good Cos basic. And these pants are Arch The. I love the waistline and the fit — it’s very comfortable. The boots are classic Blundstones, great for comfort, great for rain. They’re actually what dictated the outfit because I have too many shoes that aren’t rain appropriate.

A woman wearing all black and a white coat inspects the waistline on her pants.
“I love the waistline and the fit — it’s very comfortable,” Laila says of her pants from the brand Arch The.

Do you usually dress for a specific outing or for the day?

In Paris especially, it’s about dressing for a full day, morning to night. A minimalist, monochromatic look makes that easy, of course. But the idea is you’re ready in case you run into people, or you want to have an impromptu picnic, or later you decide to go to a nicer restaurant. This works for me anyway since I tend to go to natural wine bars and casual, unpretentious places. I never feel underdressed.

Do you feel that there’s a certain way people dress when they come to Folderol?

Actually, what I like about it is that there’s an anything-goes approach here, right down to the fact that there are young kids having ice cream while their parents are drinking wine. There’s a neighborhood vibe. It’s very much come however you are. It always works, even if there’s someone overly dressed. They all fit in.

A woman in all black smiles while holding a wine glass.
Inside Folderol, where the lighting is good and the vibe is even better.

Rose, 2, and Camille, 30s, owner of La Buvette wine bar and Baby Love Burger, based in the 20th arrondissement

A woman cuddles her child on a bench in front of a wine bar.
Styled and ready for any weather.

Do you think the pandemic has changed your approach to fashion and getting dressed to go out?

Camille: Honestly? Not really! I feel like I’ve had the same style and approach for the last 15 years.

And what does that look like?

I’ve always leaned into workwear, pieces that are comfortable and resistant since I work in an environment where you tend to get dirty. I’m not a chef but it’s easy to pick up olive oil or red wine stains, and I don’t want to ruin good shirts. Nine times out of 10, if I wear something new, it doesn’t come back at the end of the night looking so fresh.

How did you decide what to wear to come here today?

I didn’t think about it much, I reached for what was clean! [Laughs.] I really based the choice on the weather: It was rainy, so I grabbed a cap and a jacket. I wanted to be comfortable (as usual) and take Rose for some ice cream. Naturally, we came here.

A woman seated shows off her white baseball cap with tiger embroidery.
A rainy day cap.

Still, it looks quite pulled together.

Well, I think it’s because everything I chose has a purpose. The cap was brought from the U.S. by a friend of mine, which is why I like it so much. These are my new Nikes and they are the most comfortable sneakers on earth; I feel like I have a marshmallow on each foot.

Rose is equally as sharp for her ice cream outing.

I definitely couldn’t help myself when I saw that jumpsuit at Petit Bateau last year. It was too big for her when I got it, though. Today’s the first day it’s cool enough to bring it back out. It fits perfectly.

She’s got some cool kicks, too. They’re Adidas Gazelles?

She wasn’t happy about that at first! When we were getting ready, she was insisting on wearing her Méduse sandals, which she wore all summer long. I think, like me, she’s having trouble accepting that summer is over. So I had to put on socks and sneakers to lead by example. I got these Gazelles on sale at Adidas. Kids grow out of everything so fast, I end up buying second-hand or stuff on sale for six months down the line.

I think the bandana is a particularly nice touch.

That’s our thing. When she was really little and I’d take her out, I always kept her neck covered. When kids drool, it’s better if it doesn’t get the whole outfit wet. So the habit stuck. I’ve always worn bandanas and have quite a collection and now we share them, we decide who wears which color.

So do you think you two fit in with the vibe here today?

Fitting in or not isn’t really the goal but the atmosphere is always chill here. You can really just come as you are.

A mother and child sits on a bench outside of a restaurant that is painted red.
Ice cream tastes better when you share.

Andres, 30, and Lola, 28, based in Nîmes, moving back to Paris

Two people stand in front of a red restaurant in the rain.
Andres and Lola show off their normcore and workwear style.

How has the pandemic changed how you approach fashion?

Andres: I’ve always considered myself very normcore and I don’t think that’s changed much. We’ve all evolved in the last two years so I suppose it’s normcore 2.0.

Lola: I did more experimenting during periods of lockdown. I was staying with my mother in Paris and staying inside day after day. So I played with styles and pieces I wouldn’t ordinarily wear, I put on a lot of makeup, this sort of thing.

How did you decide what to wear today?

Lola: In general, in social situations, I often need to feel protected. Clothing becomes a kind of armor. That’s why I like natural, raw materials and the virility of it all — like this raw denim I’m wearing or masculine-leaning jackets.

Do you feel like you fit into the scene here in terms of how you’re dressed?

Lola: Not just here, but in Paris overall. In the south, for two years, I can’t say I cared much about what I was putting on. In Paris, you want to look good since everyone else looks good. You want to show off a little. Either way, I listen to my mother who always says, better to be underdressed than overdressed. Nonchalance is chic.

Andres: Yes, exactly. Paris is another environment entirely. It’s more stimulating, there’s more inspiration here. Every time we come back through Paris, we have to remind ourselves to pay a bit more attention.

A photo of two people’s shoes, New Balances and Doc Martens.
New Balances, the sneaker of choice for devotees of normcore.

So what are you wearing today?

Andres: It’s really a mix of things. New Balance (see: normcore!), a bit of Uniqlo, and a jacket I got when we lived in Japan.

Lola: My jeans are from Atelier Tuffery, a French, family-run studio in the Cévennes who has been making jeans ecologically for 125 years. The jacket is Schott NYC, an Americana classic, and I always wear Doc Martens so, voila, here they are.

A photo of a woman’s railroad stripe jacket.
Lola’s railroad stripe denim work coat.
A photo of a woman’s leopard hair clip, holding her hair up.

Louis, 26, chef from Bordeaux, and Rachel, 25, fashion designer based in the 11th arrondissement

Two people stand and drink wine in front of a red restaurant facade.
Bottoms up.

Has the pandemic changed how you get dressed to go out?

Louis: I’ve never changed anything about the way I dress. I still wear dumb stuff, a mix of high-end like Stone Island with skateboard hats and metal or punk concert T-shirts. Whatever reflects what I’m listening to. It’s just my personality.

Rachel: I was living in Amsterdam for part of the pandemic so that’s a very different place in terms of style from Paris. I think people actually get a bit more dressed up in Paris. I’m very casual compared to the average Parisian, I think.

I think you look perfectly blended into the neighborhood.

Rachel: Well, perhaps I blend with the 11th arrondissement wardrobe! It’s more fashion with a capital F here, which — for women — can be quite casual.

Louis: I would also wear this to a fine dining restaurant, honestly. Last time I was in Paris, my girlfriend and I went to a two-Michelin-starred restaurant and I was wearing an old concert tee, XXL clown pants, and my hair was orange. Meanwhile everyone else had ties and suit jackets but it was fine. What matters is what you’re there to do: eating and the emotions from the experience.

Tell me about what you’re wearing today. Louis, that jacket is cool.

Louis: It’s from C.P. Company. It used to be known as a hooligan brand, you know, for football fans, especially in the U.K., who’d go to stadiums wearing expensive brands and get into fights. But it’s changed a lot. It’s still casual. A bit pricey but a good basic.

Rachel: I’ve got on Studio Nicholson jeans, which I love. This jacket is an unbranded sample from work, and this bag is from an English designer called Lizzy Disney.

A man wearing layers displays the inside of his green coat.
For a rainy day in Paris, layering up is essential.
A woman in a black leather jacket turns to the side while holding a wine glass.
For Rachel, simplicity is key.

And your necklace?

Rachel: It’s religious, of St. Christopher. From my parents, so quite sentimental. Like I said, I’m simple!

Why did you choose to come to Folderol today?

Louis: I work as a chef but I also work in natural wine and I’m only passing through Paris. This is one of the places in the city where you know you’re going to drink a variety of different things I might not have access to yet in Bordeaux.

Rachel: I basically live here — I come all the time. I love the atmosphere, the wines, everything.

Yunhye, 32, fashion school admissions counselor

A woman facing the camera sitting at the bar in a restaurant smiles while holding her green sling bag.
Yunhye has started paying more attention to the materials of accessories she buys now that she is a vegetarian.

How did you decide what to wear to come here today?

Yunhye: Because I dress more formally at work to meet with students, I just want to be comfortable on the weekends. So I reached for jeans and a T-shirt with something warmer to go with it since the weather is already changing.

Has the pandemic changed how you approach fashion?

That’s a really interesting question. I actually became vegetarian when COVID hit and I’m starting to think about how that can apply to my wardrobe if I buy new things. For example, I bought this vegan belt recently. It’s something cheap but I really needed a belt and wanted one that didn’t contain leather. That’s a big change for me — looking more into the materials in new things I buy.

Otherwise, you hold on to what you already have?

Yes, exactly. Like this purse, it was a gift from my husband when we were in Florence 10 years ago and I still wear it. I’m not going to get rid of it. This jacket is from Korea, it was my aunt’s. And these jeans I bought in a semi-emergency when I was in New York because there were sudden rainstorms.

A woman displays two colorful bags.
Yunhye’s bags add color to a classic, casual look.
An upclose photo of a woman’s simple necklace.
Simple accessories seal the deal.

Why did you choose to come to Folderol today?

I didn’t know about it, actually! It’s my friend who brought me for the vibe and the ice cream, of course.

What did you notice about the crowd’s style?

I didn’t pay attention, to be honest. I liked the atmosphere but I’m not that into fashion so I was more focused on my ice cream.

That sounds like a good life strategy. Focus on the ice cream.

Ramón (also known as Bostich), 60, electronic music composer, based in Tijuana

A man in a black jacket and gray pants stands outside of a red-painted restaurant.
Vintage shopping and bold glasses are all part of Ramón’s signature look.

How did you decide what to wear to come here today?

Ramón: Honestly, the rain determined it. But it’s all what I would normally wear to go out.

How would you define your style?

We have a big culture of secondhand and thrift store shopping in Tijuana. Many things come from the United States and are sometimes as cheap as $1. I don’t know how to describe my actual style but almost everything I own is secondhand.

Including what you’re wearing today?

Some. My tennis shoes are Panam from Mexico and the jacket is made in Tijuana by a friend of mine. But my shirt is from Uniqlo, I got that here in Paris.

Tell me about your glasses. They seem like a statement piece.

A bald man with glasses looks at the camera.
“I love chunky vintage glasses, always have,” Ramón says.

I love chunky vintage glasses, always have. I bought them in Madrid when I was on tour five years ago, somewhere near my hotel. I love them.

Do you think that the pandemic has changed your approach to style?

In some ways. I think the pandemic gave us all a chance to reinvent ourselves a bit. I focus more on vintage, not buying new. Every city I go to now, I check out flea markets and vintage shops. On this trip, I found a suit from the 1950s that I’ll wear the next time I perform.

At Folderol, do you feel underdressed or just right?

Just right. But in any case, I always dress like this so it has to work.

A man stands behind a bar with shelves upon shelves of wine bottles.
Fashion behind the bar at Folderol.

Lindsey Tramuta is a Paris-based writer and the author of The New Paris and The New Parisienne: The Women & Ideas Shaping Paris. Ylenia Cuéllar is a fashion and lifestyle photographer based in Paris and the south of France.

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