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Thea Jarvis

Interesting that New Yorkers have the same penchant for black that the French have for gray.
FYI I don't do gray walls either -- too glum. Our new sunroom has not a hint of gray -- bright and welcoming. Can't wait for you to see it! :-)

Julie Farrar

I'm not a fan of dressing all in black/gray/white. I did that when working full time but I loved jacking it up with something brighter in jewelry or a sweater. In Dijon I've noticed in summer that they seem drawn to variations on taupe. The apartment we bought is heavy on the taupe scale. I don't mind because I find it a restful color that adapts to accents of something else well. However, it was only recently that I realized that all the flowery clothes I brought from the States for my summer stays were out of place. The French women may wear lime green, but they don't do flowered skirts. I'm in for a wardrobe change this summer.

Colleen Taylor

Oh dear, the color gray. I do love wearing black but always add something bright to it. This may sound strange, but I had a very traumatic experience regarding the color gray. I've thought about writing a blog about it. Perhaps someday I will.
I see tons of people decorating their homes with gray, greige & more humdrum gray. I can't take the color, unless it's the sidewalk I'm walking on. When we moved to Arizona, we painted our walls a soft creamy color and then I glazed most of the heavily textured walls with an expresso brown. They are stunning. There shall be no glumness in my house. Love this post Lynn.


Hello, no, you are not the only one: I never read the book because the reviews are so mixed. I love black too, it's always very chic!

Kiki Dam

And it isn't just the French that are into "Mourning" colors in the winter....Danes do it as well. Our Danish nephew described well I thought...he said "In the Winter, all of the women look like they've just come from funerals. I can't wait for the Spring and Summer when they all turn into brightly colored butterflies." C'est vrai.


I just got back last night from Paris with my sister. This was her first visit. Her initial comment was, "everyone wears black or gray". Very accurate. I would also add - no tennis shoes AND fabulous scarves.

24/7 in France

OUI, black is a great basic from which is add color in scarves and accessories a la francaise!

Ellen Hillenmeyer

Those of you who have not read Shades of Gray are not alone. But, alas I give in to the ease of using a basic black shade to mix and match. Learning my lesson in the Phoenix sun this week. Cheers!

Christine Webb-Curtis


I'm right with you on your assessment. The apartment we rented in the southwest had stark white walls. The apartment seemed to have been transported directly out of an IKEA showroom. I wondered what it was about the color that struck me. It was the white walls! Decorated by a Brit, however, which may account for the shockingly not-dour color. (Of course, if anyone has an excuse for gray in the winter, it's the British!)

Thanks for mentioning my books. Much appreciated. And I'm certainly happy you chose the flower/head/coffee cup cover. I'll check out your interview of your niece. For those of us who read the book, we need an update on that family!



Black in Paris is chic. uncle Karl always wears black. Anna Wintour wears sweet little black/white prints. You can always go to Colette for the latest little black dress. However, if you cruise the med all the women in italy, greece, croatia wear widows weed black-not chic. Audrey Hepburn wore black and was chic..Gray is English country gloomy.
Decor> Florida Design magazine does not believe in color.Everything Beige, more Beige on Beige, Tan and shades of brown except in Palm beach and Miami where colors run riot. I have a blue car. Tell the valet you have a silver car and there are 500 in the lot. I am going to go now and make myself a colorful omelette...w blackberry jam.

Sandy Vann

Loved this fun post Lynn. I purchased a few gray sweaters along with black in France to travel well. After four months of only augmenting them during our travels, with colorful scarves and turtlenecks throughout the Winter, I am elated to see and purchase new Spring items in coral, peach, fuscia ...anything but gray svp! Last year while dining in Milan, the waiter even asked us if we had perhaps just come from a funeral. We tucked those black travel outfits deep in to the suitcase and vowed to dress a bit more exuberantly.
Viva la difference. :)


Lynn,thank you for another wonderful post!
Really enjoyed learning about how/why the ladies wear/decorate with gray and black! Here in the West,dressing up is not required, and I so admire the French for their panache(at all times!) in their wardrobe.
(Moi? My worry has been learning how to tie scarves! Definitely NOT my strong suit!)
Really looking forward to your upcoming book! Congratulations! (hopefully,one day signed, but till then,love ebooks!)


Oh, no, Lynn, you are soooo not the only one who hasn't read the 50 Shades series. For me and all my friends, just the title is a turn-off! As if one shade of gray by itself isn't boring enough! Plus, have you noticed that all black is not the same? I'm truly sick of seeing 5 shades of black on someone who clearly thinks she's totally chic because she's all decked out in black. Here in California, colored jeans are all the rage. Grab some tangerine ones and just go for it.

Niicole BALVAY

I'm afraid black or grey is a kind of uniform for people working in offices.
That's why you see it in all the different major cities.
I can't see any difference between Paris, Sydney, Melbourne, New York or whatever major city I've visited in winter.

Suzanne Hurst

Lynne, I have not read 50 Shades...either. Doesn't appeal at all. I do like black; slenderizing and elegant, I think. I bought mostly black for my Paris trip in June of '03, but it did have splashes of color. The only grey I've ever liked is a grey wool coat. When I was in my teens though, we used to pair grey with pale pink, and it looked good. What about that for summer in Paris?


Honey, black and gray were my wardrobe in Paris in Jan. I always take bright scarves but I have to tell you by the end of 9 days, I was sick of looking at myself. We only take a carryon so the wardrobe changes were few and far between.

And btw, are you seen 50 Shades Of Chicken? It's a chicken cookbook but the photos and recipe titles are priceless. I bought mine at TJ Maxx!


I have to admit I do love black...but ONLY when worn with a bright scarf, or big chunky colorful necklace! But yes, at the end of the winter I am so ready for fun, bright colors!

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