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The French Love Nonsense English T-Shirts as Much as We Love Nonsense French T-Shirts

“Croissant Since 1956.”

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Hi everyone, this is a brag about how I went to Paris! JK, sort of, but I did, and it was great, and one of the things that made it great was all of the just-south-of-sensical English-language merch on the shelves of almost every major retailer.

We are, as an American society, no strangers to the marketing power of all things French. Francophilia is used to sell us everything from beauty products to $78 T-shirts that literally just say “Merci,” and so it’s not totally surprising that the same is true in reverse. I didn’t spot a shirt reading “THANKS,” although that would have been so funny, but I did see the following:

A shirt that just says “THINK,” which, close enough.

Also it cost like a hundred euros!

One that proclaims “CHEER LEADER.”

Similarly v v expensive.

This paean to breakfast.

This homage to my actual home.

And it’s not just limited to clothes — beauty products and home goods sported similarly Anglofied monikers, like this semi-alarming lip balm.

And this delightfully whimsical cleanser.

And this heartwarming set of paper plates.

I even had a dilemma in a craft store, deciding whether to buy a bolt of this fabric.

Or this patch, which I have regretted leaving behind each day following my trip.

According to my actually-a-French-girl best friend, this isn’t a new phenomenon. “Brooklyn was cool in France before Brooklyn was cool in New York,” she told me. “At age 13, I was shipping all my cousins Brooklyn hoodies.” Seems like a fair trade, as long as they don’t mind sending us a couple of these “COOL MAKE-UP” pouches.