What to Wear in Paris: Packing List and Capsule Wardrobe Ideas

What to Wear in Paris: Packing List and Capsule Wardrobe Ideas

To help you plan what to wear in Paris, Parisian shopping expert Chloe Johnston helps us create an authentic packing list for your travel to this extraordinary city.

Chloe runs a travel company featuring shopping tours in Paris–perfect for a fashionista! Originally from the US, she’s been visiting Paris yearly since she was 12 years old. She launched CJ Shopping Tours, which has her traveling to Paris at least 5-6 times per year.

To learn more about Chloe and her company, check out CJ Shopping Tours and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


 What to Wear in Paris: Packing List


 

Paris Clothing Style 

When considering what to wear in Paris, it is important to remember that the city style is tailored and chic, yet conservative with an edge. Parisians love neutral colors and adhere to the “No more than 3 colors” rule.

To avoid standing out as a tourist on the Parisian streets, avoid items like UGG boots, sneakers, flip flops, and sweatpants. You should look presentable at all times; your goal is to maintain a comfortable look, while exuding femininity and edge.

 

 photo paris-travel-essentials.jpg

Leather Jacket / Sunglasses / Infinity Scarf / Cross Body Bag / Flat Sandal / Slip-Ons / Lonely Planet French Phrasebook

 

Travel Essentials

The perfect accessories to add color to any outfit are a handbag and a scarf. You can use your handbag, belts, and scarves to brighten up an otherwise neutral outfit. The perfect bag for Paris is a crossbody bag. To take your look from day to night, use a removable chain or strap to transform it from a crossbody into an elegant clutch.

And don’t forget the perfect daytime accessory for Paris: sunglasses.

Hotels and apartments often supply guests with umbrellas; however, it’s good to be prepared by bringing your trusty travel umbrella with you.

 

Shopping in Paris

Paris is synonymous with fashion. It’s a city filled with luxurious designer fashion houses, but if you are looking for more budget-friendly shops, try these: Monoprix, Tati, and City Pharma, where you can get all your basic travel essentials.

 

Paris Capsule Wardobe: Spring

 

1. Drape Neck Blouse 2. Cotton Sweatshirt 3. Scallop Tee 4. Wrap Blouse 5. Peplum Top 6. Skirted Dress 7. Floral Dress 8. Skinny Jeans 9. Striped Skirt 10. Black Trousers 11. Trench Coat 12. Biker Jacket 13. Quilted Boots 14. Ballet Flats 15. Crossbody Bag (similar) 16. Fedora Hat 17. Travel Umbrella 18. Floral Scarf 19. Wrap Bracelet 20. Opaque Tights

 

What to Wear in Paris in Spring

 

Weather

Chloe says: Spring in Paris is always unpredictable, so be prepared for anything and pack an item for all the elements.

 

Packing for Paris

That unpredictable weather means that preparation is key. Have a jacket on hand for cooler days; layering is essential. A stylish light sweater, long sleeve tops, and t-shirts are great to mix and match with long skirts and tailored pants, which you can wear with your favorite comfortable ankle booties.

Maxi dresses are perfect to wear under a light jacket on warmer days. Opt for a dress in figure-flattering black. Parisians love wearing black, so try to produce a wardrobe in black, to which you can add a touch of color with your accessories (your scarf, belts, or handbag.)

And if you want to feel a little more French, pack your prettiest undergarments into your wardrobe. It will leave you feeling glamorous!

 

Paris Capsule Wardobe: Summer

 

1. Striped T-Shirt 2. Casual Shirt 3. Ruffle Blouse 4. Lace Up Shirt 5. Racer Vest 6. Summer Wrap Dress 7. Shirt Dress 8. Slim Jeans 9. Skinny Jeans 10. Skater Skirt 11. Sleeveless Jacket 12. Waterfall Cardigan 13. Flat Shoes 14. Messenger Bag (similar) 15. Fringe Sandals 16. Cat Eye Sunglasses 17. Travel Umbrella 18. Printed Scarf (similar) 19. Fedora Hat 20. Infinity Bracelet

 

What to Wear in Paris in Summer

 

Weather

Chloe says: summers in Paris can get very hot, but the weather is unpredictable and it can turn chilly. The hottest time of day is mid to late afternoon.

 

Packing for Paris

For cooler days in June, you’ll need a good pair of jeans in a darker shade, which you can wear tucked into your comfortable ankle booties. Summer is also the time to make use of your wedge sandals, which instantly give your wardrobe a summery touch.

Bring out your dresses! Belted dresses always look feminine and have a great fit. If you prefer a maxi dress or a summery cotton dress, those all work for summer and are a matter of style and preference.

To ensure you are prepared for unpredictable weather, don’t forget your waterproof gear, like a jacket or strong, fold-up umbrella.

Lastly, accessorize with sunglasses, a summer scarf, and jewelry–subtle yet stylish–to give you a touch of color and enhance your skin tone and outfit. Choose jewelry that you’d feel comfortable wearing on holiday (nothing too expensive or flashy) and that reflects your own individuality and sense of style.

 

Paris Capsule Wardobe: Autumn

 

1. Cable Knit Sweater 2. V-Neck Shirt 3. Loose Sweater 4. Funnel Neck Top 5. 2 in 1 Top 6. Belt Printed Dress 7. Shirt Dress 8. Faux Leather Trousers 9. Leather Skirt 10. High Waist Jeans 11. Biker Jacket 12. Khaki Coat 13. Ankle Boots (similar) 14. Penny Loafers 15. Faux Fur Crossbody 16. Round Sunglasses 17. Fedora Hat 18. Infinity Scarf 19. Opaque Tights 20. Leather Belt

 

What to Wear in Paris in Autumn

 

Weather

Chloe says: In autumn, the weather is cool and Paris is beautiful. Autumn colors create a picturesque setting; however, as in spring, the seasons are unpredictable.

 

Packing for Paris

Once again, ankle booties are perfect for autumn weather and will look great teamed with leather pants or dark jeans. Parisians love wearing leather, so use the autumn season to make leather your base. Leather is not only waterproof, but warm, so you will have added protection from the chill. Consider adding a leather jacket and a pair of leather shorts to your wardrobe. (If you don’t like wearing leather, try faux leather.)

Tights or stockings are ideal to wear underneath shorts or belted dresses. They provide some protection from the elements and modesty if you don’t want to bare your legs in the Parisian streets.

Pant jumpsuits are feminine and chic. Pair them with a stylish jacket or tailored blazer for an extra touch of sophistication.

Pack various t-shirts and long sleeve tops to create layers to mix and match your outfits.

And finally, your scarves can add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral wardrobe.

If you think you can’t pack light with leather clothing, check out my post onHow to Pack for Europe’s Budget Airlines, where I squeeze in my leather and still fly carryon only!

 

Paris Capsule Wardobe: Winter

 

1. 2 in 1 Sweater (similar) 2. High Neck Sweater (similar) 3. Striped Turtle Neck 4. Long Sleeve Shirt 5. Stitch Sweater 6. Striped Bodycon Dress 7. Sweater Dress (similar) 8. Leather Pleated Skirt 9. High Waist Trousers 10. Skinny Jeans 11. Collar Coat 12. Moto Bomber Jacket 13. Suede Ankle Booties 14. Knee High Boots 15. Leather Crossbody 16. Cable Beanie 17. Cashmere Knit Gloves 18. Blanket Scarf (similar) 19. Snake Print Belt 20. Black Tights

 

What to Wear in Paris in Winter

 

Weather

Chloe says: you can expect cold and wet weather during the winter, with occasional days of sun.

 

Packing for Paris

The perfect footwear for a colder climate is, of course, boots. Waterproof leather is preferable as it is comfortable and durable; however, faux leather materials can perform a similar function. If you want added warmth, opt for boots with a warm lining like wool.

Tucked into your boots to create the perfect winter look will be your dark jeans or thick trousers. Layering is essential for colder climates, so pack long sleeve tops, a few sweaters, and even a t-shirt or two to wear underneath your heavy fitted jacket or warm coat.

Accessories not only add style to your outfit, but warmth! Opt for long, cashmere or silk scarves in the colors of your choice as well as a stylish hat and fingerless gloves. A pair of black leather gloves can look chic as well.

Since winter in Paris is a wetter season, don’t forget to pack weather-appropriate gear like a waterproof jacket or an umbrella.

 

A final tip

Before heading out on your trip, it is very beneficial to learn a few key French phrases. Locals will have a warmer reception to you if you have taken the time to learn simple courtesy.

Drink a Kir Royale, enjoy the sidewalk cafes and museums, window shop, and most importantly, have fun!


Enjoy your trip to Paris! 

What’s on your packing list for Paris?


Please note: Most of Europe’s budget airlines have this carryon bag allowance: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always check your airline’s individual baggage rules and regulations in advance.


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Please read our Ultimate Packing List for Europe featuring stylish outfits and travel tips for 9 countries.



We hope this packing list helps you plan what to wear in Paris so you can dress like a local. Don’t forget to share the love on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!


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8 Comments

  1. Loved this article!!

    • Thanks!

  2. Great article.. Will keep in mind all your tips for my visit to Paris this May

    • Thanks! Hope it helps :-)

  3. What is appropriate dress code for a 70 year old woman who is a little ‘hip’?

    Thanks
    Sophie

    • Hi Sophie, thanks for your question! I will post it on our Facebook page to get the best feedback for you :-)

  4. What a well thought out blog, alas I have been to paris many times, but being 50 and a little chunky, still find it very difficult to pack, all the clothing you have recommended are lovely but a bit young for me, still I can admire the young uns wearing them! Thanks.

    • Thank you Sue!