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Need tips on what to there wear somewhere else? For a full listing of all our destinations, please visit our packing list page!
Wondering what to wear in Paris? This packing list will help you plan for your dream trip. With four stylish capsule wardrobes, you won’t look out of place with these tips!
To help you plan what to wear in Paris, Parisian shopping expert Chloe Johnston helped 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.
Backpack | Sunglasses | Flats
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 original UGG boots, clunky tennis shoes, flip flops, and sweatpants. You should look presentable at all times; your goal is to maintain a comfortable look, while exuding femininity and edge.
These are some popular shoes for Paris and Italy!
Scarf | Jacket | Guide
In general day-to-day European style is more dressy than American style. This DOES NOT mean business clothing. Think dressy top (or the type of top you’d wear to work) plus nice jeans (dark colors are always a good choice).
Parisians LOVE an ankle fit jean or trouser! In general, slim or Skinny fit jeans are the preferred denim option. If that’s not your thing, having tailored denim always makes for a smart appearance no matter what the pant style. For example, hemming the leg length so there’s not an excess fabric at the bottom.
Tip: ankle jeans are an easier way to get this look without a trip to the tailor.
But in other cities, like Zurich and Amsterdam, there’s a more relaxed view on fashion. You can feel free to use artistic license when it comes to your wardrobe. In ultra-chic cities like Paris and London, two of the major fashion capitals of the world, style is a way of life.
As with most destinations, practical sense applies. Leave the beachwear on the beach because it doesn’t translate well to streetwear in the city.
The same goes for gym wear; unless you’re actually headed to the gym, don’t dress in your gym attire as the locals will instantly recognize you as a tourist for the lack of effort that has been put into your wardrobe.
TRAVEL SHOES FOR EUROPE
One unexpected issue that many travelers discover once they get to Europe are the cobblestone streets.
While great to look at, stone streets aren’t always the easiest to walk on and can make for sore feet even if you don’t normally have discomfort. Depending on the city, these streets can also be hilly, slippery when wet, and uneven.
In addition, we all love to dress up, but avoid heels because they’ll leave you feeling uncomfortable. Opt for wedges if you must bring a heel. Do include one pair of shoes and one outfit that can be worn for dining out or experiencing the local nightlife.
Popular shoe options include (click each item below for suggested styles):
Read this post about the how to choose the best walking shoes for Europe.
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. Don’t forget the perfect daytime accessory for Paris: sunglasses.
Shop The Look
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.
Be mindful of purse snatchers! They either slash the bottom of your bag so the content fall out or slash the strap. Wear your purse strap across your body and the zipper towards the front.
These articles offer suggested products to avoid theft:
Remember, the safest place for your passport is locked in your accommodation. Carry a photocopy or other ID when you’re sightseeing or are out at night.
Read these tips on how to keep your passport safe when you travel!
outfit 1 | outfit 2 | outfit 3
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.
For more tips, read this post on shopping in Paris!
What to Wear in Paris in Spring
Top | Blouse | Long Sleeve | Shirt | Swing Dress | Striped Dress | Jeans | Skinny Jeans | Coat | Poncho | Skirt | Sweater | Flats | Boots | Scarf | Bag
Chloe says: Spring in Paris is always unpredictable, so be prepared for anything and pack an item for all the elements. Always check the weather before you travel.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for spring travel:
Read these tips on how to pack for transitional weather.
Packing for Paris
That unpredictable weather means that preparation is key. Bring a jacket; 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.
Find out why ankle boots are perfect for Europe in Spring!
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 capsule 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!
Be prepared for anything with these stylish travel raincoats for women!
What to Wear in Paris in Summer
Top | V Neck | Longsleeve | Blouse | Swing Dress | Striped Dress | Skinny Jeans | Jeans | Sweater | Vest | Skirt | T Shirt | Flats | Gladiator | Hat | Bag
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. Check the weather and bring a light jacket if you need to.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for summer travel:
Packing for Paris
For cooler days in June, you’ll need neutral tailored trousers or jeans in a dark wash, which you can wear with your comfortable ankle booties. Summer is also the time to make use of your wedge sandals, which instantly give your wardrobe a summery touch.
Take a look at these fashionable, comfortable walking sandals for summer!
Bring out your dresses! Cotton, rayon, and linen are the most comfortable in the heat. Add a belt for a feminine, polished fit. If you prefer maxi dresses or summer dresses, those all work and are a matter of style and preference.
To ensure you are prepared for unpredictable weather, don’t forget a light jacket or compact umbrella. Save museums for rainy days to make the most out of your trip.
Lastly, accessorize with sunglasses, a summer scarf, and jewelry–subtle yet stylish–to give you a touch of color. Choose minimalist jewelry (not too expensive or flashy) that reflects your own individuality and sense of style. Less is more.
What to Wear in Paris in Autumn
Jumper | Longsleeve | Shirt | T-Shirt | Shirtdress | Dress | Jeans | Skinny Jeans | Jacket | Poncho | Skirt | Sweater | Flats | Boots | Scarf | Bag
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. Take advantage of grey skies and pack a vivid pink or red coat for a beautiful picture in front of the Eiffel Tower!
Start by reading these general tips on packing for autumn travel:
Packing for Paris
Once again, ankle booties are perfect for autumn weather and will look great teamed with leather pants or dark jeans.
Here are some tips on how to wear ankle boots for fall travel.
Parisians love wearing leather, so use the autumn season to make leather your base. It’s not only waterproof, but warm, so you will have added protection from the chill. Consider adding a well-fitted, not boxy leather jacket 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 in the Parisian streets.
Follow this easy packing solution when traveling in between seasons!
Pant jumpsuits are feminine and chic. Pair them with a tailored blazer for an extra touch of sophistication. Pack one or two basic tees 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 on How to Pack for Europe’s Budget Airlines, where I squeezed in my leather and still flew carryon only!
What to Wear in Paris in Winter
Jumper | Sweater | Shirt | T-Shirt | Shirt Dress | Dress | Jeans | Skinny Jeans | Jacket | Coat | Skirt | Sweater | Tall Boots | Boots | Beanie | Bag
Chloe says: You can expect cold and wet weather during the winter, with occasional days of sun.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
Use these tips to learn how to stay warm in cold weather without looking like a snowman!
Packing for Paris
The perfect footwear for a colder climate is, of course, boots. Leather is preferable as it is comfortable, durable, and tends to be waterproof. 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.
Thermal underwear for women is the ultimate secret to packing light in the winter!
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 coat or an umbrella.
Paris Travel Tips
One of our biggest travel tips for any destination is to buy either a print or digital guidebook. They help you plan your itinerary, give you insight on where to stay, and even give you facts about the historical sites, too.
These are a few popular Paris guidebooks:
Learn more about why I still use travel guides!
ACCOMMODATION IN PARIS
For accommodation, we love Airbnb for accommodation in Paris and other parts of Europe. Sign up here for a free credit!
I prefer to to book “the entire home” instead of opting for shared accommodation on Airbnb. Aside from safety, I also like to feel like I’m living in the destination. It’s a small taste of local life plus you get more amenities than you would at a hotel such as a kitchen and washing machine.
Read these Airbnb tips for more info!
If you prefer the convenience and comfort of a hotel room, I like using both Agoda.com and Hotels.com. Tip: Hotels.com gives you a free night for every ten nights you book!
For flights, I like booking through Travelocity or Cheapoair (whichever one’s cheapest). Although I prefer Travelocity because they have a 24 hour money back guarantee.
To maximize your vacation time, fly into the city where you’re starting your trip and out of the city where your trip ends. Many times it’s the same price and saves you from having to spend extra time and money to go back to where you started your trip.
For hostels, we recommend Hostelworld and Hostelbookers. Always read the reviews before booking to get the best idea if the hostel is right for you. Some are quiet and family friendly while others are known for their party atmosphere.
Not sure about staying at a hostel? Read this.
ATMs tend to offer you the best exchange rate, so pull out cash as you go. Just be cautious about where you stash your cash! Add items like the Secret Stash Bra Pocket and Underwear with Pockets to your packing list.
BONUS TRAVEL TIP
Before your trip, it’s very beneficial to learn a few key French phrases. Locals will have a warmer reception to you if you’ve taken the time to learn this simple courtesy.
Drink a Kir Royale, enjoy the sidewalk cafes and museums, window shop, and most importantly, have fun!
What’s in your packing list for Paris? Share in the comment section below!
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.
For more tips, please read these Europe packing lists:
Suggested travel resources:
Please read our Ultimate Packing List for Europe featuring stylish outfits and travel tips for 9 countries.
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