What to wear in Paris: Packing List Tips
Wondering what to wear in Paris? You are at the right spot. We are sharing our super-efficient Paris packing list and tips to get you started.
In this post, you will also find styling options without compromising on comfort plus essential travel gear recommendations, and what NOT to wear and carry to Paris, France. We are combining spring, summer, and fall or autumn seasons together, and have a dedicated section on winter wear.
Paris Packing List: Getting ready
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Paris is one of the prettiest cities that we have been to, and I personally adore what French women wear. Locals wear very subtle colors – which means ditch loud colors, graphics, or too much color.
I wear monochromes at home, and that is what I wore mostly in Paris. I am 5 feet and an inch, and wearing one color maxi dresses or jumpsuits makes me look taller and slender.
Black, white, beige, or taupe are great neutral colors to mix and match. For a pop of color stick to – one color (deep reds, blues) without any prints.
It is not necessary that you wear dresses, you can swap that for skinny black or dark wash jeans, a trendy belt, and a nice blouse. Avoid logos and graphics – opt for plain/one-color tops with a nice cardigan or a flowy blouse.
For men too, carry dark wash jeans with semi-formal shirts.
Also ensure the clothing is breathable and made of natural fabrics – cotton, linen, merino wool (for winters).
Add 1-2 accessories to the packing list. It can be a nice purse, belt, sunglasses (must), and/or beret. Wear light makeup (au natural).
What to pack for Paris – Luggage recommendations
Before we begin with our Paris packing list, here are our luggage recommendations. Salil and I prefer to pack light, and we mostly use our 45 litre backpacks.
For our first trip, I used a 45 L Northface backpack. Now we use Pacsafe Venturesafe 45 L for all of our Europe trips. What we like about this backpack is that it opens up from the side like a suitcase and makes it easy to store our packing cubes, and access items conveniently.
It has nice front pockets for storing our charging cables, universal adaptor, notebook, and toiletries. Pacsafe is made of anti-theft and slash-proof material, and it keeps our belongings safe when we are out and about in Paris – using public transportation or overnight trains with our carry-on.
For a daypack, we use Pacsafe Metrosafe 15 Liter Anti Theft Backpack. It comes in a 25 L size, in case you need more space. We keep our camera gear, sunglasses, and water bottle.
I also carry a crossbody bag where I keep my passport, small cosmetic bag, money, phone, etc when I am out sightseeing.
Read: Paris Itinerary 4 days
What to wear in Paris from spring through fall or autumn
We will begin with our summer, spring, and fall packing list for Paris. If you are planning a trip to the city of love in the following months, this list applies to you,
Spring: March to May
Summer: June to August
Autumn/Fall: September to mid-November
Temperatures in Paris in the spring range from a low of 5 degrees C (40 F) to a high of 10 degrees Celsius (67 F). It is warmer as it approaches the summer months and cooler in the transition period of March. It also rains 9 days of the month on average.
Paris in the spring is a transition month as the temperatures move from winter to summer, so you have to be well prepared – carry warmer clothes, preferably those with waterproof material like a trench coat. Do carry an umbrella as the possibility of rain is higher in the spring.
In the summer months, expect a high of 26 degrees C (78 F) and a low of 14 degrees Celsius (57 F). Days are longer and warmer in Paris in the summer, with low rain possibility.
Although warm and sunny you must avoid shorts and tees with loud graphics in the summer. Instead, wear breathable light colored clothes. Note that Paris summer fashion is very different from autumn or winter styles.
Autumn or fall is another transition period so carry warmer clothing, and choose a color palette that is perfect for the season (like browns or black – which is my all-time favorite).
Autumn months are great to visit Paris as there are fewer crowds on the roads and attractions, but the weather is still nice to walk around and hang out in outdoor cafes. Low temperatures in Paris are around 6 degrees C (43 F), and a high of 22 degrees Celsius (71 F) in the fall.
Here is what you must pack for your trip to Paris for women (Spring to Autumn)
Tops & Blouses
Carry 2-3 tops with you, depending on the duration of the trip, ideally one for every day. During the summer months, opt for short sleeve tops.
If you are like me, who wants to look pretty on camera, then pack cute flowy blouses. You can wear comfortable jeans, or linen pants (for bottoms) and then pair them up with a nice flowy top or blouse.
Avoid logos, graphics, and loud colors and prints.
For men: Semi formal shirts, one color polo shirts.
Bottoms – jeans, linen pants, shorts
Carry dark wash or black jeans, preferably skinny or straight cut. Opt for fitted but comfortable jeans. Avoid jeans that are super stone-washed, or ripped.
I take my American Eagle jeggings with me everywhere, and they are very comfy to wear all day long. You can easily make a style statement with your jeans – pair it up with a designer belt, or leather boots (in late autumn/fall months).
For men: Dark jeans, semi-formal pants, khaki without multiple pockets.
Dresses & jumpsuits
Wear flowy, cute dresses in the summer and spring months. Choose nice pastel colors, and carry a few in neutral colors such as black, beige, and white.
Carry dresses that you are comfortable wearing, like – are you a long maxi girl? Or prefer knee length dresses? Choose your fit, and be comfortable.
I wear chiffon flowy dresses and find that they are super lightweight, and easy to pack inside a packing cube and into my backpack. Plus you get to look amazing in your photos! BONUS!
On our first trip to Paris, I wore this lightweight dress in red for photos in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Now, this is not a Paris everyday fashion staple – so it worked well for photos on a grey autumn morning.
Little Black Dress is also a must carry – it goes well with any event or attraction.
In the fall months, you can switch to a jumpsuit or earthy-tone dresses to match the weather! Don’t forget to carry a light cardigan though.
Comfortable walking shoes, or boots (for autumn)
A pair of comfortable walking shoes are a must for Paris – you will be wandering a lot of cute cobblestone streets across various arrondissements, so ditch the heels and choose lightweight sneakers or walking shoes.
Both are good for walking, just depending on what you are comfortable in. Loafers or espadrilles are also great options.
For dressier events, choose kitty heels, or wedged shoes/pumps.
In the autumn months, you can wear suede booties or ankle-length leather boots.
For men: Wear leather shoes for dressier events. For more casual trips, loafers are great. If you must wear sneakers or running shoes – wear one color (like black or white shoes).
A light cardigan is handy all year round – inside trains, when it rains or, in the evenings.
Waterproof jacket or trench coat
During spring and fall carry a trench coat or an A-line jacket. It is easy to find a jacket that is waterproof and packable.
Again be mindful of the colors, length and ensure it matches well to the outfits that you are wearing (dresses vs pants).
Trench coats come with water resistant material and they protect from light showers. Trench coats also go well with dresses and pants alike.
Sunglasses & sunscreen
In the summertime, Paris temperatures can be as high as 26 degrees C/78 F. With warm weather outside, it is natural to spend time outdoors, protect yourself from harmful sun rays and wear sunscreen.
Re-apply them every few hours so that you are protected!
And never leave your sunnies behind. Sunglasses not only provide protection, but they instantly light up your overall outfit! My favorite: RayBan Erika Sunglasses
With a nice clean outfit, you can jazz up your look with some nice accessories. Accessorize your outfit with scarves, belts, statement watches, or a beret!
Cross body bag
When you are out and about exploring, sometimes it is nice to go light (and leave your daypack and tote in the hotel). I own quite a few crossbody bags, and for travel, these are my favorites – Gucci Soho Disco bag, and Pacsafe anti-theft purse.
Carry a pair (or two) of loungewear, night dress, loose boyfriend shirts – whatever makes you comfy and happy at night!
Here is a quick list for men,
- Bottoms – jeans, trousers
- Walking shoes – leather shoes, loafers
- Waterproof jacket or trench coat
- Sunglasses & sunscreen
Paris Winter Packing List + Paris Outfits
Colder temperatures kick into Paris by early November. During this time you won’t experience a lot of crowds at various sightseeing attractions or popular museums. November is said to be one of the unpopular times to visit Paris, followed by January.
Temperatures in the city are around 4 degrees C (39 F).
Winters in Paris are not super severe (not as compared to what we experience here in Canada). Average temperatures are – a high of 9 degrees C (48 F), and a low of 3 degrees C (37 F).
In winter, especially from the end of November to December, Paris looks all festive and beautiful. This is the time for visiting Christmas shopping and ringing in the New Year’s.
The week from Christmas Eve to New Year’s is also one of the most expensive weeks in Paris for accommodation, and flights, as compared to January or November.
January is the coldest month in Paris so expect a lot of grey skies. Although January and February are gloomy, this is the perfect time to visit Paris for Valentines’ day or to hit the popular attractions with fewer crowds.
Flights will be cheaper in these months, so will be accommodation.
If you are visiting Paris in the winter, add on the following items.
Winter Parka or warm coat (waterproof)
You will need your warm or wool coat during your trip to Paris in winter. The temperatures rarely go below freezing point so a parka may not be necessary, but if you are usually cold then pair up your coat with thermals (4 degrees C was pretty comfortable for us, Canadians).
My winter coat has a waterproof coating so it keeps me dry under light rain or snow.
When wearing a parka, pick colors like black, olive green, and brown. This North Face parka has a removable hood, so you can cover yourself when it’s cold and windy. With deep pockets, this is great for keeping your hands warm and toasty inside.
Wool skirt – Sweater dress – LBD
During the day you can wear a wool skirt or a sweater dress paired with warm tights and knee length boots. Ensure you wear thick socks to keep you warm when you are out and about.
A Little Black Dress is handy if you are planning to dine out, or celebrate New Year, Christmas dinners, or Valentines’ Day in winter in Paris.
Winter boots are a must. Carry one pair of tall or ankle boots, preferably with a warm insulated lining. It is also important to consider the outsole and check the threading on it. The outsole should provide a grip when you are walking on slippery, icy surfaces.
Also, consider the weight of the boots as you will be carrying them on your flight, if you are not wearing them.
Carry socks to keep your toes warm. You can use your hiking socks or any merino wool-based socks as they are super warm.
A scarf can brighten up your outfit, and keep you warm and cozy. Infinity and triangle scarves are my go-to in the winters.
Warm gloves are a must in the winter. Get gloves with fingers that you can easily slide in and out when needed. Also when you are out and about, you will need your fingers for clicking photos or checking your phone, these tech gloves will come in ‘handy’.
Beanie – earmuffs
Pack cute beanies or toques to cover your head and ears. Once again stick to neutral colors of black, brown, and white. Red is not bad either.
Thermal tops, bottoms, leggings
Although not 100% essential, if you are usually cold or not used to single-digit temperatures then consider carrying thermal tops and bottoms to stay warm.
Thermal wear is important so that you are warm, and comfortable, while sightseeing. Depending on your cold threshold you can also swap thermal bottoms for leggings.
As for your outerwear, wear your wool coat and look all put together, and comfortable without the bulk.
All Winter Packing List Items: Men & Women
Here is the entire list of packing items for a winter trip to Paris for him, and her
- Long sleeve tops, shirts
- Bottoms – jeans, leggings
- Nice sweater dress or LBD for dinners out (her)
- Winter boots
- Sunglasses & sunscreen
- Stylish accessories
- Wool coat
- Warm socks
- Lounge wear
What to pack for Paris: Toiletries & medications or any personal item
Our summer and winter cosmetics list does not vary a lot, except that the moisturizers are creamier. Keep in mind that you can easily purchase cosmetics in Paris in case you miss anything (we recommend carrying decent sizes but do travel light and don’t overpack)
- Moisturisers: My number one moisturiser is this Vitamin E cream from Body Shop. I have been using them for over 10+ years, and they are so good. Carry the 50 ml size, which is also carry-on approved.
- Lipstick/balm: Carry chapstick, and your favorite lipsticks, lip color
- Eye pencil: My au-natural make-up includes a foundation, and eye pencil! My favorites – IT Cosmetics | Rimmel Eyewear Exaggerate
- Perfume: Travel size perfume
- Tooth paste, tooth brush
- Hand sanitizer
- Small first aid kit
- Don’t forget your prescriptions, Advil, etc.
What to pack for Paris France: Electronics
Electronics are just as important as clothing, especially a universal adaptor, and a charging cable. Here is the entire list,
- Phone: Your cellphone. We travel with our iPhones. This is where we store our passes, booking information, use it as a camera sometimes, and also to connect with friends and family.
- Sim card (optional)
- Charger: I love multi charging cables. They are so handy. We have iPhones, and our camera uses microUSB, so does our power backup. And a cable like this works like magic
- Universal Adaptor: A universal adaptor is a must. Europe uses a plug with two round pins (type C), unlike the flat ones in North America. You can buy yours here
- Camera: Don’t forget your camera. We carry our Sony Mirrorless Camera and Sony A7iii. The mirrorless is super lightweight, and it can be stored inside a small crossbody bag. The A7iii is super powerful (for gloomy, low lighting photos).
- SD Card: To back up all the photos.
- Laptop: Optional
Checklist for travel to Paris Packing Tips
We are sharing essential travel documents for your trip to Paris France
- Passport: Ensure you carry your passport. It should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in France. The passport must be in good condition and not torn or tempered.
- Visa: If you require a Schengen Visa for Europe, do apply for it prior to your trip to France. Any additional documents that go with the visa should be part of this list (varies).
- Currency and Credit Cards: Don’t forget your credit cards, and currency. Euro is the official currency in France. Credit cards are widely accepted.
- Transportation: Carry Paris Travel Pass, City Pass, flight tickets or any tour confirmation
- Hotels: Confirm hotel reservations, and save your emails, or a screenshot of the booking email – Book Eiffel Tower View Hotels here
- Travel insurance
Other essentials to bring Paris
- Packing cubes: For easy packing and organization, we use packing cubes. You can buy yours here
- Reusable water bottle: Carry a reusable water bottle on your walks and sightseeing tours. Here is my favorite bottle
- Small umbrella: Because it could rain in most touristy months, a small umbrella is handy, when you are out and about
- Sleep Mask
What NOT to wear in Paris + other packing tips
The basics of clothing in Paris is to stick to neutral colors and clean-cut outfits. Semi-formal or business casual clothing (ones we wear to our office) works well if you are confused about what to carry and don’t wish to buy new outfits.
Avoid the following things so that you don’t stand out as a tourist (waiting to be robbed!)
- Avoid tees or any clothing really with logos, graphics and loud prints and colors
- Avoid sweatpants, yoga or athletic wear like hoodies, shorts, or track pants. You can wear leggings but match it with a semi casual top or tunic
- For pants avoid cargo, or any pants with 6 pockets, etc
- Avoid touristy fanny packs (bum bags and belt bags are okay as long as you style it as such)
- For shoes avoid flip flops on the road, UGGS, or hiking shoes that aren’t cute or feminine. Sneakers (in mono colors) and loafers are great to be comfortable
Many travelers visiting Paris prefer to buy designer brands like Chanel, Dior, or Louis Vuitton. If you are carrying/wearing designer items on the streets of Paris – be mindful of your belongings, ensure the zipper is always closed and keep it close to your body.
Things to Consider When Packing for a Trip to Paris France
We have included both the summer and winter packing lists for Paris in this guide. When visiting during the off-season, or crossover months, you should carry ‘a pair of something warm’ like a scarf, sweater, light jacket, warm socks, whatever you prefer to keep you warm and toasty in the evenings.
Consider the following things when packing for Paris
- Time of year: When choosing what to pack, consider the month of travel, and the season. We have included the month range for each season above. Do check the weather forecast on the day of travel, or when you venture out (carry umbrella or your scarf depending on the temperatures)
- What are you planning to do: Are you planning to attend fashion shows, fancy dinners or visiting sightseeing attractions and bustling neighbourhoods? Your packing list should reflect that! So don’t forget that stellar sweater dress and comfy boots in late fall and winter months, or sneakers and breathable blouses for your summer trip to Paris!
We prepare our travel capsule wardrobe by focusing on the weather, and the trip duration, and carry only that, and this allows us to maximize the 45 L backpack space we have!
Highly suggest planning your outfits and carrying only what you will wear (most of the time you won’t even wear the extras so leave them behind).
We hope you found this post on what to pack for Paris and related travel tips useful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Read our Paris guides