What-to-wear-for-Paris

What to wear in Paris

Your plane and your hostel are booked and you cannot wait to be in Paris.

But there is one last thing you have to do: PACKING.

How to dress for Paris when you know you will be walking all day long au soleil, sous la pluie à midi ou à minuit?

Here are my advices:

1. Pack some comfortable yet elegant basic clothes

Advantage: they can all be mixed together.

– Neutral colored jeans/pants

– A skirt (one you can walk with) or elegant short pants for the daytime

– Some blouses

– Some cotton tops (loose T-shirts for instance)

– Some cardigans and pullovers

– A trench, a blazer or a coat

– A dress for the evening: simple an not overdressed

What not to wear if you do not want to look like a tourist (if you don’t care go ahead ^^):

– Large cropped pants, especially those lace-trimmed ones

– Mom jeans (unless you are a hipster)

– Joggings (if not Isabel Marant’s worn with high heels)

– Fleece jacket (I swear you there are no bears on the “montagne sainte Geneviève”)

– Anything related to sport and hiking (you are not Marc Jacobs)

– Lots of flashy colors worn together

2. Pack elegant walking shoes

– Sneakers are an option! They are really trendy right now: New balance, Stan Smith, Converse, Bensimons, etc… but not the one you take for exercising (chunky ones, if you know what I mean).

Any flats: boots, derbies, loafers, sandals, etc. Have a look at my article on flat shoes.

– Chunky heeled shoes that are not to high: they are as comfy as flats to walk with.

Classy flat shoes can be worn on a night out but if you can, add a pair of higher heels in your luggage.

What not to wear:

– Hiking shoes or exercise sneakers are a no: Paris is not a mountain or a sport club

– A bad pedicure (but I know New Yorkers are far better that us on the pedicure issue anyway).

– Ballerinas. Except if you don’t sweat, or do not  fear it is maybe gonna rain at some point.

3. Pack a good bag

Large enough to fit  all your stuffs for the day, comfortable enough to be carried around, resistant enough not to be damaged and classy enough to be stylish

If you take only one, choose a classic that’ll match all your outfits and can be worn both day and night.

Comfortable bag = light, carried on shoulder (or on the back), large straps.

Add a cotton tote bag inside just in case you need to carry more (they are stylish).

Bags for Paris
Bags for Paris by dresslikeaparisian

What not to wear:

– Any bag that you have to carry on your elbow or in your hand, you’ll get tired

– Fanny pack ^^

– Sporty backpack (if not Alexander Wang’s style)

4. Pack a few accessories

They are light in the luggage and add great style.

– Some jewels for a night out.

– Bold lipstick and polish

– A scarf (for summer of for winter) and gloves (if it’s winter) that will match with your other outfits

– An umbrella (or you buy a pretty one in Paris)

5. Walking Paris outfit ideas for every season

Spring

Spring day in Paris
Spring day in Paris by dresslikeaparisian

Wear a nice T-shirt under your sweater in case it gets sunny.

Summer

Summer outfit for Paris
Summer outfit for Paris by dresslikeaparisian

Bring a short trench for sometimes chilly summer nights.

Autumn

Autum day in Paris
Autum day in Paris by dresslikeaparisian

Wear a blouse under your sweater in case the weather changes or if you get invited to a fancy restaurant.

Roll up your pants to reveal your ankles if you feel like it. And you can add a pair of sparkly emerald socks to stay warm.

Winter

Winter day in Paris
Winter day in Paris by dresslikeaparisian

Little heels are as comfy to walk with as flats. The snakeskin adds style to the outfit.

A good chosen parka is stylish.

Gloves and lipstick add a hint of color to this neutral outfit.

==> All those outfit are comfortable, easy to walk with, adapted to the season AND stylish. You are ready for Paris!

6. Outfits ideas for a night out in Paris

Most of restaurants/ bars in Paris do not expect you to be super fancy.
Actually if you wear of cocktail dress or a gown in a chic restaurant, you might be looked at as overdressed.

Just add a bit of sophistication to your daytime outfit with jewels, make up and hair and you are good to go.

Here is an example with the autumn outfit just made fancier by revealing the see-trough blouse, adding thin jewels, and daring red makeup plus switching for leather pants (but you could have kept the black jeans).

Fall/winter outfit for a bar or restaurant in Paris
Fall/winter outfit for a bar or restaurant in Paris by dresslikeaparisian

Same for bars and clubs: girls are sexy but in a subtle way.
If you wear bodycon dress + heels + makeup and brushing, you take the risk of being considered as tacky by french guys.

Just as on the above example, girl will just add some sexyness and sophistication to the daytime outfit.

For instance, for a bar in summer, add some heels, a shorter skirt, some jewels et voilà: sexy you.

Bar night out in Paris
Bar night out in Paris by dresslikeaparisian featuring an essie nail polish

To go to a club, you can be more sexy, but never forget you’ll probably have to WALK to catch the taxi, or worst, to go home, so stay reasonable with the heels height.

Here is a very attractive, quite rock but not tacky club outfit:

Girly rock night out
Girly rock night out by dresslikeaparisian

If you are going to a fancy cocktail bar or restaurant, you can pack a designer’s dress: just don’t overdo the rest of the outfit:

Flirty but not too much
Flirty but not too much by dresslikeaparisian
All of these are “basic” suggestions considering a minimal luggage and quite classic choices. You can be much more creative!
And adapt the outfit to your style (rock, bohemian, boyish), your age and your bodytype.
Just always keep those two main advices in mind:
– elegant even during the day
– never overdressed or oversexy at night
Is your luggage ready to board now?
Bises de Paris
Cover collage: Karla’s closet, Found on closetonthego, Colcci backstage at Sao Paolo fashion week
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Comments
47 Responses to “What to wear in Paris”
  1. Shaskia says:

    Hello,

    I’m going to paris in December until January. I live in tropical country & this will be my first winter trip. I need your help to give an idea for a perfect outfit on new years. I will spend NYE with having dinner & party at Matignon. I’ve seen lots of french women wearing a sleeveless dress during NYE (watched it on Youtube) but since its winter, what should I wear to make myself warm when I walking on the street but chic enough for partying?

    Need you advance advice! Thank you 🙂

  2. Susana says:

    Very helpful indeed!!!! Now, I know what to pack to my trip to Paris
    Thank you!
    Susana from Argentina

  3. Amy says:

    My 18 year old daughter and I are going to Paris in December. Should we pack long wool coats or hooded rain coats (nipped at the waist and stylish but not particularly warm). We will bring plenty of layers including cashmere sweaters and a cashmere scarf but I’m stumped as to which coat to pack and we are only doing carry on.

  4. Kylie says:

    I’m heading to Paris in August and I’m wondering if it’s looked down on ladies wearing Birkenstock’s. They’re leather and comfortable for walking but I don’t want to be looked down on. Also thoughts about a black leather skirt in summer?

  5. Devyn says:

    Hi! I am currently a student in America, and will be studying in Paris for next school year. I am trying to get some tips on what kind of clothes to buy before I get over there! You mentioned that Stan smiths and converse are popular tennis shoes over there. Do you recommend one over the other? Is one more popular than the other? Also, since I will be attending school, I will have to walk a few blocks through the city to the university everyday. I’d like to have a bag big enough to fit my laptop in case I need it for class. Are backpacks common for students over there, or do you suggest getting a tote large enough to hold it?
    Thank you for your help!
    Devyn

  6. Blake Ford says:

    Is it ok to wear leggings if you balance them out with a longer, looser shirt and maybe a trench over top?

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Hello Blake,
      If you ask me: leggings are to be considered like tights. This does not sound like an outfit you could wear with tights, so I’d say no.

  7. Deanna says:

    This has been enlightening and now I am frightened about what to pack! My daughter is recovering from Chemo from Lymphoma and we leave for Paris March 6th.16! This is her Make a wish Trip and she is a beautiful 13 year old girl trying to get past this cancer horror! We are so blessed to be going WITH OUR WHOLE FAMILY hubby and I are 45 and boys: 18, 17 Girls 15,13…I am still stumped, re:what to pack for all. I am really worried about the shoes I assume we will be doing a lot of walking and WHAT shoes do I wear? For enjoying the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and shopping in the Mairias area. I was going to bring neutral vans for the girls and I and have a pair of boots, for me, along in case I need them for the rain. Would I be able to wear sandals at night? Also for the boys; are converse and vans ok for them? My hubby always has a great pair of Doc Martins and is ready to go. What are your thoughts? I am perplexed and would love a little insight. Oh before I forget should I get a great black wrap dress or is there another style that would be at the top of your list!????? (I am a size 10/12). Thank you ever so much! #SydneyTheCancerSlayersMom

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Hello,
      Converse and van are perfect.
      Guess sandals are way to cold for this time of the year.
      Doc martens are also cool.
      Any kind of dress would be nice, just depends of you.
      Good luck to your daughter!

    • Clo says:

      Enjoy your stay in Paris ! The important is to feel at ease and to be comfortable cause you’ll be walking a lot. Don’t forget an umbrella ! Kisses and love for your daughter. Have a good trip !

    • HeatherFeather says:

      I will also be there. We are traveling from Kansas City. It is very warm here but I think the weather will require a light jacket. If you do leggings, make it fashionable. Remember, leggings are NOT pants.

  8. Ana says:

    Hi! I’m from the Philippines and will be going to Paris mid February with a group of friends. I am totally stumped on what to pack!!! Help!!!

    PS. So far I’ve set aside black leather riding boots, a black trench coat and black leather gloves for the trip…

  9. Mia says:

    What a fantastic post. If I wear a grey wool coat with dark brown knee high boots, would that be okay for winter? Or is it more suitable for autumn? And what about a man wearing a grey wool pea coat with brown shoes? I guess I’m wondering if black shoes and boots are more the norm for winter.

  10. Susie says:

    I’m not sure if I should wear some type of leg covering/hosiery with my dress in the evening. My husband loves the classic black sheer hose look (and I wouldn’t mind some warmth) but I don’t really notice women wearing pantyhose any more. I feel, though, that my legs might be too bare without. During the day and for casual settings, I’m wearing black tights with my leatherette skirt. Non?

  11. Susie says:

    Your blog is lovely! I’m so glad I found it. In July, I’m traveling to Paris with three teenage girls and I would like your advice. Is it ok for them to wear denim cut off shorts or rompers? They buy most of their clothes from Brandy Melville, H & M, and Urban Outfitters. The girls say some of these stores are in Paris and sell these items so it should be okay to wear them. However, everything I read says no shorts. Thank you for your help.

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Hello, Sure your daughters can wear shorts or rompers.
      Fashion is now international as they point out so we have those brands in Paris.
      But still, there are big differences between Paris and the US/
      So my advice is to pay attention that the shorts themselves are neither too short (like when you almost see the butt), or too tight.
      And wear them with pretty sandals or cotton sneakers (like vans) but no flip flops.
      With short short, contrast with a longer and looser top.
      Have fun in Paris!
      Aloïs

      • Susie says:

        Merci beaucoup! Your response is incredibly helpful. Now, if I can just figure out what I’m going to wear:)

        • Aloïs Guinut says:

          Actually I did not have any question for the lookmaker this week and decided this would make the subject of the next lookmaker so keep updated ^^
          And feel free to share the post on social meadias when I’ll have it published ^^

  12. curious says:

    is it a big fashion no to wear bodycon anything in paris?

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      No you can wear bodycon, the only thing is to look chic in it so balance with something larger usually.
      But a Rolant Mouret pencil dress is fine.
      And never wear leggings as pants

  13. Kayliann says:

    So i am going to Paris this sunday and our first day is monday. And its not suppose to be warm but i have a lace half shirt and tight jeans and a scarf and tall boots would that work as a parisan outfit! Im really drop dead stopped on what to wear!

  14. April Gold says:

    So cool advices! I am going to move to Paris next year because of my job and I am so excited! I should pack all of my stuff and I don’t know how to start. Wish me luck!

  15. Marissa says:

    Thank you so much for these lovely suggestions. I am preparing to go to film school this fall in Paris. I’ll be there for ten months and am completely freaking out that I’ll look like a tourist. I’ve already started buying black clothes and less graphic tees. I read a few other blogs about Parisian style. I was wondering if superga (the Italian sneakers) are a good idea.

    Thanks again!

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Hello, Supergas are indeed a good idea 🙂 And don’t worry… even if I do write that blog on fashion, french people and parisian are not ALL well dressed. I am sure you’ll dress good anyway by reading the blog. And even if you don’t, that’ll be fine, friends don’t choose based on appearance.

  16. Nick says:

    Hi ! I’m 30 years old. I’m a French man who lives in Paris.
    For summer, you could wear jeans or shorts pants with leather flip-flops or leather strap sandals but not beach flip-flops.
    If you don’t want to be noticed as a tourist, you should always wear leather sandals !
    Most of parisian men don’t like to wear beach shoes

  17. I love all your stylish and Parisian Chic tips. The outfits of the night out in Paris is definitely Parisian 🙂 I definitely think that Parisian style is so simple yet super chic. It’s all about neutral colours! Here’s some of my tips about What to wear in Paris I hope you like it and let me know what you think 🙂

    Marj xo

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      It is true that we now all wear jeans 🙂
      I read your article and for the shoes, I would add the sneakers that are very fashionable right now but more comfy than ballets or flat sandals for all day walking. Like the Adidas Stan Smith for instance.
      Aloïs

  18. Alison says:

    Love these outfit ideas! I’ve just written a similar post about what to wear in Paris 🙂

  19. Justine says:

    Oh I LOVE this post so much Alois! This one is my favourite post yet. It is my dream to go to Paris one day. It is a long way away from where I live in Australia. I hope to make it one day. If you can ever publish these pages in a book to sell say on Amazon I think lots of people would purchase it, me included! Justine xx

  20. Sarah says:

    This is perfect! And humorous too. Will be sure to refer to it for visiting you. Xx

    • Toni says:

      to be honest …..I think some Americans dress better than the French !!!!

      Sorry but it’s true!!!

      • Aloïs Guinut says:

        I never said that french woman dress better than american woman nor that every french woman is stylish.
        I just say that french style is different than american style.
        And if you like this style you can get inspired from this post.
        I’d say it is about neglicated sophistication.
        If you had to pick brands to represent french style I would pick a mix between Isabel Marant, Lanvin and Sonia Rykiel.
        And for the american style Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford.
        But you cannot make generalities so it can happen that an american woman has a “french” style and that a french woman prefers to dress “american” ^^

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