That’s it! You booked your airplane ticket and a cute B&B room… You get your special copy of « MyParis », the strolling e-guide that avoids you from losing time in uninteresting crowded touristic places…
Paris « Capitale de la Monde », here you are!
One question arises then: what should you pack in your luggage to feel as a perfect Parisian insider?
Do you need a « béret« ? A sailor stripes tee-shirt? A long evening dress?
Here are my 5 packing tips so you won’t wear one of these « cliché » outfits that grow on the net and just pack the right adequate clothes for an amazing Paris trip.
By the way, if you want to travel chic and comfortable, I think these tips also work for any fashionable capital city (New-York, Rome, Milano, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Copenhagen… sorry for the ones I forget!), except maybe for the choice of neutral colors that is really so Parisian!
1/ Let’s see first, what NOT to pack:
– Really small shorts (or skirt): « Paris Plage » isn’t really a beach and you don’t want to be followed by sexual perverts in the Metro.
– Leggings wore as pants
– Large 3/4 cropped pants, especially those multi-pockets lace-trimmed ones
– Any sport or hiking clothes as gym pants, fleece jackets, ski jackets, rain coats…
– Lots of flashy colors worn together
– Too showy labeled clothes (as clothes with big labels on it or the whole outfit of a high brand…)
– Except for an evening, any bag that you have to carry on your elbow or in your hand: you’ll get too tired
– Fanny pack, (we call them bananas – « bananes« – in French :). You can eventually use a thin one underneath your clothes to secure your passport or cash.
– Sporty backpack
– Hiking shoes
– Exercise sneakers
– Plastic or nurse sandals, flip-flops or (even worse) crocks…
– Evening or cocktail dress. Unless you’re get invited at a very formal event, don’t pack them for a night in Paris. Actually, if you wear an evening dress or a gown in a bar or in a restaurant, you might be looked at as overdressed
– 12cm heel pumps: or maybe if you plan a very special evening (but don’t forget that they’re a lot of paved streets in Paris…)
2/Pack some comfortable and elegant basic clothes
Chose them in neutral colors: this is what Parisian women wear and you will easily mix them together
– 1 jeans (even in Summer take a dark color one: it will stay clean longer than a white one) + 1 pants as a chino for instance (and don’t forget to roll up the hems like below)
– A skirt or a printed dress (one you can walk with) or elegant short pants for the daytime
– Blouses or shirts (also roll-up the sleeves)
– Loose T-shirts
– One or 2 cardigans, pullovers or sweatshirts
– A trench (for Spring or Summer), a coat or a stylish parka (for Fall or Winter)
– A navy blue blazer / a jean jacket / a leather jacket or a black woman tuxedo (you can both wear these, day and night)
– A dress for the evening: but keep it simple, Parisian women are barely overdressed
What to wear for a night out in Paris
Most of Parisian women don’t wear super fancy dresses when they go out at night.
Just add an « evening touch » to your daytime outfit as a black tuxedo jacket, an elegant lightly transparent blouse, a sequin top, a pouch, or a few sophisticated accessories + a colored lipstick. That will perfectly do.
You also can match feminine clothes with masculine ones: pants with high heels, a tuxedo jacket or a blazer with a skirt, a black leather jacket with a dress…
Same for bars and clubs: girls are sexy in a subtle way.
If you wear short bodycon dress + high heels + heavy makeup, you take the risk of being considered as tacky …
Always remember the essence of French alluring: being sexy AND chic at the same time. Here are 5 tips to help.
3/ Add urban walking shoes
– If they are stylish, sneakers are an option. Vintage style ones are even more trendy. Check for New balance, Stan Smith, Converse, Nike etc… but not the one you use for exercising (generally thick and in fluo colors).
– Any kind of nice flat shoes: boots, low boots, oxfords, chelseas, derbies, loafers, mocassins, ballerinas, leather sandals, etc. Avoid the brand new ones that might hurt your feet… they have to be chic AND comfortable.
– Wedge or large heels if they are comfortable enough to walk with.
4/. Think about a good shoulder bag
Large enough to carry all your stuff (plus the ones you’ll certainly add during the day), comfortable enough to be carried around and classy enough to be stylish. Just as for shoes, a stylish bag really make the difference!
Comfortable bag = light (can be in leather, fabric or good nylon), worn on the shoulders or crossbody.
Bags found on Urban Outfitters
If you take only one, choose it in a color that’ll match all your outfits and can be worn both day and night (or you can also add an elegant evening pouch for the night out)
Pouch found on Accessorize
Don’t forget to add a cotton tote bag inside your day bag just in case you need to carry more :)
This one come from Etsy
5/. Pack a few accessories
They are small and light in the luggage and they easily add some style at any outfit!
– Different jewels for daytime or a night out. Avoid the gold/pearl or any valuable jewellery that you inherited from your mom or grandma… you don’t want to be sorry if you get to lose them.
Some costume jewelry will perfectly do (these are coming from www.accessorize.com)
– A scarf (winter or summer: always useful), you can even wear it as a hairband in your hairs
– Beanie and gloves if it’s winter
– Different kind of belt (large and thin)
– An umbrella (Paris is often wet)
Think about changing your make-up and hairdressing habits
Parisian women wear light make-up: nude foundation + black mascara+a little of pink blush + beige pink gloss will do. Add a red lipstick for the evening.
For your hair, if they are long, tie them in a nice way (a loose ponytail or a bun) or if you are under 30 ys you can wear a nice headband. In any case (even if you go out at night), forget the perfect blow-dry and the styling products as hairspray or wax. Let your hairs move naturally.
And to summarize just always keep those two bits of advice in mind:
All set for your next trip?
And if you feel like taking the opportunity of your Parisian trip to add few French clothes in your suitcase, let me know. I’ll be really happy to share my insider addresses and to take you to best shopping places in town!