Packing for Paris in Spring

by olivia hoffman

Packing for a trip is always a bit of a daunting task. The arrival of a vacation is thrilling, but planning outfits and optimizing suitcase space is both a psychological and logistical challenge. Is it going to rain? Will the weather be too hot? Do the nights get cold? Can I fit everything (with room for souvenirs at the end)?

Perhaps one of the most intimidating places to pack for is Paris. There is so much anticipation around adventurous days and romantic nights and you want to be prepared for it all! Not to mention, the Parisian standard of effortlessly chic style is not the easiest thing to live up to.


© Sézane

But don’t fret. Straight from the City of Light, we have pulled together a variety of clothing items and accessories necessary for the three main activities that a Paris trip entails: site-seeing, café-lounging, and a fancy night out.

Use these collections as a guide to pack practically so that you not only look like a chic Parisienne but also so that you have space in your suitcase after all the inevitable shopping that is to come… It is the fashion capital of the world after all!

The Site-Seeing Day

For museum visits, walking tours, strolls in the gardens, and just generally exploring the city on foot, these items are what you will need to look fabulous while staying comfortable.

It is almost impossible to go a day in France without seeing someone wear a marinière, the classic Breton striped shirt. Pair this one from Saint James with some bootcut jeans in either ecru or a light blue wash and comfortable sneakers. The perfect accessories are a light cotton or silk scarf, simple earrings, and statement sunglasses. Make sure to pack a light trench coat in case it gets a little chilly or rainy. Carry around a Longchamp bag to hold daytime essentials like a water bottle and umbrella – and to stash little souvenirs you might pick up along the day.

The Laid-back Café Day

For spending savory hours people-watching from the café, taking a leisurely lunch, and shopping in the Marais, you will need an outfit that oozes effortless chic to match all the locals.

A French girl’s go-to in transitional spring weather is always an oversized blazer. This statement piece enhances any basic outfit. Pair a plain white t-shirt with linen or cotton pants as they are light, versatile, and easy to pack. Style it up with a thin silk scarf around a ponytail, a simple necklace, and cute pink loafers from Sézane. Carry around a small crossbody bag like this one from A.P.C. so that you can have your hands free while shopping. Pull it together with a nude-color lipstick from Hermès.

The Nice Night Out

For the fancy night out that you have been dreaming of, watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle from a distance while enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine, you can’t go wrong with a chic all-black look.

French elegance is classic and subdued. There is no need to pull out crazy colors or sequins as a little black dress boasts instant style. A black tweed jacket with gold buttons will sit nicely atop simple gold bling like natural pearl earrings and a contemporary gold bracelet by French jewelry brands Gisel B and Imai. These black pumps from Sézane are also a perfect travel companion as they are fashionable, comfortable, and can go from day to night just like this patent leather bag from A.P.C. Incorporate a little pop of color with a stunning red lip (check out our favorite 7 shades of French rouge here).

The best thing about these ensembles is that all of the elements can be mixed and matched throughout the trip. This guide will have you perfectly prepared to pack for a trip to Paris and blending in with les femmes françaises in no time.

Read Next: Packing for Vacation with French Brands

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