What To Wear in Paris

Even though you may be just a tourist, Paris is an exceptionally stylish city, where both men and women pride themselves on what they are wearing.

Packing for Women

For Parisians, getting dressed is a lot about creating an entire ensemble and combining items to make your own unique look, rather it being about a single signature piece or designer item.  Belts and scarves are simple addition to blend in and add a little Parisian flair to what you are wearing.

If you go out in bright colors expect to be stared at. A good general rule of thumb is to go dress simply (black is almost always a safe bet) and spice up your outfit with accessories. Dresses or skirts  are also an easy way to look fabulous and save room in your suitcase. Accessorize them for day or evening with jewelry, a cardigan or a scarf. A stylish pair of sandals in summer will accompany your French look. In spring or autumn stylish shoes and in winter a nice pair of stylish boots.

Also be aware that French women and girls do not usually wear shorts shorter than above the knee outside of sporting events and leave the flip-flops at home.

Packing For Men

Many of the same basic rules that apply to women also apply to men in Paris.  Leave cargo shorts, ragged jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps and tennis shoes, this is simply not how French men dress. Men are expected to dress well in Paris and you should opt for something a little more sophisticated.

Simple is always the best. Bring a nice pair of trousers, jeans, simple sweaters and button downs and a nice pair of shoes. If you can’t fund a stylish pair of manpris and sandals or stylish tennies at home, wait until you reach your destination in France to get one and you’ll be fitting right in.

If you want to blend in, leave at home your white tennis/running shoes, instead, get some trendy, “puma” like tennis shoes to be comfortable when walking around Paris. You can also invest in shoes designed for walking, like Ecco, Mephisto, or Dansko. These sturdy European brands are very popular among Parisians. Or, wear a pair of flats, loafers or short-heeled boots.

Men rarely wear ties in Paris, but if you plan on going out to some nice restaurants, you’ll definitely want a blazer/suit jacket with you to dress up your outfit.  You’ll also want to bring at least one pair of nice dress shoes, preferably an Italian one.

There’s nothing wrong with basic black or other neutrals colors that go with almost everything. Not only will this save you room in your bag, but you’ll also look classy. If you want to punch up your outfit, add scarves (of the silk variety in the summer) and other accessories.

Ditch the Fanny Pack and opt for a backpack, a purse or a tote. And remember, while backpacks are fine for the hike in the south of France, pick something more stylish and sleek for the streets of Paris.

When in doubt, dress nicer than you think is necessary and dress your age. If you look the part, you may even get better treatment when you are out and about.

What to wear in Paris

Winter Tip: Wear a Scarf. French women and men love scarves, and they seem to have an effortless, and elegant way of tying them to perfect their look. They will keep you warm and make you look very French. Take a few or buy them in France and observe different ways the French tie and wrap their scarves. Black trousers/pants can be paired with almost anything and are dressy enough to get by in almost any place in Paris.

Boots are a must-have footwear option in the winter months to look stylish and blend in. Leave your parkas at home and invest in a Cute Coat, a good one is the peacoat (neutral one in brown or black).

Getting to Paris

Accommodation in Paris

Getting around Paris

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What to pack for Paris