Is there anything more magical than Paris in the fall? We’re gearing up for three trips that begin next week and we’ve been inundated with questions from our campers, like: “What should I pack?” “What kind of shoes should I bring?” “What kind of coat do I need?” “What do I wear every day and do I need heels for the evening?”
Rest easy, trippers. We’ve got you covered with a handy little guide of what to pack for Paris in the fall:
Rule No. 1: travel light. We’ve heard it over and over: “I only wore half the things I packed.” and it’s true. Plus, who wants to wait around for bags at the airport when there are croissants to be nibbled, charming streets to be walked and goodies to snap up at the flea market? We travel with one smallish carry-on and a large tote that doubles as a handbag during the flight. The suitcase has to be lightweight and have those spinny wheels. If it expands, even better.
And we like Longchamp’s expandable totes, although any roomy bag will do, as long as it has plenty of zippers and compartments for passports, phones and lipstick. We’ve had some clients bring a small extra carry-on bag that they fill with bubble wrap for the treasures they pick up during the trip. Now, that’s a great idea.
We also like cross body bags for when we’re out and about. Loxwood is a family-owned French line of bags that we carry at the store and we love their understated but chic look – and their functionality. We pack the cross-bodies with the bare minimum for the day: credit cards, cash, phone. (Leave the passport in the hotel or apartment safe – you really don’t need it unless you’re doing retail shopping when you’ll need it to sign up for your VAT refund.)
Rule No. 2: get your color scheme going. Pick a trio of neutrals that all work together. In Paris, in the fall, you can never go wrong with black, gray and /or camel. The French don’t wear nearly as much color as we do and they keep it simple. Add some flair with a lightweight scarf, fun sunglasses or snazzy flats.
You want to be comfortable, too, so we like pieces that are easy to wear and not too complicated. You can’t go wrong with leggings, skinny jeans or lean trousers with a classic top.
Rule No. 3: be comfortable. Nothing’s worse than blisters so pack shoes that you can spend an entire day in. We like trendy sneakers (the whole world wears sneakers now!) or flats with some support. In the winter, flat boots that are weather-proof are a must.
Rule No. 4: what about dinner? Not to fret. We throw on something comfortable and easy or dress up the day outfit with a little jacket or a scarf. Or bring a cute top or two to swap out for the evening. Heels are not necessary and if you do want to bring them, just bring a chunky heel that can handle cobblestones and old streets.
Rule No. 5:leave the heavy artillery at home. Paris is a big city and although our neighborhood is safe and quiet, don’t temp fate with diamonds and gems. We stick with the faux baubles. PS: it helps our negotiating prowess NOT to be dripping in jewels!
Rule No. 6: do a weather check. The weather in Paris changes about every five minutes but you’ll get a general idea on a weather app. Just be sure to pack an umbrella and some kind of a rain coat.
Rule No. 7: think layers and refer to Rule No. 6. One minute the wind can be howling and it’s pouring. The next minute, it’s sunny and the temperature just went up ten degrees. Dress in layers that you can shed or add depending on Mother Nature.
To sum it all up, here’s a simple packing list:
White, gray or black tee-shirts or tops
Cardigan/sweater (helpful for keeping warm on plane)
1 or 2 cute dressier tops for dinner
Flats or sneakers and a pair of booties
Raincoat and umbrella
1 or 2 cute scarves to dress up outfits
fun statement earrings
And of course, the best thing about packing for Paris is saving room for the goodies you’ll find there so make sure you follow rule number one: pack light and save some room.
In the meantime, we wish you a bon voyage!
PS: full disclosure: we are not affiliated with any of the websites linked above (except for our own, of course!)