We're bringing you the essentials of what you really need to pack in your bag for a week in the City of Lights -- and if you are economic in your packing space a carry-on suitcase should suffice! The key to packing properly is knowing what type of weather to expect, and in Paris that can be a little all over the place. For example the average temperature for Paris in August is 68°F. We had mornings in the 50s with intense winds and all-day downpours, and then days that reached the 80s where it was meltingly hot both outdoors and inside since many buildings don't have air conditioning. The best packed suitcase will give you a layering ready wardrobe to battle whatever elements you encounter that day.
- black skinny pants or jeans
-knee length skirt
- 2-3 blouses; at least 1 neutral that you can use for layering
-1-2 light weight sweaters
- a few long sleeve and short sleeve t shirts in basic colors or stripes
-2-3 dresses in a fabric that is travel friendly
-cardigan for layering
- 1-2 scarves
- waterproof jacket
For shoes I would recommend 1 pair of comfy tie up or slip-on flats or sneakers, 1 wedge/ heel/ dressier option for dinner, and 1 pair of booties for rain. I wouldn't bother with flip flops or sandals like I packed since you'll just end up with wet feet. Flat booties would have been way more practical.
I love bringing mostly black and white with me on vacation because I can mix and match my items into multiple outfits. Want to turn a casual day time jersey dress into a fancier night out? Layer your black maxi skirt over top and you're instantly evening ready. Want to dress up a t-shirt? Layer a sleeveless blouse underneath and you're instantly more put together. Throw in a few pops of color so that you don't feel like you're on repeat every day, and suddenly a few outfit basics become a wardrobe of possibility.
|This was umbrella #1. It died the next day.|
A few tips: you need to prepare for rain. Have you ever thought about how many pictures or artwork you've seen of people with umbrellas at the Eiffel Tower? That's telling you something important. You are going to need a rain jacket or a leather jacket -- something moisture repellent. And scarves for Parisian women aren't just a superfluous fashion accessory. They are something Parisian women wear because you need protection from the sudden gusts of wind that rip down the Seine or for a head cover when a pop up shower catches you without an umbrella, or more likely a broken one. Which brings me to umbrellas because you should plan on packing one. You will need it. My husband and I started jokingly calling Paris "The City of Broken Umbrellas" because people walk around with limp-cornered umbrellas all the time due to the brutal wind gusts. I had to purchase 2 umbrellas during our 1 week vacation, but before you spend all your travel funds on rain gear, check with your hotel because many of them have large cane-handled umbrellas for loan behind the front desk so you don't have to go out buying your own. Rookie mistake.
Want to truly fit in with those stylish Parisians? Their typical wardrobe consists of:
- Black skinny pants
- Leather Jacket
- Poodle (optional)
What you don't need
Don't pack a lot of hair products or makeup. Parisian women are incredibly natural looking. Never once did I see someone with curled hair (but maybe that's because they know with their weather it would be a total waste of time). So bring a brush, some pins or pony tail holders, and a flat iron (and a converter for the electrical outlet) and that's likely the only hair items needed. And as far as makeup most woman seem to go quite natural -- maybe a tinted moisturizer and a bit of mascara. At night they ramp it up by just adding a red lip to their otherwise very makeup free appearance. In Paris the women are beautiful because they embrace their own skin and there's something quite nice about the confidence that takes. Your hair is going to get messy and your makeup is going to wear off in the rain and you're still going to look great because, hey, you're in Paris!