It’s official—I’m headed back to Paris and Corsica in a week! It’s the first time I’ve ever spontaneously booked a trip, and while it’s so fun planning and dreaming months in advance, I am loving the thrill of this late-minute trip.
In the midst of packing, I’ve seen tons of articles and blog posts on what to wear in Paris, especially now that Spring is finally here. I totally get it. I remember how obsessed I was the first times I visited and for the entire first year I lived there with blending in and looking Parisian. I guess that’s normal when traveling to a city known for its incredible style. But it actually doesn’t have to be stressful at all. I have five simple guidelines that will make figuring out what to wear in Paris super easy.
- Wear the things you’re already wearing (on a good day) and wear them well. You don’t need to go out and buy new clothes to try to emulate Parisians. After my first year living there, I reverted to the style I gravitated towards in New York (it was
mostlyall J.Crew), and I can honestly say I never got so many compliments from Parisians (style-related or otherwise). J.Crew wasn’t present or shipping internationally at the time, so none of my Parisian pals were wearing the same things. They were pretty envious actually. While some of it didn’t look typically Parisian, it still fit in perfectly. I recommend rocking what you already have—unless you need an excuse to shop, but I’d rather shop in Paris.
- Instead of thinking of what to wear in Paris in terms of articles of clothing, think about it in terms of the adjectives that you associate with Parisian style. Make a list of words that you associate with Parisian style, then go through your wardrobe and pick things that fit that description. To me, Parisian style is effortless. It never looks contrived; it always looks natural, like you just woke up that way. It’s elegant without being fussy or uncomfortable. It’s polished but laid-back. When I pack, I opt for those kinds of outfits that I already own.
- Balance your outfits. If you’re taking leopard shoes that stand out, pair them with a toned-down, neutral outfit. If your top is bright or elaborately detailed, keep the rest simple. Just like when you’re wearing a bright lip color, you’d go easy on the eye makeup, the same thing should apply to your outfits if you want that same subtle and effortlessly chic style that Parisians do so well.
- Try a capsule wardrobe approach to packing. Try to take only a small amount of clothing, accessories, and shoes that all fit the same style and color palette for infinite combinations. Not only will you travel with a lighter load, you’ll spend less time getting ready in the morning trying to decide what to wear, which equals more time to explore Paris and eat pastry.
- Take these things out of your suitcase right now: Athletic wear (sneakers, yoga pants, sweatpants) is only worn for working out in Paris. Fashion/tennis sneakers are fine however, especially if you’re in your 20s and if the rest of your outfit looks put-together. Bling (rhinestones, sequins) should be avoided, especially during the daytime. Heavy makeup is uncommon, so you’ll want to take mostly natural-looking colors with a couple fun colors if you’re going out at night. Anything with a brand logo—yes, even designers—is a faux-pas.
Simple, right? That’s how I roll. If you have any tips to add on what to wear in Paris, please leave a comment below!