What to wear in Paris
When it comes to fashion, Paris has a lot to answer for. The city has left an indelible mark on fashion across the world, from the trailblazing beret right on through to the striped Breton tee.
If there’s one city where you don’t want to be committing a fashion faux pas (a phrase which is, ironically, French) then it’s definitely Paris. Fortunately, our Paris style guide will set you in good stead for a head-turning holiday. Whether you want to know what to wear in Paris in summer or you need some layering tips for the colder months, we cover it all here. Take a look!
Let’s start with footwear
Paris fashion is about form and function. For as cute as their dress sense might be, Paris fashion has a conservative side too. This means that you’ll need comfortable shoes to tackle the Paris cobblestones and hilly inclines (of which there aren’t many, but you’ll fare much better than you would with high heels).
That said, we understand that heeled shoes have their appeal! Especially for more formal occasions. For this reason, we recommend you take wedges if you’re set on wearing heels. And, in general, try to include one pair of shoes and an outfit that both double up as formal and fun (perhaps an outfit you could take to dinner and then late-night drinks).
Depending on the time of your visit, here are the shoes you should take with you.
Shoes to wear in Paris (Spring)
You need a good all-rounder for Spring. It may rain, yet it could be quite temperate so you can never tell! Go for comfortable sightseeing shoes if you’re going to explore the city, or perhaps ballet flats for a more dressed up look. Spring is the time where you can experiment a little, as you’re probably not going to get extreme weather. Ankle boots are a good bet too, as they’ll deal with any rainy spells you might get.
Shoes to wear in Paris (Summer)
As Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood once sang, a ‘Paris summer’ is a wonderful thing. Romantic, fresh, and vibrant, you’ll be living your best life in the sunshine. Weather-wise, the temperature can reach heights of 26° degrees which being fairly hot means that you have to dress smart. Go for comfortable summer sandals (did somebody say Birkenstocks?) and ballet flats to get dressed-up.
Shoes to wear in Paris (Autumn)
Ankle boots are key here, ideally made from a waterproof material. You could go for a modern classic like leather chelsea boots or, for a less conservative look, knee-high boots. You’ll need to walk comfortably in them too, remember!
Shoes to wear in Paris (Winter)
You have rain, snow, and sleet to contend with so if you have any waterproof boots then go with them. Again, sturdy leather boots are good and will go with loads of different outfits. When it comes to form and function, you may want to prioritise the latter here!
Our favourite Paris fashion staples
- Handbag for getting about in the day – Having a capsule wardrobe is a very Parisian thing to do, so you’ll want a handbag that covers all bases. It should have sufficient storage for the day but be cute enough to take out later on when you go for drinks.
- Cropped skinny/slim jeans – you can wear them with heels or pair them up with a pair of ice-white pumps, cropped jeans (of the skinny or slim variety) are a great all-rounder. The narrow fit will flatter your profile (dependent on your body type) and they’re appropriate for the seasons (warm enough for colder months with a nice ankle breeze for the warmer months).
- Versatile black dress – Whether you’re in Paris for business or pleasure, a versatile black dress can do it all. For work, you could pair it with a sharp blazer and for going out at night you could pair it with heels. Both looks are effortlessly cool
- Mid-length trench coat – Another versatile staple in any Parisian’s wardrobe, the trench coat oozes easy sophistication and effortless chic. You can pair it with formal attire as well as something more casual and it will always look great.
- Nautical stripes – Launched many years ago by Chanel, the nautical striped tee is a timeless piece that looks fantastic with everything. You can wear one with skinny blue jeans for a contemporary look or beneath a blazer for a classic cool style.
Our seasonal guide to Paris style
Before we go, we’re going to leave you with a seasonal guide for what to wear in Paris. Here goes!
What to wear in Paris in Spring
For the light and breezy months of Spring, you’ll want a combination of warming clothes and light and comfortable clothes. The key is layering, because while it’s going to be chilly in the morning the sun will probably show its face later in the afternoon. Like we said, Parisian fashion effortlessly combines form and function, so you can be chic and comfortable at the same time!
What to wear in Paris in Summer
Go for light and breezy fabrics for summer. Temperatures can soar, so you’ll want something comfortable that is easy to get around in. Fortunately, Parisiennes love a loose-fitting summer dress so you’ll be in good company!
What to wear in Paris in Autumn
Another layering month, you’ll want plenty of cosy knits and warm fabrics to fend off the cold weather. Packing water-resistant items is also important as Paris is renowned for spells of drizzle!
What to wear in Paris in Winter
It can get incredibly cold in Winter, so you’ll want to go for heavy knits, thick leggings, and a nice selection of cotton tees. A statement coat always goes down a treat (a heavy pea coat is a great option, or maybe a thick puffy coat to keep the heat in).
A style tour of Paris
To ensure that you stay on-trend wherever you are in the city, here’s a quick run-through of the different neighbourhoods in Paris.
The winding streets of Montmartre are known for the backstreet bistros and its vast selection of art galleries, so we’d go for a contemporary outfit that’s suitable for walking short distances. Maybe leave the heels at home so you can tackle the cobblestones!
South Pigalle has some amazing cocktail bars and a wide range of nightlife spots, so don your finest going-out clothes for a night on the town. It’s also a very cool place to hang out in the day, with an excellent organic market at Place Anvers, so an all-round capsule wardrobe will serve you well.
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Artsy and authentic to the core, Oberkampf is Paris’ go-to creative community where conservative dress is out and edgy, modern dress is very much in. There are also some great West African restaurants in Oberkampf, and in general, the place is well-regarded for its contemporary eateries.
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Montorgueil is a foodie haven, with fine chocolatiers, fishmongers, boulangeries and cheese markets. It also has the world-renowned restaurant L’Escargot which is well worth a visit! Clothes-wise, you’ll fit in nicely with a classic look – maybe a striped Breton tee up top, some slim fitted jeans, and a pair of smart-casual shoes.
Are you sorted for sunglasses?
When the Parisians are so cool that they don’t even need sunlight to rock a pair of sunnies, you make sure that you pack a pair of sunglasses! We have a vast range available, and we even stock prescription sunglasses for men and women. You can even try before you buy.
In the meantime, keep an eye (no pun intended) on our blog section. It’s regularly updated and full of fun and creative insights.