What to Wear in Paris in Spring
It was right around this time last year that I found out I was going to be spending two glorious Spring weeks in Paris.
I spent hours every day after work just looking at all the things we were going to do, see, and eat. And of course, what I should wear in Paris in Spring.
Paris is glorious at any time of year, but Spring in Paris can be a bit of a pain when it comes to what to pack. The weather changes every few hours. It can be sunny and warm, cold and blustery, or raining sideways. So you have to prepare for it all.
I also like making sure I don’t stick out as a tourist. In a city as internationally famous for fashion as Paris, it feels nice to fit in, even if for just a moment.
I hope this guide to what to wear in Paris in Spring is helpful for your planning. I hope it gives first-time visitors an idea of what Parisian style is all about, and I hope you don’t freeze your butt off!
What to Pack for Paris
It’s all about neutrals in this stylish city. If you don’t want to stand out, pack navy, black, grey, and white layering pieces. It not only means you can mix and match pretty much everything you pack, but it’s also exactly the sort of colors you’ll see Parisian women wearing day-to-day. Think black jeans, white blouses, navy dresses, brown belts.
Lots of Layers
Like I mentioned before, the weather changes constantly in Paris in Spring, so you might leave the house in the morning wearing jeans, a t-shirt, a sweater and a jacket, but my mid-afternoon you’ll be sweating away whilst sipping your noisette. Then by early evening you’ll need to layer back up again. Make sure to pack pieces like cardigans or thin sweaters and lightweight blouses. My all time favorite layering pieces are the simple cardigans from JCrew.
It’s also a good idea to bring some lightweight scarves and a pair of thin gloves. Especially if you are going to be going at the start of Spring. It’s been known to be fairly cold up until the start of April.
A Light Jacket
I brought a coat with me last year and it was just a little bit too heavy for day-time wear. I highly recommend bringing something like a trench coat or other neutral colored jacket. Remember, it’s something you’ll probably end up carrying around during the day, so you don’t want to lug around a heavy wool coat.
Paris is such a walkable city. There were days when I simply walked along the Seine and before long I was at the other end of the city. Between the sightseeing and the cobbled streets, you’ll definitely want to have comfortable flats. Parisian women, contrary to everything I ever thought about Parisian women, don’t actually walk around in high heels all day. You’re much more likely to see them hopping on and off the metro in black flats like this than stilettos.
Go for something small, cross body, and neutral (duh). Black or brown will go with everything you packed. All you need to fit into the bag is your phone, metro card, and some cash (or card). I love bags like this from Coach or the Jetsetter from Michael Kors. Of course you can always wait until you get there and do some damage at Galeries Lafayette instead.
Just like clothes and shoes, Parisian women look fabulous in only a very small amount of makeup. Think ultra thin liquid eyeliner, a bare brow, and tinted lips. These are my favorite pieces for a minimal face:
What NOT to Pack for Paris
Don’t pack heels unless you have plans to go to a very nice dinner and you’re going to take a taxi from your hotel to the restaurant.
Don’t pack too many thick layers. You’ll just end up carrying them around during the day. They will not fit into your cute little bag.
Please don’t carry a map around. Parisians hate tourists almost as much as New Yorkers do. Download the Maps.me app for your phone and then the Paris map (all free). You can use it offline and without data.
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