What to wear in Paris? A Guide for all seasons
Originally written by Ariane in December 2019 and updated by Natalie in June 2021 and by Charity K in August 2022. Updated by Lilian in March 2023. Updated by Vanessa in April 2023.
Are you planning a trip to Paris and you are not sure what to pack? Here is my guide of what to wear in Paris, for all seasons! Parisians have a great sense of style and are world-renowned for their impeccable fashion.
As you visit Paris, you will notice that French women love neutral colours such as navy, beige, black and white. You can never go wrong with these colours when planning your Paris outfits.
If you follow a few golden rules, you can be just as stylish as the French women and men are. Yet, you will not have to sacrifice your comfort: it is possible to find outfits that are both classy and practical. Here are some ideas for your Paris outfits from a real Parisian!
Are you wondering what it takes to dress like a Parisian when visiting Paris? read this article for more tips.
1. The do’s and dont’s of what to wear in Paris
- DON’T wear workout clothes. They have no place on the streets of Paris, and Parisians will immediately spot you as a tourist. If you want to fit in, avoid sweatpants, workout shorts and tees, and flashy sneakers. You’re exploring a city, not climbing a mountain. Only wear workout clothes when going for a morning run or to the gym.
- DO dress up a little bit classier than you would normally do. But keep it simple! Dark or neutral colors, slim pants and jeans are a good option, especially ankle length. Pair them with a button-down shirt or a nice blouse. When planning what to wear in Paris, remember to bring your statement accessories that will accentuate your outfit.
- DON’T wear heels. Paris is best explored on foot as it is a very walkable city. So you are probably going to walk all day long in cobblestone streets, and you don’t want to end up with sore feet a the end of the day. And forget about flip-flops too, even in summer. They have nothing to do in Paris, and they do not protect your feet. For your Paris wardrobe, bring a pair of wedges that you could wear when going for a fancy dinner or exploring the nightlife in Paris.
- DO choose flats as part of footwear to wear in Paris. Comfortable ankle boots, loafers or derbies are both stylish and convenient. Paris is a very walkable city, and therefore ensure you bring shoes that are well broken into. Sneakers are quite trendy right now among young Parisians, with brands such as Converse, Adidas, Puma… comfortable walking shoes are a great options for roaming the city streets, and they are practical all year-round. I like to wear my white Stan Smiths with a skirt or a summer dress, or a pair of jeans and a cozy jacket for winter. This is a true Parisian style where comfort comes first.
- DON’T wear lots of flashy colors together, it is not very Parisian and will make you stand out as a tourist. Parisian women and men prefer dark colours as it creates a versatile wardrobe.
- DO keep it simple with black and neutral colors, but do accessorize your style! A colored bag, scarf or belt, a bold necklace with a white blouse: details can change everything.
- DO dress in layers. The key to dressing for Paris’ unpredictable weather is to have a few layers that you can pile on or peel off as they day goes on. A sweater, scarf, or blazer are all easy to wear items, perfect for layering!
2. What to wear in Paris in each season?
Now that you are familiar with a few basic rules for a Parisian style, let’s see what you can wear in every season.
Remember that the weather forecast is quite unpredictable: I always like to keep an umbrella in my bag, even in the summer.
i. For spring
Spring is capricious in Paris: it can get really warm and sunny, or rainy and chilly. Pair your ankle boots, derbies or sneakers with comfortable pants.
You can wear a nice t-shirt, buttoned-up shirt or blouse underneath a cotton or light wool sweater. Trench coats are a must in Paris: along with a small umbrella, they are perfect for rainy days. I also like to carry a light scarf in my bag, in case it gets colder in the evening.
My own personal style tip: Roll up your pants or go for a 7/8 pair of jeans. Reveal your ankle, «à la Parisienne»! By the way, forget about thick sports socks, and go for low-cut ones. It’s the little details that make a Parisian outfit!
Spring Capsule wardrobe for Paris
- Coats/tops: Trench coat, Blazer, Denim jacket, t-shirts, striped shirt, light sweater
- Bottoms: Jeans, Midi dress, little black dress, white t-shirt
- Cover-ups: Lightweight scarf,
- Leather crossbody bag
- Shoes: Ballet flats, sneakers, ankle boots
What Not to Wear in Spring
Short shorts, sports attire (unless you’re heading to the gym), and flip-flops aren’t as common in Paris. Furthermore, short shorts are too cold in the spring, and tank tops and flip-flops can be perilous on the cobblestone streets after a rain shower!
Read also; Weather in Paris in March
ii. For summer
Summer in Paris can be suffocating, especially in August. Some summer clothes that would be ideal are light blouses or nice t-shirts. Yet, try to avoid flashier items, especially those in polyester. You’ll want something light and breathable for summer in Paris. I’d advise you to go with breathable fabrics like cotton and linen.
Go for a skirt! You can never be wrong with a simple, not skinny skirt or dress you can walk with. My favorites are skater dresses: both elegant and comfortable. Check this article for more tips on what to wear for a summer walk in Paris.
Accessories are very important during the summer! You definitely need a hat: choose a straw one, wide enough to protect your face from the sun. If you love berets, read this to know how to style them. And do not forget your sunglasses, so that you can hide your eyes and play it mysterious…
Summer Capsule Wardrobe for Paris
- Clothes: Sundress, shorts, t-shirt, denim shorts, cute summer dresses,
- Shoes: a pair of sandals, White sneakers, Strappy sandals,
- Accessories: Sunglasses, straw hat, canvas tote bag, foldable umbrella, summer scarf.
What Not to Wear in Summer
When the temps rise, deciding what to dress in Paris might be difficult. Summer Paris dressing rule number one is that women (and men) do not wear shorts. Rule number two, never, ever wear running shoes! If you’re wearing running shoes, you might as well have a sign on your back that says “Tourist.” If there is even a slight risk of rain, avoid wearing suede. Beach clothing does not look good on the streets of Paris, regardless of the weather.
Read also; Weather in Paris in September
iii. For autumn
Autumn is a nice season to see Paris with yellow trees and falling leaves, but the skies will mainly be gray. Although September is sometimes warm and sunny, the last months of the year can be really chilly and rainy. Don’t know what to wear in Paris during the colder months like October and November? Here’s my advice.
Pack several sweaters, both light ones, and very warm ones. You will also need a coat: a well chosen, discreet parka or down wool coat (khaki, black, maroon or gray) will keep you warm and trendy.
And in order to complete your Parisian outfit, don’t forget to pack a scarf or two! I advise you to choose a silk scarf, a neutral-coloured one, grey or black, that will go with every outfit. You also can bring a bold one, with colours or patterns, to add a joyful note to your autumn look. Finally, you should bring waterproof shoes; maybe not your Wellies, but something that can stand up to some rain and muddy Parisian parks.
My personal tip: the «ciré» rain slicker is a must this year among young Parisians. You can go for a bold yellow that brings light to a gray day, or a more casual navy blue. They protect you from the rain, give you a very French but not caricature look, plus they will last a lifetime.
Autumn Capsule wardrobe for Paris
- Outerwear: trench coats, sweaters, leather jackets, wool blazers,
- Clothes: nice jeans, neutral coloured dress, midi skirt,
- Footwear: Ankle boots, Knee-high boots, Loafers,
- Leather crossbody bag.
What Not to Wear in Autumn
Flats aren’t always the best option in the fall because the days might be chilly and rainy. Also, I strongly advise bringing comfortable walking shoes and leaving the high heels at home. They are difficult to navigate in Paris’ cobblestone streets and are not worth the effort.
We have more packing tips for your packing list on what to wear in Paris, find them here.
iv. For winter
Although we rarely have snow, winter is quite cold in Paris. So dressing for winter in Paris is all about layering!
You can wear sweatpants and a shirt underneath a very warm sweater, and top it off with a long warm coat. Grey or black knee-length wool coats are a must in Paris, as they are convenient, elegant, and they will keep you very warm on those cold December days!
Accessorize your winter in Paris outfit with gloves and a cozy scarf. I’ve rarely seen a Parisian go out without a scarf, no matter the time of year, they make a great fashion statement. In winter time though, scarves become essential to keep the cold at bay. I’d suggest a large one in cashmere or a warm knit material; these will be the warmest!
And don’t forget a cute hat too. Any range of hats can be found in Paris, from classic berets to beanies. Pompom caps are also becoming fashionable again!
Protect your feet with a thick pair of socks and leather boots. Any flat black or brown boots are alright, but maybe skip bringing your pair of Uggs. I know they are warm and comfortable, but you will likely never see a Parisian wearing them.
And for my personal tip: Pack light thermal underwear! You can easily find light but very warm tops to wear underneath a shirt or sweater (or both!). They are my all-time favorite in order to stay warm but stylish, and not disappear underneath four layers of wool sweaters. If you are in Paris during Christmas, find out what you need to wear here.
Read also; Weather in Paris in February
Winter capsule wardrobe for Paris
- Outerwear: Wool coat, Cashmere sweater, Turtleneck, Puffer jacket, Faux fur coat
- Clothes: Jeans, Tights, Long-sleeved dress
- Footwear: Ankle boots, Over-the-knee boots
- Accessories: Scarf, Beanie, black leather gloves
What Not to Wear in Winter
French women have a very sophisticated style in the winter, as well as the rest of the year. You won’t see puffy ski jackets or brightly colored snow boots on the streets of Paris. Layers, long coats, exquisite accessories, and muted colors define Parisian winter style. Also, clothes that would get damaged in the rain or snow will be useless in the Parisian winter. Avoid wearing shoes with exposed feet and going out without sufficient clothing and protection for all sections of the body.
Read out more on what to pack for winter in Paris here.
Parisian fashion is all about keeping it simple while staying elegant. Going out for dinner in Paris is a good idea, here is an idea of what to consider for your Paris packing list.
- A little black dress or a chic blouse with a skirt or trousers
- Heels or dressy flats
- Statement jewellery or a scarf to add a pop of colour
- A clutch or a small shoulder bag
- A tailored suit or dress pants with a blazer
- Dress shoes
- A dress shirt or a collared shirt with a sweater
- A tie or a bowtie, depending on the formality of the restaurant
- A leather briefcase or a messenger bag.
Here is a guide for street fashion for a Parisian man.
Parisians love it when you dress in a way that appreciates their style and culture.
If you need to look at more trendy outfits to wear in Paris, read this article.
3. What to Pack for Men and Women in Paris
Let’s start with the basics. These are the essentials that you must have no matter where you go. You have to go to Paris before you can decide how to dress in Paris, and you can’t get there without a few things. Make sure you pack and secure these items in your backpack so you don’t lose them;
- Money( Debit/Credit card)
- Travel Insurance
Whether you fly carry-on only or not, you almost certainly bring a personal item with you on every journey. We recommend bringing these items with you on your trip to Paris.
- First aid kit
- Small backpack
- A scarf or warm layer
- Power bank
- Universal adaptor
- Sweater or jacket
- comfortable shoes
- Reusable water bottle
- Makeup (if you wear it)
- Set of clothing (according to seasons)
- Mini toiletries (hand sanitizer, lotion, sunscreen, and deodorant for staying fresh, clean, and hydrated)
- Toothbrush with travel-size toothpaste
- Paris travel guide(most importantly)
- Reusable shopping bags
4. What perfumes to wear in Paris each season
Because the concept of the season is inextricably linked to that of scent, it is unavoidable that perfume has it’s own seasonally. This is owing to the fact that in the past, perfumes were manufactured with natural raw materials.
However, the advancement of perfume-making processes has enabled us to enjoy these aromas all year round by precisely recreating them. However, to truly wow those around you, you need to carefully select your smells based on the season.
Wearing summer clothes in winter, for example, will not make you look your best, and wearing a perfume that is more appropriate for a hot summer day on Christmas may be deemed terrible taste by others around you. So, here are some advice and suggestions for what perfumes to wear in each season;
Spring perfumes in Paris: Spring is synonymous with romance, innocence, happiness, and blossoms. Spring is the ideal time to select a light, delicate smell that represents rejuvenation. Spring fragrances are lighter and slightly greener.
So here are the best perfume options; Trudon Elae, Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Nerolia Vetiver, Chanel 1957, Guerlain Musc Outreblanc, Sisley L’Eau Rêvée d’Alma, Sisley L’Eau Rêvée d’Alma, Hermès Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, Diptyque Do Son, Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte, and Chanel Gardénia.
Summer perfumes in Paris: Summertime is synonymous with scorching weather, exotic fruits, vacations, and enjoying the fun of your life! To create the finest contrast with the hot weather, use fresher and cooler perfumes in the summer.
Here are the best options; Diptyque Ilio, Christian Dior Eden-Roc, Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae, Hermès Un Jardin sur le Nil, Maison Margiela Beach Walk, Les Eaux de Chanel Paris – Riviera, Diptyque Philosykos, Louis Vuitton On The Beach, Dior Escale à Portofino, and Hermès Un Jardin sur la Lagune.
Winter perfumes in Paris: Winter is the favorite season of perfumes, regardless of who you are. It is the best period for heavier, more powerful perfume formulas.
Here are the best options; Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Orchid, TOM FORD Ombré Leather Eau de Parfum, Boy Smells Woodphoria Eau de Parfum, The 7 Virtues Vanilla Woods Eau de Parfum, Abel Green Cedar, Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum, 19-69 Capri Eau de Parfum, Glossier You, Acqua Di Parma Vaniglia Eau de Parfum, and Maison Margiela ‘REPLICA’ When the Rain Stops.
Autumn perfumes in Paris: Consider enveloping notes like woods, moss, vetiver, amber, musk, spices, vanilla, and leather-faceted and chypre perfumes for the autumn season. Basically, any perfume that reminds you of the smell of the forest, woodlands, mosses, mushrooms, green grass, or fire in the chimney.
Here are the best options; Trudon Aphélie, Hermès Vétiver Tonka, Sisley Eau du Soir, Diptyque Fleur de Peau, Le Labo Santal 33, Diptyque Orphéon, Rochas Femme, Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady, Le Galion Bourrasque, and Chanel Sycomore.
5. What to wear for different events in Paris
When considering what to wear in the City of Lights, keep in mind that Parisian fashion is fitted, fashionable, and conservative with an edge. Almost all Parisians like muted colors. When dressing in Parisian style, your goal is to appear casual yet exuding elegance and edge. Furthermore, the Parisian style fluctuates widely depending on the weather and other practical considerations. Continue reading to get an idea of what to wear for various occasions while in Paris.
What to Wear at Museums
Paris is home to some of the world’s most famous museums, including The Louvre, The Orsay Museum, and The Orangerie Museum. The museums of Paris draw visitors from all over the world, and here’s how you should dress to stand out during your visit; Overcoats, blazers, skirts, and suits are all excellent choices.
Ballerinas, loafers, heels, and wedges are the best options for shoes. Keep your comfort in mind as well. If you’re visiting a museum with a wide floor area, avoid wearing uncomfortable shoes or apparel that hinders movement.
What to Wear to Pubs, Bars, and Cabaret shows
The entertainment and nightlife scene in Paris is quite active. You should plan a day in Paris to experience this side of the City of Lights. Pubs, nightclubs, and cabarets in Paris have their own dress code. Here’s what you should know; Skirts, tights, blouses, chinos, t-shirts, or jackets look best with boots, loafers, or heels. If you’re unsure about what you can wear, go for a semi-formal look. Semi-formal dress is typically anticipated for cabaret shows. Jackets and overcoats are useful for dealing with a chilly setting. As a general rule, avoid wearing jeans, especially light-colored ones. You should also avoid dressing up in fancy attire if you are hoping for a night of partying.
What to Wear for Shopping in Paris
Paris is a shopping paradise with a plethora of stores selling your favorite clothing, accessories, and housewares. You, like most others, would want to look beautiful when shopping in Paris. This guide should be beneficial to you; When out shopping, dressing like a Parisian might be beneficial. Try to include classic elements such as berets and loafers depending on the weather. Choose neutral colors and a classy style. Include a bag with your outfit to carry your documents, wallets, and other items. Don’t overaccessorize because many of the sites you’ll visit while shopping will be crowded and possibly unsafe.
What to Wear to Dinner in Paris
Paris is filled with romantic adventures and experiences, and the dining scene is no exception. Intimate restaurants with simple but wonderful food, upscale establishments with historical design, and restaurants in Paris with a view all scream romance. Here is how you should dress to dinner; The dress code for most restaurants and bars is dressed-up casual. If you do decide to wear a cocktail dress, it is customary to pair it with tights and a sweater/light jacket. This isn’t because Parisians are against revealing skin, it’s simply not appropriate for this type of situation. Thin high heels and stilettos are definitely some of things not to wear to dinner in Paris. This is because Paris has many uneven paths and cobblestone streets.
What to Wear on a River Cruise
The Seine River Cruise in Paris is a must-see experience. It is a must-see practically every month of the year because it allows you to see Paris from a different perspective. When going on a river cruise, you should dress as follows; If you go for a ride other than in the summer, you should account for the cool breeze on the river. Wear a scarf you’ll need it. Chinos, skirts, camisoles, and shirts are all appropriate for the river cruise, as long as you have a light jacket or cardigan on hand. Don’t overdress for a river cruise. Remember, this is a sightseeing excursion, and you will not enjoy it if you are not at ease.
6. Where to Find the Best Parisian Outfits
i. The Champs Elysees in Paris
When it comes to looking, feeling and shopping like a Parisian, the Champs Elysees is the place to be. This is Paris’ shopping Mecca; a lengthy strip of luxury design houses and international boutiques.
Many think you need to have a lot of money to blow in order to shop here, but this is largely untrue. There are many entry level department stores on this historic strip as well, so there really is something for everyone.
The Champs Elysees is one of the most vibrant places to be in all of Paris, no matter the season or time of year.
ii. Les Halles in Paris
Situated between Chatelet and Etienne Marcel, les Halles is the latest shopping hub in the city of lights. While the streets are littered with boutiques and department stores, this is also one of few neighborhoods in central Paris where you can shop in an actual mall.
A 3 story one at that! It’s called the Westfiled Forum, and it’s where you’ll find a quick and easy Parisian outfit to wear as you go about your city exploration.
As always, I recommend walking into the les Halles district from the Pont Neuf, on the Seine.
iii. Rue de Rivoli in Paris
The Rue de Rivoli runs past the Louvre and through the entire first arrondissement, making it one of the city’s main thoroughfares. This is probably the busiest shopping strip in all of Paris, owing to the fact that you can find absolutely everything you could possibly need right here.
Even locals like coming here, despite the tourist traffic. If you have an outfit in mind, you’re going to find it on the Rue de Rivoli — guaranteed! If the weather is bad, make your way to the upscale Carrousel du Louvre shopping center on the northern end.
Tip: The Rue de Rivoli is walking distance to les Halles!
iv. Rue Saint-Honoré
If you’re on a tight budget, and in need of some simplified window shopping, then this strip is where you need to venture to. It runs all the way from the all the way from Palais Royal until Place Vendôme, giving you kilometers of shopping pleasures all in one intimate area.
This is where affluent Parisians come to expand their wardrobes, so you can draw outfit inspiration from the people walking past you and from the displays themselves.
What I like most about shopping on the Rue Saint-Honore is that it is never as chaotic nor cramped as other shopping streets in Paris. You have room to breathe, and you don’t need to be clutching your purse the entire time in fear of pickpockets!
If you love vintage shopping, check out this blog.
v. And what about men?
Parisian men are just as stylish as women. Their style is about sobriety and classic cuts. But nonetheless, there are a few basic rules you need to know.
Most Parisian men wear shirts and ties every day when they work, of course, this depends on their industry. But I think you’ll notice that even servers at cafés are dressed smartly. As a tourist, you can forget about the tie, but keep the shirt. You will almost never see a Parisian after his twenties wearing a tee shirt. If it is very hot outside, go for a polo! They are classy and really breathable.
Avoid caps, go for a straw hat («Panama» style). You can wear jeans, if they are discreet, dark and well cut, but not in the evening, and not with a tee shirt and sneakers – you would look too casual. If you’re planning to enjoy a night out on the town, this is a good rule to remember. Most nightclubs won’t allow you in if you’re wearing sneakers and jeans. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your Parisian outfit and dress up a little!
Here are more tips for finding men’s shoes while in Paris.
While it can be tough narrowing down what to wear in Paris in November versus June, you now know the basics! I hope this article can help inspire your wardrobe choices for your next trip to Paris.
vi. Dior is also a one stop for all type of clothing
However, Dior has good designers clothes particularly for men where one can shop for all they need according to the weather. In addition, they have baby clothes and handbags all designer hence, the shop is one stop for a family.
They produce their haute couture collection and fine jewelry exclusively in their workshops including Dior sunglasses and scarves made in Italy. The shop is situated in Paris, France dubbed Dior Maison at 28 Avenue Montaigne.
Address: 30 Avenue Montaigne 75008 Paris
Website: Dior Boutique
vii. Sèvres-Babylone and Saint-Germain-des-Prés
There is also another stop for all weather clothes, the area between the Saint Germain des Près Metro station and the Bon Marché department store is filled with lots of small luxury shops. You won’t have to confront huge crowds of shopping tourists in most of this neighborhood, since it’s slightly less well-known as a shopping hub, especially the smaller streets like Rue de Grenelle and the Rue des Saints-Pères.
Some shops available in this neighbourhood are Le Bon Marche, Hermes and Biba La Boutique.
Le Bon Marché
address: 24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris
Phone: +33 1 44 39 80 00
Website: Le Bon Marche
Address: 17 Rue de Sèvres, 75006 Paris,
Phone: +33 1 42 22 80 83
BIBA | La Boutique
Address: Metro: Sèvres-Babylone
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Phone: 01 45 48 89 18
Website: BIBA BOUTIQUE
7. Best Luggage to carry when visiting Paris
Now that you have figured out what to pack for your trip to Paris, the next big question is the luggage. Knowing the right bag to carry with you will be determined by different factors.
Suitcase – if you need to bring a suitcase with you, get one with four spinner wheels to manoeuvre easily and lightweight too. It needs to be sturdy and water-resistant. Consider having packing cubes too for better organization.
Travelling bag – if you love to pack light, a travelling bag will come in handy especially if you do not mind repeating the same outfit for different occasions.
Backpack – Backpacks have several compartments that can hold your important documents. It is also less cumbersome to walk around with.
Backpackers bag – Get one that you can adjust the length, has small side pockets, adjustable straps, is waterproof, pads for the back and has breathable material.
8. What is the weather like in Paris?
The weather in Paris varies from mild winters to hot summers. In January, the average temperature in Paris is about 5°C (41°F), while in July it is 20°C (68°F), this is usually one of the warmest months.
It gets warmer in spring (March to May) with little rain showers. Then in summer, you may experience occasional rain and thunderstorm but the temperatures remain warm. Between September to November, the temperatures drop as rainfall increases. One thing to note is that the weather in Paris can be unpredictable such as experiencing heat waves or sudden rain. To be safe, always check the weather forecast before and during your travel.