What to wear in Paris? A guide for all seasons
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 renown for their chic fashion. If you follow a few golden rules, you can be just as stylish as they are. Yet, you will not have to sacrifice your comfort: it is possible to find outfits that are both classy and practical.
The do’s and dont’s in Paris
- DON’T wear workout clothes. They have nothing to do in the streets of Paris, and Parisians will immediately spot you as a tourist. Avoid sweatpants, workout shorts and tees, and flashy sneakers.
- DO dress up a little bit classier than you would normally do. But keep it simple! Dark colored, slim pants and jeans are a good option, especially ankle length. Pair them with a button-down shirt or a nice blouse.
- DON’T wear heels. You are probably going to walk all day long in cobblestone streets, and I don’t want your feet to be sore at 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.
- DO choose flats. Comfortable ankle boots, loafers or derbies are both stylish and convenient. Sneakers are quite trendy right now among young Parisians, with brands such as Converse, Adidas, Puma… Choose them discreet, white or black, and never pair them with too casual clothes. I like to wear my white Stan Smiths with a skirt or a summer dress.
- DON’T wear lots of flashy colors together, it is not classy.
- 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.
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 is quite unpredictable: I always like to keep an umbrella in my bag, even in the summer.
Spring is capricious in Paris: in 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 tee-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 personal 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.
Summer in Paris can be suffocating, especially in August. Choose light blouses or nice tee shirts. Yet, avoid flashy tee shirts with letterings, big patterns, or rock band tee shirts: they are not very classy. 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.
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. And do not forget your sunglasses, so that you can hide your eyes and play it mysterious…
My personal tip: Pay attention to the fabrics! Synthetic fabrics like polyester or viscose are not breathable, and will, therefore, make you sweat more. White cotton or linen are my favorites when it gets really hot.
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. Pack several sweaters, both light ones, and very warm ones. You will also need a coat: a well chosen, discreet parka (khaki, black, maroon or gray) will keep you warm and trendy.
Do not forget to pack a scarf or two! I advise you to have a discreet one, gray or black, that will go with every outfit. You also can bring a bold one, with colors or patterns, to add a joyful note to your autumn look. Finally, bring waterproof shoes.
My personal tip: the «ciré» 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 discreet navy blue. They protect you from the rain, give you a very French but not caricatural look, and last a lifetime.
Although we rarely have snow, winter is quite cold in Paris. Think about layering! You can wear a buttoned-up shirt underneath a very warm sweater, with a long warm coat. Grey or black knee-length wool coats are a must in Paris, as they are convenient and very elegant. Accessorize your cold day’s outfit with gloves and a scarf. 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 never bring your pair of Uggs. I know they are warm and comfortable, but you will never see a Parisian wearing them.
My personal tip: Pack 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 favorites to stay warm but stylish, and not disappear underneath four layers of wool sweaters!
Now that you’re ready to visit Paris, maybe you are looking for some advices to get the most out of your Paris trip. We have a fantastic article on our blog that will give some interesting ideas to see everything in Paris in only two days.
It is well-known that many major landmarks (Eiffel Tower, Louvre) have very long queues. If you want to avoid wasting some precious hours during your vacation, you might be interested in our advices. There are some fantastic ways to discover the city of lights:
You should think about joining a walking tour. There are several companies that run walking tours in Paris (in English, French etc.).
- Discover the picturesque and bohemian village of Montmartre during a night tour. This is a brand new walking tour we are running and it certainly won’t disappoint you: Montmartre is THE area to visit in Paris. For more info, you can check this page.
- The new Notre Dame walking tour that we launched after the fire of April 15, 2019. Why you should join this visit? Because you will understand what happened and get the recent updates on the progress of Notre Dame.
And what about men?
Parisian men are just as stylish as women. Their style is about sobriety. There are a few basic rules you need to know.
Parisians wear shirts and ties every day when they work. As a tourist, you can forget about the tie, but keep the shirt. You will never see a Parisian after his twenties wearing a tee shirt. If it is very hot, 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.
It may seem difficult to find what to wear in Paris, in order to be comfortable and to blend in. I hope these advices will help you pack. Then, when you get the style of a real Parisian, you can join us on our Trendy Marais tour! See you soon in Paris!