While I, like just about everybody on the planet, adore travelling to Paris in late spring and early summer, it is a notoriously difficult time of the year to pack for. The rather fickle weather can – and does – throw just about everything at you. You feel like you need to be prepared for everything from searing summer heat to flooding rain. And in many ways you do. Because you could well encounter all of that and more, even on a short stay.
All of which can make packing light a real challenge. (Now I’m assuming here that you actually want to travel light. If you are a more expansive packer, then you won’t have any issues taking clothing to cater for any situation. As for me, I’m too lazy to lug too much around and I can’t be bothered keeping track of copious amounts of stuff while I’m travelling.)
I’ve been refining my packing for Paris for such a long time now that I no longer take anything with me that I don’t actually wear. But I have to say that there are always a few items that end up on higher than average rotation.
I always make a note of these clothes and over time I’ve realised they fall into a few key categories.
- They are lightweight and take up next to no room in my luggage. They also layer exceptionally well. Let’s face it – layers are a travellers best friend.
- Via the clever use of accessories, they can be dressed up or down depending on the environment you are headed into.
- They travel gracefully. Meaning they barely crease. Even better if the can be washed in a hotel bathroom and then dry quickly.
And unsurprisingly, the clothes I turned to on our recent trip to Paris fit all these categories.
The itinerary for our trip at the very end of May was very relaxed. We’ve visited Paris over a dozen times now, so there are very few sights left to see. We spent our time wandering and taking as many photos as possible. Dining occasions were limited to somewhat dressy lunches – we ate in most evenings.
The weather was surprisingly warm for the time of year. I’d go so far as to say it was delightful, bordering on hot. (For the record, Paris was particularly bright and shiny in the sunlight.)
So, what were my most valuable pieces on this trip?
Packing For Paris
Lightweight Black Tee
Mine is a very simple, Italian made, short-sleeved, scooped neck number that is perfect on its own or under a shirt or jacket. While it looks better with a press, it dries almost crease free if I’m careful.
Flowing White Long-Sleeve Shirt
Made from the ‘technical material’ I mentioned in this post, this shirt can be worn tucked in or out and can be dressed up or down. When I think about it, it was probably my ‘most worn’ item on this trip.
Leopard Print Shirt
In some ways, this shirt breaks my own rules. Not the light and washable rules because its sheer, synthetic make up ticks all those boxes. Rather the colour scheme rules that I learned from Janice at The Vivienne Files such a long time ago. This trip, I packed primarily black and white – so the print was a little out of place. But, with its long-sleeves (which provide excellent sun protection), it is such a versatile day-to-night piece that I kept reaching for it time and time again.
High Waisted Black Jeans
They were dressy enough to handle the lunches, and adaptable enough to pair with my warm weather tops. While they’re not necessarily light, and certainly don’t fit into the category of ‘travel wash and wear’ I’d never travel without them.
A Word On Accessories
Finally, I have to give a special mention to the accessories I packed. If I’m being perfectly candid, for a long time, I travelled with barely any accessories beyond scarves, a watch and pair of sparkly studs. Over the years though, I’ve come to understand that well chosen accessories can address the boredom that often accompanies travelling wardrobes as well as dressing up relatively simple outfits. All while adding very little in terms of weight.
For this trip, I packed four necklaces (three shorter and one waist length), five pairs of earrings (three sets of studs, two pairs of drop earrings), two watches and two scarves (one very light, and one designed for cooler weather than we actually experienced). Apart from the heavier scarf, all of the pieces were worn regularly, meaning they well and truly earned their space in my carry-on luggage.
Do you have any ‘go to’ travel pieces? What about packing tips for Paris in the late spring or early summer. If you happen to have either (or both, for that matter), I’d love for you to share your favourites in the comments section below.
Until next time – au revoir.
P.S. No matter what time of the year you are travelling to Paris, a packing list is usually handy. To help you out, I’ve created a packing list specifically created for each season. All you need to do is click on the links below to access the lists.