Packing For Paris In Summer – Part Two


Le Nemours

Well, summer has definitely hit Paris this week. And the high temperatures reminded me that I still owed you all an updated summer packing list.

My first Packing For Paris In Summer post was more of a guess than a guide. But as it turns out, I didn’t do a bad job of packing clothes that suited both the weather and the Parisian vibe.

So, with the benefit of recent research, here are my final packing recommendations for a trip to Paris in summer.

  • Dresses – they are definitely everyone’s go-to garment of choice once the Parisian weather warms up and should form the basis of your summer packing. All lengths are popular, so long as they have a bit of shape – try something with a belt if you are not sure. In terms of colour all shades of blue seem to work, and no girl should leave home without a little black dress. Go for light fabrics that can be hand washed and that dry quickly (even in a hotel bathroom) if you want to travel light.
  • At least one pair of pants in a light, breathable fabric. Go for black or white (or both). White is certainly popular in Paris but if you are clumsy like me, don’t  be afraid to pack black. The Parisians don’t appear to lose their love of black as the temperatures rise.
  • Tops or t-shirts to wear with those pants. Pack neutrals for maximum ‘mix and matchability’. Don’t worry about taking too many dressy tops. As my insiders taught me, despite beliefs to the contrary Parisian women don’t tend to overdress, even for a night out.
  • Do make sure one of those neutral tops is a shirt – go for something light and flowing. The sleeves are handy for covering up if you are visiting churches or other religious sites and for protecting against U.V. rays.
  • A light jacket of some sort. Try a light leather jacket or a  short trench coat for cooler evenings. Even the most impressive heatwaves don’t last forever.
  • Light scarves are a given regardless of the season.  Again, they are handy for covering up if needed and they add colour and style in one lightweight package.
  • In terms of shoes, strappy sandals seemed more popular than ballet flats, although I’d probably hedge my bets and take both. Heels aren’t essential but depending on which dresses you’ve packed, you might like to throw a pair in!
  • Follow Vicki Archer’s advice regarding the ‘two handbag rule’. I’ve travelled by this rule for a couple of years now and it works a treat.
  • It probably goes without saying, but neutral shoes and handbags work best. If you feel black is too heavy for summer, tan is good fallback, but don’t be afraid to try a metallic like silver or bronze which are summery and coordinate with every colour under the (Parisian) sun. My silver tote with tan handles was my go to bag this year.
  • My final tip for summer packing is to think ‘light and cool’ while you are planning your outfits. That will not only guarantee that you are chic and comfortable but also ensure you pack light. Let’s face it, no one wants to be dragging heavy luggage around in the middle of summer…even if you are in Paris.

What’s your big summer packing tip? Please share in the comments below.

And until next time – au revoir.


About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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