What To Wear In France
To sum it up - understated chic
- Paris is well known as the home of Haute Couture. Parisian women dress with great style, and throughout France women dress with understated style.
- If you want to blend in and feel at your most comfortable then pack smart casual dress.
- There is no doubt that the best way to see Paris is on foot, and be sure to include a stroll down the famous Champs-Elysee dotted with cinemas, cafes and fashionable boutiques. So our advice is to take comfy footwear for daytime (we love Hotter shoes, they're just so comfortable - and stylish too!).
- Black is always a colour that works well here.
- A few well chosen pieces of costume jewellery and a smart pashmina or scarf (very popular with French women) will transform any outfit.
- The weather is very changeable, temperatures can vary rapidly and dressing in layers is the best way to cope with this.
- A light raincoat and umbrella are useful all year round.
- Winter (November - March) can be very cold so dress warmer, with layers, and take a warm smart coat, gloves, hat and warm scarf.
- When visiting restaurants, leave trainers behind; this is a time to get those stylish shoes on.
- Restaurant dress is smart casual - simple dresses with jewellery and a pretty scarf, or trousers with a wrap will work well; for men there is no need for ties.
- If you are visiting the big cities, leave your swimsuit at home as it's very unlikely that you will find facilities to use it. Note also that in public pools, men are required to wear Speedo style trunks rather than shorts - swimming shorts/Bermuda shorts are NOT allowed and you won't be able to enter the pool if you are wearing them.
- Outside of Paris, whether you are in the countryside or at the beach, dress is more relaxed, conservative and practical but still stylish and smart. You're best advised to leave your high heels at home in favour of stylish flats. We love the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.
- If your trip is in winter for the skiing then you may like to check out our skiing packing guide. And if you're skiing in Chamonix, be aware it rains a lot too - so pack waterproofs.
- If you plan on visiting the South of France in the summer you may wish to check out our beach holiday packing guide.
- Click on our Facebook page for pictures of what people are wearing in Paris.
- For more pictures and ideas, see our Pinterest board: What to Wear in France.
- Stay healthy on your trip - travellers' diarrhoea can affect as many as 50% of people travelling abroad. We've tried and recommend Bimuno Travel Aid pastilles to help support your digestive health. And WhatToWearOnHoliday readers can claim a great 10% discount on Bimuno using code WHBIMUA at their checkout.
From Our Shop
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Being a native German, living in the States and organizing small group travel to Europe I find your site accurate and very helpful. My clients often ask what to pack when visiting Europe and I loved your motto: Dress smart! Nice job guys:) - Russ and Elke, USA