Thinking about heading to Paris anytime between September and December? I must say … you’ve made a really solid decision! I’m sure Paris is beautiful and can be enjoyed any time of year but I’ve only ever been in October and December / January and found it to be stunning! Take a look at the weather forecast for your trip and then use the following style board to give you an idea of what you should pack!
Here is a list of things you’ll need to either pack or consider packing:
• NEUTRALS & LAYERS: As you can see, I’d stick to neutrals as much as you can that way you can re-wear some items a couple of times. This will help you keep the weight of your bag down and potentially give you some room to bring a bottle of wine or two back with you! [PSST! My friend, Whitney, swears by these bottle protectors for bringing the wine back.] I would definitely pack layers because, in the Fall, it may be really cool in the morning but warm in the afternoon, and in the Winter, it will likely be cold walking around during the day but warm inside museums and restaurants. So, you’ll want to make yourself as comfortable as you can no matter the temperature by adding or subtracting layers. Your coat is always your top layer but, if it’s going to be really cold, I like to wear two additional layers underneath. Here’s an example of a perfectly put together layered look to give you an idea:
I included ALL shoe options because all of them match and would work. You would simply choose whichever one was best for your height, preference or the weather.
• TOTE WITH A ZIPPER: I’ve mentioned this in quite a few other travel posts but I can’t recommend this enough, especially for new travelers and especially in super touristy cities, like Paris! Open totes deem you a prime target for pickpocketing teams. Longchamp is a great brand to look into for a great tote with a zipper. There are lots of size options! I’d also recommend securing all your items within pouches in your tote, as well! Here are some pouches to give you some options!
I would also say that cross body bags are a great alternative as long as they are a bit difficult to get into. I included one in the style board that has a flap that can only be opened by turning the lock. It would take someone a bit longer to get into it so I think pick pocketers would deter from targeting you with that bag. I also tend to put my cross body on THEN put my coat on so it’s even more difficult to get to.
• WEATHER APPROPRIATE SHOES: Now, don’t let the style board fool you. You DO NOT need to pack three pairs of shoes. Since we’re covering two seasons in this packing list, I thought I’d give y’all an idea of what I’d pack if the weather is going to be mild [sneakers like THESE or flats / loafers like THESE or THESE] as well as frigid and wet [like calfskin leather booties and leather over-the-knee boots]. I always encourage y’all to opt for flats over heels. Even low-heeled booties can be really detrimental to your feet after being on them all day. I’d also encourage you to wear / try out your shoes, especially if they’re new, before your trip. I took a new pair of flats with me on my last trip and wore them for a short outing to run to a meeting in London, and had two bleeding blisters on each foot when I got home. I just assumed they’d be comfortable. I will never make that mistake again. It’s not fun trying to find pharmacies in a country that isn’t your own. Order my favorite blister band-aids to pack just-in-case but definitely do NOT try out new shoes in a new city. It also wouldn’t hurt to bring ibuprofen because it’s common for your legs to be a little sore at the end of the day.
• WARM TIGHTS, SOCKS & LEGGINGS: You really don’t want ‘being cold’ to be something that keeps you from exploring and seeing the city so definitely invest in wool-based socks, tights, and leggings. I know they’re a little pricey but I promise you’ll be happy you made the investment when you walk around in 30 degree weather! I got really lucky during my trip last month. The weather was really warm, actually, but the year prior … I remember friends going to Paris and saying it was FRIGID! So, you just don’t know what you’re going to get.
P.S. The socks I linked above are the ones I’ve worn for YEARS. I swear by them. They keep my feet so warm in the winter!
I think that about covers it but another little piece of advice I’d give you is to channel a French woman’s mentality on beauty … that less is more! Enjoy the simplicity of the style over there! Don’t feel the need to spend forever getting ready. Wear minimal makeup and embrace the laissez faire culture!
Au revior, chérie! Bon voyage!