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Paris Fashion: Staying Chic in the Rain

by Tory Hoen
Chic Fashion in the Rain in ParisFashionable shoes on rainy Paris streets (Christophe Hue)

I spent most of November in Paris, and while it was a delight, I think I can count the number of times I saw the sun on one hand. Soon after my arrival, an out-of-nowhere hail storm reminded me of how fickle Parisian weather can be. (It was kind of awesome, but my Repetto’s were not amused).

Nonetheless, Parisians don’t let a little precipitation put a damper on their preening. On the contrary, a little inclement weather affords them the opportunity to show off their slick rainy-day style. So while we may dream of owning various classic wardrobe staples, it makes sense to start with some good-looking rain gear. If you’re spending the winter in Paris, you’ll need it.

Chic Fashion in the Rain - ParisLadies waiting in the rain, with red umbrellas (John Oxley)

The umbrella. Absolutely non-negotiable—do not leave home without it. Cheap models can be found at any Monoprix, and department stores like Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, BHV and Bon Marché offer a wide range. If you’re feeling super fancy, splurge on a gorgeous artisan umbrella from Michel Heurtault.

The trench coat. From high-end classics (Burberry) to more modern adaptations (A.P.C., Comptoir des Cotonniers), nearly every French brand offers some version of this classic look.

Rain boots. Many Parisians pull on stylish boots by Hunter or Aigle to navigate slippery cobblestones, but cheaper versions are available at sports purveyor Decathlon.

Chic Fashion in the Rain - ParisReflection in the Rain in Paris (Christophe Hue)

The scarf. In France, a scarf-less neck is a very sad neck indeed, especially in the rain.

Dark colors. Black, gray, navy. Not only are they flattering, but they’ll hide the sludge that accumulates on your pants over the course of a rainy Parisian day.

The hat. Parisians really do wear berets—and hats of all shapes, for that matter. Try hitting up stores dedicated to the art of hat-making (chapelleries) for various styles, or hit Kiliwatch for great vintage finds.

Metro tickets. Good luck finding a taxi in the rain!

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Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Written By

Tory Hoen

After attending Brown University and spending two years in New York, Tory bought a one-way ticket to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a writer (and of drinking wine at lunch). During her time in the City of Light, she chronicled the euphoric highs and the laughable lows of ex-pat life on her blog, A Moveable Beast. Though she's now based in New York, she travels frequently to Montreal and Brazil, and she'll use just about any excuse to jet to Paris ("I ran out of fleur de sel"). A regular contributor to Hip Paris, Tory also writes for New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and she is a co-author of Gradspot.com's Guide To Life After College. View Website

17 comments on “Paris Fashion: Staying Chic in the Rain

[…] you? With today’s inclement weather in New York, take your cue from the French and learn how to stay chic in the rain. I wish I had a bright red umbrella like the ladies above! So, what’s on tap for your […]

Even in the rain, most beautiful city in the world

[…] travel to Paris for its unpredictable weather; come here for its beauty. Just be sure you have all the essentials for a Parisian rainy day. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

I’m headed to Paris in less than 5 days and very nervous about what to pack. I think early March is still a bit wintery in Paris. This is helpful! And I just ADORE your site overall 🙂

I love people watching in France. I often want to take pictures of people and what they’re wearing, but I never do because I don’t want them to see me and get mad. How do you get away with it?

Hi Neva:

I think we have some good posts on what to wear in Paris during each season on this blog, so definitely check them out. Besides that, I’d make sure to bring great walking shoes (I always go black with those), a mid-weight jacket and a scarf, and comfortable but a bit fashionable clothes (I always lean toward black pants, neutral tops, etc.)
Enjoy Paris!

Maggie
Haven in Paris

Speaking of weather in Paris- my friend and I will be there next month from mid March until the end…From what I have read it might be in the 40-50 range and possibly some rain. But can you, as a Paris resident, give me a better idea of what kind of clothes to pack? I want to not stand out as AMERICAN (with big white shoes and sweats). Not that that is how I would normally dress. Any tips would be so appreciated!

My decathlon plain black riding boots are a life send, and were €12,95. Insane! Plus the only time a French woman ever stopped me to ask where I got something I was wearing was for these boots.

And isn’t it amazing how even in the rain Paris is still so stunningly beautiful. It shines in the rain.

This has always been an issue for me – dressing for the rain. Trench – check, scarf – check, umbrella – check, dark colors – check – but rain boots – ah there’s the rub. I’m not a Hunter girl so finding appropriate boots or shoes is always the challenge – always on the prowl.

Ach – so true! But my APC raincoat is sadly not completely waterproof – just ‘water-resistant’: stick to the Burberry (invented in Britain where there is even more rain) for true effectiveness.

Funny in all the times I’ve been to Paris it has never (to my recollection) rained on me… Perhaps our upcoming visit will change that. I will definitely be packing an umbrella!

I do feel like weve been lucky b/c it hasn’t rained much this winter! I hear family in SF talk about rain all the time and I feel like it has just been sprinkling here! Hope I dont bite my words looking at rain in the forecast for next week. Well at least it’s still boots season!

http://thetastysidetolife.blogspot.com/2011/02/champagne-tasting-trip-chateau-viewing.html

If it’s gonna rain, might as well do it in style like the French!

5 Months today until I move to Paris and I cant wait for the winter and the rain! <3

Lize

This makes me wish for rain! Love all of the little “must-haves,” and even have most of them … except for the Metro tickets. Quel dommage!!

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