August 1, 2013
Keeping cool, comfortable and chic during the Summer in Paris, can be quite the sartorial challenge. You feel like dressing for the beach but stepping out in a sarong and flip-flops in this city is not the way to go. When temperatures soar, I’m hit with the Parisian hot weather conundrum: what to wear in Paris when it sizzles?
In search of some answers, I hit the streets to capture some looks and see how les Parisiennes are playing it. What follows are some suggestions and inspirations on the art of trying to keep cool and chic in Paris this summer.
Right now, around town, the vibe is relaxed and the style is understated. Loose fitting clothes made with soft elegant fabrics, such as lightweight linens and silks, are a breeze to wear. Nothing is over done. Keep makeup minimal, plenty of SPF! Don’t worry about hair as this is the time for your trusty friend to make an appearance…
The Hat Factor
Walking around Paris, sitting in the park or having a café en terrace, le chapeau is your indispensable accomplice in coping with the Parisian heat. Not only does it shield you from the sun, the hat factor adds instant style and you don’t have to worry about a bad hair day. Choose one that suits your personality, pair it with a maxi dress, shades, a little attitude, a flat shoe and off you go.
Keep it Flat
Along with the hat, the flat is the way to go in all seasons in Paris. Forget heels, this city is made for walking and your shoes should be too. In the heat feet tend to swell up and can get black and blue in the dusty city grit. When friends ask me what to pack for Paris, the one thing I insist on is a pair of comfortable flat shoes. But take note, even in high heat les parisiennes always put their best style foot forward. Crank up the cool factor and go for a black leather flat, a stylish white trainer or a wedge with an edge.
Silks & Shades
An endless supply of whimsical shades is the way to go. You can pick up great deals during the soldes and scour the vintage stores for different specs and sizes. The Rayban aviator is a Parisian classic that will never tire. I also find silk an elegant fabric for keeping cool in the city. Silk pants, silk tops, silk shirts, long silk dresses are a treat in the heat. Top it with a turban.
The Long Dress
To avoid the embarrassing situation of getting your exposed skin stuck to a meshed chair on the terrace of a café, or sitting uncomfortably on a metal chair in the Jardin du Luxembourg, go for length. A long cotton tee shirt dress works really well. With the right accessories, it’s effortless.
The Long & the Short of it
If you have the legs for it, shorts are no longer a complete Parisian no-no. Loose-fitting bermudas and three quarter length culottes have become new classics. It’s really about the way you wear it, but I would recommend pairing stylish shorts with a funky flat or trainer. It may sound bizarre but this look is relaxed and can go a long way in the Parisian heat.
The Scarf: Knot it
In all seasons, in all weather, even if it’s slightly cliché, the scarf is truly a Paris essential. For a twist on the classic, try experimenting with the way you wear it! Tie a small one around your wrist, or for a relaxed summer vibe, try wrapping a scarf in a bandana style or in a bandeau.
Summer Cool Summer Whites
If black is your reliable winter chic, go all white for summer: white tees, a little white dress, long white skirts, oversized white linen dresses, white linen shirts, white shorts, white linen trousers, white jeans, white trainers, topped with a white straw hat and some light accessories.
The one accessory you shouldn’t leave home without, heat wave or not? An umbrella! It is Paris after all…
- Get some fashion inspiration from Betty, a stylish Parisian girl, living in the French capital
- Or get inspired by some street style in the streets of Paris from Teen Vogue
- Another, very fashionable girl living in Paris is Alix. Visit her blog, The Cherry Blossom Girl, for daily style inspiration
Written by Aisling Greally
Aisling is an ardent explorer of hidden places and hideouts in Paris. She is the founder of the site TrésorParisien where she shares her stories of discovery and her adventures in Paris.
Website: Tresor Parisien