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French Summer Holiday Essentials for Him and Her

by Maikka Piquemal
A crowd of people sunbathing by the beach and orange buildings behind.
Top: Summer Hangouts by the Seine – Steven Lasry / Above: Beach lovers in Nice, France – Oscar Nord

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It’s the peak of summer in Paris. The orange sun sets around 10 PM and most Parisians have left town for les vacances. The city is crowded with tourists, while the banks of the Seine are filled with picnics and music. Some offices have closed for their holidays, though many stores still bustle with customers. It is surely one of the best times of the year.

Left: A blond-haired lady in blue top and white pants wears a brown basket bag. Right: A torso of a woman wearing a floral bathing suit in orange, yellow, and blue.
La Parisienne and her basket bag – Rue Rodier / Floral swimsuit – La Redoute

But when visiting the City of Light in the summer, one wonders: how do Parisians keep up during these hot summer days? How are they styled? The answer lies in these essentials. If you’re visiting the capital, or anywhere in France, these Parisian favorites are my timeless summer secrets to beating the heat, yet keeping cool. Having these on-hand will make a Parisian out of you, no matter where you are.

Left: A golden bottle of perfume in a water full of orange fruits and green leaves. Right: A blond-haired woman in black outfit wears black sunglasses.
Aqua Allegoria in Mandarin Basil – Guerlain / Isabel Marant Milo Sunglasses for Women

Fragrance: Aqua Allegoria by Guerlain

Just what is a Parisian without son parfum? Guerlain’s alchemy of citrus and other fruits transports you on a Mediterranean escape in one spray. This cheerful and aromatic unisex scent is perfect for summer – whether it be afternoon dates in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, or late night drinks in Pigalle. 

Sunblock: La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Lotion & Spray Sunscreen Set

Picnics are a must in Paris and so is sunscreen. The sun can quickly damage your skin no matter how charming your surroundings may be. La Roche-Posay’s multi-award winning sunblock works on all skin types, and on the face and body. With a silky finish, packed with antioxidants, you can stay worry-free under the sun.

A man and a woman by a pool are having fun splashing water to each other with orange water guns.
Vendredi Swimming Trunks for Men in L’Immergé
Left: A father and his son are cartwheeling by the beach shore. Right: A father and his son are walking by the beach in their colorful swim trunks.
Father and son duos by Vendredi

Beachwear: La Redoute Women’s Swimwear and Vendredi Swimwear for Men

Whether you’re staying in a hotel with a pool or getting a tan by the Paris-Plages, summer is not summer without swimwear. La Redoute is a French e-commerce site that is popular among locals. Not only does it have carefully-selected products, its collections are also eco-friendly and sustainably made. Vendredi is an up-and-coming French swimwear brand for men (and their sons!). Vendredi believes swim trunks don’t have to be boring — just like Fridays!

Left: A man with a shaved head in a black and blue top wears a black sunglasses. Right: A woman wears a black swimsuit as she stands behind a big rock.
Isabel Marant Milo Sunglasses for Men / La Redoute black meshed swimsuit

Sunnies: Isabel Marant Milo Sunglasses

When it comes to eyewear, invest in high-quality sunglasses that can stand the test of time. French designer Isabel Marant is a cult fashion favorite à Paris with the motto “You shouldn’t want others to wear things that you won’t wear yourself”. Her unisex Milo aviators are available in different shades to suit any season and any mood.

Left: A man in blue shirt and white pants is sitting in a brown street fence. Right: A pair of brown sandals worn by a guy at a beach with beige sand.
Birkenstocks Arizona sandals in Paris and at the beach

Footwear: Birkenstocks Arizona Sandals and Espadrilles

While Birkenstocks are German-made, Parisians surely have claimed them as their own — some even wear them to the office! However, nothing says French more than espadrilles. Originating from the Basque country and the Spanish Catalonian region, these rope-soled shoes are the perfect summer vacation footwear. 

Left: A teal colored pair of espadrilles and a green bathing suit for women are both hanging to dry. Right: A couple in a scooter are smiling in their colorful helmets and espadrilles.
Drying a pair of heeled espadrilles and a one-piece – @wittsarah.photos / Lovers in espadrilles – @the.french.mood

Both these two types of shoes can be comfortably worn day or night, in urban or beach settings. The best part is you can match with your SO or your kids! 

A blond-haired woman with red lips and red nails carries her basket bag in front of a blue door.
Marissa Cox of Rue Rodier and her basket bag

Bag: The Sac en Paille

Basket bags have always been à la mode — FYI, the first Jane Birkin bag was technically a basket bag and not the Hermès one known today. On beautiful warm days, one must not simply go without un sac en paille. It’s such a versatile bag that you can wear to the beach, to the market, or while running errands. 

Left: A woman in white dress and brown basket bag crossing the street. Right: A woman in black top, black pants, and her circular basket bag.
A Parisian stroll in the day – Etsy Boho Peach / A summer night out – @whatevewears

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Written by Maikka Piquemal for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out marketplace shop and experiences.

Left: A man in white top, white pants, and mustard-colored sandals. Right: A man carrying a pair of printed green espadrilles.
A Parisian in Birkenstocks – @gahenz / Authentic French espadrilles – @payotespadrille
Written By

Maikka Piquemal

A New Yorker in Paris, Maikka is a fashion designer and a theater actor. She is une maman to a dog, two cats and hundreds of houseplants. Whenever not fondly observing the Parisian fashion scene or sinking in a good Gallimard book, she escapes to Pays Basque and daydreams of living in the other two fashion capitals, London and Milan. Check out her Youtube Channel "Rare Plants in Paris". View Maikka Piquemal's Website

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