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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
- Check out Our Favorite French Summer Shoes
- Muze Paris is the author’s favorite new swimwear line in town
- More tips: What to Pack for Summer in Paris
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 or short term, or buy in France? 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 our marketplace shop and experiences.