Once you’ve secured your summer vacation dates, booked your plane tickets to Paris and spent hours scouring blogs for the trendiest restaurants, the most fashionable boutiques and the off-the-beaten-path adventures, there’s only one last hurdle before jetting off: figuring out exactly what you pack for a vacation to Paris.
Getting ready for the world’s fashion capital may seem daunting, but it’s completely possible to sightsee in comfort and blend in with the stylish locals. To look and feel like an effortlessly chic Parisienne (even if it’s your first time visiting), here are our top five Paris summer packing essentials.
Shoes for cobblestone streets and rooftop apéros
For Parisienne-approved summer footwear that’s both chic and comfortable, bring along a pair of espadrilles or sneakers – either the super-trendy and colorful “dad shoe,” or the classy espadrille version à la Sézane. These shoes will get you up the Eiffel Tower, down the cobblestone streets, and into a hip rooftop bar.
Outfits that’ll take you from a day at the Louvre to a night on the Seine
Parisian summer attire is all about breezy, natural pieces that are just as perfect for strolling the city’s arrondissements as for a soirée along the Seine.
So bring along a printed dress – it’s elegant, versatile, and one of fashion influencers Sabina Socol and Rue Rodier’s favorite Paris essentials – as well as other local-approved pieces like a fitted white or vintage tee and denim shorts, a denim jacket, and a men’s cotton button-up shirt.
Accessories à la Française
There are three bags that many chic Parisians can’t live without: their spacious ultra-chic Goyard tote and Vanessa Bruno cabas (celebrating its 20 years this year) as well as the classic Chanel boy bag. However, they don’t come cheap.
Instead, opt for a stylish cross-body bag or a simple fabric tote bag that’s light, trendy, and that won’t take up too much space in your suitcase. To complete your Parisian look, bring along a pair of retro sunglasses and some delicate jewelry.
Barely-there makeup (with good skincare!)
Leave the heavy eyeliner at home – French beauty is light, dewy, and minimalist, except for the occasional red lip. Think the Glossier look: moisturized skin, a hint of concealer and blush, and some lipstick or gloss patted on for a more natural look.
Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen (Parisians like light sunscreens from pharmacy brands like La Roche-Posay or clean cosmetics store Oh My Cream!) – a sunburn in the city is neither chic nor pleasant.
Environmentally-friendly chic (and something for the rain)
There’s nothing more sophisticated than environmentally conscientious traveling, so don’t forget to bring along a reusable water bottle and refill it at one of the many beautiful Wallace drinking fountains scattered around the city.
Speaking of water, you’ll know if you’ve ever watched the opening scene of Midnight in Paris that sudden summer downpours are not uncommon, so come prepared with an umbrella just in case.
And lastly, according to Coco Chanel’s timeless advice, before you leave your house, “always take one thing off” (or out of your suitcase in this case)! It’s better to pack less and leave room to pick up some Parisian essentials when you are here. After all, Paris is the best city for a shopping emergency.
- Looking for “clean” barely-there makeyup? Check out Oh My Cream!
- If you’re shopping for little ones, we round up Paris’ best baby stores.
- Too intimidated for luxury shopping? Read our tips.
Written by Diana Liu for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental 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.
5 comments on “What to Pack for Summer in Paris”
Hi Jo – I was referring to their tote bags with the sequined straps 🙂 They have a wide selection on their website!
Diana, Thanks for the tips. Which Vanessa Bruno Cabas bag are you suggesting that is popular?
Remember mosquito repellent for evenings in Paris, especially in parks, near (or on) the Seine, and the Canal St Martin.