Insiders Fashion Guide to What to Wear in Paris

What to wear in Paris? After flights and accommodations, this is one of the most frequent questions we hear. Paris is a fashion capital and you'll want to try to look good while being comfortable as you explore the city, visit museums, eat in restaurants or shop in chic stores.

Paris Fashion

We've collected together our very best Paris fashion tips to help you look like you belong and not feel like a tourist. There's nothing like the experience of being mistaken for a Parisienne as you're walking down the street. And that's not as rare as you might think, if you walk with confidence while wearing clothes suited for the city known for its style.

In this guide to what to wear in the City of Fashion (and the seasonal articles that link from it) we get you started with the essentials, piece-by-piece and season-by-season, and ideas on what to pack.

By the way, it's easy to pack too much. Pare your Paris wardrobe to the essentials. Avoid packing duplicates in sweaters, dresses and jeans. You will discover that a few essential pieces will carry you through for going out to dinner, visiting museums and on long walks.

The Paris Seasons

Paris Fashion

Much of your Paris wardrobe, like scarves, simple dresses and cashmere sweaters, are good for any season, and any time you visit Paris.

But there are other essential seasonal items you'll need to pack, depending on the time of year you will visit the City of Fashion. So, before you pack, take a little bit of time to read our seasonal guides.


What to Wear Essentials


Paris Fashion

French women (and men) generally shop for quality over quantity.

That's why you'll see a lot of cashmere in Paris. Cashmere is soft, comfortable and always looks great. A cashmere sweater is a fashion essential in any season in Paris.

Think simplicity when choosing a a cashmere sweater: V-neck or turtlenecks are a good option.

At our favorite source for quality cashmere there's free shipping and often a great sale!

Explore the Luscious Cashmere
Our Fave Quality Cashmere Shop

The Black Dress

Paris Fashion

Once you find a simple black dress you'll be well on your way to completing your What to Wear in Paris wardrobe.

Make sure the dress is versatile, one you can wear to dinner, yet still casual enough to wear underneath your trench coat or under a pashmina.

"Black" doesn't always mean black, if you know what we mean. A simple solid-color dress of the trending color is always appropriate.

Pure Collection is our top choice for their dress collection.

Pure CollectionSimply Nice Dresses

A Simple Scarf

Paris Fashion

The first thing you'll notice when you hit Charles de Gaulle Airport are the scarves!

Men, women and children wear them in Paris in winter, spring, summer and fall.

We want you to look (and feel!) like a Paris Insider, not like a tourist. So we highly recommend packing a scarf or two, whatever the season.

You probably will end up buying some in Paris, but it's better to come prepared. So, here's where we like to shop online for beautifully-made scarves —

Shop for Scarves

Denim & Stylish Pants

Paris Fashion

The French have fallen hard for denim. That's right, what started out as rugged miners' gear is now high fashion on the streets of Paris.

So, the good news is you can wear your jeans in Paris, but not your runners! Make sure you uphold the Paris Insiders Ideal by only wearing jeans that are stylish.

Throw your soccer-mom jeans in the poubelle (garbage can) before you leave home.

Stylish jeans & trousers

Comfortable Yet Stylish Walking Shoes

Paris Fashion

You don't have to sacrifice beauty for comfort.

While you won't want to walk around the city all day in high heels, you will notice all the stunning flat shoes that women wear in Paris. Maneuvering stairs, gravel pathways and cobblestones demands shoes with some structure.

In winter, you'll want to wear boots, but stylish ones.

And, to say it again, in Paris, running shoes are simply not an option!

Flats, sneakers, wedges & heels perfect for ParisFave online source

Hair & Make-up

Paris Fashion

French women are famous for their au naturel look. They wear makeup to look like they don't wear any!

They wear their hair in soft, natural styles to accentuate the effect. The city seems to have a couple of coiffures (hair salons) on every city block. If you want to treat yourself in Paris, pop into a coiffure for le brushing or a coupe. Most salons in Paris do not require an appointment.

Paris Fashion for Men

Paris Fashion

In Paris men dress up. Even young men can be seen in slim-cut dark suits, and shiny black shoes.

They all wear scarves and seem to know how to knot them expertly. This doesn't mean that men have to wear suits. Choose casual wear — tweed jackets, corduroy trousers or heavyknit sweaters. Stylish jeans are seen everywhere.

And if you're planning to go to any high-end Paris restaurants you will definitely need a jacket or sport coat.

What To Wear – the Movie!

Season by Season


Springtime in Paris

Spring weather can be unpredictable, you'll need a stylish trench coat, a warm sweater for layering and water resistant shoes (not suede, for instance). Throw a travel umbrella in your suitcase.


When it sizzles

Paris in the summer can sizzle, so you'll want to pack summer skirts and dresses. Grown-ups in Paris don't wear shorts. Period. If you want to fit in, leave the shorts at home. For men, light-weight khaki trousers will do or, of course, linen pants.


The autumn leaves

Fall in Paris can be warm right into October but, much like springtime, it can be unpredictable. You'll need clothes to layer, that stylish trench coat, and an umbrella.


When it drizzles

Paris winters range from moderate to downright cold! You will need a warm, winter coat (for when the temperature drops down to freezing), boots, scarves and gloves. But you don't have to dress for the arctic! Think stylish black boots, a long wool coat and more scarves. In winter, your coat and boots will become your official uniform, so you can reduce the number of pants, sweaters and shoes.

What Not To Wear In Paris – In Any Season

Just as there are some definite ouis in Paris fashion, there are a few nons-nons you should be aware of. Here's our hit list:

• sweatshirts
• baggy jeans
• T-shirts with logos on them
• fleece (please no fleece!)
• clothing with logos
• fanny packs
a • ugly nylon backpacks
• Tilly hats: you're not on safari
• sportswear (nylon or fuzzy)
• yoga pants
• runners
• puffy winter coats
• hiking boots
• short pants if you've more than 10 years old

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