Insiders Fashion Guide – What To Wear In Paris

"What should I wear in Paris?" After flights and accommodations, this is 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.

It's easy to pack too much. Pare your Paris wardrobe to the essentials. A few essential pieces will carry you through for going out to dinner, visiting museums and on long walks.

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.


The Paris Seasons

Much of your Paris wardrobe, like scarves, simple dresses and cashmere sweaters, will be 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 in Spring
What to Wear in Summer
What to Wear in Fall

Your Most Important Non-Fashion Accessory!

Paris Pass

There's a lot to do and see in Paris, and you're going to want to take in many of the iconic monuments and museums.

Paris is a very busy place and you could find yourself standing in long lines too often… unless, that is, you plan ahead and make sure you have the Paris Pass in your purse before you leave home.

The Paris Pass gives you free access to virtually every museum & monument you'll want to visit — about 60 in all. But to our way of thinking, the best thing is that the pass lets you skip the looong ticket lines and simply walk right in.

The Paris Pass also gets you unlimited free rides on the Metro and bus system, the very best way to get around. Read our review to learn more and to get the discount code that will save you 10% on the Paris Pass.

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!

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. Pour top choices are simple and elegant 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 —

Perfume Workshop in Paris

Perfume Workshop in Paris

While you're in the City of Fashion is a very good time to learn the ins and outs of perfume at a hands-on perfume workshop.

Led by an expert perfumier who teaches at the Ecole de Parfumerie in Versailles, you learn the characteristics of distinct families of scents, how to identity them, and the history of perfume before you actually blend your own unique perfume to take home.

It's a truly unique experience.

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.

Comfortable Yet Stylish Shoes & Boots

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!

The Fashion & Splendour of Versailles

The Fashion and Splendour of Versailles

Go behind the scenes at the Palaces of Versailles on this private guided tour.

You have access to chambers that most tourists never see, including the restricted living areas of the French kings and queens — the Royal Opera House and Royal Chapel built for the wedding of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. You view the fashion of the time and the dresses that the queen would have worn.

This VIP, small-group tour has very limited number of spaces and sells out quickly. So be sure to book early. Included private hotel pickup and return.


And Don't Forget About…

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!

Parisiennes 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 brushingor a coupe. Most salons in Paris do not require an appointment.

Paris Fashion for Men

In Paris men dress up. Even young men can be seen in slim-cut dark suits, and shiny black shoes. Even when they're just going out to get groceries.

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 heavy-knit 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.

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

Five Free Paris Planning Guides

Grab Your 5 Free Paris Planning Guides Today! Bon Voyage!