What To Pack For A Winter Trip To Paris
Winter is a magical time of year in Paris. In December, the City of Light truly lives up to its name as the glittering festive decorations and illuminations flicker into action, often lasting well into January.
If you are heading to Paris in the winter, there are a few packing tips I suggest you adhere to! Visiting Paris in winter is enjoyable and magical, but you must stay warm and dry. Since it is Paris, you will also want to do all these things while looking fashionable!
With such a sparkling backdrop, you can’t help but want to dress up to the luxury of it all. Neutral shades of black and camel remain Parisian color staples but look to add a jolt of color (berry-reds look particularly great at this time of year, adding to the theme of festive cheer) or an interesting print (think plaid, houndstooth, or stripes). And make sure, of course, to have at least one glamorous evening dress on hand.
What Is The Weather Like in Paris?
Paris, in the winter, tends to be cold, gray, and mostly wet. Expect temperatures in the 30s and 40s, little sunshine, and a lot of wind, especially along the river! Luckily when we were there in January, it was unusually warm in the 50s.
What To Pack for Paris
In winter, as through the rest of the year, French women tend to have a very sophisticated style. They focus more on layers, long coats, accessories, and neutral dark colors!
For outerwear, leave the puffer coats at home. A wool coat will elevate your look and help keep you warm. Parisians tend to gravitate towards black, gray, or navy as their colors of choice, so stick to those if you want to blend in. Don’t forget about a tailored black blazer. They are perfect for wearing with dresses or as another top layer.
Last but not least, don’t leave out a rain jacket! A rain jacket is crucial because of the frequent possibility of rain in the Paris forecast. A black raincoat is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a neutral one to blend in with your outfits.
- 1 Long Wool Coat, camel or black.
- 2 Tailored blazers, one black and one light color, white or tan.
- 1 Rain Jacket roomy enough to wear layers to keep warm under.
- 1 Printed lady jacket, I went with a houndstooth print.
Chic chunky knit sweaters and cardigans are beautiful to layer over dresses and pair with jeans. However, not so great if you are trying to conserve space in your luggage. I recommend choosing quality cashmere and merino wool fabrics that give you lightweight warmth without the bulk. Keeping to a neutral pallet will allow you to mix the pieces together to give you several looks for your winter trip to Paris.
I love adding interest to a look with a fun base layer peeking out of my sweaters. For Paris, a striped turtle neck was a perfect choice. As you can see below, the subtle stripes give this casual look a little something extra. Long sleeve white & black t-shirts are a staple. I wore them to travel in and layer under knits. A comfy hoody is a must for me. Contrast-trim jersey sweaters are trending right now. I bought a beautiful Sandro Paris sweater while there. I absolutely love it with a with tee layered under.
- Long sleeve black and white t-shirts.
- Cozy hoodie.
- Contrast trim sweater.
- Crew neck striped sweater.
- Striped & solid black turtleneck tops.
- White button-down to layer under sweaters.
- Cropped sweater to layer over button-downs.
- Black silky button-down.
When it comes to pants, having a few different items to layer under will help you keep warm. Fleece-lined leggings are a great staple to layer with. I wore them under my jeans. They are my favorite for keeping warm without the added bulk. Black sheer pantyhose will also be a must-have.
Jeans are perfect to add to your packing list for Paris. Use them as a top layer, and add fleece-lined leggings as your base so you can stay warm. In addition to that, I also brought wide-leg winter trousers. Wool trousers are the perfect piece to be dressed up or down.
- Wool trousers in a couple of neutral colors.
- Fleece lined leggings
- Black hose
Beautiful dresses are a must for dining out in chic Paris restaurants. I brought solids in neutral colors and one with a polka dot print. Sweaters and blazers layer over them for warmth. Cozy sweater dresses are also a great choice and are perfect for day or night.
Don’t leave out a midi skirt as an option. I bought one in a thicker winter fabric in a beautiful blue color.
You’ll also want something special if you plan on a professional photo session. For mine, I went with the blue silk dress with a warm shawl. It was 50 degrees out when we took these pictures! I felt like I had to add some tulle to my Parisian photos, but I didn’t think a usual tulle skirt was my style. I found and fell in love with this bomber jacket in a chic black color. It looked stunning layered over my skim’s dress. Bonus: it was packed in my luggage without any bulk.
- Solid color midi dresses
- One with print
- Sweater Dress
- Midi-skirt with thicker fabric
- A special piece for photos
You will see old-school sneakers and easy-to-walk-in flats on the streets of Paris. I love how cute sneakers add the perfect justification to a trouser outfit. I brought shoes with thicker soles for all-day comfort.
- Cute sneakers that can be worn all day. The cooler temperatures kept us from walking as much as we usually would. Uber was our primary way to get around.
- Kitten heels to pair with dresses. Remember, there are pavers in some streets, so a little thicker heel will be more stable to walk in.
- Weatherproof black booties. Choose a thinner shaft to wear under your jeans. Most likely, the thicker the sole, the more comfortable the shoe will be for walking.
The key here is to pack shoes you are comfortable walking in and can wear with multiple looks.
When it comes to accessories, I like to keep it simple but also add in a few statement items. For my trip, I packed one neutral scarf and one colorful one. A colorful scarf is a perfect way to elevate a neutral outfit. Scarfs are also excellent for adding some warmth. One must-have is black pantyhose. They are great for wearing under your dresses and skirts.
Wool or cashmere hats, gloves, and scarves are the finishing touch to your look. Unlike a coat, they won’t take much room in your suitcase (roll them into your boots to save space), so don’t be shy about bringing more than one set. If you want to embrace the Parisian style, you could also pack a barrette! I wore one and loved it!
Lastly, I recommend bringing one clutch to fit all your essentials in for the evening and one crossbody bag for daytime use. Crossbody purses are also fantastic for fitting your camera equipment if you want to take pictures, as I did!
- Neutral scarf and a colorful one.
- Beanies, Beret, or a baseball hat.
- A chic belt for your trousers.
- Black sheer hose.
- Crossbody bag & clutch for evenings
We had such a fantastic experience during our trip to Paris. Wintertime is genuinely the most magical time. Looking for some more details on my outfits? Check out my What I Wore in Paris blog post here.
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