Panicking about what to wear in Paris? Don't worry, we understand. Visiting Paris comes with a certain amount of style pressure with French dressing considered to be the epitome of chic. So if you’ve found yourself sartorially stuck, we’re here to help you master that much coveted French girl style.
There’s a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that comes with French clothing brands. Masters at the capsule wardrobe, Parisian style is packed full of timeless classics - think straight-leg jeans, Breton tees, top-quality tailoring, sleek loafers, and delicate jewelry for a polished yet understated look. One of the benefits of the way Parisian women dress, is that their outfits tend to work for all occasions. Taking them from brunch to evening cocktails with seamlessly stylish elegance. The beauty of replicating this look when considering what to wear in Paris, is that you won't need to pack a huge amount, instead relying on key wardrobe essentials that can be mixed and matched.
When it comes to fall outfit ideas for what to wear in Paris, fabric plays a key role in keeping your look smart, yet carefree. Look for premium materials such as the best cashmere sweaters and wintery textures like leather pants and classic non-stretch denim for hardwearing but versatile outfit building blocks. Prints tend to be avoided as these items can easily date, whereas a wardrobe of neutral-colored or striped pieces will never go out of style.
If you’re in need of some style inspo, we’ve rounded up the building blocks you need for the perfect Parisian wardrobe.
What to wear in Paris - outfits chosen by a fashion editor
When traveling on a city break the last thing you want to do is overpack. When considering what to wear in Paris, take your lead from the cities stylish residents by creating a capsule wardrobe of chic basics that you can mix and match in different combinations for day or evening. With a naturally pared-back but well put together aesthetic, sticking to neutral colors, thoughtful tailored shapes and high quality fabrics, nailing what to wear in Paris will be a breeze.
1. Best dresses to wear in Paris
When looking for the best dresses to wear in Paris, the main criteria is keeping it neutral, leaving garish print and color at home. Easily to style up or down, a black dress or white dress will always look chic and can be enhanced with jewelry and heels for the evening, or worn with a sweater and boots in the day.
When it comes to fit, the options really are endless. A thigh-skimming trapeze dress gives a nod to the latest fall 2022 fashion trends, while a tailored black shift dress will feel utterly timeless, even giving a nod to Coco Chanel's LBD aesthetic and can be easily dressed up with a tailored blazer or tweed jacket.
RRP: $249 / £175 | The cashmere fabric makes this beauty feel extra luxurious. Ideal for those fall outfit ideas for Paris, the long sleeves help to offset the shorter hemline and the coordinating belt highlights the waist for a flattering finish.
2. Best trousers to wear in Paris
Every French girl wardrobe contains a pair of the best jeans and when it comes to what to wear in Paris, we suggest you get yourself a great pair, pronto. A lynch pin to multiple outfits, straight-leg jeans are the fashion editor’s choice, mastering the art of casual yet cool, structured and yet relaxed. While dark and mid blue washes will work for day time, or more relaxed cocktail meet ups, for a smarter finish, jet black jeans will work from day to evening with ease. An ankle skimming finish is by far the most chic hem length, showing off your shoes in the process. For a sharp silhouette, pair your jeans with a cozy roll neck and a tailored coat in the day, before swapping for a bow-neck blouse in the evening.
But it's not just jeans that work well for stylish Paris outfit ideas. In the cooler months explore how to style leather pants for an ensemble that feels a little edgier. Play with texture, and add the best cashmere sweaters, half tucked at the waistband for a cool daytime look. Swap for a silk camisole and tuxedo style jacket for heading out to dinner.
While Paris style is associated with straight-leg silhouettes, the French have also mastered how to dress simple but stylish in wide-leg pants. To learn what to wear with wide leg pants for any silhouette, opt for a high waisted style, to help define your middle. Keep your top half fitted to balancing out the wider hem line.
RRP: $695 / £470 | Designed with a high-waist and a harem pant silhouette, they're accommodating to wider hips. Tuck in your tops to show off your waistline and add a belt for further definition on the waist. Made from 100% lambskin leather.
RRP: $59.99 / £35.99 | Crafted from a recycled cotton-blend fabric these tick that sustainable box as well as being delightfully comfy to wear. With a mid-rise waist and a straight leg they nail that laid-back French girl aesthetic that we're after.
3. Best tops to wear in Paris
There’s only one top that reigns supreme in the French-dressing world and that’s the Breton. For winter, swap the best t-shirts for the sweater version of this classic striped design for an equally chic look with extra warmth. Look for blouses with feminine flourishes for that romantic French edge such as broderie detailing and flouncy frills that can be layered under stripy knits too - with extra points for oversized collars. Layering is also key, so invest in a slim turtleneck that you can slip on underneath dresses and blouses for extra warmth will be ideal for what to wear in Paris in the coldest months of the year.
While a splash of color is not forbidden, black, white, navy, grey and camel are the most timeless hues and offer a truly versatile look throughout your stay. Making layering easier, use knits and tees for day and swap for luxe blouses to head out for dinner. Masters at creating hourglass curves, tucking tops or half tucking tops in the most nonchalant of fashions will rubber stamp you Paris outfits.
RRP: $130 / £100 | We love the rich olive hue on this charming shirt. The gathered flounce on the collar and placket give it a flirty finish whilst the lace detail adds a romantic touch. Team with jeans (tucked in) or a high waisted shirt for a smart look.
RRP: $14.99 / £12.99 | A winter essential, this slim polo knit can be worn under tees and dresses for extra coverage. Crafted from super soft fabric, it’s available in black and white making it easy to pair with all outfits - whatever the print or color.
RRP: $535 / £399 | It’s the details that makes this sweater stand out from the crowd, from the luxe button fastenings along the neckline to the high ribbed collar. Team this Breton knit with your jeans or use it to navigate how to style a leather skirt.
4. Best coats to wear in Paris
Whilst puffer jackets are considered one of the best winter coats for warmth, this sporty style is a little too casual for that French aesthetic. But have no fear, this season's coat trends were packed with smarter iterations that are ideal for what to wear in Paris this fall/winter.
A long, tailored coat with a high wool or cashmere percentage will not only look utterly chic, but it will also keep you super warm too. From belted style wrap coats, to polish button-downs, your coat during a winter visit to Paris is the first impression anyone gets of your outfit, so make it a good one.
When it comes to color, once again, neutrals rain supreme, with navy, black, grey or camel coats being an obvious choice for the what coat to wear in Paris. In the transitional months, a heavier blazer, a trench coat or the best leather jackets are ideal.
RRP: $398 / £445 | This cool cream coat is guaranteed to elevate any outfit, minimal effort required. It has a nipped in waist for added structure and the wool-cashmere blend will keep you toasty. Keep it tonal and style with creams and caramels.
RRP: $228 / £240 | The oversized fit on this blazer makes it easy to layer over chunky sweaters and gives off a cool, carefree vibe. With '80s-inspired shoulder pads for a retro spin, the checks are bang on-trend for the fall season for a modern finish.
5. Best shoes to wear in Paris
There’s nothing nonchalant about tottering around the streets of Paris in a pair of sky-high heels. And you definitely won't want to tackle any steep stairs or cobbled streets. And as much as the French are known for creating some of the best designer heels, their polished aesthetic is also intensely practical.
Nail that low-maintenance look with a pair of masculine loafers. The perfect combination of smart-meets-casual, when it comes to how to style loafers, they can be worn with dresses, jeans and everything in between, making them a chic and versatile shoe to pack for Paris. In reality, you won’t see a French girl in stilettos, so if you do want a heel, opt for something fuss-free such as a slip-on mule or cute kitten heel, both of which are part of the latest shoe trends, making them easily accessible.
RRP: $795 / £580 | In a buttery-soft off-white leather, these loafers are a real treat for the feet. Versatile and comfy, they will add instant luxe to your look, thanks to the YSL gold hardware on the front. Just make sure to avoid any puddles.
6. Best handbags to wear in Paris
A city filled with some of the best designer bags, it's a tough call when it comes to what bag to wear in Paris. However as with any city break, the best crossbody bags are the most practical and stylish option to go for. Roomy enough for everyday essentials yet compact enough for evening, they're also unrestrictive and leave you hands-free to go about your day or indulge in some hand-holding - it is the romantic capital after all.
Opt for neutral colored backpacks, preferably in leather or vegan leather for the smartest finish. Make sure to think about bag fastenings and compartments, to help you keep your belongings safe and well organized. Zip fastenings, with an added top fastened flat offer some of the best security. Similarly to the rest of your Paris outfit ideas, black and tan are two of the most versatile hues you can choose.
RRP: $536 / £400 | A.P.C are pros at classic pared-back pieces and this handbag is no exception. It has a magnetic flap and an internal slip pocket for added security for all your valuables. Finished with a hot-stamped logo, the branding is sophisticated and discreet.
RRP: $8,300 / £7,180 | One of the best designer crossbody bags, that can also be worn on the shoulder, you can't go wrong with one of the best Chanel bags. An iconic French fashion brand, it will give your Paris outfit the ultimate seal of approval. The signature tweed adds interest to block color ensembles.
RRP: $33.99 / £19.50 | This budget-friendly design from British clothing brand M&S is a stylish choice for everyday, guaranteed to go with anything. It has a secure zip fastening with gold-tone hardware for a high-end finish and is small enough for day or evening.
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