How to Dress for Paris in the Summer

May 6, 2024

Summer in Paris Outfit I Ba&sh cropped Meredith jacket, Celine sunglasses

I’m a rather seasoned packer when it comes to trip-taking, especially for Paris since it is the place I’ve traveled to the most in the world. As part of being the founder of En Route to Rêverie, I offer my clients the option of receiving helpful tips on what to have in their suitcases for any trip to Paris, but I also enjoy curating packing lists for Paris to share with wit & whimsy readers alongside outfit inspiration.

Curious about what to wear in Paris for the summer? I’ve got you covered on how to dress for your summertime trip to the city of lights. This post is freshly updated with the latest guidance, outfit inspiration and shoppable pieces at the bottom of the post that you can buy now and wear in Paris this summer. 

Traveling to Paris in the summer isn’t as warm and sunny as you might expect. It often doesn’t get warm until mid-summer. And you’re also likely to experience some June gloom well into July. Unexpected rain showers are almost a given and on many early summer trips to Paris you’re likely to find me still sporting tweed and leather jackets and a bevy of blazers and layers as it’s just not sleeveless weather quite yet.

Paris is a city designed to explore and to wander (there is no shortage of things on one’s Paris Bucket List when visiting Paris after all!) and I personally love the trips where days turn into night and you’ve not seen your hotel room or apartment from sun up to sun down. This is also why I always recommend bringing along layers for your day. And to ensure you have comfortable shoes you can walk (and walk! and walk!) in.

How To Dress For Paris In Summer

Parisian style is minimalist and put together. It’s often tailored and full of classics. If you’d prefer to not stick out like a tourist, you’ll likely want to leave the graphic tees, oversized rain jackets and clunky sneakers at home. And instead, pack a streamlined, capsule wardrobe of sorts that can be mixed and matched. And is at the ready for whatever the weather and your schedule of events entails.

When I go to Paris in the summer I am all about practical yet tailored and classic pieces that mix and match. And remember that accessories go a long way in making the same few pieces feel fresh and like a new outfit.

Summer in Paris Outfit I M.M.LaFleur Poplin Dress and Loewe Tote and Common Projects Sneakers

Pack a largely neutral color palette

Packing a variety of neutrals allows you to mix and match easily. Think tees in a variety of black, white and neutral stripes. Jeans in blue, black and white. And blazers or trench coats in timeless colors that you can layer. Get more neutral outfit inspiration.

Want even more Paris outfit inspiration? Check out my Paris Outfit Ideas board on Pinterest.

Consider Fabrics & Patterns

You’ll also want breathable, comfortable fabrics for exploring. Summer fashion in Paris is all about neutral basics. And easy, breezy fabrics like cotton poplin and linen. 

Summer in Paris Outfit I White jeans and Ba&sh cropped jacket

Write out your outfits

Lay out everything you’re considering bringing. Then determine how many outfits you can make from each piece.

I recommend writing the outfits down on the Notes app in your phone so you’ll remember all the combinations once they are packed away in your suitcase and you’re attempting to get dressed each morning.

If a piece can’t be worn at least three ways – nix it! It’s like putting together a capsule wardrobe for your trip. I also recommend you consider a set of packing cubes to maximize how much you can bring along on your trip to Paris.

Layers, layers, layers

As mentioned, Paris weather in the summer can be unpredictable. You’ll want to have layers with you throughout each day. This is to account for unexpected dips in temperature or rain. And for the fact that some museums blast their AC.

Meghan in Paris Summer Outift

Comfortable shoes

Comfortable shoes are a must. I personally caution against wearing flip flops. It’s not a shoe Parisians usually wear so it’ll definitely say “tourist” if you’re in a flip flop.

Instead think about packing ballet flats or a more stylish, comfortable sandal. I also always wear my most comfortable and versatile sleek sneaker. Early in summer when it tends to be a bit cooler (high 50s/low 60s) you may also consider bringing along a pair of ankle boots that you can walk in easily and that pair with jeans or dresses. A lot of Paris’s parks are a fine gravel. So I usually am in closed-toe shoes when in Paris on days I’ll be walking around a lot. 

Do not bring shoes you haven’t broken in! Paris is best enjoyed when walking around. So a pair of comfortable walking shoes is essential. And just in case – be sure you pack band-aids to have on hand should you need them.

Related: Best Shoes to Wear in Paris

Account for no air conditioning

Many places in Paris don’t have AC. So this is another reason you’ll want to have layers. And likely you’ll also want to pack a pair of lightweight, breathable pajamas as well.

Always have an umbrella

Don’t forget an umbrella. Have it on you every day you’re out and about. You’ll likely need it! This is the umbrella I always bring with me to Paris.

Related: What To Do in Paris When It Rains

Have a variety of jackets

I typically pack a leather jacket, a blazer or tweed jacket or two. And also a trench coat when traveling to Paris in the summer. You may be surprised with rain or a cooler day in the summer!

But be sure to check the weather before you go. If Paris is in for a heatwave (as has been happening more due to global warming)  skip the leather jacket or heavier blazers. These heat waves are most likely to happen in July and August. But they also occur in June.

Avoid dressing like a tourist

Avoid leggings, anything emblazoned with American logos or destinations and short shorts when packing for Paris in the summer. Athleisure also doesn’t exist in Paris and should be left at home. It is also advisable to skip fanny packs, ball caps and anything overly loud, colorful or branded. It can potentially make you a target of pick pocketing. Or other scams that you may encounter while abroad. 

In need of a packing list for Paris? I have several Packing Lists I have published in the past that should help you formulate what goes into your suitcase.

Summer Outfit Ideas In Paris

Summer in Paris Outfit I Agolde white jeans, ba&sh meredith jacket

White denim

Jeans are always on my Paris packing list, but in the warmer months I like to switch things up with white or ecru denim for a fresh look. This Agolde pair is a recent favorite of mine for their on-trend silhouette.

Related: Agolde Jeans Review

Floral Dresses

I also love bringing floral dresses along for any warmer days. Consider a long sleeve dress for cooler days! Add a fun belt to mix it up. Or add a blazer or jacket over a dress with a cinched waist. 

My floral dresses are usually the one pop of color / non-neutral in my bag.

Pro tip? French people do in fact wear berets – it’s not just tourists 😉

How to dress for Paris in the Summer | Jenni Kayne sweater

Cardigan

On cooler days, a simple cardigan makes the perfect topper. I went up two sizes in this Jenni Kayne cardigan so I could wear it buttoned-up as a top.

I also love the Sezane Gaspard cardigan as a versatile travel piece that’s the perfect weight for summer.

How to Dress for Paris in the Summer - Parisian Inspired Outfit I wit & whimsy

Tweed Blazers

I always have a tweed blazer or two in my suitcase for summer trips to Paris before the heat arrives. They easily translate from day to nighttime. And can be worn casually or more dressed up with the right pair of heels.

How to Dress for Paris in the Summer

Kitten or Block Heels

You’ll want to leave the stilettos at home given much of Paris has cobblestones or uneven, old pavement. I opt for always having a lower pair of block heels or kitten heels in my bag that I can wear either more casually with jeans and a tweed jacket. Or ones I can just as easily pair with a little black dress for a fancier dinner.

How to dress for Paris in the Summer | French stripes

Stripes

You can never wear too many stripes in Paris in my opinion. I usually bring a stripe sweater and a stripe tee that can be layered or worn solo. A stripe tee with a fun puff sleeve can also easily be paired with black pants, too for an evening outfit.

I also love to wear a lightweight striped sweater with white jeans or underneath a classic trench coat.

Summer in Paris Outfit I Trench coat

Trench Coat

I always bring a trench coat to Paris in the summer. It’s the perfect lightweight coat that works for both day and nighttime.

Related: How to Style a Trench Coat

Summer in Paris Outfit I Eyelet dress

Summer Dresses

Having a couple of summer dresses for warmer days will serve you well. But I’d recommend selecting ones that can be worn with a comfy pair of sneakers or dressed up with the right jacket or shoe. I’m wearing this eyelet dress from Sézane in a size 10.

How to Dress for Paris in the Summer I wit & whimsy

Silk Tank

I love a silk tank for my trips year round. A silk tank can be the perfect layering piece under the right jacket for casual evenings out. The above outfit is a go-to for me in Paris for dinner and drinks. I love this one because it is washable in case you spill during your trip. This one and this one (seen above!) are also favorites in my own personal closet.

Tuckernuck shirtdress in Paris | how to dress for paris in the summer

Little Black Dress

Planning for a dressed up evening while out in Paris? I always pack a little black dress with me. I typically select one that can be worn with flats like the classic Chanel ballet flats, or with a block or kitten heel so I can walk along the Seine or seek out the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night after a memorable meal in Paris.

This belted shirtdress is a new favorite, I think the silhouette is so chic (and it comes in a variety of colors). I sized up to a L. 

Related: What to Wear in Paris at Night

Summer in Paris Outfit I White dress

Little White Dress

Similarly, I always pack a classic white dress that can easily be dressed down during the day or dressed up for evenings out. On cooler days, a jacket or cardigan completes the look. The STAUD Wells Dress is one of my absolute favorites (so good I own it in white, navy, and black!)

MM.LaFleur Cotton Dress with Loewe Straw Tote and Common Projects Sneakers

Straw tote

Straw totes are market staples in France and make for the perfect little summer bag to carry around Paris. Just be sure to add a drawstring bag or pouch inside for your valuables. This bag has been a favorite of mine for a few years now!

Celine sunglasses in Paris | wit & whimsy

Sunglasses

Of course no Summer trip to Paris would be complete without a chic pair of sunglasses. These Celine sunnies are a Summer staple, they’ve been all around the world with me! Paired here with one of my favorite Summer dresses, a striped cardigan, and this woven bag.

Chanel ballet flats in Paris | wit & whimsy

Ballet Flats

My Chanel ballet flats are always in my suitcase year round for trips to Paris. They pair well with dresses, jeans, trousers and even linen shorts for summer.

Related: 20 Chanel Ballet Flats Outfit Ideas

How to dress for Paris in the Summer | Linen trousers, ba&sh Meredith jacket

Trousers

I love a pair of trousers in Paris year round, but in the summer (weather permitting) I’ll do a linen pair. This drapey pair is also a year round favorite and perfect for an evening outfit. I styled the trousers (size 6) above with one of my favorite lady jackets.

Giverny, France outfit | wit & whimsy

Sun Hat

Consider some added sun protection by bringing a straw hat for extra sunny days in Paris. I like the affordable straw hats from this brand, paired above with one of my favorite cotton and lace Summer dresses.

Hermes Oran Sandal

Flat Sandals

A good pair of comfy sandals is essential for summer days in Paris. My Hermes H sandals are one of my most worn styles, but I own a similar less expensive pair as well. Shop more favorite styles of mine at the bottom of this post.

Related: My Favorite Spring and Summer Sandals

Spring in Paris Outfit I M.M.LaFleur Poplin Dress and Loewe Tote and Common Projects Sneakers

White sneakers

For long days wandering Paris, I always recommend the Common Projects Achilles sneakers. They’re the perfect minimal (but supportive) white sneaker to pair with Summer dresses, skirts, or denim. 

Related: Common Projects Sneakers Review (+ Affordable Lookalikes)

Summer in Paris Outfit I White blazer, silk tank, jeans

Blazers

Blazers in lightweight fabrics and summery colors like navy or ivory are ideal for tailored, feminine looks in Paris. I love to pair mine with my favorite jeans and the Sarah Flint Natalie flats for a polished look.

Black slip dress outfit in Paris

Slip Dresses

A slinky slip dress is an ideal item for Paris in the summer. It also won’t take up much room in your suitcase. And you can also dress it down with a casual jacket or dress it up in the evening with elegant jewelry and a heel. This one is the one I am wearing above.

La Ligne Mini Marin sweater in Paris

Sweater

A simple sweater in a neutral color (like white) is a great extra layer to keep on hand for Paris in the Summer, plus I love how it pairs with white denim. The La Ligne Mini Marin is one of my favorites as is the Lean Lines Sweater, I size up!

. . .

Summer is a beautiful time of year to visit Paris. Enjoy it and if you’d like help planning your trip, book with me at En Route to Rêverie.

Get even more Summer in France Outfit Ideas, shop my looks here and my French Capsule here.

Don’t miss my travel essentials if you need help with your Paris packing list. 

Shop for Paris in Summer

 

 

 

 

 

Shop my Paris Packing Lists

 

Heading to Paris? Book En Route to Rêverie with me and get customized recommendations based on your travel preferences to make your next trip to Paris the best one yet.

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comments +

  1. Liz says:

    I’m in Paris right now where it’s a really comfortable 64* F. It’s easy to spot the other Americans in my Latin Quarter neighborhood because we’re the only ones not bundled up in boots, coats and a scarf. ? After two weeks here I’m beginning to suspect that Parisians are just perpetually cold!

  2. Wendy says:

    We will be in Paris in late August, hearing it gets really hot – 90+ degrees. Do Parisians wear shorts?

  3. Leu2500 says:

    Meghan – how well does the straw hat you recommend pack? Do you have any tips for packing it so it doesn’t get crushed. Thx.

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