How to Dress for Paris in the Summer

July 27, 2021

How to Dress for Paris in the Summer - 5 Places Not to Miss in Paris I wit & whimsy

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 Paris, Perfected, 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 to share with wit & whimsy readers alongside outfit inspiration. I figured it was high time to put together a starting point for what to pack for Paris in the summer and how to dress for your summertime trip to the city of lights..

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 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.

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 want breathable, comfortable fabrics for exploring. I also always tell visitors to Paris to avoid wearing too many patterns, logos or graphics that say “I’m from America”. It can potentially make you a target of pick pocketing or other scams that you may encounter while abroad.

Write out your outfits

Lay out everything you’re considering bringing and 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.

Layers, layers, layers

As mentioned, Paris weather in the summer can be unpredictable. You’ll want to have layers with you throughout each day to account for unexpected dips in temperature or rain. 

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! 

Account for no air conditioning

Many places in Paris still don’t have AC so this is another reason you’ll want to have layers

Always have an umbrella

Don’t forget an umbrella and have it on you every day you’re out and about. You’ll likely need it!

Have a variety of jackets

I typically pack a leather jacket, a blazer or tweed jacket or two and a trench coat when traveling to Paris in the summer.

Summer Outfit Ideas In Paris

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

Floral Dresses

I 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 to 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 - 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 - French Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe

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 can just as easily pair with a little black dress for a fancier dinner.

How to Dress for Paris in the Summer

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 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.

Sezane Trench Coat I wit & whimsy

Trench Coat

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

French Girl Style Striped Tee I wit & whimsy

Loafers

Loafers are another good option you can wear well into mid-summer in Paris. If you have a comfy pair you love, definitely bring them along.

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

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 like above or dressed up with the right jacket or shoe.

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

Silk Tank

I love a silk tank for my trips year round as it 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.

Little Black Dress I wit & whimsy

Little Black Dress

Planning for an 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 seen above or with a black 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.

. . .

Summer is a beautiful time fo year to visit Paris – enjoy it and if you’d like help planning your trip, book with me at Paris, Perfected!

Don’t miss my travel essentials if you need help with your Paris packing list and I also recommend you get a set of packing cubes to maximize how much you can bring along on your trip to Paris!

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