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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 occurred 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
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 😉
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.
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.
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.
Curious to see my favorite stripe tees? Check out my series: French Girl Closet Staples – The Striped Tee.
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
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. You can score my pair above here.
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.
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.
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 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.
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: 16 Chanel Ballet Flats Outfit Ideas.
I love a pair of trousers in Paris year round. I’ll do a linen pair for summer. This drapey pair is also a favorite.
Consider some added sun protection by bringing a straw hat for extra sunny days in Paris. I like the affordable ones from this brand.
A good pair of comfy sandals is essential for summer days in Paris. Shop favorite styles of mine at the bottom of this post.
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.
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.
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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 Paris, Perfected!
Shop for Paris in Summer