What Not To Pack For Paris

Hello all! I’ve been in quite a good mood all day despite battling a cold, and am super excited to share this post with you guys. I became inspired after having received this question from all upcoming visitors (because everybody wants to look good in Paris) and after realizing the other day that I can tell who is tourist and who is local from a mile away just by their clothing (something I mentioned a lot in my Becoming A Parisian guide as well). So, without further ado, click through to read about what not to pack for Paris! And I hope you are inspired by the pictures I have gathered above :)

  1. Your highest heels, but also your ugliest sneakers. The key to looking French is finding a balance between the two! Get a pair of nice looking but comfortable shoes. I live in my Nikes and Chelsea boots. I can also recommend some platform flats such as these if you are looking to add some height. Never wear flip-flops if you are visiting in the summer, invest in some simple and comfortable sandals (like these!).
  2. Anything shorter than your fingertips will reach down. Paris is not only a city that’s forever classy, but it’s also a city where men will openly pursue you based on your clothes. Think city wear, not beach wear. Also this rule. 
  3. Bright and excessive makeup. Wearing a smokey eye? Keep your lips bare. Just have some light brown in the crease with simple mascara? Go for that berry lip stain! The French girls are all about looking fresh. Make your focus luminous yet natural skin!
  4. Puffy down jackets. Les Parisiennes are all about sleek wool coats, nothing shiny. Come from a warm place and don’t want to buy a whole new coat just for the trip? Layer it up! Parkas are always in, along with simple cardigans and flannel shirts.
  5. Your party dresses. Paris’ nightlife scene is filled with black pants, dark toned tops and ankle boots. For the fancier clubs, just wear a mini skirt rather than the pants (and don’t forget your black tights). Think house party attire!
  6. Your workout clothes (unless you plan on working out). Yes, that means no LuluLemons. While it’s okay to wear nice running shoes with your trousers, workout clothes are out of question unless you are currently jogging along the Seine. One time I picked up my Au Pair kids wearing my yoga pants, and they asked me “Why are you wearing those clothes if you never work out?”. Tough love! :)
  7. Shorts! I would say that skorts, flowing skirt-like shorts (like these) and rompers are alright, but as a rule of thumb Paris is a city of skirts, dresses, and trousers.
  8. Anything extremely see-through, unless you are wearing something beneath it. Paris is not California, where a showing bralette (or bra strap) is alright. The city has some super creepy guys in it, and you want to make sure you’re looking dressy-casual at all times. It’s a sad fact, but they will taunt you and tease you if you are not covered up enough (also for the fact that that will be an immediate sign that you’re from out of town).
  9. Flashy and expensive designer goods. They will get stolen. I had my beloved Raybans stolen off the top of my head in the metro. I know Paris is the city of Chanel, Dior, and Celine, but it’s just not worth it.
  10. Clothing articles with a school name, team name, etc. If you wear your university sweatshirt, you are immediately making yourself a target for pickpockets and con artists. Keep your clothing simple and logo free while you are visiting. Remember, it’s all about being sleek sleek sleek!

I hope you have found this helpful in packing for the city of love! If you have any additional tips, please do leave them below.


*Images found on Pinterest.

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  • So trueeee!

  • Pingback: The Best Souvenirs To Bring Back From Paris - Explores More()

  • Awesome tips! I would have never guessed the fresh makeup look. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Julia

      Of course! Yeah, in Paris the emphasis is 100% on skincare. As long as that looks good, almost nothing else matters!

  • Great tips! Some are quite surprising actually so thanks for sharing! :)

    • Julia

      Of course, glad I could help out and thanks for reading :)

  • Love this article! I always forget how Paris girls are so chique and fresh. I should remember that next time I go to Paris.. trying to blend in;-)

    • Julia

      Yes, it’s all about simplicity! That being said though, I am also the biggest fan of Dutch style!! 😀

  • Elise Angelopulos

    So many good tips and so spot on. I find footwear and outerwear are two especially “obvious” ways to tell apart the tourist and Parisian woman. Finding a stylish sneaker or boot is key. Same for a jacket.

    Also, such a good point on designer goods. Sorry to hear your glasses were stolen! But its best to wear inexpensive finds instead of having a headache when they go missing!


    • Julia

      Yes exactly! I’ve also heard a girlfriend say that she can immediately tell if a guy has good style based on the shoes he’s wearing, so the same things goes for the tourists visiting 😀

      It’s alright, just another travel lesson learned :)

      Thanks for reading!!

  • La Travelera

    Good post although I would take the same things going to Paris than going to London :-)
    Kisses from Spain

  • templeofbeauty

    Great post and so spot on! :)

    xx Z&G

  • Thanks for sharing! I think I knew most of these, except wasn’t sure about going out at night to a club. Good to know to keep it relatively simple! I’m heading to Paris on Friday, can’t wait!

    • Julia

      Ohh so excited that you’re coming to visit, hope you enjoy your stay! If you need any nightlife tips let me know and I’ll be happy to provide! :) xx