inspiration outfits travel

Packing list: Paris in the fall

October 30, 2017

I’ve been so excited about going to Paris that I’ve basically been planning my packing list for two months.  I thankfully found some awesome resources around the web that I’ll share below, and my Fall 10×10 made for a great “packing light” template experiment.  While we don’t have anything super fancy planned, a lot of things I read recommended going all-neutral (heavy on black), and leaning toward the formal side, as many Parisians dress in what we would call “business casual” on the regular.  What was especially fun was picking out pieces that I sometimes feel are a little too dressy for my life in LA, but of course I’m also concerned about comfort.  We’ll be there for 9 days in early November (and we’re expecting cold and rainy weather), but this list would also easily work for a longer trip.


Paris packing list inspiration

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

As usual, I’m opting for a casual and practical vibe, but also hoping to look a bit more pulled together than usual–basically, it’s all about the overcoat.  Neutral staples round out the list.

The apartment we’re renting has a washer/dryer, but I’ve learned never to rely on it working while we’re there, so I have plenty of options.



Packing list: Paris in the fall

OVERSIZE COAT – H&M, old (similar, responsibly made; similar, made from recycled wool) //  While this H&M coat wasn’t one of my most ethical purchases, I’ve had it for a few years now and still really like how it looks on.  It’s not the warmest, so I’ve debated a lot about whether it would be better to bring my leather jacket, but this seems more versatile for dressier occasions.

CARDIGAN/TURTLENECK SWEATER Vetta //  I’d been watching for the release of this sweater since Andrea teased it here, because it seems like such a genius travel piece.  It can be worn as a turtleneck, a crew neck, and a cardigan, and I love it all of these ways.

CHUNKY TURTLENECKZady, organic and sustainably made //  This is my warmest, coziest sweater, so despite how much space it takes up, I knew I wanted to include it.  I think I’ll probably layer it for the plane ride so I don’t have to lug it around in my bag.

STRIPED TEEEverlane, responsibly made //  Stripes are a cliché for France, but so classic.  This tee is a nice heavyweight material and neutral enough to go with anything else I bring.  It can be layered under sweaters or over other tops for extra warmth.

RAIN JACKET – RAINS, responsibly made //  This is more of a light waterproof shell than a coat, so it’ll have to be worn with warm pieces, but it’s so light and thin that it’s super easy to pack.

TRAVEL TOTEEverlane, responsibly made //  I purchased this bag specifically for the trip, but with the idea of using it for work in the future.  I wanted something more purse-like than a backpack to keep snacks and entertainment handy on the plane, as well as a picnic tote that I can keep with me around the city.

MINI PURSEBaggu, made in USA //  I’m not totally sure if I’ll need this, but it’s small enough that I’ll take it along just in case.

HIGH NECK BLOUSE – H&M Conscious, old (similar made in USA) //  A white blouse is classic, and it’ll dress up anything I pair it with.

WHITE TEE(S)Everlane, made responsibly //  I’m bringing a couple plain white tees for layering under sweaters, which will make repeating tops a bit more comfortable, in case we aren’t able to wash clothes while there.

SILK TOPEverlane, old (other colors, made responsibly) //  Silk seems like another no-brainer for Paris, and it’s warm.  It’s my one pop of color.  I also love that it’s thin enough to seamlessly tuck into my wide leg pants.

RIB KNIT DRESSEverlane, made responsibly //  I feel so great in this dress that I wanted to bring it for a potential romantic date night.  I’m not sure how much I’ll want to brave bare legs, but I’m also packing some stockings, and I could bundle up with sweaters and scarves.

BLACK LEGGINGSGirlfriend, fair trade + eco-friendly //  I originally was planning to take my pair of ponte pants, because I hate the idea of feeling like a bum in leggings in Paris.  BUT.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized this is the more practical option, especially if I need an extra set of PJ pants or want to do a bit of yoga.  I plan to wear them on the plane, but I’ll avoid wearing them out and about.

LUCIA PANTEsby Apparel, sustainably made //  These are my favorite fall pants, and a nice alternative to jeans.  They’re not the warmest pants, but I can always layer my leggings (or stockings) underneath them.

WEDGIE JEANSLevi’s WaterLess, made of USA denim with water-saving efforts //  These are shockingly comfortable for jeans, and they hold their shape well, so I know they’ll make a great travel piece.

PAJAMASEberjey, old (similar made in USA) //  I actually also have the second PJ set I linked to, and may bring both if I have room.  I love the idea of using a slouchy pajama top as a shirt, for extra outfit options.  I also have this silk sleep mask and love it.

SCARF – Nordstrom, old (similar made responsibly) //  A black scarf seems very classic, and I don’t get the chance to wear this much at home.  It folds up nice and small for compact packing.

BANDANAOnly Child, made sustainably //  I love this bandana, which raises money for the NAACP, and this gorgeous rust color goes with everything else I’m bringing.  A bandana is such a tiny, easy accessory to bring on a trip.

BEANIEBridge + Burn, made in USA //  This is my go-to beanie, a little itchy but warm.

GLOVESEverlane, old //  I picked up some wool gloves when I thought we’d be going to the snow one time, and I’m glad I have them now!

CHELSEA BOOTS – Loeffler Randall, old (similar made in Italy) //  I’m going to waterproof these really well before leaving.  They’re pretty well broken in by now, but I know they might not be the most comfy option for walking all day, so I may also look into some Dr. Scholl’s inserts.

HIGH TOPSConverse //  I debated a lot between bringing these and my Vejas, determined to stick to a 2-shoe rule.  On one hand, the French leather sneaks seem like the obvious choice, and would probably be warmer (although would bare ankles).  But ultimately, comfort won out, especially since I know these will be a much needed break between boot wears.  I would normally link to a more “ethical” alternative, but I don’t know of anything comparable in terms of comfort.  The Chuck II really is awesome for all-day wear.

TOILETRIES //  I really hate bringing a curling iron, because I hardly do my hair even at home, but it’s so disheartening to feel like your hair sucks and you have no way to fix it when you’re totally out of your element, so it’ll probably come with.  I have this adapter, which is pretty overpriced.  I will share my toiletries list here tomorrow, because that’s always challenging to put together with the liquid constraints of a carry-on.

BOOK //  We’re planning to spend a lot of time walking around and exploring the city, and I know we’ll want to do a lot of reading.  I have my kindle app stocked up with books (including the very lengthy It), but I’ll allow myself one hard copy to take along.  A friend loaned me this wonderful Paris guidebook.

COLLAPSIBLE WATER BOTTLEVapur, made in USA //  Since water is often more expensive than wine at European restaurants, I figure it can’t hurt to carry a refillable water bottle.  (Tap is safe to drink in France.)

MINI UMBRELLADavek //  A compact umbrella with stellar reviews, for staying dry.

NECK PILLOWComfy Commuter, made in USA //  This is the best neck pillow, because it keeps your head from nodding forward on a plane.  I’ll probably shove it into my travel tote during the flight (or hook it onto the outside), so it doesn’t take up space in my carry-on bag.

Not pictured:  socks + undies, necklace, pills, inhaler, phone charger, outlet adapter, and my glasses.  That’s really it!

LUGGAGE //  I use this weekender bag, and while I dream of something sleeker like this, my bag really does work well, especially for trips that might involve bumpy streets or smaller planes that would require gate-checking roller bags.  My weight limit for this trip was about 22 lbs (Norwegian Air), and I weighed this load during a practice pack (minus my travel outfit) to make sure I was in the ballpark, coming out just below 19 lbs.  I managed to get all clothes (including underthings, socks, accessories, etc.) in this packing cube bag.


Here are some quick outfit ideas I threw together just as a proof of concept that this would be more than enough.  I wanted a lot of good strolling-around options, as well as a couple that could take me to nicer dinners.

Paris packing list outfit ideas

Paris packing list outfit ideas


And here are some other wonderful cold-weather (light packing) Paris packing lists to draw inspiration from:

Stay tuned for a men’s packing list later this week.  Any last Paris advice??
UPDATE:  Check out my packing recap to see how all this worked out!

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  • Reply Deb October 30, 2017 at 7:04 PM

    I have traveled to Europe on and off over the last 12 years and I recommend getting a Euro plug compatible curling iron in Paris, especially if you plan to travel to Europe again. (Converters don’t always fit well in Parisian sockets. I had many failed attempts in hotels and had bad hair in all my vacation pictures, which is the worst.) They aren’t too expensive and you can find them in most French pharmacies around the city. I bought one for Europe (and another for England) and they were worth it! My recommendation is chocolate from Debauve & Gallais in the Left Bank. I believe it was where Marie Antoinette got her chocolate in 1779:).

    • Reply Lo October 31, 2017 at 10:28 AM

      Thanks for the tip! Maybe I’ll risk it and see if I can go without, and then I can always pick one up if needed. And thank you for the chocolate rec! Can’t wait to indulge. <3

  • Reply Abigail October 31, 2017 at 7:28 AM

    This is so well-done and put together! I really love reading these kinds of travel packing lists and especially seeing your thought process behind choosing each piece.

    • Reply Lo October 31, 2017 at 10:30 AM

      Thank you! My husband makes fun of me because he thinks I’m so obsessive, but it’s really part of the fun of a trip for me. I hope it all works out well!

  • Reply Andrea H November 4, 2017 at 10:59 AM

    I loved reading over your picks. I find it challenging to be dressy and still practical while traveling, and it looks like you will have no problem with that! I like your inspo board too. Excited for your trip! I hope you will share photos and outfits along the way!

    • Reply Lo November 6, 2017 at 2:24 PM

      Thank you! I’m hoping to on insta stories if we can manage it!

  • Reply the Weekly Rundown: Everlane's Puffers + Packing for Paris - Seasons + Salt November 5, 2017 at 10:12 PM

    […] I was flying to Las Vegas last week I poured over LO’s Paris packing list. I’m really tickled by her inspiration board and outfit […]

  • Reply Shelbi November 6, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    You’re so organized and I love all your choices. I feel like Italians dress pretty business casual as well just on a normal day for running errands. Everyone always looks so put together even on a normal day of running errands. Great post!

    • Reply Lo November 6, 2017 at 2:24 PM

      Thanks, Shelbi! It’ll be fun to step it up a notch.

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