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.
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.
PARIS PACKING LIST
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 TURTLENECK – Zady, 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 TEE – Everlane, 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 TOTE – Everlane, 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 PURSE – Baggu, 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 TOP – Everlane, 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 DRESS – Everlane, 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 LEGGINGS – Girlfriend, 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 PANT – Esby 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 JEANS – Levi’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.
PAJAMAS – Eberjey, 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.
BANDANA – Only 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.
BEANIE – Bridge + Burn, made in USA // This is my go-to beanie, a little itchy but warm.
GLOVES – Everlane, 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 TOPS – Converse // 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 BOTTLE – Vapur, 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 UMBRELLA – Davek // A compact umbrella with stellar reviews, for staying dry.
NECK PILLOW – Comfy 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.
And here are some other wonderful cold-weather (light packing) Paris packing lists to draw inspiration from:
- The Thoughtful Closet: Paris Packing List
- Live Love Sara: What to Pack for Bordeaux and Paris (14 Days) + 20 Outfit Ideas
- The Wherever Writer: What to Wear in Paris for Winter and Fall
- Hej Doll: Packing for Winter in Paris and Pack for Paris, in the Fall
- Oh Happy Day: How to Pack for Paris in the Winter With Just a Carry-on Bag