What I’m Packing for Paris: November 2023 Edition
I’m headed to Paris next week for Thanksgiving, as are many Americans, so I thought a post on what I’m packing would be in order. But if you’re not going to Paris, you don’t need to check out and stop reading. I will also wear all of these outfits in NYC and they also work for any cold climate.
Everyone wants to know what women in Paris are wearing and it’s funny how many times people don’t believe me even when I post photos. I took all of the photos above over my two week trip last year. Late November and December in Paris can be very cold and damp. Last year, we had that wet cold that seeps into your bones. I’ve been on a trip over Thanksgiving before that had snow flurries so you definitely need to pack warm layers.
The cold weather look is a wool trouser that can be straight or wide leg with a sneaker or boot. They also pair a narrower pant or dark jean with a boot or a loafer with socks. Depending on the weather, coats are wool and knee length or longer. I did see shearling and some fur on the coldest days. The French do not like to be cold and dress for the weather and warmth.
You can wear whatever you want in Paris but many people want to look like a local so they don’t stand out as a target for pick pockets or other crime. I talk all about this and more in my Paris Guide.
For the plane, I’ll wear my Weekend Max Mara Double Faced Wool Coat. It’s heavier than usual double-faced wool and is a good coat to wear to museums. My coat is from last year and sold out but the closest one I’ve found is this Plaid Wool Blend Trench Coat that is currently on sale.
I wore a matching set on the plane last fall but then I never wore those pieces anywhere else on the trip. For this flight, I will wear a Fancy Cashmere Crewneck Sweater that is super soft and light so I don’t get overheated. Y’all love to think that I spend big money on everything I own and I can assure you that is not the case. I will wear a $6 Short Sleeve T-Shirt from Tar-jay under my sweater. I have them in white and black. They wash well and don’t shrink. I love them.
I refer to these pants as my Magical Travel Pants. They are a non-shiny ponte fabric that holds you in but has enough stretch to be comfortable for an eight hour flight. I can wear them to dinner and out in Paris later as well. Everyone who has bought them has loved them too.
I never go anywhere without a Heidi Wynne cashmere scarf. French people don’t like their neck to get cold because they think they’ll get sick so if you want to fit it, you need a scarf in Paris.
I’ll use my Khaite Osa Tote as my personal item but they usually let you slide with an extra crossbody bag for boarding along with your carryon suitcase. I always use a bright colored passport cover so I don’t lose my passport during security and boarding.
I’ll probably wear a pair of sneakers like my new Lanvin low-top sneakers to the airport so I don’t have to pack them.
Things I include in my bag are a Battery Case for iPhone 15 Pro Max, I find a charging case less annoying than an external charger you have to hold. They make them for older model iPhones too. I’ll take charging cord since there will be an outlet at my seat too. I also have Apple Air Tags in all my bags for peace of mind in case my bag doesn’t make the flight. But I get to the airport very early to make sure that it does.
I love this new Slip Lovely Lashes Contour Sleep Mask. It protects your eyelashes and allows room for your eyes to move in REM sleep too.
I bought the tweed bouclé Max Mara Atelier coat in Paris last year and I’ll take it on this trip since I’ll need a warmer coat too. It was only available in 13 stores worldwide so it makes it very special. The only coat that I could find that is somewhat similar is Oversized Belted Funnel Neck Bouclé Blanket Coat.
I bought this Ribbed Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater to have a more fitted and dressier option than the more casual and oversized Cos Chunky Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater. Last year, it was so cold that I had to buy Uniqlo HEATTECH Crew Neck Long-Sleeve T-Shirts to wear under my sweaters.
Speaking of Cos, I ordered this black Sequined Midi Skirt last week but Cos is having shipping delays. Not sure it will arrive before I leave which is a bummer but I will check to see if they have it in store in Paris. I’ll bring my Chanel Kitten Heel Mary Janes to wear with skirts and dresses with tights.
This is the same Weekend Max Mara coat above but since it’s sold out, I recommend the Plaid Wool Blend Trench Coat. Another similar option is this Giuliva Heritage Christie Houndstooth Belted Trench Coat
I thought I was going to have a low key two weeks in Paris but my schedule is filling up with events so now I have to pack more dressed up evening attire.
Luckily, I do have the Power Shoulder Merino Wool Maxi Dress that I had my tailor shorten to midi length. French women love patterned hosiery so I am packing SPANX Fashion Micro Dot Fishnet Tight-End Tights. I love my The Row Claudette Point Toe Flats because they have a little heel and can be worn with dresses and skirts when you don’t want to wear a heel.
I have a fancy dinner event as soon as I arrive so I’m packing the Nita Dress from Favorite Daughter. It’s the most flattering dress on every woman.
I’ll wear it with my Black Suede Chanel Kitten Heel Mary Janes (not online) and Chanel Jersey Double Flap Bag but the Saint Laurent Small Quilted Tweed Shoulder Bag is a similar option. I might look for this in Paris since it converts from a shoulder bag to a crossbody.
No self respecting Parisian woman would be caught dead with bare ankles or legs in cold weather. They are always wearing patterned tights, sheer black hoisery, or socks. I’m packing Reversible Grey/Black Tights, Micro Dot Fishnet Tights, Cashmere Socks, Merino Wool Knee Socks, and Black Tights.
I still need to narrow down my shoe options. I need to take out two pairs of sneakers and will probably not pack the brown boots or higher black boots. I’m sure I will buy shoes in Paris so I won’t need all of these but I am away for two weeks so I want to have options.
Sneakers top to bottom: Zespa Sneakers that are worn in and comfortable. I like them since they are ivory and not stark white but they don’t make this color anymore. The Chanel Sneakers are a little off white too and I removed the giant tag on the tongue since it was stark white. A similar option to both of these is M.Gemi Sneakers. The Lanvin low-top sneakers are new so maybe it’s not a good idea to take brand new shoes on a trip. I know The Row Sneakers are expensive but they are insanely comfortable so maybe I need to pack three pair of sneakers for walking around during the day.
Third row top to bottom: The Row Claudette Point Toe Flats which are great with trousers, skirts, and dresses, Manolo Blahnik Calfskin Lace-Up Booties which I found on the RealReal so they are already broken in and look just like the boots Parisian women wear with wool trousers. The Mock Croc Boots might not make the final cut.
I always pack this Pajama Set since the pieces are extremely soft and they have a little stretch so they keep their shape. I also pack this Hanro Cotton Deluxe Long Tank Gown in case the hotel room is too hot but it is also great if there is no robe. I often wear it when I blow dry my hair.
Getting a blow out every few days in London was one of the best things I did for myself but the salon was not even a five minute walk down the street. I might see if there is a salon close to my hotel or splurge on a blow out or two at David Mallet. I have a ton of salons for all types of services in my Paris Guide too.
Since I get asked this question on every trip, I own Hartmann Luggage. I have the Tweed Carryon Bag (which is on sale right now) and a extremely lightweight hard-sided checked bag that they no longer make. They keep changing the styles which drives me crazy but I still love Hartmann. It’s very old school IYKYK. I was once one of three people in the Nantucket airport with Tweed Luggage which I thought was funny and sums up the demographic.
If I were to buy new luggage today, I would choose Paravel. Their Aviator Grand Checked Luggage Bag is the most similar to the Hartmann bag that I check on long trips. They are also having a sale now.
I’ll use my Khaite Osa Tote as my carry on personal item but if you need a tote for travel, you can’t go wrong with any bag from Rue de Verneuil. I like the Large Traversée Bag with the striped straps.
It’s hard to find quiet luxury at reasonable prices which is why I love this Nubuck Leather Tote in Camel and Brown. It’s actually a men’s bag so if the man in your life needs a carry on bag, you can suggest this to him or just keep it to yourself.
We can’t go anywhere without all our tech accessories.
There is nothing worse than losing an AirPod in the seat on the train or plane which is why I love this Tapper 18K Gold Plated Rope Chain for AirPods and AirPods Pro. If you happen to be headed to Paris too, I have a Chic in Paris Spotify Playlist to get you in the mood as well as many others. I just posted my Winter Playlist for hibernating at home.
They charged the charging port on the the new phone so I also had to order all new charging cords. I take a five pack of nylon cord cables in varying lengths when I travel in case the outlet is far from the bed.
If you still have an older model phone, you can order the other set of charging cords. Just make sure you check which one you need before ordering and before you pack any for a trip.
I tuck an Apple Air Tags into all of my suitcases and my handbags when I travel for peace of mind.
I love the Balios Umbrellas with their rosewood handles and always pack one in my tote. When I go out with a smaller bag, I tuck the Compact Travel Umbrella into my bag. This is more of an emergency umbrella and not one you can use to walk for miles in the rain. It fits in my Celine Crossbody Bag and my Hermès Kelly Retourne 32 so I am always prepared for possible wet weather.
I always keep a set of filled travel sized toiletries in my suitcase at all times. But since I change my skincare often, I have to decant them into new containers. I ordered the Wide Mouth Clear Jars in 2 oz. size for my face masks that I love to use while traveling and the Wide Mouth Jars in 1oz. for face creams.
The gold tube in the middle of the top row is a Travel Refillable Perfume Atomizer. The directions explain how you fill it but you take the atomizer cap part off the top of your perfume and fill the container from the bottom on the top of the spray bottle. They come in different colors so you can use them for different scents to tell them apart. I bought it for my new Fueguia 1833 Gabriela Hearts Paysandu Eau de Parfum that I love but the top is too large for it. Lucky, it does work with my Molecule 01 perfume. I love having perfume in my bag at all times in case you get a stinky taxi or someone next you doesn’t smell fresh.
The gold on these travel containers is a little nicer than the usual white plastic caps.
I never travel in the winter without HotHands Hand Warmers to tuck into my coat pockets. I also love Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier to keep hydrated while traveling since no one ever drinks enough water on a trip.
Hope this helps you figure out what to pack on your next trip!