What to Pack For...Paris

The essentials you'll need on your next trip according to our resident packing expert.

Ah, Paris. The land of crispy baguettes, decadent cheese, copious amounts of wine—and a culture that has sophistication built into its DNA. French women have been the envy of American women since Abigail Adams accompanied John, and with good reason. We're desperate to mimic the nuances of their skincare routines (#pharmacybeauty), their diet (what diet?), and, perhaps most of all, their style.

So what does one pack for a city that's synonymous with sartorial supremacy? I'd recommend channeling your inner French girl, because, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

A Cool Girl Cap

Hat Attack Emmy Wool Cap 

Because a beret would be tré obvious, go for a cadet-style cap instead. Paris is the perfect place to experiment with a trend you might otherwise be hesitant about—plus, it's a fool-proof solution for a bad hair day. Post up at Café de Flore, which is arguably the city's most renowned coffeehouse,and don't leave without ordering a ham and cheese omelette. Basic, yes, but also mind-blowingly delicious. Trust me.

A Classic Leather Bag

Chanel Jumbo 2.55 Shoulder Bag, What Goes Around Comes Around
SHOP NOW $5,500

It would be virtually sacrilege to pack for Paris without paying homage to the city's grande dame, Coco Chanel. The famed French fashion house's classic 2.55 bag is both chic and utilitarian—the chain can be worn on the shoulder or as a crossbody, which is ideal for a day of shopping. Head to Didier Ludot and Thanx God for an amazing selection of vintage designer pieces.

Low Maintenance Makeup

La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation 

Here's the thing about French women: they never want to appear as though they're trying too hard. Pare down your own routine with one product that does the work of three, like La Prairie's new cushion compact.It's hydrating enough to replace your morning skincare, and the silky consistency gives you that coveted "no makeup makeup" look.Not to mention, it's made with caviarwater, dahling! Beauty junkies should anticipate going broke in Paris—the pharmacies are all to die for, but City Pharma in Saint-Germain is among the best.


A Printed Wrap Dress

Rebecca Vallance Wrap Mini Dress

While it's true that the color black reigns supreme here, red is a close second. Add a pop of color to your otherwise monochromatic travel uniform with a fun printed wrap dress (you're on vacation, after all). During the day, you'll want to prance around the Champs-Élysées in a cute pair of white kicks or penny loafers; by night, swap your flat footwear for nude pumps. Be sure to make dinner reservations at Hôtel Costes and L'Avenue, two of the city's consistently buzzy mainstays.

A Breton Striped Shirt

Kule The Classic Striped Shirt

It's no surprise that we so closely associate the Breton striped shirt with Parisian fashion. The style was first introduced in the mid-1800s as a uniform for the French navy, and thanks to a little help from Coco Chanel—who launched a nautical collection inspired by the stripes in 1917—it has since become a street style wardrobe staple. Tuck it into your favorite black skinny jeans, throw on a leather motorcycle jacket, and you might just be mistaken for an "it" girl.

Lindsay Silberman is Town & Country's jetsetting Deputy Digital Editor. She chronicles her travels for T&C and on Instagram, where she's created a community of more than 120,000 followers. With 56 countries under her belt, Lindsay has mastered the art of efficient packing and she's eager to share her secrets. Have a packing or travel question? Send her a DM!

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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