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English Muse: Help!! What should I pack for Paris?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Help!! What should I pack for Paris?


I'm trying to pack and everything seems so wrong....I've been studying all of Joanna Goddard's How to Dress Like a French Woman posts to prepare. But still I'm worried. I live in Los Angeles where people wear flip-flops all year long...My darling fashionista friends, what should I pack?

(photo via we heart it)



Blogger Belle Vie said...

In October, I wore trousers, kitten heels, skinny jeans with boots or ballet flats. Comfortable shoes are key if you plan to walk a lot, which we did. I purchased a pair of low heel Cole Haan boots that were wonderful ~ very comfortable! I would pack a nice, but not too dressy, coat for daytime, and scarves also. I wore dresses and heels in the evenings for dinner. You will want to pack a nice topper or evening coat.
I saw many parisian women wearing jeans, skirts with tights and boots ~ not too dressy.

January 17, 2010 at 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pack very little and SHOP SHOP SHOP while you are there!

January 17, 2010 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Dianna said...


January 17, 2010 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger That Gal Kiki said...

Jeans, Jacket, Heels, Flats, Make up, Undies, Little Black Dress. :)

January 17, 2010 at 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Rita said...

Scarves, and more scarves. Ballet flats, a leather jacket, skinny jeans and perfume. Voila!

January 17, 2010 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger WrightStuff said...

Under-stated chic, a flirty smile and thermal undies - do you have any idea how cold it is in Europe at the moment?? Never mind the kitten heels, Ugg boots might be a better bet! Have a wonderful time. Bon voyage.

January 17, 2010 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Bronwyn Opland said...

Paris can be freezing at this time of year! Especially as they had snow the other week I think. I would pack an essential cashmere jumper or cardigan to fend of the cold and look chic. I would also pack comfortable shoes if you're going to do a lot of walking, which you should because the best way to see a city is on foot!

January 17, 2010 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger vanessa joie said...

Me! Take me with you!

I would bring several pashminas or fun scarves to keep you warm and stylish.

But really, take me too.

January 17, 2010 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Lucy in the Sky said...

I went to Paris in 2008, when tassled houndstooth scarves were very in, but then got annoying once they migrated to America. make sure you bring a nice warm coat! I was over there in April, and it was still freezing!

January 17, 2010 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Breenuh said...

I want to reinforce the comment that IT WILL BE FREEZING! Last year in December I wore a sweater and a coat and boots and was chilly. Layer!!! My suggestion is long sleeved tops (particularly navy, black, gray, even red--stripey? why not) with a cashmere cardigan over. and then a jacket. and scarves/pashminas. if you wear flat wear them with socks or at least nylon knee-highs.

Aside from that, have a lovely time! Paris is, of course, fantastic and you'll adore it!

January 17, 2010 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Suzi@CollierWest said...

I leave on Thursday and am having the same struggle. I was there last December and opted for uber chic outerwear and regretted it with every frozen step. This time I am taking the warm boots and parka. I intend to utilize great black eyeliner as my accessory, as that may be the only visible part of my ensemble. My color story is always navy with black, and touches of grey. Will also be packing slim pants, turtlenecks and dresses, but will doll up with avant garde accessories. Enjoy your time! I am intending to blog a bit about the trip too, so let's stay in cyber touch. or
Suzi West

January 17, 2010 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Alina said...

beautiful scarfs, comfortable heels and a trench coat :)

best! have a great trip

January 17, 2010 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

I love Paris!!! I would say the key to seeing the city is by walking thus, a pair of comfy yet stylish walking shoes are a must... comfort is key!!! Have an amazing trip and make sure to grab a Nutella Crepe... my ultimate snack!! Bon Voyage!!! xo

January 17, 2010 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger nath said...

oh, it'll be cold, so i'd say layers are key. a warm coat, a fetching hat, a capacious bag, skinny jeans, beautiful boots, gloves! and a bit of cashmere (got any silk thermals? i have and i now swear by them, so thin but oh so warm). and a fancy dress for dinners out. as long as you're warm, i figure you'll have an amazing time.

January 17, 2010 at 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah, lucky duck! i wanted to go to paris sooo bad this summer, but i don't think it'll happen :(
take lots and lots of pictures so that i can live vicariously through you.

January 17, 2010 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger TheBeautyFile said...

I'm ashamed to say I've never been to Paris, but you can't go wrong with the following essentials: a fabulous wintry peacoat, a few beautiful scarves, high boots for warmth and one stylish large leather bag. Perhaps one pair of chandelier earrings for a dressier evening out, paired with almost anything to add shimmer. I know you will have an amazing time! Check for my guest posts at Daydream Lily this week!! Xo

January 17, 2010 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Giulia said...

Just spoke to friend there. It's quite cold (re-read beg. of Moveable Feast for poetic description). People aren't as dressy as others think; they're just more pulled together.

First, the winter sales are going through, 28 Feb (I think).

Like everyone says: layers. I think you ought to make a list of what you don't have & buy most there if possible. I always have (though it's usually Rome--also cold): black tights, really high denier; flat boots with lining; gray cashmere cardigan; same in v-neck/tunic pullover & belt to wear as tunic over jeans or leggings; black turtlenecks (two); one in red or blue; silk long underwear (at Nordstrom); wool cape; a scarf so long you wouldn't believe it. But buy one of those in Paris. If going this year, I would buy a good winter coat or jacket at the sales.

Journal, long gloves, as long as possible, my Waterman fountain pen, printout of labels (yes, yes I do) of addresses to send postcards. It's nice to sit at the cafe & write them. Even nicer not to worry about addressing all of them.

A sense of humor. You may need it for the plane trip:)

January 17, 2010 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Giulia said...

I must stress, good Lord, do not wear Uggs. (Sorry people.) I doubt you would but...

January 17, 2010 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Daydream Lily said...

oh I would totally fit in at LA. I love warm weather and flip flops.

hmm what to pack, layers..maybe a nice coat...I always picture beautiful coats and Paris together. and a nice scarf. oo your so luck to go to Paris. Have fun dear!!

January 17, 2010 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Kate Kelleher Blue Sky Butterfly Studio said...

a smile

January 17, 2010 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Polly R said...

I live in London which is pretty near and it's very cold at the moment! So wrap up warm with loads of layers - a coat, scarf, hat and gloves. And some nice boots. Pack skinny jeans, a nice woolley day dress, thick tights and jumpers. And a nice dress for going out! Have fun! (I am so jealous) xx

January 17, 2010 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Mlle Paradis said...

I'm with - is it Polly? - it can be so cold over there, noone will ever see what you're wearing under. All you REALLY need is dark pants many sweaters and a really great coat and hat. AND NO UGGS!

January 17, 2010 at 3:21 PM  

Layering & mixable pieces...knits-knits-knits darling, most important your camera/iphone! cos' I'm excited to see your images through your tasteful eyes~~

January 17, 2010 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Carina said...

Thick black glasses (or glasses frames if you are one of the lucky people to not be blind), red lipstick and sexy lingerie. the rest is trivial

January 17, 2010 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Easy and Elegant Life said...

Thick black tights. Short skirt. Boots. Jeans. Cashmere sweater. One good dress (knit?) Scarf. Topcoat. Search the Sartorialist for a good idea. It's been awhile, but rarely did I see anyone very dressed outside of a good restaurant. Casual chic is the idea.

January 17, 2010 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Ciara said...

I live in Ireland, and I'm just back from Madrid, and I can say, in general, Europe at the moment is COLD! Not as cold as the last few weeks which were snowy and icy, but still pretty cold. Though if the sun shines it will be very nice. I've only been to Paris in the summer, and yes they are very stylish, but also very casual.

Whatever. You will LOVE it. LOVELOVELOVE IT!

Have a ball!

January 17, 2010 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Simply Luxurious said...

Not too much, more reason to shop, but I agree it will be cold, so pack all of the fabulous layering pieces - scarves, hats, cardigans, and have a wonderful time!

January 17, 2010 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

i love the idea of silk thermals...i wonder where i can find those in LA!

January 17, 2010 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Scarves and comfortable shoes!!!

January 17, 2010 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger alanna said...

the most comfortable shoes you own! i also found that i started to dress up more then usual on a day to day basis...also, maybe look at french brands to see what people are wearing?!

i hope you have lots and lots of fun in paris! when i lived there i found parts of myself i never knew. i hope you find the same!

January 17, 2010 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger The Owl Diary said...

hmm. i've been to paris & i still don't know what to recommend for you to pack. advice: do not, do not pack flipflops. you'll stick out like a soar thumb. everyone in paris dresses so fantastic that i felt so dull in my jeans. although, dark skinny jeans seemed to be quite popular. and leather jackets. and all dark colors. and lots and lots of layers. and sunshades. xx

January 17, 2010 at 8:01 PM  
Blogger Adriana said...

A great pair of skinny jeans should be a staple, your best trench, lovely boots, nautical striped long sleeved skivys, hats, and accessoreis (scarves, sunnies, gloves) ohh a nice pair of coloured leather gloves, j'adore!..How exciting Tina!

January 17, 2010 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger leilani.e said...

It's quite cold here now, and in the past few weeks has switched between bright days rainy slushy days and the occaisional snowy day. Bring a wool coat, or something with similar warmth - a trench will not cut it unless you pack lots of sweaters to layer. Either way could work.

Bring scarves or hit up les puces for some cheap ones at 3 -4 euro (hit up les puces anyway if you get a chance, so lovely!). First few months after I got here I felt practically naked for not wearing a scarf...

Also make sure you have at least one pair of boots or such that's waterproof - puddles plus cold equals misery. Paris usually isn't too terrible for this but it's good to be prepared.

Besides that bring whatever's the best in your closet. If there's a lovely little floral LA dress that makes you feel amazing, bring it and layer a sweater+coat+tights with it. Anything that will make you feel well dressed!

Besides, the lumberjack, layered look with lots of different textures is still chic right now - you wouldn't believe the hiking stores that have popped up in Paris!

January 18, 2010 at 1:09 AM  
Anonymous skac said...

Don't forget your cashmere scarf, if you own one, if not go to Eric Bompard, it is sales right now !
Also don't forget your umbrella and some fancy shoes and accessories if you intend to go out. I am sure you'll do fine anyway ! If ever you need some adresses while there, please feel free to ask ! Have fun

January 18, 2010 at 2:47 AM  
Blogger Sabine said...

Black, black, black (and a bit of white) - i.e. good basics - all the rest you can get in Paris... Sabine x
P.S. A coat and gloves might come handy.

January 18, 2010 at 3:27 AM  
Anonymous Benedicte said...

Today, I am wearing a romantic blouse, with a very light jumper, slims jeans, flats and ....I am freezing, here, in Paris. Be careful, the weather is horrible since 2 months here, cold, rain, snow ...

January 18, 2010 at 4:42 AM  
Blogger Li ♥ said...

Hopefully "murphy" doesn't pay you a visit & you pack all the wrong things! Like I did! Can't go wrong with a good coat (which you can go with hand luggage - more space in the suitcase) & layers - you can always remove or add according to the weather! Definitely comfortable, waterproof boots/shoes & if you do have extra cash to spend go SHOPPING! I was there in 2006 with an 18mth old & can't wait to go back "without children"! Busy saving! Explore! Explore! Explore! Go safe & have an absolutely fabulous time!

January 18, 2010 at 5:29 AM  
Blogger Bo said...

Hi girl!

Well, everyone's said it before, but I'm gonna repeat again:
It frickin cold out here!

But... what you have to pack:
- boots, brown/black/grey/dark colour
- black tights
- overknee socks (dark/white/with dots) to see above your boots
- trenchcoat (black/grey/white/red)
- long cardigan
- skinny jeans
- woolen scarf (coloured red or something - very long!) & gloves
- coloured dress
- an amazing, (fake-)leathern, huge, coloured bag
(wear it like Blair Waldorf)
- a headband, if you don't like your hair untied
- mascara & eyeliner

If you don't wanna look like a tourist than don't pack
- hoodies
- Uggs
- sport shoes
- rainjacket in awful colour

remember: for now everything here is knitted and black... :)
black is always good.
have fun honey, and feel French!

(and that doesn't have to be in the bad "I'm-skinny-cause-all-I-consume-is-coffee-and-cigarettes" way! eat lots and lots fruit instead! And don't forget to visit Quatier Latin... it's like Trastevere in Rome.)

January 18, 2010 at 5:40 AM  
Blogger La chica said...

As a spanish, we never ever wear flip flops at the streets, but I am sure you are really stylish. Enyoy the trip!!

January 18, 2010 at 5:48 AM  
Anonymous Linnea said...

pack fluffy, frilly underwear
and high-waisted skirts and thin dresses
and knitted tights, they will keep you warm and pretty!
and black boots ;)

January 18, 2010 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Phoenix said...

black tights, black boots, striped sweaters, colorful scarves, and very pretty dresses :)

Safe travels, English Muse!

January 18, 2010 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

How to dress like a French woman....for some reason that conjures images of Audrey Hepburn in my mind, even though she is not French!! Maybe it's just that simple sophistication.
Can't wait to see what you come up with!!

January 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger FairyFaye said...

Wow, such a gorgeous blog! <3
xo Rowena

January 21, 2010 at 2:52 AM  

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