what to pack for paris in the winter - capsule wardrobe

What to Pack for Paris in the Winter

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Paris in the winter is absolutely beautiful, but definitely chilly. Because winter often means heavier clothing, it can make packing light feel that much more challenging. In this post, I’m going to share how I pack for a week in Paris during the winter when I’m using a medium-size suitcase.

The Winter Essentials

Of course in every packed bag, you’ve got to have your basic cosmetics, skincare, dental care, undergarments, socks, and pajamas. I won’t mention these beyond this as they’re not the real intention behind the packing inspiration for this post.

What I will say, however, is that I tend to pack warm pajamas and at least 1 pair of underwear per day, plus a couple of extra in my handbag/carry-on item just in case of delayed baggage.

I’m also never without hand sanitizer and am utterly obsessed with these Klorane eye patches, which I wear for the first few mornings of my trip (it really helps de-puff and fight the jet lagged look!).

Packing Essentials
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It’s smart to also pack one set (of 2 total) pajamas and a small cosmetic/personal items kit in your carry-on too. These days, flying can be a mess and it’s not uncommon for baggage to be delayed with international flights.

The other couple of items that I pack and wear but I haven’t shown in the outfits below are a knit beanie and a pair of leather gloves.

I pack all of my items in packing cubes to help keep things tightly packed, neat, and organized!

What to Pack for a Winter Getaway

So, for a week-long trip to Paris in the winter, I plan for 6 outfits (1 for each day) + 1 outfit for airport travel. I’ve usually got the following planned:

Outfits for a week in Paris during the winter
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  • 1 long, wool, black coat
  • 1 pair of black ponte leggings
  • 1 pair of thick, black, wide-leg slacks
  • 1 neutral knit skirt
  • 1 neutral sweater dress
  • 4 neutral colored sweaters
  • 1 knit loungewear set (for travel days)
  • 1 pair of stylish sneakers (for travel days and as backup during the trip)
  • 1 pair of lug boots
  • 1 pair of knee high boots
  • 1 crossbody bag
  • 1 tote bag (used as a personal handbag/carry-on)
  • 1 medium size suitcase
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 belt
  • 1 pair of statement gold earrings

and like I mentioned, a pair of gloves and a beanie when I need them.

When flying international, I like to keep it casual and comfortable, but still look put together. I do not understand why anyone would show up in mismatched sweats or, worse, pajamas when there are so many chic and affordable loungewear sets.

Some of my favorites come from the Gap. Just know that their pieces tend to run large, so it’s best to size down. Here’s what a flying day outfit would look like:

Travel day outfit

To save room in my suitcase, I usually wear my heavy coat and then carefully fold it and tuck it away in the overhead compartment of the plane. The good thing about international flights is that you’re often given a blanket on the plane, so you won’t have to worry about wearing an extra layer to stay warm (I’m always so cold on planes!).

The tote bag is also helpful because I don’t always bring a carry-on and use the tote bag as my version of a lighter carry-on. I usually put a toothbrush, a small pouch with make-up essentials like lipstick, mascara, and concealer, and then 1 set of pjs and some underwear for emergency cases.

If you fly business class, you’re usually given a great little pouch with some of these essentials (aka toothbrush and skincare).

For the days that I actually spend in Paris, I definitely put away the loungewear. This isn’t considered appropriate in France, and I’m more than happy to wear some more elevated pieces as I explore the city.

That said, something you have to know about Paris is that it is the city for walking. You’ll often find yourself walking 20,000 steps a day, from one point in the city to another, stopping at cafes along the way, or grabbing dinner at the end of the day without making a stop at your hotel.

This is often how it goes during the retreats I host, so trust me, I know a thing or two about packing smart for Paris!

That’s why you want to wear clothes that are chic and presentable, but still comfortable and cozy.

The outfits I’ve shared here can easily be worn out to dinner at a restaurant or brasserie in Paris, and yet they’re also casual enough to be worn sitting on a park bench in the middle of the Tuileries garden, having a cup of chocolat chaud.

You’ll also notice that I mix and match some of the items here, which is why neutrals are so important. Not only is it the preferred Parisian color scheme, but it makes it so much easier to mix outfit pieces together and keep your packing light.

Because Paris is a city for walking and you’ll be getting plenty of steps in, it’s best to leave any heels at home. Instead, opt for comfortable boots in the winter, and keep those stylish sneakers on hand should your feet be desperate for them by day 3!

Oh, and don’t forget your umbrella! You always need one in Paris!

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