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Wondering what to pack for France? Follow this simple packing list for a stress-free guide for trips between Paris and the Riviera. If you’re only going to Paris, read this ten step packing guide!
What to Pack for France
Written By: Niki Landry
Planning what to pack for France can at first seem intimidating, with Paris being a world fashion capital, the opulent castles in France and the Cote d’Azur a popular destination of the rich and famous.
The truth is that it doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can pack a stylish capsule wardrobe fit for France the same way you would for any trip. Look to the locals for guidance, evaluate typical weather, and let your itinerary lead you in your clothing choices and needs.
I’ve put together a packing list suitable for a typical spring or summer French vacation, taking you from Paris to the Riviera and everywhere in between.
The key to packing for France is to keep your wardrobe classic and minimal, with a touch of laid-back style. I chose a palette of black, blue, pale pink, and white for the majority of the clothing items. With this set of 10 pieces, plus the jacket, swimsuit, and scarf, you can mix and match to create an outfit for any activity.
Use slim packing cubes to save space in your suitcase and travel carry-on only.
Linen-Blend Skirt / Denim Short / Black Jean Legging
When creating a packing list, I always start with the bottoms. I like to combine a mixture of lengths, colors, and materials appropriate for the destination. I also stick to basic shapes and styles that can coordinate with the most number of tops.
For this trip, a black pair of skinny jeans, shorts at a modest length, and a casual skirt is all you would need. You can dress them up or down depending on the top and shoes chosen.
In addition to these bottoms, I added a gray jumpsuit with a tie waist. Pair it with the espadrilles and jacket on long travel days, or the black flats and scarf for a comfortable sightseeing outfit.
Peasant Top / Lace Yoke Tee / Pintuck Flutter-Sleeve Top / Linen T Shirt
I selected four tops to be used interchangeably with the bottoms described above. A classic stripe tee is the perfect addition to a French travel wardrobe, and makes for a effortless outfit paired with the jeans and black flats. I normally use the tops to introduce pattern and color. The lace yoke, soft pink, and paisley pattern are all little details to upgrade the travel outfits, and keep them from being too boring.
Once you get to the South of France, you can wear the white off-the-shoulder top with the denim shorts to create an on-trend swimsuit cover up.
Speaking of swimwear, the gingham one piece above is super chic and would look right at home on the Riviera. You could even wear it with the black skirt to create another stylish outfit, and toss on the jacket if you would like extra coverage.
I’ve selected two solid color dresses for this packing list, with hem or eyelet details to make them a little more special. Dresses tend to be less versatile than skirts, but it’s just so easy to throw one on and run out the door that I love to bring them along.
The white number is perfect for summer and is especially nice for dressier occasions. The shirtdress is a travel staple and the classic shape can be worn in every city for an easy to style outfit.
Denim Jacket / Jumpsuit / Swimsuit / Scarf / Bag / Flats / Espadrilles / Sandals
The affordable, structured bag is nice to keep all of your travel essentials close at hand, and will look great paired with every outfit. To liven up solid clothing items or keep warm at night, I’ve added a cute infinity scarf and denim jacket.
Jean jackets are the perfect lightweight travel jacket for your spring and summer destinations. They are versatile, easy to keep clean, and give just a bit of warmth.
For more ideas, take a look at these lightweight jackets for summer travel!
What are your tips on what to pack for France? Share you thoughts below!
For more tips on what to wear in France, please read this post:
- 10 Step Packing Guide for Europe
- 10 Step Guide to Packing in Paris
- Parisian Shoes: 6 Trends for Summer
- What to Wear in Paris
Suggested travel resources:
- Lonely Planet Europe on a shoestring
- Lonely Planet France (Country Guide)
- Travel Shoes for Europe
- The Best Carry-on Suitcases for Europe
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Author Bio: Niki is an interior designer and artist from Louisiana. In addition to her design work, she writes for local and online publications sharing her experiences and passion for travel. Niki is currently adding stamps to her passport while building her design practice, Niki Landry Designs. nikilandry.com nikilandrydesigns niki-landry-designs-llc
We are going to the French Riviera for 7 days at the end of September/early October and then in Paris for 2 days. What would you change up as I think it may be a bit cooler in Paris but still nice in the RIviera?
Hi Connie, take a look a TFG’s 10 step guide to Paris, it may be the best place for ideas to help with you packing: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/10-step-packing-guide-for-paris/ Check the weather forecast for the two different places you are visiting so that you have the most accurate info for both places to ensure you have packed the most appropriate clothing! Have an amazing trip!! 🙂
Thanks for this helpful list! I always travel with one bag only but even after many tips I’ve yet to get the ratios right – I’m always short a few things or I bring some things that are unsuitable, and they go unused (and I scramble to find something else!). I’m going to be in Paris for five days in October so I’m going to try going with something akin to this list. Thanks again!
You’re welcome Melissa 🙂 Good luck with your packing and have a fab time!
Great list! The only thing I would add is a lightweight sweater/cardigan or long sleeved top. Paris is in northern Europe and though it does experience very hot spells during the summertime, it can cool off at night, so having that extra layer could be helpful if the temperature drops.
Also, make sure the shoes you bring are super comfortable! If you’ve never been to Paris you’ll be surprised at how much walking you will do. I live in Paris and on an average day I walk 3 miles. Tourists often tell me that they end up walking 6-9 miles a day without even realizing it! Shoe comfort is key.
Thank you for these extra tips Jennifer!