Packing

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Packing

You'll notice it right away: in Paris the women dress well to go shopping, to go to the cinema, to have a drink; the men look good when they're fixing their cars. The Parisians still wear hats to the races and well-cut clothes for fine meals; you will not see them in sweats unless they're doing something sportif. So don't wear shorts, sweats, or sneakers if you want to blend in. Good food in good settings deserves good clothing—not necessarily a suit and tie, but a long-sleeved shirt and pants for him, something nice for her. Trendy nightclubs usually refuse entrance to men who are wearing sandals.

Be sure to bring rain gear, a comfortable pair of walking shoes, and a sweater or shawl for cool churches and museums. You can never tell about the weather, so a small, foldable umbrella is a good idea. If you'd like to scrutinize the stained glass in churches, bring a pair of small binoculars. A small package of tissues is always a good idea for the occasional rustic bathroom in cafés, airports, and train stations. An additional note: if you're the kind of person who likes a washcloth in the bathroom, bring your own; they're not something you'll find in Paris hotels.

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