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What should I pack/wear to Paris in late May/Early June?

What should I pack/wear to Paris in late May/Early June?

Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 10:21 AM
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What should I pack/wear to Paris in late May/Early June?

I am trying to figure our what to buy.. as in dresses? skirts? and jeans? shorts?

Do they have to be a certain length? Is there a dress code? shoulder bearing? above the knee? or below the knee? Do I have to look fashionable?

and shoes? will flats do? can I wera tennis shoes?


I klnow these sound stupid .. but i don't want to look out of place when I go to Paris


thanks in advance for all your help!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 11:09 AM
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Your questions are not stupid at all. It is always a concern about what to wear and whether or not you'll look out of place. All I can say is "don't worry about it". After all, you'll be in Paris! As a general rule, just try to look decent and be comfortable. Don't go too short on the shorts, tennis shoes are OK but you may want to look at some good looking but walkable sandals (or wait until you get to Paris to shop for them). One really good piece of advice is to travel light and to coordinate the clothes you do take so that they are more versatile. I always take a light cashmere shawl for both the plane and for the evenings when it will be cooler. Hope you have a great trip.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 01:10 PM
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How old are you? If you are young (ie, under 30), you can wear pretty much anything and get away with it. Paris is like any big world capital, you'll see everything and there are lots of people there from all over the world. Wear whatever you want, seriously.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 03:17 PM
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really? how about churches? or musuems?


i'm in my 20s
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 03:24 PM
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We were there a couple of years ago at the same time. It was quite warm our first day and for the rest of the week it was cool and sometimes rainy. I wore long pants or capris every day and in the evening I had a sweater and jacket--it was very cool 50s and 60s.

So bring layers, comfortable shoes that will be comfortable without socks if it's warm, and wear what you'd wear in any big city.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 03:35 PM
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Do you really think there is a knee length you must adhere to for skirts in Paris? Or whether anyone cares whether you've got flats on or not? That there is a dress code?

It's a huge city. People wear whatever they feel like wearing. So should you. You're going to be totally invisible no matter what you do. OK, it would be advisable not to run around in a pastel velour pantsuit with trainers and a baseball cap, but surely you don't dress like that at home, do you? And I never think shorts are appropriate for touring ANY city, ANYwhere, but that's just me.

There's no need to go out and buy anything. If you're concerned about "fitting in," whatever that means, wait until you're there and buy stuff.

Unless you live in Paris, of course you're going to be "out of place" there. Traveling is all about "being out of place."
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 06:01 PM
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Churches and museums in Paris don;t care what you wear as long as you're not naked. If you want to be fashionable - well - you need to be fashionable (check out any of the fashion magazines - esp the Glamour dos and don'ts). (Cut off jeans and giant white clown sneakers are NOT fashionable even in the local mall - never mind Paris.)

But - if all you want is comfort - then pack for that.

Most important - a sturdy folding umbrella (it WILL rain) and well-broken in walking shoes (you'll be doing miles and miles per day).

As for shorts - there are shorts (knee length, tailored with a nice top) and shorts (raggedy cut off jeans, super shorty shorts - that should be only for the beach or biking or whatever). But - that's just me.

(My stepdaughter - then 19 - went with some friends for 6 weeks last summer. They brought some shorts but didn't wear much except at beaches in Spain and Riviera. Some places were too cold - and in others they felt it made them look too much like group tourists - rather than trendy.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 05:07 AM
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I have a question? Why do all the guide books (even Fodors) leave the sneakers (athletic shoes to my UK cousins)at home then?
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 06:43 AM
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We wear sneakers in Europe. You have to be comfortable, you will be walking all day. It's just that Americans sometimes wear those big white sneakers; the one's we might wear for running or tennis, but not in town. Dark coloured shoes look much better. I wear something like Hogan's when sightseeing.
But if the only shoes that you are happy to walk in all day, are those white Nikes, then just wear them. There's no point being in Paris with blisters on your feet. Just put on something nicer when you are going out to a smart restaurant in the evening.

Wear what you would wear in a city at home. I wouldn't wear short shorts in the city, knee length is ok. I don't like men wearing shorts in a city, only on the beach, or hiking. But maybe that's just me.

Enjoy Paris, and if you find you don't like your clothes when you get there, you can always go shopping!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 09:07 AM
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Anyone who tells you people don't wear sneakers in Paris is wrong and doesn't know what they are talking about. European tourists wear them, also. Lots of people may wear the more fashionable ones (Puma, etc.) but even some Europeans wear those big ugly white ones. But if you want to wear those, you think they look good, so wear them. Lots of others will be wearing them, also, and really, what do you think will happen? I wouldn't ever wear those and don't own a pair because I think they are ugly, but I wouldn't wear them at home, either.

I've seen older European tourists (like from Germany, I think) wearing some big ugly sneakers, also -- I think that was in Vienna, or maybe Poland, I forget. I've seen lots of European tourists wearing sneakers when they visit the US, also, as I live in a city with lots of them (European tourists).

But the point is, if you like what you are wearing and think you look good, so be it.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 09:15 AM
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Not totally sure what your style is, but I'll give it a shot. I'm 19, I'm going to be spending three months in Paris this summer, went over New Years, and studied there last summer too. What I found was that Paris has crazy unpredictable weather (more in the summer. winter is just cold.) so definitely don't forget a small umbrella that you can just throw in your bag and won't make you wish you hadn't brought it. May and June are rather mild, July and August are miserably hot. Lots of places in Paris, excluding the most touristy destinations, aren't air conditioned, so bring layers. Evenings can be cool, even in the middle of the summer. What I found worked best were comfortable flats/sandals (not flip flops if you don't want to look like a tourist. i found flip flops were more of a tip-off than sneakers), but that's just me because i find sneakers in warm weather madly uncomfortable. almost every day id wear that for footwear and then a dress/skirt. Younger people in paris are totally cool with wearing short stuff, so no worries about length. Also, before I left everyone told me people there don't wear shorts. Not so. I saw loads of young-adult french girls wearing shorts with cute tops and some necklaces, etc. i totally understand the concern about wanting to blend in. no one wants to be pegged as a tourist in a place where tourists, especially american ones, are infamous. bonne chance!
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 07:11 PM
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I was fortunate to have spent 4 months in Paris during 2010. First, don't overpack, even for a shorter stay. I think when I go back I will pack differently: In May/June - pack a trenchcoat, beige or black. Basic, comfortable pants in neutral colors. Great fabric tee-shirts, a basic white cotton shirt, black shirt. Warmer weather: Knee length shorts, khaki. Stylish jeans. Flat, comfortable shoes... ballerina style perhaps, a higher heel for evenings. Accessories are big... you can "dress up" any basic outfit with gold hoops, a stone necklace, scarves (!) and perhaps if you are bold enough, a great looking hat. Black dress, of course, for theatre, evening out... Have fun!
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 07:36 PM
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I was there from 22 may for 4 weeks last year I really wanted to fit in which led to blisters within a day pack comfortably I had really cold weather first week and wore tights under skirts and there own favourties a pair of laceless type of converse - they were all wearing these. I wore layers and scarves to keep warm the next week it warmed up and I was in sandals and skirts. Whatever you take it must be really comfy layer your clothes - the scarves I bought them in the streets for 5 euro each and an extra jacket for 20 Euro so pack light and if you need extra because you have a freakily cold weak buy it. An umbrella was a must
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Old Mar 26th, 2011, 09:27 AM
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I'm leaving in a few weeks for Paris, but when I first approached this question my concern was with looking/feeling cute and sophisticated (I've just turned 30) in Paris without overpacking. I'm aiming for one carryon bag. Shoes were my first order of business, since I wanted time to break them in. I wanted something sleek, stylish, comfortable, that I could wear with jeans, slacks, skirts, and capris. I ended up getting these http://www.zappos.com/product/7482542/color/72 in black leather. Cute ballet flat, comes in wide, and the ankle strap keeps them on my feet and keep my toes from hitting the end of the shoe. I'll see how well the do when I go next month, but so far they've become my go-to shoe for everyday.

Other than that, I bought a pashmina scarf/shawl so I'll have it on the plane, some basic black pants, a black jersey knee-length dress, a couple of long-sleeve tees, and a cardigan. Depending on where you live/work, a lot of those are "basics", but for me --living in Southern California, telecommuting in a very casual industry -- I have plenty of cute skirts and jeans, but no slacks or sweaters.

Anyway, I would aim for basics that you can mix and match, that make you feel put together and cute, and remember that any shopping money you don't spend now can be spent on clothes in Paris.
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Old Mar 26th, 2011, 10:38 AM
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Churches in France have no dress codes - except that you are decently covered.

For upscale restaurants or more formal events (opera, concert etc) you will want to have something better than jeans and sneakers.

For an adult woman you should (IMHO) aim at chic. And shorts belong only at the beach - esp if you are a size 12 or larger.
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Old Apr 21st, 2011, 06:06 PM
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I just got back from Paris in mid-March. I had never been to Paris when it was cold. I'm from Seattle, so for me it was just a tad colder than Seattle. The thing that surprised me was how you went from cold to hot to cold to hot due to wind, clouds, going into the Metro tunnels, coming out into the wind. Whoa.

I'm taking my daughters to Paris in mid-June, so I'm on here trying to find what to pack. I've been there at the end of May but we hit good weather. You really do need layers.

Because I was so shocked by how different Paris was at the end of winter / beginning of spring (all black all the time)for women over 40-ish, I am trying to find out if I should wear all black in June or if I'll look like I'm in mourning.

And, in case you can't tell from my long answer, I am a writer. I wrote something about layers in some travel articles. My pages are geared for older women/baby boomers, but some of it might apply to you.

I don't know if I can add a link here but if you look up "How to Dress in Paris Using Layers and Accessories" (put it in quotes because Google is unreliable) and my name is "Christina Gregoire" (not Christine, who is my state's governor). So, I just write as a hobby and I wrote about how everyone over thirty was in black, gray, brown, sometimes red, purple, cobalt....during colder days.

Quite a few chic fashionistas had huge leather purses. (You can stash your sweater in them.) Flat shoes or boots. Ballerina flats or comfortable flat sandals. If you don't break them in beforehand you will start crying. I saw women of all ages in jeans (Paris is going to hell) and if you are under thirty you will look just fine in jeans. I say no white Nike things. You can always buy a small umbrella in Monoprix and find cheap goodies (their little K Mart type of store). Find cute, cheap scarves up in Montmartre or tourist areas.

I saw lots of short skirts. They were flouncy things, sometimes worn with motorcycle jackets (winter cold). You can wear those short skirts over leggings or tights. Have fun.

If anyone can tell me if I should wear black during June 17-23 that would be a big help. I'm 58. My daughter's are 23 & 28. Thanks. Love this site. Hope someone answers. Fancier Puma-style sneakers are the best but just have a freaking good time.

PS You may be thinking of Italy. They are strict about clothing in major Cathedrals, like the Vatican. Oh, I'm so excited I'm going back to Paris. You might want to read another article...sorry, hope the Fodors people don't freak about another tiny bit of self-promotion. "Best Free Things to Do in Paris: My Favorite Cheap Fun Activities" gives some daytime things to do. That place can be very expensive. Stay out of Le Bon Marche unless you have a high charge card limit. Read Rick Steves books about French Manners.
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Old Apr 21st, 2011, 11:03 PM
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Well, I will be wearing my black pants in Paris this June and I have certainly done it before. I will only leave them home if it is broiling hot. I'll be there for three weeks and I am trying to pack as lightly as possible. The black pants are the "Not Your Daughter's Jeans" ponte pants and they are about as comfortable as pajamas, so they'll be great on the plane. Other than that, I think I'm bringing fatigue green and dark khaki crops and then basing my wardrobe on navy and fatigue green, with some red mixed in.

My best advice to you is to wear what you want! Really,unless you are a fluent French speaker you'll be spotted as a tourist as soon as you engage a Parisian in conversation and it won't matter then whether you're wearing Tom Ford or Target.

I used to be very worried about what to wear in Paris, then I realized that I was inevitably going to look like an American tourist because I am an American tourist. I also discovered that even if a waiter or two was rude to me the majority of Parisians treated me with the same respect that I was treated with at home. Besides, I love Paris so much that pretty much nothing can ruin it for me.

Bon voyage.
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Old Jun 21st, 2012, 11:57 AM
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I am currently vacationing in Paris. June 2012. I too was wondering what to pack. While it's true that you truly can wear whatever you want, there does seem to be a consistent 'look' for the women who've 'got it'. Dark skinny slacks or jeans, with soft dark color bootie or shoe. I've seen some ballet flats, but usually an unbroken line of color from slacks to shoe. Collarless short soft light fitted leather jacket (brown or other color, not black) over a longer fitted tee. A few people are still wearing a scarf, but I'm not seeing a lot .
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Old Jun 21st, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Women who've "got it" don't ask questions on Fodors about what to wear, though.
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 08:47 AM
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I am going to Paris for 10 days the last week of June, I am a 45 yr old black female. My main concern is what to wear since i am a full figure lady. All I see on post & blogs are black head to toe and no white sneekers. Can someone please help me. I know i will be noticed due to my weight but want to be as presentable as i can!
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