What to take?

We are planning a trip to France. We have traveled the Rick Steves' way in the British Isles, and I have just taken comfy pants, shoes, and layered tops. Do I need a dress in Paris for restaurants or will pants do?

Posted by BG
SF Bay Area, USA
1578 posts

For women in Paris, I recommend black slacks or dark wash nice jeans. Take comfy shoes for sure, but leave the white athletic shoes at home if possible. Again, black or dark shoes will be fine. Layered tops should work well.
Most Parisian women dress casually, but they look very put-together.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
2166 posts

I agree with BG, dark shoes (and a nice scarf) can really dress up those comfy pants and layered tops.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5691 posts

You don't say what time of year you are traveling in. If I know it will be warm I bring a skirt or sundress, but if I know it will be cooler I bring only pants. Unless you are planning on some fine dining in Paris I agree with the others regarding dark jeans and/or black pants.

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
4374 posts

I agree with the black pants. :) Also, do have a scarf or something that will make you feel like you're styling it a bit in Paris. There is something about Paris, that makes us want to look good and look smart! Pam

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3266 posts

What would you wear if you were going to NYC? I almost always wear skirts or dresses when traveling so I can't imagine going to Paris without those items, but if I never wore them at home I wouldn't wear them on vacation. For me the skirt/dress is more comfortable and I never feel underdressed. If black pants are the dressy outfit, then definitely a shawl or scarf and some costume jewelry can make it special. You need to wear what makes you feel best, but you will not be overdressed in Paris by wearing a skirt or dress.

Posted by Diane
Westford, MA, USA
347 posts

Another vote for comfy shoes but not the white athletic ones, nice dark jeans, black slacks, and layered tops. Bring a neck scarf & maybe buy a new one there. Wear a watch, and bring a long necklace, a couple of bracelets, and a few pair of earrings. If you have plans for upscale restaurants, pack a skirt which can be dressed up or down. Pack an umbrella. What month are you traveling? Bring a rainjacket-coat, hat, scarf, gloves. If it's colder months trade off a pr of your shoes for a pr of short leather boots.