Trying to choose which boots, trousers, and sweaters to bring on my last February trip to France felt like I was in that movie Sophie’s Choice.

Sure, I wasn’t choosing which child would live or die, but there’s a special anxiety that comes with wanting to be sure you’ve got the right options in your suitcase.

As someone who loves bringing options, especially when traveling solo long term, I get a thrill being able to squeeze so many options in my bag.

So every piece of clothing matters. I think about how each item will layer, and how many outfits I can mix and match with each choice I make.

I’m also a big believer in choosing a specific color palette in order to give myself the most outfit options.

In my case, I opt to pack a lot of monotone options, since I’m not a huge fan of a colorful wardrobe, especially when traveling to cities.

After traveling to Paris during the winter about three or four times now, I’ve really gotten to a point where I can quickly identify my must-have items.

Lucky for you, I’m about to reveal all my tips and tricks on what to pack for Paris in winter.

So grab a paper and pen, and let’s create the perfect packing list for your trip to “The City of Lights.”

Essential Clothing for Paris Winter

Choosing the Right Coat


Picking the perfect coat is crucial to stay warm and stylish in Paris during the winter.

I always opt for a neutral-colored, warm wool coat in black, camel, or gray.

If you’re visiting at the beginning or end of winter, a trench coat is a versatile and timeless option.

Either way, just sure your coat provides enough insulation against the cold, with temperatures dropping as low as 25° Fahrenheit (-3° Celsius).

What Tops to Wear


Layering is essential when packing for a Parisian winter.

Plan to pack lots of cute sweaters, turtlenecks, and warm cashmere tops.

A well-fitted black blazer is also a must-have item that can easily be combined with different outfits.

If your goal is to fit in with the Parisians, opt for neutral colors in black, white, or gray shades.

Oh, and don’t forget to pack a warm, stylish scarf, hat, and gloves, preferably wool, and in a neutral or slightly bolder shade if you want a pop of color.

Selecting Your Bottoms


For bottoms, choose black, gray, or dark blue jeans, as these colors dominate the Parisian winter clothing style.

You’ll also do well to pack a pair of wide-legged trousers or leather pants you can easily layer tights under for an extra layer of warmth.

You can also opt for leggings as an alternative to jeans for extra comfort. However, fair warning, if you wear leggings in Paris, locals will quickly label you as a tourist.

Prioritize warmth and versatility when selecting your bottoms to navigate the chilly streets with ease.

Dress Clothes


Depending on your plans while in Paris, you may need to bring some dressier options for nights out.

When I went to the ballet in Paris last winter, I had to buy a dress at the last minute because I had nothing in appropriate in my luggage.

Learn from my mistake and pack at least one nice sweater dress, or suit that you can wear for a night out in Paris.

All About the Right Footwear


Footwear is another critical thing to think about while packing for Paris this winter.

I always pack ankle and knee-high boots in black or neutral shades, as they go well with most outfits and keep your feet warm.

Bonus points if you’ve got a pair of stylish waterproof boots!

I highly recommend also bringing at least one pair of sneakers to run around in when you want something cozy.

Oh, and don’t forget to pack warm socks and tights that complement your outfit and keep your feet warm and cozy throughout your trip.

When in doubt, wool is the best option, but try them on with your shoes ahead of time, since wool is thicker than most materials.

Winter Accessories in Paris


Quality monotone accessories play a pivotal role in Parisian winter fashion.

Pack a scarf made from cashmere or silk for added sophistication and warmth.

Because it gets quite breezy, it’s the one thing that I can’t live without while in Paris during the late fall and winter months.

Black leather gloves are another chic accessory you’ll see lots of Parisians wearing. These are must-haves during the peak of winter!

Also, besides the cold, Paris can also be quite wet; so remember to bring an umbrella and ideally a waterproof coat to stay dry.

And don’t forget a stylish hat, like a knit beanie, which is a must for staying warm.

You’ll also see lots of tourists wearing berets, which locals will quickly roll their eyes at.

Even while I was in Paris last week on a fairly warm October day, there were tons of tourists wandering around the city taking photos wearing them.

You’re welcome to wear one and have your Emily in Paris moment, but just know French people never ever wear them.

Layering Tips for Paris Winter


Last winter I asked a Parisian friend what her secret was, after seeing her out in a chic skirt, boots, and sweater on a very cold March evening.

It turns out Parisians are very talented at layering during the winter to look chic while still staying warm.

She told me she had on three layers of tights, an insulated vest under her jacket, and hand warmers in her pockets.

So, the motto of the story is that layering is crucial for staying warm during winter in Paris, as temperatures can range from 37°F (3°C) to 48°F (9C).

Here’s the basic formula she gave me for staying chic and warm in Paris during the winter:

  • Start with a merino wool top or thermal underwear as a base layer.
  • For your middle layer, choose turtlenecks, cardigans, or fleece jackets.
  • Oversized cardigans or wool ponchos are a stylish option to keep warm.
  • Finally, top it off with a well-fitted, warm wool coat.
  • To keep your legs warm, consider wearing black tights under your jeans or pants.
  • Also, invest in a pair of high-quality woolen socks for added insulation.
  • Opt for ankle boots, leather sneakers, or chunky boots in timeless black or brown tones.

Essentials for Packing for Winter in Paris

Packing Cubes and Containers


It’s no secret that winter clothing is bulky and takes up way more space than when packing for summer.

Which, if you’re an over-packer like me, is very stressful to deal with.

So thank god for whoever invented packing cubes—-seriously, if you don’t have any, get some ASAP!

Packing cubes and containers can help keep your luggage organized and compact.

They come in various sizes and make staying organized while fitting a ton in your luggage a breeze!

Toiletries and Makeup Necessities


Paris is renowned for its chic inhabitants, so pack toiletries and makeup that provide both utility and style.

It’s important to bring a moisturizer with SPF that will help protect your skin from the cold and windy weather in Paris.

Another thing I can’t live without during the winter is a chapstick.

I always keep one in my purse and also bring Laneige Lip Mask to moisturize my lips while I sleep.

Oh, and a small moisturizing cream is also a godsend for your dry hands after a few hours of sightseeing in the cold.

In terms of actual makeup, it’s important to remember that if you want to fit in, less is more in France.

French girls opt for a minimal make-up look normally using just moisturizer, concealer, mascara, blush, and lip stain.

Local’s Tip: While you’re in Paris, stock up on French beauty essentials from brands like Nuxe, Klorane, and La Roche-Posay.

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Versatile Bags to Carry


Paris is a city known for its style, so pack versatile bags that are both functional and fashionable.

I always pack my Longchamp tote bag, which is chic and great for running errands and carrying essentials (like an umbrella) around the city.

Besides that, I always bring a small black crossbody for nights out and a medium-sized leather purse for days when I want to look more polished.

When visiting crowded tourist spots like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, have small and convenient bags.

If you’re not big city savvy, I’d also recommend opting for a handbag backpack with anti-theft features.

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Electronics and Gadgets


Bring along a travel adapter to charge all of your electronics safely while in France.

I always bring two or three so that I can charge multiple things at once.

Another charger I can’t live without is my portable Anker charger. I bring two with me on every trip so that I can always have a charge available during long days of exploring.

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Insurances and Other Precautions


Always get travel insurance before a trip. You never know what could happen, and it’s best to be prepared for anything!

Having insurance can protect against unforeseen expenses, such as medical emergencies or lost luggage.

I also highly recommend keeping at least one spare outfit in one of your carry-on bags when checking luggage.

Trust me, it’ll save you time and energy in the long run. I learned this lesson last summer when after letting us wait in baggage claim for hours, British Airways announced that they’d left our entire plane’s luggage sitting back in Nice.

Spoiler alert, it took multiple customer services calls, and hours of waiting on the phone to talk to someone, for them to finally return my luggage.

Hopefully, if this happens to you, it won’t be as bad (avoid British Airways at all costs!), but depending on how long it takes the airline to locate your luggage, you’ll still likely need to buy things.

The important thing is to keep all itemized receipts and file them with the airline immediately. And don’t be afraid to follow up with them multiple times!

British Airways recently ruined one of my checked bags, and I’ve been following up with them once a week to get it replaced, with no responses yet. Can you tell how bad their customer service is?

You might have to get aggressive to get some of these airlines to answer. One travel blogger friend swears by calling the out in public, like on Twitter. She said she always gets quick answers when it’s on a public platform.

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What essentials should I pack for winter in Paris?


Since in winter, Paris experiences cold temperatures with an average between 3°- 9°C (37°- 48°F), it’s important to bring layers.

Essentials include a warm winter coat, scarf, gloves, and hat.

Layering is very important, so pack a few long-sleeve thermal shirts and layer them with sweaters or cardigans.

Oh, and remember to bring important items like your passport and earphones for entertainment.

Which type of shoes are best for Paris in winter?


Comfortable, warm, and water-resistant shoes are the best for Paris in winter. Black ankle boots or leather sneakers are my go-to shoes.

Just make sure to pick a pair that can withstand potentially slippery or wet surfaces while allowing you to walk comfortably throughout the city.

What kind of winter coat is suitable for Paris?


Puffer coats, as well as wool or down coats, are both stylish and warm options you’ll see locals wearing.

If you really want to fit in with the Parisians, opt for neutral shades such as black, grey, or camel.

How do locals dress for dinner in Paris during winter?


For dinner in Paris, locals often dress smartly but not overly formal.

Most wear dark-colored jeans or trousers paired with a sweater or blouse.

You can accessorize with a fashionable scarf or a statement piece of jewelry.

Whatever you do, have a stylish yet warm coat or jacket since temperatures can be chilly during the evening.

What clothing should I bring for a 2-week trip to Paris in winter?


When you pack for a 2-week trip to winter in Paris, remember to bring neutral colored clothing that you can easily layer for changing temperatures.

Bring a few long-sleeve thermal t-shirts, wool sweaters or cardigans, and a couple of pairs of dark-colored jeans or trousers.

A winter coat, scarves, gloves, and a hat are also essential for keeping warm.

For footwear, pack a comfortable pair of ankle boots or leather sneakers.

How to dress appropriately for the weather in Paris in March?


While March can still be cold in Paris with temperatures around 5°-12°C (41°-54°F), it’s typically slightly warmer than the earlier winter months.

A warm coat or jacket is still very necessary, along with hats and scarves, for chillier days.

When I was in Paris last March and April, my wool coat was a lifesaver. From there, it was easy to layer clothing underneath it depending on if the sun was out.

It’s also important to bring comfortable, chic, water-resistant shoes since Paris can still have rainy days in March.

Zipping Up the Suitcase

Ally in front of the Eiffel Tower in winter

I hope this helped you plan the perfect packing list for Paris this winter.

Feel free to email me with any packing questions, or for recommendations on things to do while in Paris.

It’s one of my absolute favorite cities, especially during the holidays, when all the buildings sparkle.

Oh, and don’t forget to grab a mulled wine and a hot chocolate to go from Angelina (not at the same time) to enjoy while walking around the city this winter.

It’s one of my favorite ways to stay warm and see Paris.

Let me know in the comments below what you’re most looking forward to during your trip!


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