This Francophile is getting so excited for Paris this fall! As I mentioned in a prior post, the planning phase is part of the fun for me. Figuring out what we’re going to do and see gets my heart going! For this post, I want to share some tips on what to pack for Paris in the fall.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a planner and a checklist kind of girl. (Just a little secret about me – I created an Excel spreadsheet MANY years ago – 2006 to be exact – and I STILL use it to this day any time we travel. Of course I have changed and enhanced it since I started it, but the basic tabs are all still there – Itinerary, To Do, To Buy, Don’t Forget, Expenses – plus many more specific tabs). Maybe a bit extreme or to the “nerd” level, but that’s okay. I’m good with it! 🙂
One of the most important parts of planning for a trip is what to pack. The weather in Paris in the fall can vary quite a lot even within the day. The average high temperature in October is in the mid- to low 50’s, dropping as the month goes on. But, just like everywhere else in the world, the weather can change quite quickly and be well out of the “normal” range. Much like the current heat wave sweeping not only the USA, but also Europe.
October can also be a bit rainy in Paris. In fact, there’s a 40% chance of rain on any given fall day in Paris, so it’s very important to consider layers and waterproof items. And PLEASE remember, Paris can be at its most romantic when it rains! DO NOT let the rain “dampen” your spirits. Enjoy the beauty of the glistening streets with fresh fallen leaves. It’s also a great time to take a rest in a cozy cafe with a cafe au lait or a nice vin rouge while people watching. Enjoy the moments!
Ok… back to packing…
Bottoms – Long pants are best for fall. Dark jeans and black pants are always a safe choice. (You can NEVER go wrong with black in Paris)! Leggings for the ladies is also a great choice to be worn under skirts and they pack so well and don’t take up too much room in your luggage.
Tops – As fall weather can vary quite a bit – even from morning to evening – it’s very important to pick tops that can be layered. A t-shirt or two or camis are imperative for a first layer. Long sleeves and even a sweater or cardigan are also important to bring along for the brisk mornings and chilly evenings. A white, classic button down shirt always pairs nicely with a pair of jeans for a casual yet chic look as well. Add a blazer and you’re très chic!
Raincoat / Light jacket – Although I LOVE Paris when it rains, I also don’t want to be soaked. The charm of walking the cobblestone streets in the rain can get a bit tarnished if you’re not prepared for it. You’ll be happy you have a light jacket or raincoat if you get caught in the rain.
Footwear – We all know the story – don’t go buy a new pair of shoes for your trips without first breaking them in a bit. It’s so easy to want to go buy new stuff for an upcoming trip, but your dream trip can quickly turn into a painful nightmare if your feet are killing you. Be sure that your shoes are not only comfortable, but I highly recommend shoes that are waterproof – especially in the fall. It’s definitely prime time to wear your favorite Boots or Booties, too.
- Scarf – Scarves are an essential accessory throughout Europe – no matter the time of year. For the fall, having a cozy scarf to add as a layer is a must. Depending on the type and size of the scarf, it can also be used as a shawl over the shoulders. Not sure about you, but I CANNOT pack just one scarf! I usually take 2-3 (and often buy one or more when I’m traveling). I love my scarves!
- Umbrella – Be sure to pack a sturdy, wind-proof umbrella that won’t flip up if a gust of wind comes along. If you forgot yours, you should march on over to PEP’s! It is such a tiny but cute little boutique for all things “parapluis” (umbrellas). You’ll be happy you packed it if you get caught by a pop-up shower. And… remember to look for the rainbow!
- Sunglasses – Don’t forget your sunglasses. Not everyday is rainy in October. There are just as many sunny days as there are rainy ones.
- Hat & Hair Accessories – I like to always bring a hat with me on any vacation. You never know when you may want to don a hat or pull your hair back. Hats can also help if you get caught in the rain!
- Hand Warmers – These have actually come in very “handy” (no pun intended!) on past trips! I didn’t really think we would use them, but one year it was quite chilly for a couple of days in Paris and we were so thankful we tucked a few of them in our carry-ons. These are carry-on safe.
TIP: It’s a good idea to pack clothes that mix and match so you can easily swap out to make new outfits!
If you are planning a trip to Paris in the fall in a few weeks, next fall, or perhaps just after the 2024 Olympics, I hope this has helped you a bit with ideas of what to pack for clothing and shoes. I’d love to hear any tips, suggestions or other ideas for what you pack for the fall in the City of Light!
Allons faire un tour…