What to Wear: When Visiting Paris
Recently, my friend Edwin emailed me just to catch up, and casually dropped the intel that he was headed to Paris. It wasn’t a humblebrag, but it also…wasn’t? But anyhow, knowing Edwin is a guy who appreciates a good outfit, I asked him to keep track of his wardrobe while he was there, and report back on the looks he put together while enjoying himself in the City of Lights.
Headed to la Paris anytime soon? Or just want to look good and pack well on your next weekend jaunt? Read on…
I love Paris. The City of Light has everything including historic artwork, magnificent architecture, and the best wine and cheese in the world. So you can imagine how excited I was to be told I’d be spending a week there for work. In less than twenty minutes, I booked my flight, made a hotel reservation, and looked up three new restaurants to try. All that was left for me to do was pack.
One of the most important things to remember when traveling is to pack light. Too many people get overzealous when packing and stuff their suitcases with unnecessary clothes. Unless you are traveling for more than a week (or you happen to be a fashion model), I think the average man can get by with a carryon bag worth of clothes. All it takes is some careful planning.
Here are some tips to get started:
1. Keep It Simple
When deciding which clothes to pack, it’s best to look at neutral colors and simple patterns. The more simple your clothes are the easier it will be to match them and create outfits, which also means the less clothes you have to pack. Neutral colors such as blue, grey and brown go well with almost anything and are a lot easier to combine together than louder colors such as purple and orange. Likewise, solid color clothes are easier to pair together than those with complex patterns. By choosing clothes that work in harmony together, you’ll be able to have a large variety of outfits at your disposal without the extra weight in your suitcase.
2. Be Honest
You might like to run every morning before work, but will you really have the time to when you’re exploring Paris? If the answer is yes, then by all means pack away! Otherwise, it might be better to be realistic and save the running for when you get home. If you’re honest with yourself when you pack, you’ll be able to save yourself the hassle of lugging around unnecessary things.
3. Check the weather
“Paris in May? You’re going to love it, it’s beautiful!” At least five people told me this before I left on my trip. However, a quick glance at Weather.com actually showed that Paris was in the midst of rainstorms and cold weather. Checking the weather beforehand makes sure that all your packing isn’t in vain. You don’t want to be caught in a rainstorm wearing only shorts and a polo.
Now with all that said, here’s what I brought for my trip to Paris:
M65 Field Jacket
A field jacket is one of the best jackets to bring when traveling. The extra pockets are perfect for stowing away your passport and boarding pass and the snap enclosures mean those items will stay secure when you’re moving. In addition, most field jackets are made of water resistant material and feature a hidden hood in the collar, which make them perfect for the surprise rainstorm.Aspesi, $279
One navy blazer and one brown blazer
Having at least one blazer on you ensures that you’ll be prepared for any occasion. You can dress it up with grey trousers or go for a more casual look with jeans. If your work is more formal than mine, feel free to substitute one of the blazers for a suit. Remember to keep it simple. Solid colored blazers allow for more matching opportunities than those with patterns that contain multiple other colors.Gant, $595
Cable knit sweater
A sweater is the perfect layering piece and a color such as cream will ensure that it will go with nearly everything. I decided to go with a cable knit sweater instead of a standard V-neck because the woven pattern makes it more visually interesting.Gant Rugger, $205
Three dress shirts
Dress shirts are incredibly versatile. Combined with sweaters and blazers, one shirt can undergo several different looks and having at least three shirts gives you a solid rotation. I chose two in solid colors (blue and white) and one with a fun, simple navy gingham check.Brooks Brothers, $79
Grey dress pants
Grey pants are the essential dress pants, period. Anything goes well with grey pants (and if you own something that doesn’t, you might want to consider tossing it out).Epaulet, $250
A pair of crisp, raw denim jeans allows you to dress more casually without looking like a slob. Feel free to substitute the jeans blue or khaki chinos if your work environment is more formal than mine.3sixteen, $215
Dress boots are the Swiss army knife of shoes. They look great with denim, chinos, and suits. Plus, if you can get them in shell cordovan, they will be the best of foul weather shoes you ever had.Allen Edmonds, $659
Loafers are another great pair of shoes to bring when traveling. They’re comfortable, go well with everything, and are the perfect shoe to wear when going through airport security.Bass, $109
All that’s left to pack now is your underwear, toiletries, and passport! And if you need a few ideas for outfits, here are a couple that I whipped up:
For the flight:
First day at the office:
Day at the Louvre:
Night out at the discotheque:
The Big Presentation: