6 Must-Have Clothing Items to Pack for a Fall Trip to Paris

6 Must-Have Clothing Items to Pack for a Fall Trip to Paris

Fall is in the air, and the fashion world is ready for it! The beauty (or pain, depending on who you ask) of four-season living includes alternating your wardrobe. For many, fall represents the season of reflection and renewal – summer is gone, the colder weather sets in, and the chunky sweaters emerge from storage.

If you’re planning a fall trip to Paris, here are some must-haves for your carry-on to rock the City of Light in the most fashionable manner possible. And if there’s one city that lives for some fashion – it’s Paris.

1. A Pair of Chunky Boots

It’s official; the “chunky” look is back. Look no further than the streets of Paris, New York City, and London to mark this trend as absolute. Boots are a fall seasonal mainstay, but if you want to up your game and look especially on-trend, go for a chunky wedge look.

This said, fashion tends to be trend-driven and time-bound, but style is eternal. If you have some eternally sexy, stylish boots in the back of your closet you bought two decades ago – by all means, pack them! No need to blow your travel budget on chunky boots if you’ve got some perfectly stylish pointy-toed, slim ones already.

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2. A Warm & Cozy Wrap

Is there anything better than sipping an espresso at a table outside at a Parisian café? Fewer things are more delightful. It’s a fact of Paris life, though, that things can get a bit chilly come fall. Arm yourself with a chic wrap, like one from SSKEIN, a small business based in Washington state. Founder Elisa Yip, a former designer at Nordstrom, decided to forge her own design path during the pandemic. Yip’s trailblazing, chic spirit infuses each soft item – made from the wool of Peruvian alpacas. They are the perfect, stylish accompaniment to your Parisian adventures.


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3. A Pretty Watch

Given the ubiquity of cell phones, I may be in the minority here, but I’m a steadfast believer in always wearing a watch. For me, it’s about politeness, and of course, punctuality. I’m loath to glance at my phone to check the time when I’m in conversation with someone; a quick glance at the wrist feels more fluid and discreet. But it’s not just about protecting someone else’s feelings; I also love the look of a watch.

Watches are an oft-overlooked, easy way to up your style game, and eye-catching watches abound, too. No matter your budget, you can find something that looks good and looks “on-brand” for you – whatever your personal style may be. I’m a huge fan of London-born watch company Olivia Burton. Their glittering, whimsical watch faces always catch the eye, and catch a compliment or two.

When you’re darting about Paris and keeping time as you budget the minutes for your daily adventures, a good watch is worth its weight in gold.

4. A Long Trench

Inspector Gadget, you are not – however, a long stylish trench is an instant way to uplift any look. Heck, you can even throw on a well-cut trench over your pajamas to run down to the boulangerie for an espresso and a croissant. (Be warned, though – you will get a look from the French if you do this.) This is all to say that a trench coat is an instant wardrobe uplifter.


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5. A Stylish Backpack

When you’re on the go in Paris, you will need a few things: An umbrella (weather depending), wallet, phone, a book to read on the metro, and maybe even a scarf. Additionally, having a bit of carry-room for any souvenirs or purchases you pick up along the way can be useful.

A stylish backpack goes a long way in Paris, and it’s far handier than a purse for the modern-day flâneur or flâneuse. You never know where the Parisian day will take you – best to be prepared and to do so in style. I’m a big fan of Samsonite backpacks; they perfectly blend utilitarian and stylish, with room for laptops and little pouches for water bottles, keys, and knickknacks. As any backpack carrier knows: You can never have too many pockets.


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6. A Black Blazer

Très chic! The black blazer – like the trench coat – is the ultimate dress-this-look-up-tout-de-suite item. With a black blazer on hand, you’ll never find yourself in a position where you feel under-dressed (and sometimes, it can be easy to feel that way in Paris). Tuck your blazer in your chic backpack for the evenings out in Paris when you decide, on a whim, you’d like to dine on Michelin-starred fare, or you want to take in a performance at the Opéra Garnier, or you’d simply like to roam along the Canal Saint-Martin and the night has turned a bit cold. Whatever the weather, whatever the occasion, a black blazer will dress up your look instantly.


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Anne McCarthy is a contributing writer to BBC News, Teen Vogue, The Telegraph, Dance Magazine, and more. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Westminster and is the Editor in Chief of Fat Tire Tours’ travel blog. She lives in New York City.