Packing For Paris: What To Wear (His & Hers)

Today is the first day of a large embarking of attempts in sharing about our five year anniversary trip to Paris last October.  I have over two thousand photos (out of three thousand) that are finally edited and ready to share.  It will take me awhile to wrap my head around it all so bear with me as it will probably take me a few months to get through.  So for today I am sharing how we packed for Paris.

We spent one week in Paris as well as two nights each in Iceland and Seattle.  Because the majority of our trip was in Paris, we packed accordingly.  Our clothes ended up working out fine for Iceland and Seattle except for the late night we went to see the Northern Lights while in Iceland.  I most definitely could have used a bigger jacket.  But other than that, packing in layers, all neutral and able to mix and match, for a two week international trip, our wardrobe choices worked out in our favor.

We packed light only taking carry on suitcases.  The goal was to create seven different outfits each to be worn twice.

I went with mostly all black in a mix of dresses, one skirt, tops, leggings, a jacket, scarf, and sweater.  For shoes I brought one pair of black boots, one pair of black flats, and flip flops.  The flip flops were mostly for Iceland when we went to the Blue Lagoon but after days of walking non stop in Paris, I eventually wore my sandals a few times.  I was one of very few wearing them but it was a life saver when my feet were killing me.

Here is my long black top that was paired with leggings along with a grey scarf.

I brought one brown jacket and ended up not bringing this brown wrap.  It seemed to tricky to wear and carry a camera bag with.

For dresses I brought these three black ones. 

I packed one navy skirt with two tops as well as a black kimono. 

Here are the outfits put together:

Long top with leggings and boots.  Below layered with a scarf.

And then with the jacket.

My camera bag is The Leather Capri from ONA.  This ended up being the perfect camera bag for traveling.  It was chic while easy to carry for dealing with site seeing and pick pocketers.  I could wear it close to my body or across the chest.  The pockets and padded camera protection kept things safe and secure.

I even tested out how it felt with my camera gear in tow while hanging my jacket across the top.  When walking for hours on end, it was good to have a system in plan for tolerating all my gear.

The next outfit was a black dress with boots paired with the kimono and scarf.

Here it is with the flats.  I wanted to make sure I liked all my outfits with either the boots or flats so that I could switch shoes without needing to change my outfit.  There were some days I would wear one pair of shoes for half the day and then switch to the other pair after a trip back to our hotel.  Walking in Paris is serious business.  I thought I was prepared for all the walking.  But it is literally way more intense than I could have imagined.

Another dress with all the same accessories.  

Next is the skirt.  In case the weather was warm, the skirt is a bit longer than my dresses for a bit more modesty and comfort.

When paired with the boots, I have just enough coverage in case it got cold.

Between the layers, jacket, and scarf, I had way more clothes on than I usually do.  Having a camera bag that was easy to wear was extremely important to me.  The scarf tied in the front was a reminder of which way to hold my bag.  The opposite side had a zipper pocket that I wanted to keep close to my body.

Besides being comfortable, the bag got a ton of wear from our trip.  Because it is made of quality leather, it was able to handle the wear and tear while slowly aging beautifully as the leather darkens.


For Brent's clothes I went with a similar look of plenty of black and neutrals.  He has a bit more blue than black so he got to wear a little more color than I did!

He also got a mix of seven shirts, two pairs of jeans, a sweatshirt, and one jacket.  He also got two pairs of tennis shoes and flip flops.  And yes, I pack for him!  It is much easier to do it for him as I have an opinion on what he wears especially when it comes to vacation photos!  I always give him a final look over to make sure I haven't forgotten anything (like enough underwear!).

I went with a collared sweatshirt and jacket.  Both are comfortable but dressy enough for going out to dinner.

Three plaid shirts, short and long sleeve.

And three long sleeved sweaters.

We used space saving bags to squeeze all of our clothes into our carry on bags.  Because different airlines have different size requirements we lucked out by getting by with what we had.  We had one airline tell us my husband's bag was heavier than allowed but she let us go by anyways.  You never know so being prepared helps with surprises.  We packed an extra duffel bag to check items on our way home to compensate for souvenirs and in case we needed to empty our bag based on size requirements.

Brent had been wanting a pelican case for our camera gear so we got him one for his birthday that we were able to use on this trip.

Because we planned to wear everything at least twice, we planned to wash and hang dry clothes.  Our hotel in Paris came equipped with a place to hang clothes in the bathroom.  I did a small load of clothes every two days which usually ended up taking two days to completely dry. 

We packed a line for drying, clothes pins for hanging, and some laundry detergent for washing.

A few other things we packed besides clothes:

-Camera gear: my Instax Mini as well as our three regular travel cameras
-A travel journal: I made sure to write in my journal every day documenting what we did so that I would remember all the little details (this is going to prove to be very helpful when I put together my posts!)
-Snacks and gum: protein bars for the win in between all the carbs we ate.
-Map: where I marked ahead of time all our planned destinations (as well as print out iteneraries and directions)
-Money and international use credit card (we went with the Bank of America travel rewards card and could use it almost anywhere)
-Passport wallet, passport, tickets etc.
-Neck pillow for the plane
-Laptop (mostly for photo backup) and borrowed iPad

Because my luggage was slightly bigger, I carried all of our toiletries.  What we packed for that is coming up in another post.

I ended up being pretty happy with what we packed.  All of our clothes were appropriate for where we went and what we did.  Walking the streets of Paris we were both very inspired by how well dressed the locals were.  We never felt out of place in what we wore (except for maybe when I wore my flip flops!) and it allowed us to be more immersed in the culture around us.  We both came home (husband surprisingly included) feeling motivated to dress a little nicer and bring home a little bit of Paris in what we wore.

I also came home with two beautiful scarves.  One I wore when we were in Seattle making my second round of outfits feel a little more fresh and new!