How to Pack for Paris in the Winter with Just a Carry-On Bag
I’m in Paris this week and I only like to travel with a carry-on. I did a post last summer on how to pack for Paris in the summer but the winter is a whole other beast so I thought I would do a post on it. The first thing I think about when packing for the winter is being warm. When you are a tourist you have to dress warmer than the average Parisian who is usually just going from home to work. A tourist spends most of the time outside going from location to location so you have to dress for the elements. Paris rarely gets snow but gets a decent amount of rain. I’ve found a good pair of leather boots repel the water just fine. It’s not worth bringing a whole other set of rain shoes. If you are going somewhere in Europe with a lot of snow it might be a different story. I usually buy an umbrella for 5 Euros from a street vendor if I need it, same with cheap black gloves. I don’t pack that kind of thing with me because they usually get lost quickly and I don’t want to worry about lugging my good stuff across the pond with me. Below I’ve listed what I brought with me with an explanation of how I use it. The main thing to think about when you are traveling in the winter is that every single outfit is basically going to look the same because of your winter coat. So pick your warm coat first and then plan all the outfits around that. I bring enough underwear so I only need to do laundry once (if I’m staying for 10 days I bring 5 pairs!) I do a load midweek (it’s usually underwear and tshirt layers) to save space.
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A. Black Wrap Coat (Similar HERE) | I planned all my outfits around my black winter coat. It is warm but feels slightly dressy so it’s perfect for Paris.
B. Black Puffer Jacket | I’m obsessed with my Uniqlo Ultra light parka. It’s perfect as an extra layer for the evenings or if it’s a particularly cold day. I also wear it on the plane. It can be compressed into a tiny bag so it is very useful and practical to carry around.
C. Black Dress | I love this baggy black dress. It is very comfortable and I can even wear it to dinner that is a little bit fancier. I just throw on a necklace and red lipstick. I pair it with thick tights to stay super warm.
D. Striped Shirt | I use this and all the t-shirts as a layer I can pair with the jeans or skirt. It doesn’t get seen much since I always have a sweater layered over the top.
E. Long Sleeve Black T Shirt | Same as above. Just another layer. I like to pair this with my furry black vest
F-G. 2 White T shirts | These are layering shirts. I wear these a lot and usually have to wash them once during my trip.
H. Black Sweater | This I use as a layer on top of the tshirt. Sweaters are more important because I often take my coat off when I go in a museum or restaurant, they get a lot of action.
I. Grey Sweatshirt | In addition to my regular pajamas I bring a set of loungy casual clothes. This is good for the airplane or hanging out around the hotel or as an extra set of pajamas. (I pair this with leggings.)
J. Grey Sweater | I got this sweater for my birthday and I love it. It has a little structure so it makes all my outfits look like I made an effort but it is really soft and comfortable. I layer with this a lot.
K. High Waist Ripped Black Jeans | These comfy jeans I’ve owned for a year or two. Ripped jeans make me look cool, right?
L. High Waisted Black Jeans | Same as above but rip free and super comfortable.
M. Pleated Black Skirt | This skirt is fun for when I’m meeting a friend or have something special to go to. I pair it with my warm tights and a black sweater and red lipstick.
N. My Favorite Black Stretchpants I use these for lounging or airplane travel.
O. Black Ankle Boots | I wear these almost everyday. It’s important to have a pair that are already broken in and that you can wear all day.
P. White Converse Sneakers
Q. Scarf | You gotta have one. All the cool French girls had giant scarfs they piled high but I brought my normal one for space efficiency.
R. Wool Felt Hat | I like bringing hats with me when I travel because it makes me feel like I don’t have to do my hair as much and I think it is nice to have an extra accessory since my coat stayed the same everyday.
S. Cashmere Beanie | I’m obsessed with my beanie. It’s so soft and I always bring it with me in case I get cold. I also wear it on the plane.
T. 2 Pairs of Thick Tights | These are great for skirts and dresses. I also use them as an extra layer under pants if it is a particularly cold day.
U. 2 Bras | I bring my most comfortable ones.
V. 5 Pairs Underwear | I wash halfway through so I get a clean pair everyday. (THis trip I found some cute ones at a store so I bought some new pretty French underwear!) No laundry needed.
W. 4 Pairs of Socks | I love bright socks. I’ve been wearing my new Woven Pear socks like crazy. Since I wear so much black I like to have happy color underneath it all.
X. Pajamas | This trip I had a lot of roommates. A good set of pajamas is indispensable.
Y. Large Cosmetics Bag | I fit everything I could fit in this one bag and leave everything else.
Z. Curling Iron
AA. One Carry On Suitcase
BB. Leather Tote | I use this for my laptop and I can also keep the purse in it.
DD. iPad Mini
EE. Medium Sized Lightweight Purse | I’m obsessed with this purse since I bought it last summer. It is really light weight but pretty large so I can throw a camera and extra items in there. I carry it around with me everyday and keep a baggu in it if I go shopping.
HH. Wallet | I take out anything I don’t want to lose when I travel (gift cards, store credits etc) I just keep a few credit cards, ID and cash on me.
II. Baggu Bag | I love keeping this in my purse I carry around in case I do some shopping.
All this easily fit in my carry on. If I do a little shopping I just add the new stuff in. If I’m buying bigger items I either check a box or buy a cheap suitcase I can check on the flight home.