Salt & Wind Travel

Aida On What To Pack For France

After a recent trip, a lot of you asked about what to pack for France so I wanted to give you my tips.

I know, I’m usually talking about all things food like the famous foods in Paris but let’s veer off topic for a second, shall we?

I tend to dress differently in France than I do here in Los Angeles — more monochromatic and minimal with a bit of edge — as in more Charlotte Gainsbourg, less Kardashian and my packing reflects that.

Mind you, I was in the South of France (along the Rhone River and in Provence) in June, so the weather was warm one day and then rainy and chilly the next.

And, though this was what I packed for France in late Spring/early Summer, I’d honestly pack these for a trip to France (pretty much) any time of year. Here are the things I packed that nailed that mix of laidback chic that is the core to French-girl style.

Classic Trenchcoat

Late Spring to early summer in France is perfect duster and/or trenchcoat weather. I realized that I never have tried on the right kind of trenchcoat until now because I borrowed my sister’s duster length trench and I wore it nonstop.

A trench that’s super lightweight in a drapey, but tailored fabric like this one by ASOS is perfect—it’s great open over a tee on a warm day or all tied up when rain rolls in.

Linen T Shirt

You already know that I pledge allegiance to linen when it comes to travel packing, but I’m now at the point now that I buy a new linen tee for every season.

And here’s why: linen-like this Lou & Grey tee is breathable when it’s hot, just thin enough to be sexy if you put a black bra underneath, and hand washable and quick-drying, so you can wear and wear again, sans problème.

High Waisted Black Jean

Nothing channels French girl style more than an interesting jacket, a classic crew neck tee, and great pair of jeans.

And, seriously, I’ve never ever gotten more jean compliments than with these high-waisted jeans from Rag & Bone. They fit like a glove and were the perfect length to go with my ankle boots, sneakers, or heels.

Flat Ankle Boot

I’m not the only one who will tell you—French girls rock flats like no one else. A really walkable ankle boot is key when traveling in a hot-one-sec, rainy-the-next climate because it work as well with a shift dress as a pair of jeans.

These Sigerson Morrison ankle boots were possibly the most comfortable ones I’ve ever bought and the patent detail gives them just enough edge.

Classic Sneakers

In the last few years, sneakers have become the go-to daytime look for ladies in France, which is perfect since you can wear them while you sightsee and not stick out.

A lot of locals wear slide sneakers such as Vans, but I’ve continuously owned a pair of Supergas since the first time I went to Italy when I was 12. There’s something about the fit and look that’s at once unassuming and a statement so you can wear it for a bit of edge or prep depending on how you dress them.

Stylish Tote

Few things will make you look more obviously Américaine in France than schlepping around an oversized purse.

Instead, go for something that still makes a statement but is smaller like a gorgeous travel tote. I have a smaller, canvas version of this Clare V. tote, which they no longer make, but I cannot rec this style of bag enough.

Versatile Paper Thin Top

Pack a blousy top that is versatile and a bit sexy. And mind you that sexy in France is all about subtlety, so more covered but femme is the way to go.

This isn’t the exact top I own from Amuse but it’s the same cut and material and a must-pack. I probably wear it too much because it’s as good as a coverup at the beach, tucked into high-waisted shorts for daytime, or knotted over a pair of jeans at night.

Simple Jewelry

One of my cardinal travel rules? Never ever, ever take expensive jewelry when traveling (even my wedding ring stays home).But it’s still nice to have a few accessories.

Madewell’s jewelry line is perfect—discreet enough to never look flashy, unique enough to be a conversation piece, and cheap enough that you won’t cry if it’s stolen or lost.

Day-To-Night Top

The Rhone River region of France is not that fancy, but it’s always nice to pack one dressier top for a last-minute Michelin-starred meal or a night out.

I bought both this Tularosa top and wore it nonstop. This top is really lightweight, doesn’t really wrinkle, can be worn day or night, and is just lowcut enough to be sexy but not revealing.

Summery Sweater

For cooler nights or blustery days, a lightweight sweater is all-essential. This is when it’s worth it, in my opinion, to splurge on something well-made that you can wear over and over again like this Leilani sweater.

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