Salt & Wind Travel

What To Pack For France – 10 Essential Items To Nail French Girl Style

Many of you asked what to pack for France after my recent trip, so I wanted to pass along the tips I’ve earned from years of traveling there. 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?

As someone who lived in Paris and has been to the country countless times, I’ve had to pack for my fair share of France adventures. And, as a travel planner specializing in custom French travel itineraries, I’m often asked about what to pack for France.

What To Pack For France
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10 Essential Items For What To Pack For France

From when I would travel to France growing up to when I lived there in culinary school, I have always dressed differently in France than in my home state of California. I’d sum it up as monochromatic and minimal butt with an edge. Think chill but chic French-girl style that’s more Charlotte Gainsbourg, less Kardashian.

For this trip, I was in the South of France (along the Rhône River and 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 10 what to pack for France items that nail that mix of laid-back chic that is the core of French-girl style.


Classic Trenchcoat

In France, late Spring to early summer is perfect for duster and/or trenchcoat weather. I realized that I had never tried on the right trenchcoat until now because I borrowed my sister’s duster-length trench and wore it nonstop.

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

Linen Tee

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

And here’s why: linen-like this J. Crew 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 that you can wear and wear again, sans problème.

High-Waisted Black Jean

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

And, seriously, I’ve never gotten more jean compliments than with these high-waisted jeans from Levi’s, so they’re essential for what to pack for France. They fit like a glove and were the perfect length for 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 walkable ankle boot is key when traveling in a hot-one-sec, rainy-the-next climate because it works 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 silver 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.

Many locals wear slide sneakers such as Vans, but I’ve continuously owned a pair of Supergas since I first went to Europe when I was 12. There’s something about the fit and look that’s unassuming and a statement, so you can wear it for a bit of edge or prep, depending on how you dress them. And walkable shoes are absolutely essential for exploring any and everywhere from the City of Lights to these classic day trips from Paris

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 bag style enough.

Versatile Paper Thin Top

Pack a blousy top that is versatile and a bit sexy. Mind you, 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 Sezane, 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 the daytime or over a pair of jeans at night.

Simple Jewelry

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

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

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.

Famous Foods In Paris

Famous Food In Paris

From a baguette and macarons to omelets and steak tartare, these are the famous foods in Paris to try some classic French flavors!

Contact Our Travel Planning Services Today! 

Many people dream of visiting France, but not everyone can go. If you’re one of those lucky travelers, you want to make the most of it. Our travel planning services are here to help you achieve the ideal vacation.

After discussing your preferences during a short consultation, we’ll plan your perfect itinerary. Whether you’re looking for custom travel planning or a small group trip, the Salt & Wind team is here to help. Contact us today to learn more!

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