Paris Fashion Spring
What to Wear Photos
For spring, it's less about the style of clothes and more about the color. Parisians, who usually gravitate to a neutral palette, have embraced bold, striking colors, such as bright orange, rich magenta and royal blues.
Colors - Orange
Orange is red hot. All shades of orange - from light apricot to tangerine to bold, blood orange - are seen on Parisians of all ages this spring.
Make a statement in bright orange.
Dress in basic black, but pair it with a bright, orange skirt or sweater to make your outfit "pop".
Pack orange accessories, such as ballet flats, scarves, a purse or tights, for a easy way to fit-in with the orange trend on the streets of Paris.
Colors - Peach and Coral
If eye-popping orange is not your style, try wearing a mellow shade such as peach or light coral. Try a blazers, jacket or sweater in a warm, peach tone.
Peach and coral is popular among Parisians of all ages.
The favorite shade for skinny jeans this season is coral tones - from tangerine to dusty mauve.
Wrap a peach scarf around your neck and enjoy a bright, spring day in Paris.
Add a Parisian twist by wearing the French-inspired, striped shirt in a coral shade. Even Parisian men embrace the pastel orange trend.
Colors - Magenta
Don't like orange, try packing a coat or sweater in "hot pink" or magenta.
A little magenta goes a long way - try a scarf or tights for a flash of color.
"Mix it up" with color blocking. Color blocking, wearing blocks of complementary or contrasting colors, is a great way to "mix and match" a limited vacation wardrobe for maximum impact.
Wearing one shade, from head to toe, was also a common look this season.
Not a fan of bold colors? Instead, pack an "over-the-top" patterned skirt, dress, or pants in bold geometrical shapes, florals, or animal prints.
Skinny jeans, scrunched or rolled at the ankle, are seen on Parisians of all ages - from teens to twenties...
...through thirties and up.
Pair skinny jeans or leggings with colorful, comfy Converses or Keds...
...or classic, ballet flats.
Young Parisians pair tights with cuffed or rolled shorts on chilly, spring days.
Coats and Sweaters
Leather jackets are always popular in Paris. If the weather is cool, you'll see leather jackets in all styles, from biker-chic to structured blazers.
Long sweaters and boyfriend blazers also take the chill off when it is not cool enough for a coat.
The bag of the moments is a structured, boxy purse with short handles and a long strap.
Shoes, Scarves and Accessories
Parisian women know that the secret to having a chic wardrobe is to buy basic pieces that flatter their figure, then update their look each season with accessories. You can do the same. Since the focus is on color, instead of style, you can easily create a Parisian-chic look with a few bright accessories.
Take inspiration from the street photos on this page and update your favorite clothes with scarves, shoes and purses. Below are a few recommendations that we use when planning on what to pack for Paris.
If you need a new pair of walking shoes, consider purchasing a pair in a shade of orange. Purchase only shoes designed-specifically for walking. Paris sidewalks, cobble-stones, gravel pathways and marble floors will "chew up and spit out" cheaply made shoes from Target or Payless.
A few brands to try out are Cole Haan Air, made with Air Nike running shoe padding and support.
Check out the adorable Cole Haan Maria Sharapova collection Air Bacara Ballet in patent leather peach, yellows, magenta and sand . Visit Endless.com or Amazon.com for pricing and details.
Arche - A French shoe manufactured outside of Paris and designed specifically for walking on Paris city streets. Truthfully, the most comfortable walking shoes that we own. Worth a splurge.
Ecco - A European brand famous for the unique design of their walking shoes. The heels are fitted, but the toe-bed is designed to expand to comfortably fit the swelling that occurs when you are walking all day.
Ecco is our "go to" brand for walking shoes. Practical, comfortable and they last forever. Learn more about the ECCO Kelly Coral Ballet Flat (above left) and the ECCO Mary Ballet Flat (above right) at Endless.com.
A scarf in a spring shade is an easy, packable accessory that can transform an outfit. Consider a pashmina from Cashmere Pashmina Group. We've been pleasantly surprised by this company. Their pashmina's don't compare to a $100+ pure cashmere wrap, but the price (around $25) is fair for the quality, and the selection of over 50 colors can't be beat.
If you are looking for a purse, choose one that is comfortable and can hold all of your travel "must-haves", such as a guidebook/Nook/Kindle, phone, camera, map, notebook, bottle of water, and toiletries. Look for sturdy, leather construction (traveling is hard on purses) and a strap that can wrap around your body (cross-body) for added protection from pickpockets.
While spring style is more relaxed, Parisian men still take care with their appearance. Jeans are relaxed and tapered at the ankle. Pastels, such as light blue, lavender and soft pinks are popular shades for shirts, scarfs and jackets.
- For classic tips that are relevant for every season, read What to Wear in Paris.
- For tips on what to wear in your 20s/30's/40s+ for your trip to Paris now, read What to Wear in Paris - Spring and Summer 2012.
Author: Cheryl Montgomery