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What Parisians are Wearing - Spring and Summer 2013


“You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.” - Coco Chanel

Paris, like any major world city, is a stylish city. And it always helps to dress up a bit in order to get better treatment. So, how should you dress to "stand out", but not "stick out" as a tourist. Fortunately, by packing carefully, you can stay comfortable while looking "tres chic."

The most important thing to remember is to wear what is flattering for you. While Parisians are fashionable, they are also timeless. Above all, Parisians wear styles that complement their body type. When choosing clothes to take with you to Paris, think like a Parisian. Start packing classic pieces that look great on you. Then, mix and match trendy items - like a new blouse style or a flirty skirt- to update your look.

Paris Fashion Trend Watch – Spring and Summer 2013

Great news. This spring and summer season, Parisians embrace classically-simple styles that you'll most likely find in your own closet. Pack your favorite tank tops, relaxed pants, sun dresses, and toss in your suitcase a blazer to wear on breezy evenings walking along the Seine River.

This season the emphasis is not on a particular style or look, but on color. Oranges, sea-greens and ocean-blues, and candy-colored pastels are seen on the streets of Paris. To contrast, monochrome black and white outfits have made a comeback. When packing, focus on color and comfort.

Most importantly, you can travel light. This season's styles are designed to be mixed and matched for relaxed sightseeing outfits that transform into chic, evening attire.

Note: For shoes, please read "What Shoes Should You Wear in Paris?" for a detailed description of top brands and styles.


It's all about orange. From bright poppy to tangerine to subdued apricot, shades of orange are hot again this season in Paris.

To pack light, mix and match skirts, dresses and pants in neutral colors, then update your look with an orange accessory, like a scarf, purse or shoes.

If orange doesn't appeal to you, shades of ocean blue are also popular this season. From bright, royal blue... a range of complementary sea-greens.

For easy packing, black is back...and white, too.

Blouses and Tops

This season, it's all about comfort. Keep your figure-hugging shirts at home and pack a loose, hip-length, T-shirt or tunic in a breathable fabric. Sheer fabrics in nude, peach, coral and green are the look of the moment in Paris. Easy to pack and layer, if you bring one blouse to Paris, make it a light, flowing over-sized tunic or peasant top that flatters your figure.

Jeans and Pants

To balance out this season's trends of long and flowing shirts and boyfriend-style blazers, jeans and pants are straight and skinny. Luckily, on warm spring and summer days, these body-hugging styles are cropped or rolled at the ankle, keeping you somewhat cool.

Celebrate spring with a splash of color. Wear a Jean in this season's hottest colors - shades of orange..

...and white.


If skinny isn't your style, wear a pair of "casually chic" baggy pants in a summer fabric like linen or a light cotton.


Pick a pair of jeans that flatter your figure. From straight leg to boot cut..

an relaxed boyfriend-style, cuffed at the ankle.


If you love wearing shorts, you are in luck. This season shorts, in all styles and lengths, are popular in Paris. On chilly Spring days, you'll notice Parisians wearing shorts with light tights.

If you're considering packing capris, opt for a pair of knee-length Bermuda shorts instead. Keep cool sightseeing during the day, then dress up a pair of Bermuda shorts with short heels and a blazer/sweater for evening.

If you've got the legs to pull it off, opt for a pair of shorts instead of a pair of pants or a skirt. From short to ...

...mid-thigh to....


...knee-length Bermuda shorts.


Similar to shorts, anything goes relating to waist and hemlines. Take advantage of the flexibility this season and pack your favorite skirt with no worries that it will be out of fashion.

Short and above the knee... mid-calf and ankle-length.


Grecian inspired dresses paired with gladiator sandals are popular again in Paris this season. As a tourist, this is good news. Nothing beats a casual, free-flowing dress and comfortable flats for strolling along the Seine on a warm, sunny day.

Loose, drop-waist dresses in the colors of the season (oranges, corals, pinks, blacks and whites) will keep you cool on hot days while looking stylish while sightseeing. You can tie them low on the waist...

...or let the dress swing free.


Maxi-dresses are a forgiving way, to wear the Grecian trend. A maxi-dress will slim any "problem areas", giving you a long, lean silhouette.

The classic, spaghetti strap sundress is always a welcome site on Parisian streets.

Baby-doll dresses are a good compromise if you want to wear a less flirty dress than a simple, sundress.

Sleeve-less shifts and...

...exaggerated A-line skirts are just as popular now as they were in the 50's and 60's.

For all dresses, the emphasis is on the waist. Depending on the look, wear a belt...

...or a loose, bow-tie.


Minimalist Black and White

“Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.” - Coco Chanel

Listen to Coco Chanel - the stark beauty of black and white has made a comeback. If you pack to mix and match all your outfits, this season's minimalist emphasis on black and white is your dream scenario.


Or, pair white on white...if you dare...


...all black is a practical choice - camouflages all dust, dirt and minor spills. And, you can't go wrong wearing black in Paris.


Sweaters are out and blazers are in. Average lows for summer in Paris range from the mid-50s to low-60s, so packing a blazer for evening walks along the Seine River or when ascending the Eiffel Tower at night is a must.

Pick a length that flatters your figure - from hip to mid-thigh. Pack a blazer in an eye-catching blue, rose or fuschia...

...or stick to classic black and whites.

Beige and nude shades are never out of place on the Parisian streets.


In addition to the classic Parisian stripe-sailor shirt, stripes are everywhere. From skirts... dresses... shorts and jackets...

...and pants and blazers.


Inspired by Paris' many gardens, florals capture the essence of springtime in Paris. Brighten up your wardrobe with floral-patterned shirts...





...and jeans.




Lace is a feminine and lightweight accent that dresses up any outfit. Picture yourself strolling along the Seine in a simple, lace accented dress.

Pair a simple tank or blouse with a lace skirt...

...or embellish a plain skirt with a delicate lace top.




If you have the figure for it, accentuate your curves with a peplum top. Peplum can look sophisticated paired with cigarette pants or a pencil skirt...

...or casual with shorts and skinny jeans.



Weather in Paris can be chilly in the Spring with average high temperatures in April and May ranging from the high-50's to mid-60's. For the early Spring months, pack the Parisian staple, a classic trench coat.

If a trench is too bulky to pack, short, leather jackets are worn year-round in Paris. If you dare, make a statement with a bright red, pastel peach or bubble-gum pink leather jacket.

Another option is an oversized baseball jacket...

...or a long sweater.





You'll see Parisians wearing stylish scarves year round - even lightly wrapped around their necks with thin tank tops on hot summer days. Wearing a scarf is a simple, light-weight way to transform an outfit and to look less like a tourist and more like a Parisian. Pack or buy a scarf when you are in Paris to make a neutral outfit "pop.".

Then, experiment with tying or draping the scarf in different ways to make a statement.

Learn More - Street Style and Classic Tips

“A fashion that does not reach the streets is not a fashion”  - Coco Chanel

See how the trends we wrote about above, translate on the streets of Paris by viewing our Paris Street Photos for Spring and Summer.

“Fashion changes, but style endures." - Coco Chanel

For timeless tips on which clothes to pack for Paris, read our articles What to Wear in Paris France for Women. And for Men.



Photos courtesy of Parisian chains/designers: Naf Naf , Caroll, Mango, Kookai, Vanessa Bruno, Sandro and and Italian chain Marina Rinaldi.

Author: Cheryl Montgomery

Author: Cheryl Montgomery

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