Packing for Paris is something that always gets me excited and puts a spring in my step. Although I’m not a fashion blogger, I still like to feature a post on latest fashion buys and I’m excited to share with you some bits that I’m packing for my trip to Paris in two weeks. With the weather being like London, it’s easy to figure out what to pack and end of March weather in both Paris and London can be very changeable. For a start, it may be spring but sometimes it really doesn’t feel like it especially with the snow we had 1st of March, it seemed like we were in the depths of winter not spring. I’ve been to Paris end of April and end of May, in April it rained a lot and it was quite cool, a good rain coat and light jumpers are essential but by the end of May, it’s warming up and generally quite pleasant but don’t be fooled, although it can be warm and sunny, it can also be wet and a bit chilly even in May. October is genrally the same as spring, I was once in Paris beginning of October and the weather was sunny and very warm! Check the forecast a few days before you leave home.
I’m so excited to be going to Paris again, it doesn’t matter how many times I go and with the blog, it is essential that I take a trip at least 2-3 times a year. My love for Paris will never die however having said that, there places in Paris and certain times of year that can be a bit of a disappointment. By that, I mean that there seem to be more beggars than ever, homeless people on the streets where there once wasn’t, graffiti on shop shutters and December is crowded. Often, it’s dirty, and I feel strongly that the Parisian authorities or council if there is such a thing really need to try to keep the city of light clean and make shop keepers remove graffiti of their shutters or am imagining a utopia that will never exist? London is the same too, so I don’t know who I’m trying to kid, every city seems to be declining, pride missing from once jolly and proud streets. Still, both London and Paris will always retain a certain magic and mythical charm especially Paris with its café-culture and laid-back ambience, romantic narrow cobbled streets in the left bank, the grand boulevards and palace hotels, even having its own village within a city, how cool is that!!
Back to fashion! Having lost some weight, I felt happy enough to invest in a nice dress because I’ll be going to a very special restaurant and looking stylish is important. You can get away with being casual if you’re going to a bistro for dinner – jeans, a nice top, jacket and heels a la French casual chic, French women have it in bucket loads but it’s so hard to emulate. However, for a nice restaurant, a beautiful dress is essential.
A simple but chic flowy little black dress from Ghost in a crinkle georgette fabric, it’s perfect for packing as it doesn’t crease. Its front has a squarish cut-out and it has a deep back opening with ties, it’s sexy and perfect for showing off a toned back. It’s gathered at the waist on the front while the back is elasticated. The sleeves are cute, full of layers as is the skirt of the dress with pretty ruffles. It’s a dress that can be worn for any occasion dressed up with the right bag, heels and accessories. I’m really pleased with it and can’t wait to wear it, it retails at £95, I’ll put up links at the bottom of the page.
BAG AND SHOES
I have a bit of dilemma here, either go for black or change it up and go for cream/sandy coloured sandals and bag! I have a pair of black sandal-type open shoe which I bought in 2010 from Stuart Weitzman at Russell and Bromley which I immediately fell in love with, they’re they ultimate in sexy sandal and go with everything.
I’m fussy about where I wear them as walking on cobbled streets can destroy the heel which is about 3 inches in height. Only problem is after a day sightseeing and lots of walking, my feet swell up often making it difficult to get these sandals on. I’ve been on a weekend trip away and cried as I couldn’t zip them up at the back!! Mr LmP had to struggle trying to pull the zip up so I’m conscious of that happening this time. They’re suede and suede usually stretch, I may buy a shoe stretch spray or whatever else I can to help stretch the sandal out.
Of course, I would then team these shoes with either my Mulberry Lily handbag with Chanel-like chain (yes, I’m still saving for my Chanel classic bag, I should be able to get it by November fingers crossed) or my black mini satin Louis Vuitton evening bag.
I could of course break up the black a bit and as it’s spring, cream/sandy coloured sandals and bag is a classic look with black especially with my delicate Tiffany cream pearl bracelet. My sandals are from Dune in patent leather and so easy to keep clean, with a platform sole, they’re really comfy too. A tip that I must share with you are fold-away pumps that I take with me every time I go out in the evening, they’re also from Dune, they come in their own little draw-string bag, take your heels off and walk in these after a night out for ultimate comfort!
I have two light coloured bags, a tiny one from Mulberry, it’s almost like a clutch bag with a beautiful simple gold chain in patent leather matching the sandals perfectly, unfortunately I can’t link this bag because Mulberry have discontinued this style as they often do with their bags.
The other bag that would be perfect and is large enough to fit everything in it is my most cherished Miu Mui bag. Miu Miu is owned by Prada and this bag resembles the classic Prada Galleria bag in pebble-type butter soft leather, it’s a chic, stylish bag in a classic colour that will always be current and that’s how I like my bags, let’s face it, it’s not often you splash a couple of thousand pounds on a bag so you need to be in love with it always. The Prada Galleria bag in black is another bag on my list of must-buys. Miu Miu have stopped this style of bag so l won’t be linking it.
My daytime shoes must be comfortable, it’s essential that they are. I suffered arthritis in the ankles about 19 years ago which still affects my feet to this day. It prevented me from walking, it was that bad. No one knew what it was, eventually we went to a private consultant who diagnosed reactive arthritis caused by a viral infection that attacked the bones. After being diagnosed and being on a treatment of powerful anti-inflammatory tablets, eventually it began to subside but its now left me with slightly swollen ankles and still painful feet which swell up especially when it’s hot, so comfort is an absolute must for me when I’m on a city break but I need comfort as well as stylish footwear. Fitflop are a lifesaver, thankfully, they’re now making even more flattering styles than they ever did with trainers, boots, sandals and ballerina type pumps which is what I’m taking with me to Paris for daytime walking. They’re super comfy and you really wouldn’t know they weren’t proper pumps.
Finally, what am I packing for daytime? A lightweight coat! A simple stylish coat that I can also wear in the evening. To keep packing to a minimum, doubling up is essential for a city break as I’m only there for 36 hours. This coat from Gap is simple and lightweight but warm enough for March weather. It’s unlined double-faced wool in grey with a darker grey shawl collar and open-front, perfect for coldish spring weather, if it rains, I’ll have a brolly, it doesn’t really matter if it’s not waterproof, a raincoat wouldn’t have been warm enough.
Taking a scarf is so important as the cold can catch you out especially if the wind is blowing, I have lots of scarves from the White Company that suit the coat perfectly. A cross-over messenger bag is so important to keep your belongings safe and secure, my Mulberry bag in a golden brown with zip is perfect for city breaks. I hate being weighed down by my bag which so often happens so I’m keeping what’s in the bag to a minimum, so often I have a painful neck due to the bag being too heavy. Take a small purse, so often purses weigh a ton, keep some lose change, one card separate from your Euros is also a good idea in case you lose your purse for whatever reason.
I’ve bought two thin wool sweaters from the White Company which will keep me warm but not too hot. One is a marl coloured with navy Breton-like stripes, very Parisian! It has a really comfy but stylish swing-style. I’ve also bought a pale grey jumper with thick bold stripe detailing on the hem and sleeves in part cotton/wool mix which is perfect for spring.
I’ll wear these with my stretch Hollister skinny jeans, they are the most comfortable jeans I’ve ever bought, there is so much stretch them and they’re not as expensive as you think, yes cheaper than Levi’s but I find Levis’ fabric doesn’t stretch as much. I’ve got plenty of Levi Curve ID jeans in the wardrobe which don’t fit anymore, another weight-loss motivator.
Don’t forget to take a pair of stylish sunglasses, the sun can be in and out in Paris and eyes must be protected and super stylish too!
So that’s it! I think I’ve done well with my purchases, classic but stylish clothes, that can be worn so many times. Paris in the spring can be sunny and bright but also wet and cold so packing layers, a scarf, sunglasses, a good day bag with zip, comfy shoes are a few must-buys. Just think ahead and you’ll be fine. Determine your evening wear by the type of restaurant/bistro you’re going to, generally in Paris, a nice restaurant calls for smart, stylish clothes especially if you’re staying in a plush hotel that will no doubt have a luxury bar you’ll want to go to when you return from dinner, you need to look the part. I’ve noticed when I’ve gone to a bistro for dinner, the majority of Parisian women are quite casual – stylish but casual so a pair of jeans with heels and a smart top/blouse/shirt will suffice.
When I go on a city break, I usually always like to buy a few new bits and pieces, it makes me feel special and it’s a good start to the city break when you’re feeling good. I usually buy a few new beauty products, make-up or a new perfume depending on where I’m going.
I’m so looking forward to going to Paris again, I can’t wait to explore a couple of new arrondissements and share it with you on the blog…. perhaps I will share some photos of me in the clothes, lets see how I feel!
Jumpers from the White Company click here
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 can be purchased from John Lewis here or from Selfridges or Harrods.
Mulberry Lily bag can be bought from Mulberry via this link.