My Life as a Traveler

What NOT to Wear


This is what you do NOT wear in France in the summertime (or any time, for that matter).

  • White tennis/running shoes
  • Shorts
  • Fanny pack
  • Pastels
  • Florals
  • White, unless paired with black
  • Baseball cap
  • Backpack
  • T-shirts that say “So many men, so few who can afford me” or “My Dog Can Lick Anyone.”
  • Sweats

So what do you wear?

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Navy (maybe) or neutral colors
  • Dark shoes, flats ok, good for walking long distances (did somebody say “death march”? Susie?)
  • Dark jeans, black is best, but dark blue is ok
  • Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Scarves
  • Little or no makeup
  • A nice sweater, not too heavy.

In Paris, black is the new black. Even in summer. Nothing that looks even remotely like resort wear is found in the city. Toulouse may be a little less so, but in the countryside, even the French dress nicely.

My goal for packing for this trip is to go with one skirt, one pair dark pants, and one pair capris (those are allowed). Maybe 6 or 7 shirts, and each shirt can be worn with two of the three bottoms. Enough underwear for the entire trip without washing (+1) and 2 bras, something to sleep in, and yoga clothes are included. Two pairs of shoes, both good for walking, one closed toe and one pair of sandals. I’ll wear the closed toe shoes on the plane, with a sweater. I might bring a light windbreaker-type jacket, but not a brightly colored one.

I’m having a little problem in the skirt department, though. My long peasant skirt only has one top that goes with it and therefore does not fall within the packing rules. I do have a reversible black on one side/taupe on the other skirt which goes with everything and is perfectly functional, but it doesn’t give me that “I Feel Pretty” feeling. Hmmm…time to go shopping for a new top! Or a new skirt!

Quintessential French Woman

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