Saturday, February 09, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Reader Question: What To Wear To Paris In The Winter

Dear Meg,

I have a question: I'm going to Paris on a student exchange at the end of the year. It'll be fall going on to winter, and since I've lived in a tropical country for my entire life, what exactly does one pack? Could you suggest a few versatile clothes? And I'm especially concerned about shoes -- are boots a must, or will I be able to survive in my sneakers alone? I'm awfully clueless.



Setting aside my jealousy that you'll be spending a semester in Paris, I can suggest a few items that I think will help you transition to the cold weather. I've never been to Paris, but according to my research, the fall and winter are fairly chilly and rainy, though not snowy, which is nice. You'll definitely want plenty of clothes that can hold up to wet, windy weather, preferably layers that you can add on or take off when you move in and out of buildings. You also want versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down,

My first suggestion would be to pick up a trench coat in a waterproof fabric, ideally at 3/4 length. A trench is classic, chic and will never go out of style, so your money will be well-spent. Here's an example of a basic one from MICHAEL by Michael Kors.

When winter sets in, even the best trench won't keep you warm, so look for some lightweight sweaters that you can layer. I love cardigans for this purpose, since they're so easy to take on and off depending on how you're feeling. Dress a cardigan down with jeans and a tee or cami or throw it over a cocktail dress if you're going out on the town. This cardigan is from Nordstrom BP.

Another great piece to have that will help you transition from warm to cooler days and can also dress up or down is a cashmere or pashmina wrap. You can wear it as a scarf, throw it casually over your shoulders or pair it with a formal outfit. Here's one from Nordstrom, though you can find them for much less at discount stores.

Moving on to footwear...

I think you'll definitely need a good walking shoe and a waterproof boot of some kind. If you're the kind of girl who lives in sneakers, you could stick with those for dry days, but for something more Parisian, look for a cute pair of comfortable flats, like these from Me Too

The same goes for boots: if you tend toward the sporty and casual, you could go with a rubber pair like these, but if you want something that's a little more formal, I'd go with a low-heeled equestrian style like these

Any of these items would be perfect for days spent browsing the Louvre, eating chocolate croissants and riding around with cute boys on Vespas. Have a fantastic time during your study abroad!