What to Wear in Paris in Spring: Tips for Packing for Paris in the Spring (+ Packing List!)
I love Paris in the springtime…especially April in Paris, with flowers in blossom… Great singers have said it all before, and spring can indeed be an enchanting time to visit the City of Light. Between the parks in full bloom (don’t miss the cherry trees in the Jardin des Plantes and behind Notre Dame), and the first rays of sunshine, the Parisians themselves are in a – relatively – good mood.
Besides, visiting Paris in the spring is also your chance to enjoy some beautiful weather without the crowds as long as you avoid the school holidays around Easter and les ponts in May.
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So how do you back for that? And what to wear in Paris in spring? After multiple trips to the French capital, I have sort of figured it out and now you can learn from my mistakes. If you are visiting Paris in the early spring (March and early April), I would also recommend that you check out my packing list for what to wear in Paris in winter and keep an eye out for what the weather will be like during your stay. I have experienced snow in Paris as late as mid-March!
I have a free printable packing list for spring in Paris.
What’s the weather like in Paris in spring?
While much nicer than Paris in winter, the weather can also be a bit of a damper on your spring trip.
Between March and June, the temperatures vary with averages from the low 40s up to the mid-70s. Besides, rain showers (or, as the French call them, les giboulées) are just as likely to make an appearance along with clear blue skies, all within a single day.
You guessed it, packing for Paris in the spring – especially if you don’t want to spend your next paycheck on luggage fees – can be a bit of a headache.
Definitely check the weather a day or two before your trip, as it changes quickly and last week’s weather may be nothing like next week’s forecast.
In general, if you’re visiting Paris in March or April, be prepared for cool temperatures and rainy days – though you’ll likely see some sun as well.
For late April, May, and June, you’ll likely experience warm weather and sunny days, with the occasional rain shower.
In either case, go prepared for unpredictable weather with lots of layering items and waterproof shoes!
What To Wear in Paris in Spring
When thinking about your Paris outfits, consider classic styles. French girls and women tend to dress a bit fancier than most North Americans do for day-to-day life and focus on neutral tones and black with the occasional pop of color.
Their spring style is no different, though they’ll be prepared with waterproof shoes and a light jacket at all times, always be prepared for the wet weather that can show up on even a sunny day.
Here are a few tips to help you decide what to pack for Paris in spring.
It’s all about layers
Yes, I have said it all before. It is true any time of year, but particularly during the shoulder seasons like the spring and the fall. The weather can change dramatically multiple times, leaving you either wet and freezing or sweating, all within the span of a single day.
You may seriously regret your choices of the morning by the time lunch rolls in, but don’t make a detour to drop off your warm coat at your hotel because you will likely miss it as soon as the sun goes down or the next rain shower hits.
My advice would be to carry around a bag big enough to hold any extra clothing and accessories so you can peel them off like an onion and carry them conveniently. (Basket bags are very trendy and “in” right now!)
My scarves are my constant companions in any season, and they make a welcome addition to any outfit in the morning or once the sun goes down in the springtime. A silk scarf adds a touch of sophistication to any outfit.
Bring both long sleeve and short sleeve tops to layer up comfortably. Basic tees can easily be paired with a blazer or cardigan and some jeans for a put-together casual look. A nice blouse or white button-up is ideal for a slightly fancier look.
I would also recommend bringing a couple of lightweight but warm cardigans (now is a good time to invest in that cashmere sweater you have been eyeing) in neutral colors to go with different outfits.
The impromptu rain showers that make their almost daily appearance from March until May will be your biggest adversary when it comes to packing for Paris in the spring.
They are often short but can be violent and leave you wet and shivering for the rest of the day. Not fun for a day of exploring! No matter what the weatherman may say in the morning, I would strongly recommend being ready to fend off the rain at all times.
A travel umbrella is great to keep in your bag. It's light, it doesn't take much room, and you will be thrilled to have it when needed.
Make sure that your outerwear is waterproof and preferably hooded. As always, when traveling to Paris, leave the technical gear at home and go for something more stylish.
A jacket of all trades
As always, the key to a good travel wardrobe is to make sure that it's a) easy to travel with, and b) goes with everything. In the spring, a reliable jacket is a crucial element of your capsule wardrobe.
A classic belted trench coat is a favorite among Parisians and for good reasons. It goes with everything, will take you from a walk in the park to dinner at a fancy restaurant, and is light enough to carry around once the weather warms up.
Depending on your style, go with classic choices like a leather jacket or a denim jacket. If you are planning a fancier trip or will be attending work events, a smart blazer is also a great way to dress up more casual outfits or a little black dress to go out for dinner.
You can layer your trusted jacket under your raincoat on chilly mornings and evenings or use it as outerwear once the weather warms up. All of these choices will fit right in with the Parisian crowd, and they are versatile enough to go with almost everything, from jeans to flowy dresses on the hottest days.
Shoes for all-weather
Waterproof, comfortable shoes are key for any trip to Paris, though they are one of the most challenging items to settle on. You will most likely be walking a lot. You want them to be comfortable and sturdy enough to handle anything you may throw at them, from the stairs of Montmartre to the slippery cobblestones of the Latin Quarters or the gravel alleys of Versailles.
You also want to make sure that they can handle the changing weather. If your favorite shoes are made of more delicate material (like suede or fabric), waterproof them before packing.
I usually recommend picking a single pair of shoes (my personal preference is blue, but a pair of black shoes works perfectly as well) if possible, but spring is possibly the only time of year that may warrant bringing an extra one just in case. Sneakers were a no-no until relatively recently, but they are definitely in again, and not only with the younger crowd.
Of course, this being Paris, expect fashion sneakers made of leather or neutral fabric, not the technical ones you wear at the gym. White sneakers are very trendy and popular.
Personally, I like Converse. They are lightweight enough to pack in a suitcase as a complement to warmer, sturdier leather booties you can wear on colder days.
High heels are not recommended since you’ll likely be doing lots of walking but a pair of cute ballet flats are another great option.
Outfits you can dress up and down
With the ever-shrinking size of allowed suitcases on airplanes and the endless sea of stairs in the metro (or your Airbnb!) in mind, make sure you pack as light as possible. It can be a hassle when you are already planning all the cute outfits you will wear in Paris in the spring, but trust me: you will most likely end up with outfits you will not wear rather than missing things you left at home.
Worst case scenario, you are in one of the fashion capitals of the world, and you have the perfect excuse to do a little shopping.
When packing for your spring trip to Paris, choose outfits you can dress up or down, not only from day to night but also according to the weather. A well-cut pair of dark jeans is always appropriate (note that French women tend to opt for straight cut over skinny jeans).
Add a short sleeve t-shirt layered under a long-sleeve button-down shirt and cardigan, and you are good to go no matter the weather. A t-shirt dress can be warm enough all day long if you add a pair of leggings and a warm cardigan in the morning.
You can always remove them discreetly in the restroom if needed if the afternoon. You get the gist.
If you’re visiting later in spring, a slipdress can be a good option instead of a T-shirt dress. This works beautifully for Paris in summer as well.
Paris packing list: Spring
When it comes down to it, here’s what should make its way into your suitcase:
- Long and short sleeve tops
- Button-down shirt
- Travel umbrella
- Waterproof trench coat
- Jacket (leather, denim, or blazer)
- Pair of ankle boots (leather is ideal)
- Fashion sneakers
- Dark jeans
- T-shirt dress (with leggings for layering)
- Tote bags or other bag recommendations you can find here!
A note on specific months:
- What to wear in Paris in March: waterproof everything: shoes, outerwear, bags, tights for dresses and skirts, warm hat and scarf.
- What to wear in Paris in April: light jacket (trench coat), light sweater (cardigan), scarf, and water-resistant shoes.
- What to wear in Paris in May: tees and blouses, sundresses, linen pants, blazer, and sandals.
What NOT To Wear
Let’s quickly talk about what not to wear in Paris in spring (or other times). Paris is one of the fashion capitals of the world and there’s a bit of a dress code that even visitors should adhere to unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb.
Short shorts, athletic wear (unless you’re actually going to the gym), and flip-flops are not staples of Parisian style like they tend to be in North America. Plus, the weather in spring tends to be too cold for short shorts, and tank tops and flip-flops can be dangerous on the cobblestone streets after a rain shower!
Packing for Paris by Season
Fall/Autumn in Paris
Winter in Paris
Summer in Paris
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How about you? What is your packing list for Paris? What is your must-bring item when traveling to Paris in the spring?
Illustrations commissioned from Linden Eller.
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Very useful packing tips 🙂 I’m planning to visit Paris in April, I will make sure to bring the items you mentioned. I love scarves and cardigans anyway, so just another reason to pack them for my trip. Oh, and you have lovely hand-drawn pictures!
Great tips! I agree with layers are the best way to stay warm in the winter. Also a great tip on wearing outfits that you can dress up and down.
Great tips here, especially the ‘bring layers’ comment. And of course, packing light means you can indulge yourself in the Parisian shops and it’ll easily fit into your bag on the way home! Thanks for the advice 🙂
Lovely tips! Am a fan of scarves too! Hehe the first tip really reminds me the beautiful English weather! I agree with a small umbrella is a must just in case, and the idea of layering!
I love your tips! Layering is the best way to keep warm. Also adding a short sleeve t-shirt layered under or even over a long-sleeve button-down shirt is just perfect! Tights or leggings inside your pants adds more layers. Thanks for this lovely blog! 🙂
Oh yes outfits you can dress up and down is definitely very important!
Yes definitely all about the layers. We’re traveling around France for 3 months (we’re half way through our trip) and as we’re traveling around by train, a few of the routes have meant that it’s easiest to go up to Paris and then come back down again. So even though we didn’t intent too, we’ve had 2 trips to Paris so far. The weather has been so changeable during our stays, that we’re constantly having to adjust the layers we’re wearing.
Layers are so important! I always tell people that, but no one ever listens.
These are great tips for Paris! We are headed to Croatia this spring and I think I’ll apply these tips to that trip as well!
I have not been to paris in the spring yet so this list is super helpful! Had no idea what to pack.
Great tips. Definitely layers, waterproof shoes and a foldable umbrella 🙂 A this packing list is useful for all European countries on the same latitude as Paris 🙂
I’ve always wanted to visit Paris. I would have no idea what to wear!
You definitely have to have sneakers that are both fashionable and functional. As you’ve mentioned, wearing them “out” used to be a faux pax.
I’ve never been to Paris, but it sounds lovely! If I ever do get a chance to travel there I will certainly keep these fashion tips in mind!
Such a perfect post! I’m sharing with a friend who’s taking her mom to Paris soon. It’s hard to know what to pack and wear on trips. This is great!
Cute Outfits you can dress up and down is definitely very smart.
Great tips for what to wear in Paris in Spring. And actually, much of it is good advice for many types of travel. I always love the illustrations in your posts–they are so fun and whimsical.
These are very helpful tips when packing a trip to Paris during spring. I love layering and packing light so there’s extra room for shopping
I love Paris! I was last there on April and layers were definitely a must-have. All of these suggestions are great.
haha, I was just back from Paris for a weekend. It was lovely! (with a big night rain)
Actually I find it not-that-cold as I imagine, so my packings are absolutely ok. The shoes are the biggest thing, as I did pack the wrong shoes (with heels). The solution is buying a new pair of Converse immediately which did cost more than in Italy’s or Hongkong’s sales season price. I absolutely agree with the point of “a pair of fashion sneakers”!
I visited Paris in spring and that time I was not knowing about how to pack for Paris and I took all winter clothing. But it is great that you listed all and yes layering is really important here. Dark colored jeans and leather booties are my favorite thing to carry for holidaying in spring to Europe. Thanks for all tips.
Great tips. I’m heading to Paris soon so this is really helpful.
Great post, Paris is always a good idea and so is layering upi!
These are great ideas! Paris in the Spring is gorgeous, just love it there!!!
I’ve never been to Pairs, but we are headed to Milan this spring and I imagine that the weather there is quite similar, so this will come in very handy! Thank you!! (I’m a native Portlander (Oregon), so a few spring showers don’t scare me!)
I am dying to visit Paris in spring and this is very useful guide.
Great advice! With Paris weather you can never be sure, so best is to be weatherproof indeed
Your love for Paris is infectious; I love it! Thank you for sharing this list. Super useful.
Yes I believe in layers for everything from winter camping to visiting Paris.
Great packing tips!! I always try to pack outfits that can be dressed up and dressed down if need be! I totally agree with the jacket of all trades!
What a pretty watercolor! I’d print that out and hang it as a reminder of what to pack! This is a wonderful list of items for all sorts of European cities, super helpful.
Scarves are always a must for me when I visit Paris. Not necessarily for warmth, but for the Parisian flair I think it gives any outfit. The rest of your packing list is perfect, too, but scarves are my “must” for blending in with the French as much as I can.
Great tips! :] Layers are definitely the way to go, and a jacket of all trades + all-weather shoes are so important!
I’m having such a hard time packing for spring in my hometown, let alone Paris. The weather can change so much in a single day and it’s always so wet. Layers are a great idea and you have to a plan if any one piece of your interchangeable wardrobe gets soaked. The big issue is shoes. I think I would pack a pair of full waterproof shoes, like duck boots, that are relatively light and bullet proof. That way, you’ll always have one pair that’s suitable for all weather. It might not be the height of fashion, but at least it’s not sneakers.
Great packing list for Paris! All of your Paris posts are making me want to go back. I’ve only been for one day, unfortunately. Layers are a great idea anywhere I think!