How To: Pack for a Weekend in Paris

Packing for a weekend in Paris the style stories blog

If you're anything like me, you'll be jetting off on brief city breaks far more often than you'll be setting up for a fortnight on the beach - so packing on the quick (usually with just hand luggage) has to become a bit of an art form.

Last week I headed off to Paris for four days, so I thought I'd share the details on what I packed and how to create the perfect capsule wardrobe for four days away - no matter the size of your suitcase.

The key is to create an edit of key pieces in your wardrobe - a selection of basics that you can mix and match to create a selection of outfits, as well as some statement pieces that need nothing added to look fantastic. So for example, I have some simple tops that I can choose to either wear with jeans and trainers in the daytime, or with a full black satin skirt and heels in the evening - and in terms of statement pieces, I like colourful dresses that I can choose to wear night or day, whenever takes my fancy.

In terms of colour palette, sticking to a formula is a sure-fire way to ensure that you'll wear everything you've packed, and there'll be no outfit-related meltdowns in your hotel room. My formula is generally monochrome, with a few splashes of colour via the aforementioned statement pieces, and subtle colour touches in my accessories.

Comfy shoes are a must; personally I prefer to take a pair of fresh white canvas tennis shoes away on trips when I know I'll be walking for miles, as they go with pretty much any outfit and won't cause blisters or sore feet when I'm five miles down. And choosing one pair of versatile heels is much wiser than slinging six pairs of platforms into your case. Even when you think you're "only" heading out to dinner, you'll probably end up traipsing the streets searching for that perfect spot to dine, so make sure you can walk in them!

Below is a guide to what I decided to pack for my trip to Paris; I try to stick to this formula wherever I can, as it's tried-and-tested and I'm guaranteed to wear everything I pack, so no wasted space in that suitcase (and more room to bring half a French pharmacie back with me...).

  • Basic white tee - to be worn with black jeans or black skirt
  • Black high-neck tee - to be worn with black jeans
  • White broderie anglaise cropped blouse - to be worn with black skirt
  • Striped ruffle tee - to be worn with jeans (it is Paris, after all!)
  • Black camisole - to be worn with black jeans or black skirt
  • Pink ruffled minidress
  • Black floral midi dress
  • Black dress with full tulle skirt
  • Black frilled jumpsuit
  • Black jeans
  • Black satin midi skirt
  • White canvas trainers
  • White Stan Smiths
  • Silver closed-toe heels
  • Black leather jacket
  • Black leather shoulder bag
  • Leopard print clutch bag
  • Tortoiseshell Clubmaster sunglasses