The Simple Sophisticate - Intelligent Living Paired with Signature Style

Last fall two episodes were shared delineating ideas for a timeless capsule wardrobe for traveling about in Paris as well as in London and the English countryside. As promised, the series continues into winter, and while we are nearing the end of winter, with the Paris fall/winter collections about ready to take the runway sharing their 2020 trends and inspirations, I thought this would be the perfect time to share how Parisians dress in the chillest months of the year.

Of course the uber style stars who will share their street style at the end of February as they make their way to and from the shows, and while I highly recommend taking a look at what they are wearing as even though they may be out of reach budget-wise and offer strong signature style that is hard or less likely to be imulated and simply admired, the color combinations, layers, and fabric choices are worth noting most certainly.

Today, let's return to Paris and take a look at the necessities for a timeless winter wardrobe whether you are making a trip for business or pleasure.

First of all, what is the weather likely to be during winter in Paris? Paris Perfect explains that the average temperature during the months of December, January and February is 42 degrees Fahrenheit, so about 6 degrees Celsius. With a 50% chance of cloudy and/or rainy weather on any given day, be prepared for moisture, and likely not snow (although on occasion snow does fall, but it doesn't last for more than a day or two - typically).

Depending upon where you call home when you aren't visiting Paris, 42 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter may feel chilly, not-so-bad or perhaps even warm for winter months. Whilst keeping all of that in mind, let's take a look at the list of essentials for your capsule wardrobe.

1.Classic, well-constructed cashmere or wool sweaters

Since you are in Paris, you will likely be inside most of the time, but walking from place to place. Keeping this in mind, fine cashmere sweaters would be the best as you can layer them for more warmth, but also not become over-heated while inside at your desired destination.

2. Dark denim

Dark colors in general will never be a bad idea in Paris during the winter. From dark denim jeans to dark pants, dark shoes and dark outerwear, the benefit of knowing this and having such items on hand is that you can easily mix and match and then add the pop of color as you feel necessary.

3. Black jeans

4. Waterproof leather booties (ankle boot)

5. Leather sneakers

6. A Warm Winter Coat - Puff, Pea Coat or something similar - long preferred

The air is damp, so when the wind blows or the temperatures drop, it feels colder than it may actually be. A long coat will keep your entire body warm while you wait in line to go to a museum or venture outside to stroll from one destination to another.

~Be sure to check out Mango for beautiful coats at great price points.

7. A Wool Blazer

For days in which it is not as chilly, but still the air has a nip, wear an oversized wool blazer with a scarf.

  • Theory is a brand I highly recommend and enjoy wearing myself

~photo credit: Style du Monde

8. Lovely warm, scarves

From classic oblong scarves to large stoles which can be used as a blanket on the plane while traveling, pack one or two favorite scarves that will work with what you have and provide the warmth you seek.

  • Eric Bompard (shop these boutiquest while you are in Paris!) make lovely cashmere scarves. In fact, I picked up my first one in 2013 and have been wearing it ever since each winter.

9. A Warm Wool Hat

Leave the beret at home and pack a warm wool or cashmere hat that covers your head and ears. Black, navy, ivory or anything neutral so you can wear it with anything you have packed.

10. Leather, yet cashmere lined, gloves

11. Turtleneck

Yes, an additional sweater, but turtlenecks are lovely in their retro chic silhouettes. Whether fitted or oversized, choose a luxurious fabric that feels good on your skin, a high neck that hugs your chin and a color that works well with your wardrobe, all while perhaps adding a touch of pop or a subtle unique shade of something fabulous.

12. Cardigan

Granted a cardigan is a sweater as shared in #1 being a must-have while traveling around Paris, but a cardigan is a casual choice to have for the flight, for snuggling in either in the morning or evening upon returning from being out and about, and well, just a lovely winter staple to have on hand (and a necessary one in Paris during the winter).

13. A travel umbrella

Likely, your accommodations will have an umbrella for you to use, but having a packable umbrella with you wherever in the world you might travel is never a bad idea. As shared at the top of the post/episode, the liklihood that it will rain in Paris is 50/50, so it's best to be prepared as you won't want to wear a coat with a hood unless you want to stick out as a tourist, unless the coat looks something like this.

14. Shop for what you need while in Paris - pourquoi pas?!

In January, the semi-annual French Les Soldes takes place in which every shop will be having sales on everything, not just the items they cannot sell. Take advantage of this opportunity and shop for what you need while you are there, but also what will live and be loved for many years to come wherever you call home.

15. Totes and handbags

This recommendation will be the same as it was for Autumn - a crossbody bag for going about the city and a tote for travel days. Poléne's full and mini crossbody bags are ones I recently learned about and now have and absolutely would recommend.

Whether your favorite time to visit Paris is the spring, summer or fall or winter, whenever the opportunity arises to escape to the City of Light, it will be hard to say no. Knowing you will be well-packed will ensure you feel confident and comfortable as you walk and explore and savor along with the Parisians themselves with no one being the wiser that you are a tourist unless you let it be known. Most certainly, your sartorial choices will not give you away.

Stay tuned as I will continue this series for the spring and summer months as the year unfolds and Anglophiles, rest assured, a winter shopping list will be shared soon.

View All Other Seasons & Their Timeless Wardrobe Essentials for Visiting France

SIMILAR POSTS/EPISODES from the Archives You Might Enjoy:


Traveling Alone Well, episode #220



Petit Plaisir

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Direct download: 277ParisWinter.mp3
Category:French-inspired -- posted at: 7:00pm PST