How To Pack For Paris In A Carry-On

How To Pack For Paris In A Carry-On

Paris in a carry-on is easier than one might imagine it would be. Of course, depending on the season you go, will help to decide which items to take. You can still look chic and classic in Paris by packing these pieces in your carry-on.

How To Decide What To Pack For Paris

When packing for Pais in a carry-on there are 5 useful tips to think about when deciding what to take.

  1. Have a list of activities planned out in advance, this will help you know, how you will need to dress for each day.
  2. Look at the weather a week to two weeks ahead of your trip on various weather apps.
  3. Keep a neutral color palette in mind. I prefer to use neutral colors like black, white, navy, and cream or beige. I also like to blend in a little and look more like a local.
  4. Think about how you can mix and match pieces to use for the daytime as well into the nighttime.
  5. Try on all your clothes and put outfits together before you pack your suitcase. I also take photos on my phone so I remember which pieces to wear together, and I put them in an album for easy access.

Most of these classic items can be used through any season. However, during the colder months, you will bring a heavier coat, maybe more sweaters, and boots.

What Type Of Luggage To Use For Paris In A Carry-On

When packing for Paris in a carry-on, you want to make sure you have the right luggage to fit all your essentials properly. I recently invested in the AWAY, The Bigger Carry-On, and The Everywhere Bag to help make my carry-on packing more simplified.

You can also use packing cubes to help organize you as well. I have used both these from Amazon and the AWAY ones as well. They are both very helpful for any carry-on.

In the Everywhere Bag, I will pack my laptop, headphones, makeup bag (I just take the small one), passport, wallet, hand wipes, tech travel case, Kindle, eye mask, and Sézane Milo.

How To Pack Toiletries For Paris In A Carry-On

For toiletries, you want to make sure you pack travel-size everything. If you are the type of person who just wants to use the hotel toiletries, then that will work. However, if you are someone who needs all your toiletry essentials then purchase travel size options ahead of time if you can.

I have a lot of sample-size face products that I always take. And I also ask for sample-size sunscreen every time I go to the dermatologist.

I use this toiletry bag from AWAY for deodorant, sample-size face products, toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, eye masks, travel-size perfume, shampoo, and dental floss. I will pack this in my carry-on.

Then I take a smaller bag for my makeup and brush and put that in the Everywhere Bag. I always pack a hair straightener and a small travel steamer as well.

What To Pack For Paris In A Carry-On

This is a list of items I would pack in a carry-on for Paris. These are all pieces that can be worn multiple ways, and multiple days as well. Obviously, you are going to pack all your intimates and socks, so I am not including those in this list.

For the record, this is what I have packed and what fits in the suitcase:

  • 3 Button Down Tops
  • 1 Striped Top
  • 1 Sweater (Also wearing one on the plane)
  • 1 T-shirt
  • 1 Cami
  • 2 Pair of Jeans (Also wearing a 3rd pair on the plane)
  • 1 Pair of Black Trousers
  • 1 Tweed Jacket
  • 1 Blazer
  • 1 Dress
  • 1 Trench Coat (Wearing on the plane)
  • 1 Pair of Ballet Flats
  • 1 Pair of Sneaker (Wearing on the plane)
  • 1 Pair of Slingbacks
  • 1 Clothes Steamer
  • 1 Hair Straightener
  • 1 Toiletry Bag

TOPS

White Button Down

You can’t get more classic than a white button-down which you could actually wear multiple times if needed with jeans and trousers. Take a simple button-down or go for a fun and playful one. If you want to make it a bit more dressy, you could always take a silk button-down instead of cotton.

My favorite button-down is the Tomboy from Sézane, I sized up. However, other options are from J.Crew, GAP, Everlane, and AYR.

Cashmere Sweater

The weather in Paris can be all over the place even in spring and summer. Mornings in the springtime can be a bit cool. A cashmere sweater is always a good idea to have on hand when needed. You can always start off with it in the morning and remove it at some point during the day if needed.

Some of my favorite cashmere sweaters are by VINCE , J.Crew, and Everlane. If you aren’t a cashmere fan then go with a cotton cardigan, crewneck sweater, or even the beautiful Gaspard ( I wear a small).

Stripe Top

Certainly, you can’t go to Paris without taking some sort of stripe top along in your carry-on. This is the perfect top to look like a Parisian, worn under a trench or blazer with jeans. My favorite one is from Sézane ( I wear a medium), but you can also get one from brands like J.Crew, Tuckernuck, and Alex Mill.

T-shirt or Cami

I think it’s always a good idea to take pack layering pieces no matter the season. Whatever works for you, either t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, or silk camis.

Paris weather can be tricky so it’s always a good idea to have some sort of these on hand for your trip.

BOTTOMS

Jeans

Whenever I head to Paris, I always pack a pair of straight-leg or flare denim. They are easy to wear and look great with either sneakers, boots, or ballet flats. Plus, I like to look a bit more local and these are the styles you will see on the streets of Paris.

My personal favorite jeans are from MOTHER denim but J.Crew also has a great skinny flare style for the new season. You can pack either black or blue or even both if you prefer and you have the space.

Black Trousers

A classic pair of black trousers are easy to wear with any top or sweater and can easily be dressed up or down. These crepe trousers from J.Crew, are the perfect style and fabric for the spring and summer seasons in Paris.

Black Dress

Make sure to take an LBD to Paris in your carry-on for any evening event that you might be doing. You could easily wear it during the day with a sweater or blazer over the dress and remove it for the evening.

I love a beautiful slip dress that you can easily wear a sweater over during the day with sneakers and then a blazer and pumps for the evening. My favorite is from VINCE but the other options are J. Crew, and Cuyana. FYI, I use these when I am wearing this type of dress.

JACKETS

Trench Coat

The ultimate French jacket is a trench coat and one which will serve you well during your trip. For those cool mornings or days when there’s rain (because it will likely happen), a trench will keep you warm and looking like a Parisian.

My favorite trench and the only one I always take is the Scott Trench from Sézane (I sized up to wear with sweaters). However, you can also go with one from J.Crew, MANGO, or & Other Stories.

Blazer

Pack a navy or black blazer to instantly elevate any outfit. You can easily wear a blazer with a T-shirt, jeans, and scarf, and wear it with sneakers or ballet flats.

For spring and summer go with cotton or linen fabrics. My favorite blazer is the Michele (size down) or Christie from Sézane. The Willa Blazer from J.Crew is also a great option.

Tweed Jacket

I like to take a tweed jacket to wear during the day with jeans and flats, it’s very chic and classic looking. For nighttime, I can wear the jacket with black trousers and Slingback or over the dress.

SHOES

Sneakers

Sneakers are the choice of footwear these days in Paris and everyone is wearing them. Since there are so many miles to walk and walk in Paris, you want to make sure you’re packing the ones you can go all day. The ones you will see the most and styles I wear in Paris are VEJA, Stan Smith, and Converse.

I always put my shoes in some sort of bag to keep them separate from the clothes. I reuse handbag dust bags but you can also buy some from Amazon.

One tip is to wear your heaviest shoes on the plane, for me that’s always sneakers. This way they take up less room in your suitcase and don’t make your suitcase feel super heavy.

Ballet Flat or Loafer

If you don’t love sneakers then you certainly can’t go wrong with a classic pair of ballet flats or loafers. These types of shoes always add a bit of elegance to a simple pair of jeans yet still look Parisian chic.

Slingbacks or Heel

For the evening out, wear a slingback or heel with your LBD, black trousers, blazer, and cami. Slingback options are ones from Vaneli, Tuckernuck ( I have these and love them), and from Boden.

ACCESSORIES

Longchamp

I have been using a Longchamp during my days around the city for years. They are the best travel bag to use in my opinion if you need something on the larger side plus you can easily fold it up and pack it in your carry-on.

A Longchamp is lightweight, nylon (so it’s okay if it gets dirty, just wipe it off), and very chic in Paris. You will see lots of Parisian women carrying them in various colors.

Crossbody/Clutch

For a bag on the smaller side or for evenings, go for a crossbody or mini bag. The bag I use the most is this A.P.C. Grace Bag, which is quite popular in Paris. Other options are one from Cuyana, J.Crew,

Scarves

Take a few scarves to add a pop to your outfits through color. These are my favorite way to make a basic outfit look a bit more elevated. Go with silk or cotton in a few different sizes. You will definitely look like a French woman wearing a scarf.

Jewelry

I only pack the earrings I wear daily, these gold hoops, and a small delicate chain necklace. You don’t want to stand out by wearing too much jewelry, plus this makes you a prime target as a tourist. Maybe a pair of pearl or diamond earrings for dinner or an evening outfit but that’s about all you need.

Also, don’t forget miscellaneous items like travel adapters, and a portable charger.

If you would like some outfit inspiration, on what to wear on the plane to Paris, check out this post.

Would love to know about any tips you have for packing for Paris in a carry-on.

2 Comments

    1. Hi Cindy-
      Between 5-7 days, that’s about what could fit in this carry-on. Obviously, you can add more or take away pieces as you see fit. Overall, it was to share that you can definitely pack for Paris in a carry-on.

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