What to Wear in Paris in March (And Look Like a Parisian, Hopefully)

Wow, it’s been almost 3 months since my last post about traveling as a highly sensitive person. I apologize for my absence, but between starting a new job (to make sure the travel bank stays full) and being very sick for an extended time, this voyager needed some rest and the blog unfortunately had to take the backseat for awhile. Needless to say, I’m excited to be writing again…so without any further ado, let’s get back to it and talk about what to wear in Paris in March if you want to look Parisian!

What to Expect from the Weather

Early spring is a fantastic time to visit Paris, because prices are on the lower end and tourist season hasn’t really ramped up yet, so you won’t be fighting for a turn to get the best view of the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe, among other things. To read more about all the benefits of off-season travel, check out my post about slow travel here.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you might already know I’m passionate about minimalist packing and outfit planning. Doing so for Paris was the biggest challenge out of all our destinations so far. It has a well-known reputation for being a city of fashion, and it’s a place I’ve wanted to visit since I was a little girl who was obsessed with clothing and style, so I wanted my looks to be on par with the locals.

Most of our previous trips have required packing for 10+ days, outdoor activities, and quite hot and humid weather, so being fashionable wasn’t as important as being comfortable. Since our trip to Paris was only 5 days, I had more agency to be less practical with my choices.

That’s not to say I was completely without limitations. Early spring time in Paris is notoriously unpredictable. In my research before the trip, I found that you can expect anything from snow to sunny, 70°F days in March in Paris – and you should definitely expect some rain. Because of this, my first piece of advice is don’t be too set in your choices until you check the weather forecast 2-3 days before leaving for your trip. You don’t need to over pack to be prepared for everything – just be aware of what to expect.

In addition to weather considerations, I’m sure you won’t be surprised that this budget traveler had space limitations as well. Kelton and I decided to share a carry-on suitcase to save over $100 on baggage fees since the new budget airline based in Iceland, Play, doesn’t include any baggage beyond a personal item in the ticket price (so that’s why the ticket was a very affordable $315!). Lucky for us, the temperature didn’t dip much lower than 45°F at night, and the daytime was much warmer, which made packing in one bag easier since we didn’t have to take bulky sweaters.

The Monos Carry-On Suitcase was our bag of choice. I tried with and without packing cubes, and in this instance, packing without them allowed us to fit more. We each got one side of the suitcase plus whatever we could fit in our personal item bags. For those, I took a small duffel bag and Kelton took our favorite totepack.

Don’t Overlook the Basics

In my opinion, the most important choice you’ll make when packing for Paris is what shoes to bring. You will be walking on hills, steps, and cobblestones – a lot. Even with fairly comfortable shoes, my feet were very sore at the end of every day and I still got some nasty blisters. You might want to consider getting insoles to make your shoes even more comfortable. My recommendations would be to take one pair of white sneakers and one pair of dark boots.

Parisians love white sneakers – maybe not the chunky dad sneakers that are trending in the U.S., but you will see lots of Converse, Vejas, Stan Smiths, etc. I opted to take Converse because I already had a pair, but I would have loved something better suited to miles of walking.

As for the boots, I saw a lot of women wearing either square toe or pointed toe (not round) ankle boots. I opted for the square toe – because comfort. I would never take more than 2 pairs of shoes on a trip, but if you have the space I did not, you could take a dressier flat or low heel shoe. I simply chose boots that could be dressed up if needed.

a pair of square toe black ankle boots with a short chunky heel, a pair of ecru low rise Converse sneakers, a pair of black dressy men's sneakers and a pair of  men's white sneakers with tan stripes
His and hers shoe choices

The next item to carefully consider is your coat. In the early spring, you’ll be wearing it the majority of the time so you want it to be able to handle a range of temperatures and match with everything else you bring. There’s a reason trench coats are the coat of choice in Paris – they tick all the boxes. I didn’t own one already, so I spent a few hours searching on Poshmark for the perfect one at a great price. I chose a vintage one that had a removable wool liner so that no matter how the weather turned out, I’d be prepared.

While I ended up removing the wool liner most of the days since it was fairly warm, I was glad to have it nonetheless. Trench coats are effortlessly chic and versatile and obviously perform really well in the rain, so I honestly think they are a must-have for Paris unless you’re visiting in the summer. Kelton opted for a coat he already had, and one of my best secondhand finds ever – a handmade wool peacoat.

man and woman taking a selfie in an elevator mirror.  the woman is wearing a midi length black dress whit small white polka dots, a trench coat and black boots.  the man is wearing a black sweater, green peacoat and grey pants.
The coldest night in Paris was the night we went out to a cabaret show at Paradis Latin

TIP: Wear your largest/heaviest shoes, thickest sweater, and coat of choice on the plane to save room in your bag.

What to Wear in Paris in March

If you want to blend in with the locals, the first thing to know is Parisians don’t seem to wear a lot of color. You will see mostly neutrals like brown, black, grey and tan. Usually, if they wear color, it’s on their accessories like scarves or bags. While I opted to still wear non-neutral colors, I kept it to 2 (blue and red) so I could easily mix and match everything. For prints, stick to classics like small stripes or polka dots. You will see very few bold or big prints on the streets of Paris.

Parisians dress very subtly, but they still look very put-together as everything is well-tailored and made from quality fabrics. Think elevated basics. Don’t expect to see many oversized fits or any athleisure. Wearing leggings will definitely give you away.

As you can see, we definitely had a color palette that we stuck with throughout the trip. With the packing list below, we both felt we had enough choices to come up with something new for each day that was suitable for the weather.

If the weather is going to be a bit colder during your visit, I’d recommend fleece-lined tights (can be worn under jeans or skirts/dresses), a scarf, and a beanie instead of another style hat. Rather than packing additional thick sweaters, I’d suggest a merino wool base layer that won’t take up much space in your bag, but can be worn for extra warmth underneath your lightweight tops multiple days in a row.

Our Packing Lists (Mine/His)

*All italicized items were purchased secondhand*

  • Straight leg jeans in classic blue
  • Wide leg jeans in black
  • Denim skirt
  • Midi dress
  • Pair of tights
  • Black boots
  • White sneakers
  • Hat
  • Belt
  • Trench coat
  • Tote bag
  • Heavy sweater
  • Lightweight sweater
  • 2 long sleeve tops
  • Black jeans
  • Grey pants
  • Trousers
  • White sneakers
  • Black sneakers
  • Chambray shirt
  • Heavy sweater
  • Hat
  • Belt
  • Peacoat
  • Sling bag
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 lightweight sweaters

Dressing Well on a Budget

When choosing your wardrobe for Paris, you might get the urge to go out and buy all new things because you don’t think you have anything suitable. You don’t need to do that! As you can see from the packing list above, many of my items were purchased secondhand. You can find amazing deals for almost anything you want, or something very similar, on Depop, Poshmark, or at thrift stores if you have the patience to look. Just as an example, I found a Comme Des Garçons shirt on Depop for $40 and saw the exact same shirt in a Paris department store for $150. It’s better for your wallet and the planet – doesn’t get much better than that.

One of my favorite things we did once we got to Paris was thrift shopping. I couldn’t buy much due to our limited packing space, but I did find a beautiful silk scarf in the colors I wanted and an amazing pair of vintage houndstooth trousers that fit perfectly.

Tip: To reduce the anxiety of purchasing things online that can’t be returned, it helps to know your exact measurements and ask sellers to post the measurements of the item if they haven’t already. This ensures the item will fit you correctly.

In conclusion, if Parisian style isn’t YOUR style, don’t be afraid to wear what makes you happy. While blending in can help you avoid being the target of tourist scams and other unwanted attention, odds are that once you open your mouth, everyone will know you aren’t a local anyway.

I personally had a lot of fun styling outfits for this trip because Parisian style is very close to my “dressing up” style at home. I hope some of these tips were helpful and gave you some inspiration for what to wear in Paris (or any fashionable city) in March!

Until next week,

The Virgo Voyager

2 thoughts on “What to Wear in Paris in March (And Look Like a Parisian, Hopefully)”

  1. You have such amazing style! As someone who struggles with finding a personal style I appreciate the inspiration to help discover my own! The pinterest board was perfect as I myself am a pinterest lover! Always a joy to read your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ❤

      I'm glad this inspired you to delve into your personal style – I think it's so much fun. It took me years to settle into my current style and I went through a lot of trial and error/styles that did not suit me or my lifestyle at all! I'm new to Pinterest but wish I'd discovered it awhile ago because it helps so much.


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