If you’re visiting Paris this summer and have no idea what to wear, I’m here to help! Indeed, being French and after living for several years in Paris, I think I have a pretty good idea of what you would need to pack for Paris in the summer season ;).
Summer in Paris is the busiest time of the year —with June, July, and August being the peak-season months. In my opinion, summer is an ideal season to explore Paris, particularly during August when most of the Parisiens and Parisiennes head to their secondary residences in Provence, the lovely beaches of the Riviera, or embark on exciting trips overseas. The city’s atmosphere is a curious blend of liveliness in popular tourist areas and quiet emptiness on the streets elsewhere.
The temperatures in Paris can greatly vary even in one day, with the morning and evening temperatures around 15°C and daytime up to 30°C. Every year, Paris (and France in general) deals with heat waves (“la canicule”) when temperatures are above 33°C for days on end. These heat waves are most likely to happen in July and August but can also occur in June. Remember that buildings in Paris (and Europe in general) are old and not necessarily built to deal with such high temperatures. So it can be quite oppressive to wander the streets of Paris during the hottest days.
So, whether you’re wondering what to wear in Paris or need inspiration for a Paris outfit, here is exactly what to pack for Paris in the summer.
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What to Pack for Paris in the Summer
First, you will need clothes that are both comfortable and stylish enough to beat the heat in style. Prefer a variety of neutral basics (in beige, white, and navy) that can be mixed and matched easily. Also, consider natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk that are breathable and comfortable to wear for exploring the city. Keep scrolling below to see what exactly I would wear in Paris in summer.
1. A Shirtdress
Casual enough for a weekend and sophisticated enough for days in the city, a shirtdress is definitely a French summer staple. Choose one in light linen or cotton poplin; you’ll wear it whenever temperatures are too hot to wear pants in Paris. I love this Maxine shirtdress and this Loulou Studio Mago cotton-poplin dress.
2. Wide-leg Linen Pants
Well-cut linen pants in neutral colors like light beige can be très chic! Pair them with a white oversized button-down shirt or a linen T-shirt. This season, I love these By Malene Cymbaria wide-leg pants or these gorgeous Loulou Studio Aiwa twill wide-leg pants.
3. White Denim
Although Paris in summer can often be too warm for white denim, it can be a practical option during rainy weather. Consider opting for a tapered shape like these Totême high-rise jeans that’ll elevate your everyday looks or a classic high-rise straight-leg cut.
4. Tailored Shorts
Shorts are considered acceptable in Paris when the weather gets warm (from 25°C or 77°F) and especially during “la canicule” (heat wave). Consider opting for long and tailored shorts or bermuda in high-quality, breathable fabrics (like cotton, linen, or silk) that hit the knee or fall just above. They can be close-fitting but not too tight. I recommend these chic Totême belted cotton-twill shorts or these Sandro tailored bermuda shorts.
5. Oversized Shirts
Oversized shirts are a fantastic summer wardrobe staple due to their relaxed silhouettes, versatility, and effortless appeal. This summer, I love to wear the Sézane Max shirts, which I have in different colors.
6. Cotton or Linen White T-shirts
A classic white T-shirt is probably one of the prettiest (and easiest) things you can pair with denim, linen pants, tailored shorts, and everything else in summer. I love this Sézane Conrad t-shirt (I have several of them in different colors in my closet). Opt for this gorgeous Sandro rhinestone-embellished T-shirt for a chicer option.
7. A Navy Linen Blazer
I recommend packing a linen blazer that you can use as a cover-up, particularly if it gets colder at night. Consider opting for this beautiful Marie Marot x J.Crew blazer in an Italian linen blend.
8. A Light Sweater
9. Flat Sandals
A chic pair of leather flat sandals is one of the best footwear options to wander in the street of Paris during the hottest days. This season, I have a few favorites like these Chloé Rebecca leather sandals, ATP Atelier Aquara leather sandals, or Ancient Greek Sandals Victory Of Samothrace.
10. Suede Loafers
Another great footwear options for Paris are flat espadrilles. Despite being Spanish in origin, these shoes are literally on the feet of every Parisienne in the summer season. This season, I love these Marie Marot x J.Crew espadrilles (in limited edition).
11. White Sneakers
Not only are white sneakers one of the most comfortable shoes to walk in Paris, but they can also elevate any of your summer looks! Just mix dressed-up pieces like tailored linen pants with more casual items like chic sneakers to achieve the perfect balance for a “chic-décontracté” (smart casual) look.
Finally, don’t forget a nice pair of sunglasses (like these Bottega Veneta cat-eye sunglasses), a chic sunhat (I love this très chic Gucci straw-effect hat), and a classic crossbody bag (I adore this gorgeous AMI Paris Paris Paris bag) to carry all your essentials safely in Paris.
What to leave at home
- Sweatpants, lycra leggings, and any gym wear for exploring Paris (unless you’re planning to go to sports during your stay)
- Belt bags, fanny packs, and backpacks (to avoid having your belongings stolen in the Parisian métro)
- Too-revealing or too-short dresses
- Forget about too-tight, too-short baggy, running, cyclist, biker, or distressed denim shorts (and maybe even denim shorts in general, except white ones)
- Socks with sandals
- Ball caps
- Any T-shirt or sweatshirt printed with “I love Paris”
- Anything overly loud, colorful, or branded (it can potentially make you a target of pickpocketing or other scams)
- Flashy colors and too many prints (Parisians tend to stick to classic colors). Check out my Parisian style guide to learn about what Parisians wear daily.
Et voilà! I hope now you have a better idea of what to wear in Paris in summer. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.
Leonce is the founder and editor of Leonce Chenal, a lifestyle platform launched in 2018. Originally from France, Leonce offers a fresh perspective that comes from her experience at top tech companies in Paris and London. Having spent several years in Paris and now residing in Amsterdam, she combines her professional expertise with a personal passion for French and Parisian styles. Leonce is committed to guiding her readers through the intricacies of Parisian chic, empowering them to embrace the elegance and sophistication of French style.