Packing for Paris

What’s the worst part of traveling for every fashion fanatic? Packing. Especially if your destination happens to be Paris, one of the fashion capitals of the world. Coming from America, packing for my first 14 day trip to the city of light required a lot of expertise. I left the airport in the US with one carry on and one checked bag and managed not to repeat any outfits. How did I do it? A classic, Parisian inspired capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is the most efficient way to achieve style without having to haul 50 pounds worth of luggage through foreign airports. For my mid-September venture, I packed about six shirts, three dresses, two skirts, one pair of jeans, and two pairs of shoes.

If there’s one thing I learned from direct observation of Parisian street style, it’s that simplicity is key. Your average 20 something young woman would be wearing a comfy but still elevated pair of shoes, because there is a lot of walking involved in their daily life. On top, a white or blue blouse that was tailored, but at the same time, airy and loose fitting. This would usually be paired with a simple denim or black jean that cuts off around or slightly above the ankle. Sound boring? Not when paired with a bold lip, which is seen on about 70% of Parisian women. The rest of their makeup is usually limited to one coating of mascara to bring out the eyes. No matter where you’re going, makeup and outfit need to work in tandem to create the look you’re going for. If your outfit is simple, let your makeup echo that. There is an effortless and timeless beauty that walks the streets of Paris. The French have seemed to have mastered the happy medium between comfort and elegance.

Even so, if you’re not a master of street style quite yet, my best advice to the girl stressing out about packing for a trip to a fashion capital who doesn’t have the closet of Kendall Jenner… keep it simple. Don’t overthink it. Bring your staples, like your favorite pair of jeans, your comfiest and cutest pair of shoes, and tops you can dress up or dress down. There’s no need to dress like you’re on your way to the Met Gala just because Paris is, well Paris. Pack the essentials, and don’t forget the lipstick that is Paris in a portable tube, Chanel No. 99.

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