Ask CF: What Should I Pack for My Three-Month Trip to France?

Très chic!

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All the essentials.

Ask CF Question

Hi! I am going to be in France for three months, from September to December, and I am really worried because I don’t know what clothes to pack. Help me!


Our Response

Dear LW,

Can I just say that I think you’re so lucky to be going to one of the world’s most amazing places for an extended period of time? My inner France fangirl is going crazy right now! 

…Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I can totally understand if you’re feeling stressed about what to pack for your trip; after all, traveling to a new country can be super-stressful already, without having to worry about how to dress for the weather/culture of your destination.

So, with that in mind, I have created a capsule wardrobe for your trip, along with five different looks that incorporate the pieces featured in the wardrobe. 

Also, note that since no specific location in France was mentioned in your question, I based the wardrobe on the typical weather in Paris. So just remember that if you’re going to another area of France where the weather is a bit different, you may have to make some substitutions and/or additions. 

Ready to see what you should take with you on your trip? Just keep scrolling!

The Capsule Wardrobe

Products: Coat – Uniqlo, Heeled Ankle Boots – Zara, Jacket – Uniqlo, Tights – Target, Beret – Simons, Gloves – Kate Spade, Sneakers – H&M, Umbrella – Target, Scarf – Gap, Rain Boots – Nordstrom, Flats – Gap, Clutch – Mango, Bag – Mango, Tote – Target, Denim Shirt – Bloomingdale’s, Jeans – Bloomingdale’s, Turtleneck T-Shirt – Everlane, Skirt – Bloomingdale’s, Short-Sleeved T-Shirt – Everlane, Gray Sweater – Uniqlo, Shorts – Madewell, Lace Blouse – Bloomingdale’s, Chinos – Everlane, Dress – Gap, Striped Sweater – Everlane

Outfit #1

This cute and casual look is perfect for wearing while it’s still warm outside. 

Simply put on a gray t-shirt, and then add some denim shorts. Be sure to take along a light layer–such as this worn-in denim shirt–as late summer/early fall days can get a bit chilly. 

A classic pair of red ballet flats adds a fun pop of color to the outfit, while a color-blocked tote adds visual interest, while still being practical enough to carry all of your essentials.

(Tip: When it gets too cold for bare arms and legs, simply ditch the t-shirt for the denim shirt, add the black tights, and swap out the ballet flats for one of the pairs of boots, and voilà–instant transitional outfit!) 

Outfit #2

This look is meant for when you feel like dressing up a little more, but don’t want to put in a lot of effort (AKA the typical French girl aesthetic). I can totally imagine wearing this while strolling down a charming French street, wandering into lovely little boutiques and/or cafés.

This super-sweet boho midi dress pairs really well with classic white sneakers for some sporty contrast, while a luxe-looking cross-body bag adds an element of richness to the outfit.

A beret–the ultimate French-girl staple–completes the ensemble.

Outfit #3

If you’re planning on going somewhere a little bit fancier during your stay in France, such as a nice restaurant or bar (if you’re of age), then you’ll want to take along a couple of pieces that can be worn with each other to dress up, or paired with other things to dress down for everyday. 

A versatile black a-line skirt–which should be a staple in every fashion girl’s wardrobe–is a prime example of something that can be made dressier, such as when it is styled with a lace blouse, as shown here, or that can be made more casual, such as when it is styled with the gray t-shirt or denim shirt.  

In addition to the blouse, I’ve chosen to style the skirt with a pair of timeless black ankle boots (which are a cool alternative to heels) and a pretty knotted clutch.

When it’s warmer out, go bare-legged, but once the temperatures start to drop, don’t hesitate to layer on opaque black tights.

Outfit #4

This classic French-girl chic outfit is one of my favorite looks that you can make from the capsule wardrobe, as it is appropriate for a variety of different situations, and also makes you look instantly put-together–something that can be hard to do when it’s cold out!

To get it, tuck a black turtleneck t-shirt into a pair of cool slouchy cropped chinos. Next, add a cozy v-neck sweater and a scarf to keep your neck area extra warm. 

The black ankle boots are a must for this ultra-fashionable look–as are the beret and cross-body bag.

Simple gloves are given a girly makeover with the addition of bows at the cuffs, while a lightweight jacket will keep you warm without adding extra bulk.

Lastly, if it’s raining out, be sure to take along an umbrella; this clear one will ensure that your look is always visible! 

Outfit #5

For the final outfit, I decided to put together something that you can wear once it really starts to get cold out

Begin by putting on a pair of dark-wash jeans; while any style would work here, I chose a skinny style because they are easier to wear with the rain boots.

Put on a tomboyish striped sweater–and, if you need to, layer on the lightweight jacket over the sweater as well.

Add the scarf, gloves, and beret for warmth; then, don a gorgeous camel-colored wool coat. This one’s a splurge, for sure, but it’s actually one that I made myself last year, and let me tell you that, between the luxe, warm cashmere-blend fabric and timeless style (that is reminiscent of coats that are at least twice the price), it was definitely worth it, as it is one of the few cold-weather pieces that, as a winter-hater, I truly enjoy wearing.

To complete the ensemble, grab the color-blocked tote, as well as the umbrella if necessary.

And there you have it–five super-chic and wearable looks that are perfect for your trip to France! Have an amazing trip, and thanks for your question!

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What do you think?

What would you put together using the capsule wardrobe I made? Which of these outfits would you most like to wear? Is there anything else that you would advise bringing to France?

Let me know in the comments!

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