Thursday, 15 March 2012

How To: Paris Wardrobe: Packing for a Weekend

If you're anything like me, and a typical over-packer, editing down your choices for a weekend away can be a real nightmare!
I just don't have the 'packing light' gene - I think I get this from my mother, who always arrives for a short visit with three suitcases! I don't like pre-choosing my outfits, for one thing, because I like to dress according to how I feel. Sometimes it's a dress day, sometimes only jeans will do.

The other thing is- how to predict the weather and what you'll be doing?

But a weekend break demands a more streamlined approach. Especially if you're only taking hand luggage, like we are for our upcoming trip to Paris.

So I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick post on what I'm planning to take, and how I'm tackling the dilemma.

The first tip is to have some idea- however vague- about what you will be doing while you are there. Otherwise its impossible to know what it's a good idea to take.

The second tip is- layer, layer, layer! Pack lots of light layers that enable you to add more if it gets colder, and pare down in the heat.
Third tip- try to take items in colour palettes that harmonise, so you can swap accessories- and especially shoes, which you can't take many of- around as needed.
Here's what I packed for a three day stay in the fashion capital:

Day One - Travelling Out and Sightseeing in central Paris

What to wear to fly seems to be a huge issue for many people. Either they take the ultra-casual approach in sweatpants and Ugg boots (yuk) or look uncomfortable in tight jeans and boots with topo many straps and laces which are a nightmare to remove at the security point.
I needed something light and comfortable, but still fashionable. I am a HUGE fan of silk trousers for travel- they are seamless and light but still smart. They're comfortable enough to feel like pyjamas on a flight and yet far smarter than sweatpants. Plus, they're warm enough for this country and breezy enough to feel cool in warmer climes. Pretty much the ideal choice for travel. This pair are in a neutral olive-green/brownish colour that works with lots of other shades.
I paired this with a simple black vest top and another favourite travel essential- my cropped black waterfall cardigan. This, again, is seam-free and comfortable but looks structured and smart.
Shoes always have to be extremely versatile if you'll be wearing them with several outfits, so I chose some brown suede slip-on pumps with a pointed toe.
Black waterfall cardigan - Fashion Union
Black vest top - Oasis
'Rabbit' silk trousers - French Connection
Brown suede slip-on pumps - H&M

Night One- Out for Dinner at Montmartre

I needed something light and comfortable that wouldn't crease too badly when rolled up in my weekend bag! I knew we were strolling around the artists stalls and going up to the Sacre-Coeur before dinner to admire the view, and it had to be something I could ride the Metro in!
Blue cowl neck dress - H&M
Brown leather belt - Primark

Day Two- Museams and Exploring

I knew my husband wanted to tour around the war museum and take a look at Napoleon's tomb. Then we were in for a lot of strolling around the districts of Paris, stopping for ice-cream as we went!
White jeans - Mango
Navy blue fringed top - Topshop
Nude pumps with gold studded bow - Primark

Night Two - Dinner and Cocktails

On night two, we were planning to visit the Bastille, home of some of Paris livelier cocktails bars and late-night cafes, to sample city night life.My little cream jacket was a find from H&M that is totally an homage to Chanel- sadly I can't afford the real thing! Perfect for Chanel's home city!
Black dress - All Saints
Cream tweed jacket - H&M
Nude patent kitten heels - Aldo

Day Three - Shopping!

We were planning to spend the day engrossed in some of Paris' amazing shops - looking at the shoes at Printemps, running amock in Sephora (my idea of heaven), browsing the gourmet food at Galeries Lafayette, before taking tea and macaroons at Laduree. So I wanted to look smart but hardwearing enough to stand pounding the pavements and taking the Metro again! I paired blue jeans and my yellow silk blouse with the cream jacket and brown suede flats.
Blue skinny jeans- River Island
Yellow silk shell top - H&M
I hope this has helped you to think about what items to pack and how to mix and match what you have to create more outfits!
The only other items I took, apart from toiletries, my Kindle (a travel essential) and my GHD's were: a navy blue trench coat - a lightweight cover-up that goes as well with dresses as jeans in a neutral shade, a bracelet of pearls to dress up my outfits for evening, a grey snakeskin clutch bag to take to dinner, and my cream American Apparel infinity scarf, which can be used in so many different ways and keeps you warm during the flight.
Et voila - one weekend wardrobe fit for a Parisian spring!
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