Paris Winter Fashion Guide + 20 Tips on What to Wear When It’s Cold Out

Paris winter fashion can be a tough nut to crack. It’s one thing when it’s nice out but throwing cold weather into the mix and packing for a perfect time in Paris becomes ten times harder, especially when you visit during the months of December, January, and February!

I visited Paris in February and let me tell you… it was FREEZING. I’ve also visited in October when the weather is chilly – though not nearly as cold as February!

A lot of Parisians can get around without the many layers that tourists require. Yes, they get used to the cold weather. But, more importantly, many French women and men are also not spending a large portion of their day outside as tourists do, so their winter wardrobe doesn’t need to be as elaborate.

I remember the coldest I ever was in Paris was waiting in a long, long line to go up to the top of Notre Dame (that was in 2017; at the time of writing it is still closed for repairs). Most locals never have to wait in line since, let’s face it, they avoid the touristy things.

So, I hope that this article will give you the best tips for staying warm while exploring the City of Love – while still looking cute for photos.

Don’t let the cold ruin your vacation or your style. Follow these Paris winter fashion tips and brave the outdoors!

Here I’ll include some Paris winter fashion inspiration, the ultimate Paris packing list with all your winter essentials, and 20 tips and hacks for what to wear in Paris in the cold.

20 tips on what to wear in Paris in the winter

Here are 20 tips/items that will help you ace Paris winter fashion when it’s freezing cold outside.

1. A hat or earmuffs

Keeping your ears and head warm is key! Go stylish with a cute beret or a cute beanie with a big pom on it. They can accessorize any outfit, and is a great way to feel like a pretty Parisian woman! (And speaking of using accessories, if you’re packing jewelry for travel, check out these creative tips for doing so!)

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2. Thermals under your clothes

Wearing some fleece-lined thermals underneath your clothes keeps your body warm so much better than, say, a regular white t-shirt. I got mine (which contains a shirt and leggings) from Amazon very inexpensively. You can also wear nude leggings if you plan on wearing them underneath any sheer fabrics.

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3. Layers, layers, layers

Layer it up because you never know how warm it can be in the sunshine! Wearing layers will allow you to remove the outer ones easily in case it gets too uncomfortable while still allowing you to keep wearing the base layer underneath.

4. Want to wear a skirt? Add tights

If you want to wear a dress, skirt, or even a little black dress, nude tights make a HUGE difference. Even though they are sheer, they perform miracles against cold winds.

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5. Knee-high boots

This is an easy style tip for keeping your legs warm with some tall boots. Better yet – pair it with some knee or thigh-high knit socks for added warmth. Ankle boots or even leather boots have nothing over knee-high boots when it comes to protecting you from the cold!

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6. A thick jacket

I don’t mean to state the obvious but get a classic winter jacket that will warm you right up. Faux-fur, boucle, down-filled- the style is up to you. Just make sure that it can tackle freezing temperatures!

7. Length matters

On a further note, opt to wear a long wool coat! Not only are long coats stylish, but they’ll keep more of your body warm. Other alternatives include those camel coats that will look great over black or white clothes underneath them. Or, if you’re up for trying other things, try a coat made of Merino wool!

8. Gloves

Invest in a good pair in a neutral color that goes with all of your outfits. Bonus points if they are texting gloves – you won’t need to take them off to use your phone! Alternatively, use any good leather gloves that you might already have.

9. Bring an umbrella

You never know when it’s going to rain, so a travel umbrella is always great to whip out and use just in case! Opt for a compact, windproof umbrella that will fit in your purse or backpack.

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10. Sunglasses

On the other hand, that winter sun can shine through, and when it does, you’ll want some stylish eye protection.

11. Double socks

Or thick socks, because cold toes are not pleasant.

12. Hand warmers

Hand warmers aren’t just for skiing! Bring them with you when you’re spending a lot of time outside in the cold- they truly will make a huge difference! You can put them in your gloves, pockets, etc.

13. Moisturizer

Don’t forget to moisturize! Cold weather is usually synonymous with chapped lips and dry skin. Don’t forget to put a small bottle of lotion in your bag in addition to moisturizing lip color or chapstick.

14. Scarf

Not only are scarves practical, but they are stylish, too! Grab a plaid scarf or a cashmere (or this cashmere look-alike for under $20) scarf for extra softness and warmth.

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15. Chunky sweaters/cardigans

Not only are these super cute, but they’re also super practical! Cashmere sweaters or even your favorite turtleneck sweater may do the trick, Just keep in mind that you’ll want to make sure they fit under your winter coat! Alternatively, you can wear a bunch of insulated layers under your chunky sweater and have it act as a jacket.

16. Maxi and Midi dresses make for great photos

If you’re wearing a maxi skirt or dress, you can easily wear some thermal leggings underneath!

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17. Avoid cotton and opt for wool

If you’re a hiker, you’re probably already familiar with this tip. But it applies in all cold-weather fashion situations! Wool is a much more weather-resistant fabric than cotton and is great at insulating your body. If it’s a wet day – whether it’s snowing or raining- this especially applies as wool pulls moisture away from your skin!

18. Wear tight-fitting clothes

If you’re considering packing either straight leg pants or skinny pair of jeans, opt for the skinny. Having fabric pressed against your body will prevent wind from blowing into your clothes. But if you’re a big fan of loose denim jeans, don’t worry! Tip #2 applies here – loose or even straight-leg jeans are great candidates for some thermals underneath.

The same goes for tops. If you’ve got a chunky sweater on and it’s not quite warm enough, you can easily wear thermal T-shirts underneath it.

19. Choose shoes with tread

Snow or rain in the forecast? Opt for a boot or any type of shoe that has a good tread. You don’t want to ruin your Paris trip by slipping!

20. Get a warm drink

If you’ve forgotten some of the cold weather essentials that I’ve mentioned above, here’s a great last resort! Stop into one of Paris’ many cafes for a hot drink like coffee or hot chocolate. Not only will holding a warm drink keep your hands and mouth warm but holding a cup of coffee makes for a great photo prop! It’s an extra cost that’s forgivable since you’re on a vacation trip anyway!

Paris Winter Packing List

Here’s an idea for a capsule wardrobe that you can bring with you to Paris. This winter packing list includes your essentials – but you might want to add extra items if you’re going to be there for more than a week.

Clothing

  • Jeans
  • Dark jeans or black pants
  • Thermal longsleeve top
  • Fleece-lined thermal leggings
  • 2 chunky sweaters
  • Black/gray turtleneck
  • White longsleeve shirt
  • Beige cashemere shirt
  • Winter coat (thick and long)
  • Maxi dress if you want it for photos
  • Maxi skirt
  • Mini skirt
  • Tights
  • Wool socks
  • Undergarments
  • Scarves (neutral prints to pair with as many outfits as possible)

Other Items

  • Beret, beanie, and/or earmuffs
  • Gloves
  • Umbrella
  • Sunglasses
  • Hand warmers
  • Knee-high boots (and knee-high socks)
  • Fashionable white sneakers (comfort is key when it comes to long walks around Paris!)
  • Booties with good tread
  • Moisturizer
  • Chapstick
  • Makeup
  • Toiletries
  • Passport
  • Camera
  • Chargers

Here’s a helpful grid that you can shop to find some of my favorite cold-weather outfit items!

Paris Winter Fashion Inspiration

Here are some of my outfits from my cold-weather trips to Paris. I hope these give you some good ideas for what you can wear on your Paris trip! Keep in mind that if you don’t see a jacket in the photo, it’s almost certainly right next to the camera! Also, if you see bare legs- they’re not really bare. I’ve got tights on!

I hope these tips help you out when figuring out what to wear! And if you need ideas on what to do, head over to my one-week Paris itinerary post!

XO,

Jasmine

Heading to Paris? Check out these helpful posts!

And if you found this post helpful, please share it to Pinterest! You can use the images below for easy pinning!

what to wear in paris in the winter

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Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.
Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.

17 Responses

  1. Hi Jasmine!!
    I love your blog and the things you wrote about Paris!!

    I would like to ask you if you took the photos with any professional camera or any specific mobile phone, they are simply amazing!

    Thank you,
    Ines

    1. Hi Ines, thank you so much!!! These photos were taken with my old Nikon D3400 and with the Google Pixel phone (back when I had the first version of it). Now all my photos (the ones you see on recent blog posts and on my Instagram) are taken on a Nikon D750! I still use my Google Pixel (I have the Pixel 4 now), but my photos are taken on my DSLR!

  2. Thanks Jasmine! These are great ideas. One big question, though – how do you fit all those coats and boots into your luggage?

  3. I’ve never dreamed of spending a winter vacation in Paris. But I’m sure it’s different in winter and summer, so visiting France’s capital in any season would be really intriguing. I agree with you.

  4. Many products are available on google space, but some cheapest women’s clothes and stylish women’s brands you can see on soffio are the best store sale on branded clothes in Pakistan for different styles of dresses.

  5. When the weather gets cooler, it’s time to bring out the jewel tones and scarves and puffer coats. Winter fashion trends are my absolute favourite trends to study. Mini lengths have been trending the past few seasons for dresses and skirts and continue through for winter 2023. Plaid mini skirts are a major seasonal fashion staple.

  6. I’m grateful for your wonderful post. This was a great post, and I appreciate it. Such articles are what I look for. I can’t wait until you write again. Additionally, I saved your webpage so I could return later and check if there were any new postings World Fashion Tips for Ladies .

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Hi, I’m Jasmine! I’m a nature-obsessed, beauty-finding, Jesus-loving dreamer with a serious case of wanderlust. I love to create photo-worthy travel content and hope to fill your travel plans with incredible beauty and breathtaking views! Thanks for following along on my adventures!

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