Paris in Spring: A Packing List

I didn’t notice until I was sitting in the airport, waiting for my gate to be called, that I didn’t have a scarf. I hadn’t lost my scarf, I actually didn’t grab it on my way out the door that morning in my mad rush to catch the one bus that would get me to the one train I needed. For a moment I felt lost, I always travel with at least one scarf. Scarves are one of my favorite things; they keep you warm, they can add colour or pattern to a basic outfit, and they can be an impromptu blanket or pillow on a long bus ride just to name a few uses. However, the panic was fleeting, because what better excuse to have to go shopping in Paris!

Paris 4

Just a bit of shopping around Paris!


I was off to Paris to watch hockey–because what could be more Canadian! But how to balance hockey game casual with a side of national pride and the ever intimidating idea of going toe to toe with fashionable Paris? Also, it was the beginning of May and the weather was quite chaotic, everything from warm and sunny to chucking it down with rain. So here is what I brought for my Paris get away.

  • 2 pairs of jeans (one black and one blue)
  • 1 black and white polkadot dress
  • 3 singlets (white, pink, and black)
  • Red plaid button up top
  • Green button up chiffon top
  • Black cardigan
  • Canadian maple leaf t-shirt (for hockey games)
  • Grey yoga pants and old comfy t-shirt (both for sleeping and hanging around our Air B&B)
  • burgundy sneakers
  • black flats
  • Light windbreaker jacket

I probably could have gone with less. Honestly I never ended up wearing the dress because it was just too cold. Also, the black flats were too new and I wore them for a morning and then had to limp back to the hostel to change back into my sneakers. The best decision I made was to dress in layers. I know, that is probably the most common piece of advice given in packing lists, however it was utterly practical in this case. It rained off and on for much of my trip, so I was constantly adding or subtracting layers through out the day.

hockey game

Being patriotic and trying to keep warm at the hockey rink


Comfortable shoes are an absolute must. You will walk a lot in Paris, and I was grateful to have sneakers that were slightly water resistant because it did rain quite a bit. The warm jacket and a small travel umbrella were also really good additions to have. Actually one of the few trips that I’ve used the umbrella that I brought! Might be because I live in London and I always carry an umbrella.


A very rainy day a Versailles 


I found dressing for Paris a lot less intimidating that I originally expected. Everyone wears jeans and everyone wears sneakers, so don’t worry about those items! Be comfortable first, and then worry about being fashionable. Quality basics will always take you far in Europe. Toss on some accessories and you’re good to go!

Speaking of accessories, I did eventually get my scarf!