PFP: Packing For Paris

Ever wish that you could peek into Jane’s and Emily’s suitcases as they fly off on a Parisian buying trip? Me too. The next best thing would be their advice on the fascinating topic of packing for Paris. So here it is: 

Set the stage for a week in The City of Light:
•Consider the weather and season.
•Consider what you want to convey.

All black?
No color restrictions! But color can be added with accessories that expand a limited wardrobe: think camisoles, sweaters, and scarves.

Just basics?
•No, but choices should be versatile, reimagined for multiple wears, and packable.
•Rather than counting out what you are taking, think of an entire outfit (and where you might wear it--dinner, for example).
•Mingle things!

How to “Mingle”
Layer a camisole and a small cardigan; they don’t wrinkle or take up much space. For these reasons, keep blouses to a minimum, even though they look pretty. Maybe two.
Have fun with hosiery (over the knee, ankle socks, etc). The look of hosiery on your leg completely changes an outfit..
Scarves add maximum impact.
Allow Your “Stars” to Sparkle. Pack a few solid pieces to wear with a stellar item from Jane’s Vanity.
The mother of invention is combinations never imagined at home. Remember, nobody knows you. So you can create a new you--wear with abandon and carry on. It’s Paris!

Behind the scenes: Sleepwear and exercise issues
Emily on Sleepwear: “I'm 100% behind traveling with silk pajamas. They're comforting, easy to pack, and chic enough that you can run down to the hotel bar for a cocktail wearing them without looking frumpy or out of place - just add lipstick! If I'm packing a lot of dresses (as I usually do) there are generally a few slips thrown in as well, which can also do double duty as sleepwear.”

Emily on Exercise: In Paris, all the standing and walking included in the long work days and city explorations usually feels like plenty of a workout. The most I accomplish after the long work days is light yoga in my hotel room, which (fortunately) can be done in anything or nothing since it's in the solitude of a private space. Jane and I have taken a yoga class at a hotel while traveling and managed to do so in swimwear, since we didn't have anything else.”

Take multiple shoes, to save your feet. But, shoes are heavy, especially for winter. So consider that. And try to wear such heavy things as boots on the plane. Someone should invent collapsible shoes!

For day, take something capacious but light. For evening, pack a smaller bag (that could contain your jewelry in the suitcase).

Perfect suitcase?
Haven’t found it yet. They are all either too small or too large. If you can’t fit it all in, especially in winter, you could wear lots of layers on the plane. The dream suitcase would have a compartment for lingerie (and one for shoes!). Create your own ways to compartmentalize and, upon reaching your destination, you won’t really have to unpack at all--just relocate items to drawer or closet.

Onboard we would carry...
•Bar of chocolate, because you never know when your next meal will be!
•Lots of water
Facial serum or mask to combat dryness
•A good book

In Paris we would purchase...
•Tapered candles: the choices and colors at Cire Trudon in Paris are unlike anywhere else.
•Perfume, because whenever you wear it, you will think of Paris. Some favorites include Serge Lutens and JAR.
•Something that inspires.

What we’ve learned:
•Be practical. Know that you can manage your luggage and get from point A to B. If you don’t feel comfortable standing with all of your gear at home, you’ll have a problem on the road.
Hotels will often help you ship things home. Candles, for example, are divine, but very heavy. So consider having them shipped.
•In many cases, hotels will have the adapters you need as well as little ports for your electronics.
•The small hotels seem the most Parisian. Try a new one each time you visit, in a neighborhood you have yet to explore.
•Life will be simpler if you can manage a hairstyle that doesn’t require a hairdryer.
•Pay attention! Be aware of all of your suitcases and possessions.
•Don’t take irreplaceable items (not just jewelry, but even a trusty hairbrush). It is hard, when you want to bring your favorite things, but, traveling is a bit of a gamble.
•It is easier to travel with someone. And you will get to know each other in a new way.
•When you travel alone, you test your comfort zone and get to know yourself. You can try something that pops open your eyes.

Inspiring. I love to think of travel as a road test for my wardrobe. And, actually, as a road test for myself. Now to get a haircut.

Merci, Jane and Emily, and Bon Voyage everyone!

-Kate L

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