Q. I am going to Paris in a week, and need to know what to pack. I need to be comfortable, but also want to look chic. Is this possible? What are your recommendations for clothes and especially shoes that can take me from the museums to the cafes to wandering the streets? I love StyleBakery, and know that you can help me.
A. Simply take an eagle’s eye view of the wardrobe you plan to pack and add some stylish accessories - and take out the athletic sneakers. Pack a low-heeled sandal that can take you walking through the Tuilleries or paired with a dress for dinner at a bistro. Add a stylish ballet flat or low wedge espadrille and a cute pair of kicks (my term for sneakers like Puma or Adidas that are meant for wearing with khakis or jeans and not for working out) to walk the streets and visit museums (may I suggest the Rodin, D’Orsay and Picasso museums?).
Pack a short sleeve fitted white button down shirt or a long sleeve that you can roll up your arms. They’ll look clean, fresh and simple. Pair them with a pretty necklace that has some color. Pack a few skirts, pencil or A-line, that aren’t too mini nor too long. Add a pretty cotton top that is simple in design with a little ruffle, a wrap style, nautical stripes or a scoop or v-neck. You can even pack a pair of nice shorts (not the ones meant for casual t-shirts on weekends) and wear with a button down shirt, belt and your sandals or espadrilles. Add in pants in white, khaki or navy.
Most Parisians are classic dressers. Somehow a shirt, solid sweater and dark jeans look better on them than the average American - it’s not fair! Just keep your clothes looking classic and add accessories like great belts, earrings, a beaded necklace, or cuff bracelet to give them oomph. It’s a scorcher over in Europe this summer and they don’t have powerful air conditioning like we do, so dress in clothes that are airy and light. Wear your skirts day and night. And add a silk jersey dress like one from Diane Von Furstenberg (there are plenty of less expensive styles) that you can toss in your bag, won’t require ironing and looks great on any body type. Bon voyage!
Cole Haan offers a great selection of stylish and comfortable shoes using Nike Air technology. The ‘Air Bronte Bit’ slide and ‘Air Beau’ flat shown here from nordstrom.com are great travel choices.