travel

{take me away № 22 | what to pack for paris}

by

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WHAT TO PACK FOR PARIS | march twenty-twelve

concept & words
by sarah klassen, editing & image compilation  

Last week, we shared a few favourite places in the city of lights & love, for those with dreams and plans to summer in the Jardin du Luxembourg and the tea rooms of Ladurée, and this week, in answer to all of the requests that have been pouring in over the past few months, thought it might be lovely to include a few tips and suggestions for what to take on such an adventure, and ideas for wonderful little additions to your wardrobe, such as a new scarf you might pick up in a charming shop in Montmartre or a cocktail ring from a vintage shop on a pretty side street, or perhaps your first scent from Hermès.

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The memories of your trip will surely follow you home, when your scarf is trailing behind you, as you walk along the beach, reminding you of the most romantic evening along the Seine, or while you are enjoying an evening out with your love, the scent of your new favorite perfume bringing back memories of the most beautiful picnic that the two of you shared in the gardens of Versailles.

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Your journey is meant to be fun and full of exploration, discovery and culture—and very much a part of the culture of Paris is the fashion and style of Parisians, with their clever mix of elegance, sexiness and ease. My Mother once taught me, the basics are wonderful and necessary, but you must give them your own twist—your personal touch, be it a chic belt, or a re-interpreted piece of jewelry given to you by your Grandmother.

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And while planning for the trip, there are a number of things to consider, from simple comforts that make all of the difference while flying, to unforeseen things that may occur while you are out & about exploring this magical city. And so, today we explore these things, to help insure that you have a most pleasant and most memorable trip . . .

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01 |
For The Journey

Travel, particularly for longer periods of time, requires a little calculation and effort. Though extensive flights are not always pleasant, it is nice to include some comforts and things to do within your handbag and/or carryon for the journey. Be sure to tuck in a novel and/or a magazine or two, along with some beauty products, such as refreshing wipes, lip treatment and moisturizer, perhaps ear plugs and even a little sleeping mask. It is vital to keep hydrated throughout the flight, so bottled water, a little spritz of Evian and moisturizer is sure to do the trick. Additionally, be sure to have snacks at hand—whether you a packet of peanuts, trail mix, or plan to eat on-flight. According to doctors, orange juice is always a great idea, as it is quite nurturing.

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As for your traveling outfit, remember that comfort is most important. Be certain to dress for the weather in Paris, so that when you arrive, you will not be too warm or cold. Often, separates are nice in this case, with light layers, and do consider wrinkling when selecting pieces. Lastly, a soft Pashmina [or similar] [editor's note : and an extra pair of cashmere socks] is wonderful—tie it around your shoulders while taking a nap—it will make all the difference, and is easy to stow away before exiting the plane.


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02 | In the Hotel

Perhaps of all things, your documentation may just be your most important of all possessions. Such documentation includes passports, flight information, itineraries, contact list, packing list, and such. Consider these things your insurance; if the unfortunate case happens that your luggage goes missing, or flights are canceled, you will have everything at hand. Upon arriving to your accommodation, be sure to lock away all such items within for safe keeping.

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Additionally, you may also wish to consider the electronics you intend to bring. When traveling to a foreign country, one must consider bringing an adapter and/or a transformer along. A transformer adapts the electric current from high voltage to low voltage suitable for your electronics. These adapters may warm while converting alternating current to direct current, but are safe to the environment and can withstand several months of continuous activity; [for additional information, click here] There are numerous devices available on the market, but before purchasing, be sure that your device is compatible.

Coté-Paris–by-Nicolas-Mille

With the restrictions on containers of liquids while traveling, it is important to purchase travel size containers for all of the essentials. However, Paris is sprinkled with highly visible pharmacies, [just look for the bright and cheerful neon green cross], beauty shops and others, that will offer beauty and other such care items, such as Monoprix. Therefore, anything that has gone amiss, or that you did not have room for within your suitcase, can often be purchased while you are there—be it soap, shampoo or nail polish.

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03 | In Your Handbag

While traveling in Paris, one needn’t overly fret about thieves—though they are known to prowl the city, and will often target tourists, a few key actions can help you to stay out of harm’s way. Be sure that your handbag fully zips/has full closure so that you can be assured that hands cannot reach within and dash off with your wallet. For the day, you may wish to include a travel size of your favorite perfume, as well as a very compact umbrella for rainy days.

Additionally, if applicable, add some helpful apps to your mobile device that may assist you as you tour the city—some suggestions : Paris Traffic, taxi services and a map; this way, you needn’t have multiple maps and books to tote around. Furthermore, a phone is much more discreet, as maps greatly voice that you are a tourist.

You may also wish to tuck in some towelettes to have on hand, as well as your favorite eyewear [these are lovely], a lipstick, and hand cream. As aforementioned, there are wonderful pharmacies about, so if something is to go amiss, you will most likely find what you are looking for in one of those.

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04 | Everyday Wear

One especially important note to remember while traveling : layer, layer, layer. This is imperative, particularly as you will be ducking into galleries & museums, shops, cafés and such, and especially in the cooler seasons of the year. Parisians are known to wear scarves very often [and sometimes more than one at one time] and layer brilliantly for comfort. For everyday wear while you are enjoying the city, neat casual is the best philosophy, opting for moderation and tailored cuts. Also, consider a clever mix of pieces that are appropriate for your visit, and true to your style and self, that can mix well with others to create a whole new look; [see the packing list for additional inspiration]. To best save room in your luggage, try to avoid pieces that you may only wear once, for these pieces will only take up space, with the except for, of course, a stunning dress that you may wish to wear to the opera.

[editor’s note : roséline’s essentials, a quick list — a few pretty dresses [especially in silk crepe, which never seems to wrinkle], a cashmere cardigan, a favourite pair of heels, ballet flats or comfortable wedges, large sunglasses and a classic trench]

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Another incredibly important factor to consider is footwear. Be sure to select well-fitted footwear, that can be worn for hours at a time. Sometimes the little details can make such a difference, so if you plan to purchase new footwear for your journey, pay close attention and be sure to wear the shoes beforehand to break them in. Often a soft leather with give is the very best option. Additionally, if there is a strap involved, be sure to note the position, and how it feels and will effect your foot and/or ankle. One of the greatest pair of shoes I own have been designed with a well-concealed elastic under the buckle, offering comfort and movement as I walk.

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{some classics to pack for day}

a trench coat : for balmy spring days or cool summer nights, instantly adds effortless style to any outfit /// a beautiful pair of heels /// a structured handbag [or similar] /// a striking blouse /// a dress : belted, pocketed, loose, straight, black or grey—one that is versatile and no matter what the day, fits any occasion /// a skirt /// accessories icon/// a pair of ballet flats : dressed up, yet comfortable & always chic, they are indispensable /// a pair of jeans : it is a myth that Parisians do not wear jeans—they wear jeans beautifully—preferably dark /// a cashmere cardigan : a rich, deep blue and/or black is nice for layering or on its own /// a silk scarf : for your hair, your neck, or about your shoulders

{& when in doubt}: roll your jeans & push up the sleeves of your trench for an instantly chic, relaxed look

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05 | Evening Wear

As for the evening, often day wear and evening wear will overlap, depending on itinerary. If you plan is to dine out, perhaps add a little more elegance to the mix. A long and over-the-top evening gown may not be suitable for a restaurant, but do not be afraid to add a sequined blazer, shoes or clutch; often this added touch to a simple dress can take your look from day to night, and lovely to striking. If you decide to wear trousers and a top, a strand of pearls or a dash of red lipstick may be all you need. As Coco Chanel once said, “Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.” In other words, wear confidence and a smile, no matter your age or size, and most of all, enjoy every moment!

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And lastly, you certainly should not purchase an entirely new wardrobe just for this trip alone, but if you wish, pick up a few new and fresh pieces that you can look forward to wearing. Above all else, remember to savour the moments while you are planning—after all, you are bound for Paris!

[images : {this is glamorous} on tumblr /// photography by vanessa jackman /// the cherry blossom girl /// the coveteur /// {this is glamorous} on tumblr /// photography by krisatomic via a previous post /// a previous post ///{this is glamorous} on tumblr /// {this is glamorous} on tumblr /// photography by nicolas millet for coté paris, scan by sarah /// {this is glamorous} on tumblr /// {this is glamorous} on tumblr /// photography by krisatomic via a previous post /// etiquette advantage[via sarah] /// eye poetry /// {this is glamorous} on tumblr ]

Sarah Klassen
Contributor, Vancouver

Even as a girl, Sarah spent hours curled up in her home library, exploring enchanting tales, lands to be discovered and explored, intriguing stories, and timeless beauty. What resulted is a lifelong passion for love and authenticity, delightful simplicity and beautiful moments. Educated in design, marketing and English, Sarah’s keen eye and aesthetic allow her to immerse beauty and heartfelt passion into both her personal and professional projects.
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25 Notes
  • What impeccable timing for this post, as I will be in Paris on Saturday. I am taking my 4 & 6 year old daughters for the first time and can’t wait to introduce them to the city of lights. Beautiful photos and advice!

  • {another} rebecca — yes, it is the bathroom of the plaza, and the second set of images is from australia — the article is about what to pack for paris, and one could be anywhere in the world when they are packing for paris :)

  • {Another} Rebecca said...

    Love all you posts and never will be tired of Paris. I recognise the bathroom photo as The Plaza in New York though.

  • Just adore everything about this post!

    xo

  • I want to pack too …

  • Anonymous: That is quite true, and as Roséline mentioned, travelers can purchase both things after security checkpoints / Another possibility: it might be nice to take a break and re-fresh during a stopover :)

    As for your story, oh my! One can never be too cautious when traveling, indeed—thank you for sharing this with us. Advice like this is very helpful!

    x
    Sarah

  • This post makes me want to hop on a flight to Paris IMMEDIATELY! Beautiful and inspiring as always :)

    http://www.rubin-hood.blogspot.com

  • beautiful images as always:) these types of posts are my favorite!

    http://canvasofculture.blogspot.com/

  • I am so in love with orange right now. I enjoyed living vicariously through these pics.

  • I am gushing over all of these amazing orange pictures! I hope you don’t mind me pinning most of them – haha. You’ve also now inspired this week’s mani-color: Hérmes orange :)

    Thanks for sharing lovely x

  • Wonderful post with great tips! I have always traveled being mindful that common sense prevails. So true about staying hydrated while on flight, the spritz is a great idea as often our skin feels so dry. Also, Doctors recommend on a flight longer than a few hours, you should get up and move around for a few minutes to keep good circulation, doing so every few hours on especially long flights.

  • LOVE the pics! and the travel tips :)

    From Brooklyn with love,

    Jen

  • anonymous — bottle water & evian [or other] spritzes can often be found in shops after security, and before boarding;

    as for your experience, how positively awful! thankfully, your quick and brave reaction was able to deter the would-be thief; can not speak for sarah, but i personally do not often use cross body bags, at home or while travelling, mainly shoulder & sometimes top handle, and in numerous trips to paris, have, thankfully [& knock on wood] never had so much as an incident; thank you so much for your suggestions — wonderful, sensible advice, especially in countries that one has never visited before x

  • Heidi said...

    Beautiful post! I would love to hear your suggestions for what to pack on a Mediterranean cruise!!

  • NIce pictures… they made me want to go to PAris right now!

  • Anonymous said...

    Thank you for these suggestions but I am surprised that you include bottled water and spritzes of Evian for the flight. I used to do just that, but for years now all the international airports I’ve travelled through (Asia, Europe, Australia) insist that passengers give up bottled drinks, spray cans of evian etc before boarding.

    Also, suggest that handbags for normal day wear be of the cross the body type with a large thick shoulder strap (not so easily cut with a knife or razor). Much easier to manage (and watch over) and safer as the bag only on the shoulder can be whipped off by boys on motor bikes – more likely to happen on streets of Italy, but could also happen in France. Very important point about ensuring the bag is well fastened on top. Once standing on a bus I looked down to find a quite well dressed man had his hand deep inside my handbag – luckily I discovered in time and chopped him on the wrist with the back of my hand – he couldn’t get his hand out of there fast enough. My husband didn’t see what he was up to and only saw me kicking the man on his ankle and hitting his wrist – not my usual type of behaviour – and was astonished. We got off the bus at the next stop, I was brave (probably fool hardy – but it was just an instant reaction) when protecting my handbag but once we were off the bus my knees buckled under me from shock.

  • What a beautifully written post – so many helpful tips. Thank you!

  • Well, I’m lucky to have all of this right outside my front door!
    Emma x

  • Wonderful post! Love orange!

  • Sigh…
    Thanks for bringing us this fantastic post

  • Just beautiful…makes me want to pack a bag immediately.
    xxx

  • Such a wonderful post. We’re buying on tickets this week. Can’t wait!

  • Beautiful post! It makes me miss my time in Paris. My husband and I rented an apartment while we were there in 2009 for the week.I def left a piece of my heart there and can not wait to return with our baby girl Elle.

  • This is a lovely post. I love anything that references lovely Paris. The pictures are so beautiful and inspiring. Take me away to Pareee…le sigh.

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