My Paris Travel Wardrobe: December 2018

Winter travel wardrobe capsule. This one's going to Paris! Details at une femme d'un certain age.

A Winter Travel Wardrobe For Paris…

Here’s what I’m packing as I head to Paris this week for 9 days! No surprises here…I’ve stuck with a mostly neutral wardrobe capsule of separates. The extended forecast, of course, changes on a daily basis. Currently looking at temps in the 30’s and 40’s F, (2-9C) and some rain.

I’ll reserve the possibility of adding a “wild card” at the last minute, based on latest forecasts or my whim. I’m also hoping to pick up a couple of specific pieces once I arrive, details below.

Here’s the whole megillah, not including outerwear. (I’ve lightened the image to better show details.)

Winter travel wardrobe capsule. This one's going to Paris! Details at une femme d'un certain age.

As I do when I’m planning a travel wardrobe, I’ll start with the shoes.

Footwear

Winter travel wardrobe for Paris: weatherproof boots. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

  • Knee boots. These are the weatherproof knee boots (similar) I’m wearing here. They’re really comfortable and have a full neoprene lining so they’re pretty warm.
  • Ankle boots (top). I ultimately decided to bring these Chelsea-style boots rather than the buckled ones, as they’re a bit warmer, and work well with all of my pants.
  • Ankle boots (bottom). I usually advise against “just in case” items, but just in case the weather turns snowy or icy, I wanted something with some serious traction. These are a few years old, and were purchased as après-ski boots during one of our ski vacations in Colorado. They’re a Finnish brand, and I can’t make out the name and have long since tossed the receipt. Here are a few alternatives with anti-slip soles: Cougar | La Canadienne | RockportRoss & Snow

Bottoms

I’ve included four pairs of pants, all skinny, which means each will work with any of the boots.

Tops

I’ll be bringing four sweaters (three merino wool and one cashmere), and two lightweight layering tops. I’m hoping to find a nice cashmere cardigan in Paris, button-front style. The lightweight tops can be an extra layer underneath sweaters if needed for warmth, or can be worn on their own in overheated interiors.

  • Merino crew neck (pine). This pine green (similar) is my favorite color of the season. (More items in Pine HERE.)
  • Merino v-neck (navy). The lightest weight sweater of the bunch. It has an oversized fit, so I sized down to the XS. Washes well, doesn’t pill.
  • Merino v-neck (ivory). I’ve been on the hunt for an ivory v-neck sweater for several seasons…this one (similar) has a really nice weight and shape, and a great piece for layering.
  • Cashmere v-neck (black). This is a slightly oversized sweater, but isn’t bulky. Will probably be my choice for the plane.
  • Pleated v-neck blouse (ivory). This one has 3/4 sleeves.
  • Silk ballet-neck tee. Mine’s a few years old, and what I wouldn’t give to find another one like it! Here’s a similar style in a modal fabric.
  • Velvet blazer (navy). I wanted to include something with a little zhush. Because Paris. Yes, it fits comfortably underneath my outerwear.

Outerwear and Accessories

Winter travel wardrobe for Paris: outerwear and accessories. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

  • Puffer coat. Why mess with success? This navy packable down coat (similar style, well-reviewed) went with me to Paris two years ago, and on a couple of ski trips in between. It’s light, it’s warm, and takes up almost no space in my luggage.
  • Cashmere gloves. These (similar) have openings on the thumb and forefinger for texting!
  • Cashmere beanie. Adding a little color (similar) where it will be seen.
  • Leopard gloves. Because leopard print is a neutral.
  • Bag. Pearl in Graphite. Still deciding about a larger bag.
  • Scarves. Tartan wool blend scarf (no longer available, similar, similar. I’ll also be bringing a larger cashmere wrap (similar). And I’ll be on the lookout for scarves in Paris to update my stash.
  • Compact down jacket (not shown). I’m planning to bring this one along as another mid-layer option.
  • Folding umbrella. Rain is inevitable in Paris…

I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything…

See all of my prior Travel Wardrobe posts HERE.

Stay in touch.

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49 Comments

  1. Eleanor
    December 10, 2018 / 2:38 am

    Nice travel wardrobe, but you might want to pack a kevla vest or flak jacket.

    • Susan B
      December 10, 2018 / 6:23 am

      I’ll be steering clear of any protests, thanks!

      • Nicole K
        December 10, 2018 / 10:12 am

        My son just returned and was there all weekend. No harm done to him. He mostly noticed lots of police there.

        Sound like Macron is negotiating now. So, have a wonderful trip!

  2. Tiina
    December 10, 2018 / 3:31 am

    The Finnish boots are Pertti Palmroth – http://www.palmrothshop.fi . I recognized the logo when I saw the picture, and was really surprised to see them outside of Finland. He makes great all weather boots & anklets.

    Looks like you are all set. Have a great trip!

  3. Chris Mahieu
    December 10, 2018 / 4:11 am

    Hello Susan,
    I sincerely hope that the troubles in Paris will be solved by the time you get there. Last weekend was not nice to watch what was going on.
    I wish you an enjoyable stay and lots of fun too. Stay safe !
    Xxx

  4. Ali Fraser
    December 10, 2018 / 4:51 am

    Hi Susan
    Just a thought…I would take only one tartan pattern scarf and then another totally different patterned scarf, eg a floral pattern (in your travel wardrobe blues and greens colours). Or even a plain solid block colour scarf. I think such a combination would make your wardrobe look more different as I feel the two scarves you have chosen, while different patterns, look very ‘similar’. You might even consider a more dressy scarf that would go with your beautiful velvet jacket to wear for a night out at an elegant restaurant.
    I hope you will have a fantastic trip. Can’t wait to see all your vacation news! Wow. You go so often you are nearing ‘local status’!

    • Susan B
      December 10, 2018 / 6:25 am

      Thanks, Ali! I cleared out my scarf collection a few months ago, and don’t have many cold-weather scarves at the moment. I’ll be scarf shopping in Paris for sure!

      • Linda Carswell
        December 10, 2018 / 8:45 am

        Susan, where do you shop for scarves in Paris? Any favorite places? I was there in October, and bought a wonderful cashmere v neck at Eric Bompard on Rue de Bac. Love, love, love their cashmere sweaters!

  5. December 10, 2018 / 4:57 am

    Oh Susan, what a surprise to see the Finnish ankle boots on your Paris list! I was born and raised there. If you take a picture of the name I might be able to figure it out. Good choice for your trip.
    I love your blog
    Traveling Mercies

  6. aa
    December 10, 2018 / 5:01 am

    I’d recommend throwing in some woollen or thermal tights which you can wear under your trousers. Thermal long-sleeved tops are also a good idea. You can really freeze in Paris in December. And jeans are really not thick enough, and they can get soggy very quickly.

    • Susan B
      December 10, 2018 / 6:21 am

      Yes, I’m packing some silk long underwear, tops and bottoms.

      • December 10, 2018 / 2:29 pm

        Personally, I find jeans more practical than any other trousers, and they shouldn’t get soggy with ankle boots. The only downside is that they are bulky to pack and take a while to dry after washing, but you have enough pairs to deal with that. It looks as if you are checking a bag; that looks like too much for a carry-on. I wear jeans (black or dark wash) all the time in Montréal, which is a hell of a lot colder than Paris, but can get damp as well as cold.

        I have friends (of a more than certain age) who are dual citizens and who are travelling to Paris and Alsace (Mme is Alsacienne) and really not terribly worried, though they deplore the thuggish fringes of this movement.

  7. Karen B
    December 10, 2018 / 5:01 am

    Love all of it! Stylish but warm. I leave for a cruise of New Zealand and Australia for the holidays: weather will be very different from Wisconsin winter so I am still thinking through my wardrobe.

    • Ali
      December 11, 2018 / 1:17 am

      Hi Karen
      I can’t speak for NZ but remember that Aust is BIG so the weather can differ depending where you go. It might be useful to check out the weather reports for all the places you plan to visit. You might need a light cardi but winter woolies probably won’t be necessary for Aust. Happy travels!

    • Suzanne Stanton
      December 12, 2018 / 8:17 pm

      We are having a windy and rainy ( but hot) month in Sydney.
      Tasmania is still very cold and Queensland very hot!

  8. Meg
    December 10, 2018 / 5:25 am

    I have the long version of the alternative down coat you have a link for. I can tell everyone it is extremely warm, it’s known in the family as my Polar Vortex coat- the one that keeps me warm when we get the sub zero F temperatures that are so dreaded. It’s a bit bulky and nothing at all that can be considered stuff able or packable, but if you are going to the Big Time cold, it’s a great coat.

    I like your boot picks, especially the one with a thicker sole. Walking on pavement for hours kills my feet and I look for something with a small platform under the ball of my foot for comfort.

    Any hints or tips on Static Hair? The hat you show is so cute but knowing my weather and my hair, I can see me having lots of fly aways putting it on and off.

    • December 11, 2018 / 9:06 am

      Wipe a Bounce sheet on your hair. Fold it into snack size ziplock baggie and it can be carried in a purse and reused.

  9. December 10, 2018 / 5:31 am

    Ooooh, you’re going to have such a lovely time! Bon voyage! xo

  10. Emily
    December 10, 2018 / 5:44 am

    Susan have you ever been to Le Bon Marche department store..24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007. Across the street Is La Grande Epicerie a huge gourmet grocery store with several restaurants in the same building. There is also a great men’s department in the basement of Le Bon Marche.

    • Susan B
      December 10, 2018 / 6:18 am

      Oh yes, it’s one of my favorite stops, never miss it! 🙂

  11. Deb
    December 10, 2018 / 5:56 am

    Susan can you Tell me the brand of your eyeglasses in your gold hoops photo? I need them! Thanks

  12. Tiina
    December 10, 2018 / 6:03 am

    Pertti Palmroth is the name of the Finnish company that made your ankle boots. I was surprised to see them outside of Finland. Have a great trip.

  13. December 10, 2018 / 6:14 am

    Pretty perfect Susan 😉
    Enjoy! xx

  14. Jan Whichard
    December 10, 2018 / 6:32 am

    May want to toss in a packable down vest. And a neck warmer in addition to the scarves. It is bone cold over there. Just got back.

  15. Marguerite Krenek
    December 10, 2018 / 6:40 am

    Beautiful, functional wardrobe choices as always, Susan. Wishing you a wonderful trip!

  16. December 10, 2018 / 6:46 am

    I love the green and blue you have going on here. Complementary colors are my favorites. So sophisticated IMO.

  17. Suz
    December 10, 2018 / 7:08 am

    Another fabulous travel wardrobe. I usually wear my “biggest/heaviest” shoes on the flight so I was wondering if you’ll do the same with your tall boots?
    Have a great trip – Thanks for posting !
    Suz from Vancouver

  18. Deb from Vancouver
    December 10, 2018 / 8:12 am

    I really hope you visit Crimson in Paris. For selfish reasons! I follow the owner on Instagram and I would love to see and read your thoughts on it.

    • Lynn
      December 13, 2018 / 4:59 am

      I thoroughly enjoy Crimson blog too. Her cashmere items look so warm and comfy. Would also love to hear what you think Susan. Have a great trip.

  19. December 10, 2018 / 8:50 am

    Très chic, and practical, too.
    I waterproof my shoes every winter with a spray-on protector; I’d suggest doing it on your ankle boots before leaving.
    Bon voyage!

  20. Lyn
    December 10, 2018 / 9:06 am

    1. That’s a wardrobe for 30° weather??!! That wouldn’t keep me warm in my own house, and it’s in the 50’s here. My travel wardrobe for that temperature range is full of turtlenecks, sweaters, fleece and extra-warm base layers. You must be a lot more warm-blooded than I am.

    2. You seem to have a lot more duplications this time: 3 pairs of boots, 3 v-neck sweaters, pairs of jeans, and two similar scarves. You could easily take out one of each. (And that will leave more room in your suitcase for the warmer clothes you will be buying in Paris when that 30° temperature hits you.)

    3. Love those leopard gloves!

    • Susan B
      December 10, 2018 / 9:27 am

      Actually it’s for 30-50F weather. Mostly in the 40’s (according to the latest forecast). 🙂

  21. Bonnie Clark
    December 10, 2018 / 9:44 am

    Safe Travel, my friend, safe travel…

  22. Lisa B
    December 10, 2018 / 10:17 am

    I purchased the velvet blazer in claret. Wish I’d sized up to get the same look as you. I thought I wanted a more fitted look so purchased the PS as I found the jacket to run large. My usual EF size is a PM. Wasn’t crazy about the button placement. I think a higher placed button would’ve been better rather than the one placed at the waist. I’m keeping it as it pairs well with my existing clothes and claret pants. I did a major gut of my closets . In the end i had EIGHT garbage bags full of assorted pants, shirts, sweaters and coats.. Being much more discerning about any new clothing. I think that jacket and a singular pleated VINCE skirt in anise will be my only seasonal purchase. The anise skirt looks great with the claret blazer too. Stay safe and have a wonderful trip!

  23. Lyn
    December 10, 2018 / 10:29 am

    That’s still turtleneck weather for me, but I’ll admit that I seem to feel the cold more than most. (It has to get up to 70° before I quit wearing something around my neck.)
    By the way, I loved the lavender scarf you took on previous trips. I hope you didn’t purge it.

    • December 10, 2018 / 2:39 pm

      I’m no longer comfy in turtlenecks, though I live in a deep freeze and am très frileuse (that means I’m always cold). I feel strangled by them and use scarves instead, even at home.

      Lisa, where did you take your cast-offs?

      • Lisa B
        December 12, 2018 / 7:49 am

        To a Salvation Army bin. The better clothing I donated to a Dress for Success site. Some things went to a resale shop.

  24. Julia
    December 10, 2018 / 11:15 am

    Your Finnish boots could be Perti Palmroth. I had some and they lasted for years.

    • Ciara
      December 10, 2018 / 11:16 pm

      Snap! I too read David Lebovitz’s post on travelling to Paris at the moment and thought of Susan’s upcoming trip. Currently, a friend is in Paris and it is all about organising your travel plans to avoid the trouble spots.
      Happy travels Susan and I am looking forward to ‘travelling’ along with you.
      As always, your wardrobe looks great, in particular, your footwear should do the trick. My memory of Paris in December is cold and wet. Dry,warm feet are the business.

  25. Holly C Beaver
    December 10, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    Really like your travel wardrobes. I’m thinking of getting the Uniqlo jacket as you have shown it several times and it sounds like a good piece to own longterm. I wear a petite size and noticed this jacket does not come in a petite sizing. What size did you purchase?

    Thanks, Susan.

    • Susan B
      December 10, 2018 / 7:21 pm

      Hi Holly, thanks! I purchased the Medium in both the vest and compact down jacket. I find Uniqlo runs a bit small, so usually go up a size.

  26. December 11, 2018 / 5:46 am

    Have a fabulous time, Sue. Packing for cool/cold weather can be difficult, but down coats make it so much easier. I’m always toasty here in Ottawa (where it gets REALLY cold) with a sweater (not necessarily even a turtleneck) and a scarf. Yesterday, it was -10°C here and we went to cut our Christmas tree. I had my down puffer coat, a think base layer turtleneck and a light vest, and I was perfectly comfortable tramping along fields on the tree farm. Not even a scarf. Although I do wish I had had a toque. Hubby and I had to keep sharing his. Ha. Like Lisa, I love the navy and green combination.

  27. December 11, 2018 / 6:10 am

    A toque (or tuque, here in Québec) is what pseu called a “beanie”. A beanie is a different type of woolly hat in Canada. Hers is a very nice colour – I love that forest green.

  28. Nancy
    December 11, 2018 / 10:57 am

    Susan, I wish you the happiest of trips. Our first joint trip to Paris was for our fifth anniversary in December 1989. My Southern California- raised husband froze, I was toasty in underpants, pantyhose, wool tights and high boots, heavy wool skirt,long sleeved silk top, heavy sweater, trench coat……
    I enjoy your blog very much, although we could not be more different as to taste, I love the look of clothes inherited from a grandmother, in style no later than the 20s, but for jeans, of course.
    Looking forward to your posts from Paris.

  29. Kellee
    December 12, 2018 / 4:50 am

    Have a perfectly marvelous time!

  30. Lily
    December 12, 2018 / 11:55 am

    I hope you see my reply because I have a question about greens. I love your capsule shown here including the forest green. I have also seen you pictured (Nov 1st) in olive. Don’t you greens clash in real life? -Lily

  31. susie
    December 13, 2018 / 5:40 am

    What good timing! This color palette is just what I have been trying to do!! You really helped me as I play copycat and order as much similar as I can. Beautiful!!

  32. Kathy
    December 22, 2018 / 10:33 am

    I also need a curling iron, comb, brush, hairspray, mirror, moisturizer and makeup, and medications. When we went to France for a month I didn’t pack Tylenol (I figured I could buy it there) and found they only sell packs of 8 and that cost 3+ Euro. I take 4-6 per day for arthritis so I either shelled out the money or paid in pain.

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