Paris with a Carry-On

Apr 13, 2013 | Uncategorized | 14 comments

How delightful to open my email yesterday and receive this…
I’ve been reading your blog for a while and am so happy for your new baby coming and your farmhouse, ahem, adventures.  I’m curious about your opinion on something.  If you were going to Paris and Vienna for a week with a 4 mo old constantly at the breast nursing and a 3 yr old, and could only take one carry on bag for your own clothes, what would you pack?   And what pair of shoes would you take?  Leaving on Thursday, a little nervous and even more so stumped. 


Oh goody goody gumdrops!  This was SO exciting!  First of all, I am a nerd – having not been to France in a DECADE and knowing, sadly, (OH SO SADLY) that it could be another decade before I get to go again -well- I live thru other’s trips and love to get my sticky fingers involved any way I can.  It doesn’t get much for more fun than telling someone what they might wear while there.
Now, since it’s been a decade I really have no idea what is being worn on the streets of Paris.  When I pack I pack to suit my own fashion personality (a classic with dramatic tendencies) and I leave some extra space to make some purchases that might make me feel that feeling of being… one of them
 Les Parisiennes.
I WANT this book!

So.  If I were you Tana… here’s what I am thinking.  First, at this stage in your life – it’s got to be practical.  And for practicality I went with button up blouses.  Much easier, in my opinion to undo a couple button and whip out (discreetly of course) a boob than to lift up a buttonless shirt and expose that muffin top that most of us still carry with a baby your babies age.  I would rather flash a boob than muffin top any day of the week.  
Especially in Paris.

Did I just say that?
Here is the board I put together for you…

Paris with a Carry On
In my past observations I have noticed les Parisiennes are either very trendy or very classic.  I LOVE a classic look (my sister in law is probably rolling her eyes – she knows what a junkie I am for the classic look) and figure you simply can’t go wrong with a smart, structured, pulled together look.

One of my all time, favorite goto outfits is a pressed, white blouse, a trouser-like pair of jeans, killer belt and high heals.  Being Spring – I would wear a bright colored trench and carry a killer bag.  Big enough for diapers and maybe even a change of shoes.

I have the flattest feet in the world so in Paris I reserve the heal wearing for the evenings where I am walking a block or two to go out for dinner.  Otherwise, I have to wear a sturdy, comfortable pair of shoes.  Maybe boots – but even then, I am like an old lady with the nasty foot pain.

And don’t forget le foulard.  
Your scarf.

Never, ever forget your scarf.  Like, don’t even step outside to check the temp without one.

So, you have your white blouse.  Now you could also pair this with a pair of black trousers.  Lord knows, you are in Paris and you could dress in black head-to-toe all week long and NEVER go wrong.  Again, thinking of your coat as part of your outfit – that final accessory that makes it more than just a blouse and pants.

Next, a fun skirt.  I LOVE the one I found for this board.  You could wear this with the white blouse, the orange shirt or the green one.  I mean come on – that’s three outfits right there.  

Don’t know if you and hubby will brave an evening meal with the little ones – do it.  Don’t be afraid.  The French might not have tables full of children out for dinner – but it’s your trip and they can kiss it.  I once went to le Select (FABULOUS people watching) and was pelted by twin boys with spit wads.

Les Enfants Roi.

And this is where you could wear any style of LBD.  I picked a sheath here because I love them.  But even one with more flair – like the style of the skirt would be fun, feminine and springy.  Heals of course.

I love these clothes because they are simple but tailored and my own personal style would be to really have fun with the jewelry.  I love the look of rolling up the white blouse sleeves to a three-quarter length and adding a fabulous cuff or mass of bracelets.  I love a big ring on my right hand middle finger and I am a sucker for dramatic earrings.  And don’t forget your sunglasses and a great belt.
Remember- I’ve got colorful here with neutral accessories but you could totally reverse it – like a camel colored trench and a big colorful bag instead.  

One other thing – By layering with the trench and scarf you will be able to be more comfortable in Paris.  I find it a city of many temperatures.  It can be 42 degrees outside and breezy and then you go down in the metro and almost die of heat stroke.  I hate that.   I am a hot box and HATE indoor heat.

It can get really windy going up and down and in and out of the metro too.  I always carry a spare rubberband on my wrist.

I think these outfits work.  They will allow you to “dress to travel” (I personally like to dress for dinner and dress for flying – I never wear jeans on a flight). and have a couple outfits you can feel great in and hold your own in the fashion capitol of the world — or is that Milan?  I think you could also fit this in your carry-on and leave room for you to bring a piece or two home.

There are expensive and very affordable stores all over the city. 

There you have it.  I hope that helps.  I am sure the readers will offer their opinions as well.

What would YOU have said to Tana?
Tana also asked for hints on what to do while there.   I am going to try to work that up for her by her departure next Thursday.

Always in Fashion… or at the very least TRYING.
Parisienne Farmgirl

Photo credit top to bottom:
Barnes and Noble
Muffin top –


  1. Gail Peterson

    I love that you took the time to answer her question in such detail! Had me giggling! ONe bag, tow children, Yikes just the thought of taking that on is fabulous! I just hope someone takes some pics of her on the plane, so she can tell them someday how she took them to Paris!
    Hope all is well!
    Happy Spring!

  2. Theanne

    absolutely love your travel wardrobe ideas for Tana…and yes the scarf never forget it!

    I too am living vicariously through the travels of others 🙂

  3. Carine

    I would recommend Tana to bring a warm jumper because it is freezing (and raining) here in France (I am in Rennes close to Paris). In Paris, a great thing to do is to have a hot chocolate at Angelina: 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris.

  4. myletterstoemily

    i would wear every item of clothing you offered.

    well done!!

  5. WhiteWhispers2u

    How Exciting! Also very scary to travel so far and try to have all you need.

    Great pics and love the boards! Keeping all that in mind as I am traveling there myself in Sep.Though my friend has been 12 times and I am sure she will direct me well.

    It is very cold there right now my friend just returned so I would say coats for Babies and you for sure, just in case.

    Enjoy, K.Marie

  6. Stephanie

    Great wardrobe ideas. I packed way too much when I went and regretted it. Next time I will definitely downsize to a carry on and re-wear pieces over and over. That’s the great thing about Paris, you don’t need a lot of outfits, just items that work together and can be changed up using great scarves. If an item can be hand washed and hung to dry overnight, even better. I totally agree….save room to buy a few things and bring home.

    Shoes are important. I found ballet flats to be too thin soled for all that walking, but a comfortable stylish loafer would be nice for day wear and break them in before you leave.

  7. Deanna

    Blessings to you,

  8. WhiteWhispers2u

    I am back studying the list of what to wear! Lol

    I think I am in on the all black and a few fun pieces to go with.Also will be looking for a few fun pieces off the board.

    So much to remember so I will start very early making my list.

    I buy French items twice a year from my friends sales if you are ever wanting a French treat let me know. I would be happy to bless you with one 🙂


  9. Tana A

    Oh, Angela, you are the BOMB. I was certain you would know what to say, and by golly, did I ask the right person or what? Thank you an absolute thousand times for all of this. Can you believe I had totally forgotten all about the belt and sunglasses?
    I had to laugh about the flashing boob thing…that will most likely be a reality, unfortunately. Isn’t it funny that we’d rather not show off our mid-sections, but after all the nursing I’ve done, that is precisely how I feel about it, too. Boob, no big deal. Belly, well, let’s not go there, shall we?
    I’ll definitely let you know how it goes and send you some photos. And thanks to everyone else for their suggestions. I’m going to do every bit of it that I can!

  10. tana50

    I’ve never been to Paris, but you are spot on when it comes to dressing! I am coming here for advice from now on.
    (Another) Tana
    (There aren’t that many of us)

  11. Kitty Durmaj

    I purchased “Parisiennes” A celebration of French Women, and it’s awesome. All the photos are black and white with descriptions or quotes. You can’t look at it just once….I always find something that I missed.

  12. Burlap Luxe

    Àngela so,much excitement over here for you 🙂

    Enjoy all that life offers you.
    Grace and beauty is all around you.
    I know you will keep is posted on what’s next.

    A perfectly inspiring weekend to you.



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