Clueless About Winter Wear

Went winter clothes shopping in preparation for my biz trip to Paris. Am totally clueless about winter fashion, so I followed the advice of a friend from work and bought a long wool coat, two wool skirts, one wool pants for the meetings and three knit tops. These, together with the pressies (see picture) from the team, plus thermal sets, should tide me through the first three days I think. Now that leaves me with one more top and one bottom, maybe a shorter jacket or a hooded parka on the list. Oh, and let’s not forget the hat and earmuffs.

Question: will it be too cold to wear jeans for casual wear over thermal pants? Am praying that these would be sufficient for the cold temperatures there (it’s an average 1 to 5 degrees there!!).

I’ve also been surfing sites to read up on Paris and Gabrielle’s Paris info has been a tremendous help. Timeout Paris is another site that’s chocked full of info. If you’ve any suggestions on what to do or see, please … just keep them coming.


12 thoughts on “Clueless About Winter Wear

  1. laura says:

    My daughter went to Paris in August. By
    September she begged me to ship her UGGS. They are the buckskin color and I know she’s wearing them a lot. I’m going over there for Cmas and also will be walking a lot. I’m thinking UGGS or some type of dark womens walking shoe with a black sole. Id say if you like your UGGS, take em.

  2. ag says:

    Hi Jamie,

    I saw lots of leather boots and suede boots if that’ll help. I’m going to be there in two weeks … in the Lorraine region and stopping over in Paris. I’ll let you know if there’re Ugg sightings. Otherwise, you may want to save the Uggs for a ski resort or the deep winter areas.

  3. Jamie says:

    I’m going to Paris in mid December. Are Uggs OK with a pair of tight dark jeans? I hate being cold and I’m going to be walking a lot!

  4. ag says:

    Oh, Laura, thanks os much for all that great info. Guess what? I have fitted black pants, and the brown coat. As I figured I’ll need those for the meetings anyway.

    I’m from Singapore… tropically warm all year round, and I shiver when temperatures fall below 20 degrees celsius. That’s how unused to the cold I am. I’ve packed in the thermals and tights just in case too, ‘cos the forecast shows wind and temperatures will hover around 4 deg to 10 deg.

    And what a coincidence! One of my friends recommended a place opp. the Notre Dame for my book shopping so, looks like the chocolate is a must.

    Thanks ever so much for all the suggestions. I hope to be able to take in the sights after the meetings.

  5. OH! I forgot. The soldes (the big winter sales) start Jan 10, so maybe if you need anything new for the trip you should get it in Paris. The dollar is so weak that it eats up a lot of the discounting, but still…later, whenever anyone asks you where you got those cute pants or whatever, you can oh-so-nonchalantly say, “Oh, I picked those up the last time I was in Paris.”

    OK, I’m done. I am going away now to work on my current book, and I am not getting distracted anymore. Although you really should go to Ladurée, too…no, I’m stopping.

  6. P.P.S. Sébastien says to leave you alone about the jeans, they’ll be fine, since so many Parisians wear jeans anymore, but definitely about the shoes and coat. And if any of this is a pain, don’t worry about ANY of it. No matter how hard we try, non-Parisians rarely manage to pass as Parisians, and the most important thing is to HAVE FUN and stay warm! Have a great trip.

  7. P.S. I used to write restaurant reviews for Timeout Paris. 🙂 Have TONS of fun in this beautiful city. I always love hearing that someone is getting the chance to go there.

  8. Well…I maybe should not say anything, because this is my first time ever visiting this blog, I was just following links around while rocking my baby…BUT Paris is my SPECIALTY, if you will, so I am not able to bite my tongue. Keep my fingers off the keyboard. Whatever.

    These tips are for if you want to blend in a bit, but if you don’t care, just ignore them: If you do want to blend in, I would go easy on the jeans for a business trip and definitely not wear hiking boots of any kind. (Sorry, CindyS!) Paris women do wear jeans, contrary to myth, but not anywhere near as much as North American women do. They’d be fine for when you’re just doing your own thing, though–unless you want to shop at high end stores or something, when jeans might get you a little snubbed. I have never, ever seen Parisian women wear hiking boots or even regular tennis shoes. For pants, I would go more with fitted black pants, or brown pants. And for shoes, really either black boots or if you want something more comfortable, those really classy street tennis shoes you can get from Puma or Diesel. (The ones that don’t really look like tennis shoes.) The long wool coat is great, that was a lifesaver for me. Women tend to wear fitted black or otherwise dark coats and anything else will stand out. Plus a nice little scarf–but if you don’t have one, I’d get one in Paris. You’ll see tons of choice in scarves all over in the winter (even in the metro) and it will be fun to get one there.

    For warmth–I don’t know where you’re from, but since you said you weren’t used to winter fashion, is somewhere warm a safe assumption? I am from Georgia and I completely freeze in Paris from September through May and sometimes even in July. I lots of times wear tights under pants for a little extra layer, or sometimes these silk thermals my mother sent. Either is small to pack, so it might be worth it, in case you are like me. But if you are from the North, ignore me: I had lots of Canadian friends while in Paris, though, who mocked me incessantly and went around in T-shirts when I was shivering uncontrollably in my jacket…so it really depends on what you’re used to.

    Where to GO: Go to Charlotte de l’Isle on Ile St. Louis and have their HOT CHOCOLATE. Even if you don’t like any of the advice above, I swear you will thank me for the Charlotte de l’Isle. Unless you are indifferent to chocolate, in which case I still say go but have their tea, they have a fantastic selection. It’s worth it just for the experience. It only opens after 2:30 or so, though (sometimes they open late). And it’s very close to Notre-Dame, so you can always combine it with seeing the cathedral.

  9. ag says:

    Thanks so much for the tips, ladies. Oh great, I definitely am going to wear the jeans.

    Cindy, I’m there for about 5 days from Tuesday to Saturday – there’ll be meetings aplenty, plus some social gatherings. I’m just going to stick to my two pairs of boots and wear thick socks with those.

    Great tip on the length of the coat. I’m one of those who would be shivering away with the aircon at 18 degrees even tho I’m wearing a thick jacket or shawl, so keeping my body warm is going to be top priority for me.

  10. CindyS says:

    Yep, being a winter Canadian I would have to say that Paris cannot be colder than here and I don’t do thermals – I don’t think anyone in Paris does either 😉

    If you have a hat, mittens and scarf I think you will be fine without a parka if that saves you some money – if you are going for a shorter coat get one that just covers your rump so that your arse won’t get cold.

    I’m one of those people that if my feet get cold then I’m done so make sure your shoes are warm enough – even just hiking style boots with a little fleece in them – or thicker socks for the nights – you can change into your dress shoes once you get to work. Also, taking a cardigan like sweater (one that buttons up or zips up) that is heavier than light weight knits that you can pull on in the office if you get a chill.

    Also, weather wise anything over 0 is not as cold as you think. It is the windchill that is the real problem – you see anything in the negatives and you wear that long wool coat and bundle up. So if you have the weather channel on listen for windchill factor, that will let you know if you need to get really cozy or not too bulked up.

    Okay, enough from me.

    When do you leave and how long are you going for? You’re not moving there right?


  11. Hi Ag, Happy New Year! I’ve been to Paris in the winter, and jeans are more than adequate-even without thermals. LOL I’m just comparing the weather there to what we were experiencing here in Winnipeg last week. 😛 You’ll be fine.

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