Pragmatic Packing For a Short Trip To Paris and Getting My Flâneuse On!

We leave tomorrow for Paris. It’s definitely not an extended stay. We fly home on Wednesday. Basically, this is three full days and three full nights.

This isn’t a trip for visiting the museums or the many sights. It isn’t a foodie trip either. And it isn’t a somber one like our last short trip to Paris for Danièle’s funeral.

Paris. Daniele's bulletin board at her office!

Memories on the wall of Daniele’s office at Zazi Films. I miss her so much!

Remember our trip of last summer? Remember how Air France went on strike just as we were about to leave and we had to make other flight arrangements?


Thank you Air France for giving us a credit that cost us more money!

Well, we ended up with a “credit” from Air France.  However, we had to use our “credit” from Air France before December 28 or we would lose it.  We were unable to use the “credit” (and I use that term loosely—hence the quotes) for next summer.  And with this “credit” comes a booking charge of $300 per person. Ultimately this “credit” is costing us six hundred bucks just to fly!

The good thing is that we were able to make our visit coincide with the Avant-premiere of Bonaparte’s cousin’s film “Demain tout Commence”.  The film stars the wonderful Omar Sy, remember him as the assistant from the film “The Intouchables”? Bonaparte’s cousin, Hugo Gelin directed the film and we are excited to see him and the film!


I’m secretly hoping that Omar Sy is at the Avant-premiere and I get to take a selfie with him. I’m sure Bonaparte is secretly hoping I don’t embarrass him in front of his family!

I’m excited that we’ll be returning to the Hotel Prince de Conti. The location is perfect—in the 6th arrondissement.  And the hotel is a charming as all get out!

Paris. Prince de Conti Hotel sign in the wind

Bonaparte also has to tend to a bit of family business and I need to take care of some business of my own.  I need to hit CityPharma for all things skincare.

Paris. Citypharma bag of delights. Ahhhh.

Best prices on all things skincare–and you never know what else you will find!

I need to visit the Christmas Markets on the Champs-Élysées for some Christmas shopping and I need to get to Fnac to buy some music. I need more Michel Polnareff and Christmas music.


I can’t wait to get to the Christmas markets!! Bonaparte is hoping my friend The Olive Man isn’t one of the vendors!

And I also want to visit Danièle. I plan on sharing a little bit of Porto at her grave. Just like we did when she was alive.  I also want to bring her some white roses because we always got them for her!

Montparnasse Cemetary. Flowers on Daniele's grave

I’m sure all these flowers have been cleared to make way for the ones Bonaparte and I will bring to her.  And Daniele and I will have a little toast of  Porto. Let’s hope I don’t get arrested for sitting on her grave and drinking with her!

It’ll also be fun to just hone in on my skills as a flâneuse—a wanderer.  Paris is the greatest city to just walk around and do nothing.  You never know what discoveries will await.  That’s basically it!

And speaking of basic.  I’ve packed my wardrobe for three days neatly into my Longchamp carry-on.  These winter clothes are much heavier than summer ones—and in the summer I can pack a lot more. But here’s how I did it.


Thankfully my Longchamp leather bag is a bit on the large size. I can carry the overflow! Thankfully Bonaparte is traveling with a large suitcase so I can load my goodies into it!

First, I tried on a couple of looks to decide which I liked…

possibility-number-1-blue-sweater-stripped-shirt-did-not-go-with-thisI nixed this look because the sweater was too bulky with the blazer. It’s a good look for running out and about at home though!


Look number two.  This is a packer!  I love the light weight of the striped sweater. The light chambray shirt is a great base for layering and both fit really nicely with my schoolboy blazer. Over-the-knee boots and AG jeans complete the look.   Too bad I have no hair in the back or I could have gone natural in my bio hair…I feel very…




Fanny Ardant today with my hair curly!  She’s one of my favorite actors! Maybe I’ll run into her and she will ask me to be her American sister!


Another casual look that lends itself well to layering. A black sweater under a camel blazer, scarf, same boots and jeans for day…


And for the movie premiere, a change of jeans to more dressier ones, red heels, same blazer, same sweater and a different scarf.


For traveling, I’m going with black pixie pants from J. Crew, a black turtleneck, a blanket scarf and a trench coat…..


I decided that I’ll wear loafers instead of ballet flats. These are better a better choice for running around the airport. The blanket scarf will be a multi-tasker. Bonaparte always takes my blanket that the airline supplies because he gets very cold. I’ll just use the scarf as a throw. 

I’m really want to keep things simple.  A trench is a better choice for me because I can layer with the sweater and blazer. If it ends up being warmer, I can either wear just the trench or just a blazer. At least I have a choice!

And here is what ultimately went into the carry on:


My essentials (other than makeup).  Magnifying mirror so when I apply lipstick, I won’t look like Bette Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”, an umbrella because you just never know when it’ll rain in Paris. A satin pillowcase to protect what little hair I have left, and my favorite tote. This Wythe Hotel tote goes wherever I travel.  Paris isn’t like the USA in that you get bags at the grocery store. I can fit wine bottles, cheese, tons of stuff into this tote. I love it!!


Two pair of jeans. My AG jeans for day and for evenings skinny legging jeans from Loft.


Two sweaters. On the left is the J. Crew Factory version of the Tippi Sweater. I actually like it better than the J. Crew version because the length is a bit longer. On the right is the J. Crew Holly Sweater. It is so soft and cozy.  Had I wanted to wear this on it’s own without a shirt underneath, I would have sized down.  

two-shirts-i-see-chippys-favoriteTwo shirts. I know which one Chippy likes! The only reason I am bringing two is that I’m a total slob and I know something is going to spill. I need backup!


Two blazers. I kept to solids because the choice was just more basic.

I followed on-line directions on folding a blazer for travel.  The instructions are from Black Label and are step-by-step photographs. It took me almost an hour to figure it out.  I ended up putting the blazers into plastic garbage bags after folding for added protection.


Boots can be a daunting item to pack, but these suede boots from Charles David are a dream. They are so pliable–like suede socks and were easy to stuff into the luggage. I have my heels for evening and thankfully I’ll be able to hold onto Bonaparte and not fall in the middle of the street!


If my head is warm, the rest of me is comfy!

I also packed a knit cap, gloves, one bra and three pair of panties.  My cosmetics and toiletries are the last items to get packed. OH..and I packed hair too!!!!! I need my topper!

That’s it. A basic pragmatic way to pack for a short stay in the City of Lights.  Nobody needs to be a fashion plate when visiting Paris. There’s too much to see as you wander around–and wander around you will!  But it is a good thing to look presentable and jeans are a perfect choice!  No skirts this time around because I was too lazy to get spray tanned and I refuse to walk around with my fish-belly, white/blue legs on display!

Today’s music is another  import from Canada–Garou!  He’s great! Anyway, this is from Julien Clerc’s  Le Grand Show from 2014. If this doesn’t put you in the mood for Christmas–nothing will!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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19 Responses to Pragmatic Packing For a Short Trip To Paris and Getting My Flâneuse On!

  1. Miss Bougie says:

    Happy landing!
    Don’t forget to pack your woolies. The beginning of the week is going to be cold. Tuesday they announce -2 degrees C. Brrr!

  2. Momcat says:

    ! J’aime Garou…God that voice!!!! Check him out as Quasi modo
    in the musical of the Hunchback…along with Daniel Lavoie another great Québec singer ( there are so many!!)
    Amuse toi à Paris!!

    • Catherine says:

      Momcat! OMG!! We’ve seen Garou TWICE as Quaisimodo in Notre Dame de Paris. We actually cried–he was that moving. Belle–one of the greatest love songs of all time. I love me some Garou! XOXOXOXO!!!

  3. lifelessons says:

    What fun to peek in on your packing. I always overpack..Keep trying not to. I note you took no laptop or tablet. Good for you. I am always so loaded down by electricals, cords, etc.

    • Catherine says:

      The tablet stays home..and surprise–I don’t have a laptop. I bring my phone and a camera. My travel time is time to get away from everything!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      • lifelessons says:

        Good for you. Makes life easier. When I travel, I’m more up tight about remembering all my cords and connectors than I am about remembering to pack underwear!

  4. Yolanda says:

    I’m so living vicariously reading about your trip. Thank you for letting us see what you packed-and it’s all absolutely perfect. I’m happy you are getting to go. It’s the next best thing to going myself. I’m looking forward to getting your report about the trip!

  5. Judy says:

    Have a wonderful time! I am impressed that you have been able to put together such a chic collection – your outfits go together really well and you will give the Parisiennes a run for their money. Bon Voyage!

    • Catherine says:

      LOL. Thanks Judy! I’m hoping my hair makes it through security!! Glad you like my choice of clothing!! I’m also hoping that the weather isn’t all that cold as well. All I want to do is wander……XOXOXOXOXO!!!

  6. LA CONTESSA says:

    I think YOU Need to take the FLOWER CROWN I SENT YOU to sip the PORT on the GRAVE!
    YOUR MOTHER IN LAW would appreciate that or NON?
    I do think you need a HEAVY COAT to go over the BLAZER!!!!!!!!
    But YOU live in the COLD weather so YOU KNOW better THAN ME!!!!!!!!!
    DO think of me when you SPOT a WATER FOUNTAIN……….OH WHAT IS THE NAME?It is on the TIP of MY TONQUE!
    A WALLIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I would like a photo of you and a WALLIS!

  7. calensariel says:

    Love that word “flâneuse—a wanderer.” And that picture of the Christmas market with the tower in the background is so cool! Have a good time!!!

  8. I am hitting Citypharma on Tuesday Yes they have great prices on everything especially skin care. I see a lot of foreigners going there with this little suitcase they fill them up and go. That’s where I go for my skin care the Lipikar lait anti-dessesemnet for le corps. from Roche-Posay. I am going to see that film demain tout commence when it comes out. I am trying to get in the business myself of being a réalisateur not an easy thing to get in into but I will get there not to worry. Have fun in Paris.

  9. doodletllc says:

    Hi Catherine – -You should be there by now…have a wonderful quick trip. Love the packing tips…love your style…so fun..have fun! 🙂

  10. Catherine says:

    Reblogged this on Atypical 60 and commented:

    I’m recvisiting blog posts that parallel our recent trip to Paris. Why? You might ask? Well..after four days of walking around Paris in the rain I have a massive cold and I’m going up to bed to sleep it off.
    I’ve got soooo much to tell you about our trip but I think it’ll be fun to compare the last four day trip to this one!
    Here we go….

  11. Nancy says:

    What a beautiful city! I loved to wander on Per la chaise.

  12. Penny says:

    Oooh Catherine, get well soon. This side of the pond it’s cold, windy and very damp!

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