21 Jun 2017

Packing For Paris: What Not To Forget

Packing For Paris: What Not To Forget on vickiarcher.com

What not to forget when packing for Paris? It’s not Prada.

I just loved the colours and the offbeat bags in this photograph.

Last weekend I packed for Paris in a ridiculous rush and missed my train. I ended up in the right place hours later but completely frazzled. I don’t know why as most of the time I am the most organised person I know. Rushing is for others, (I always say) and now I know why.

I made it and had a wonderful time so none of this really matters but I did forget one small item.

The good news was I packed the right blouse and shoes; the bad news I forgot my handbag. I had a large bag with all the paraphernalia to get me from A to B but not a small one to take me out once I arrived. I tried to squish all my ‘everything’ into my wallet but that was never going to work.

For some reason small bags have escaped my radar recently.

Ever resourceful, I used the shoe bag in the hotel for my wallet, phone and all the “girly” rest. As I headed out the front doors, puzzled looks passed between the staff; I promised I wasn’t stealing their bag just “borrowing” for a night out. They either thought I was telling a big tale or completely avant garde with my dress sense. Neither was the truth; simply a practical decision.

The shoe bag, while embarrassing as an accessory, did the job although it paled in comparison to my companion’s beautiful evening bag. We did have a laugh over my “cotton clutch with drawstring” look.

Which brings me to the point. Which bag to pack?

The cross body is a fabulous day bag but sometimes at night they look too casual or don’t work with what I’m wearing.  In my next pack I am including a small clutch/envelope in my suitcase.  A “clutch” to clutch that takes no space and to double up as a wallet, handbag and holder of many small things. For travelling it’s all that is needed and while something more glamorous and more exciting would be fun, it would take up too much space.

If there is one promise I have made to myself it is to travel more often and more lightly. It is the weight and bulk of what we carry that is fatiguing and awkward.

That’s why I am looking for an elegant envelope to replace the “shoe bag” (which I did return); a clutch to hold not only the necessary at night but also to flat pack in the suitcase.

Shoe bag or clutch? You choose ;) xv

I Won’t Forget This

claire v silver  || claire v gold  ||   comme des garçons  black and pink  ||  comme des garçons gold

eric javitz pearl embellished  ||  mansur gavrel grossgrain nude  ||  mansur gavriel grossgrain red

and then there is this one (bee-ware) 



subscribe for updates from vickiarcher.com

In This Post:



Mimi Gregor

I’d pick shoe bag, as I find clutches impractical. I like my hands free, even in the evening. At a party, how does one balance a cocktail, shake hands, and hold a clutch without some sleight of hand? I have a smallish Chanel shoulderbag that I wear with dressier items. My mother got it for me on my 30th birthday decades ago, and it still looks good and is my “dressy bag”. It’s small, but not “tiny”, so it hold everything I will need for an evening out, and I find it much more practical than a clutch.


I put it under my arm and then my arms are free… kind of clinch it and good for the muscles ;) I find shoulder bags slip off or I feel unbalanced or something… I am awkward when I wear them… even the big ones.. that’s why I like a cross body in the day, I guess…:)

Leslie in Oregon

Decades ago, I bought one black envelope and one navy clutch, both leather, in a small shop in Rome. Although they are not the same style, each is long, tall and wide enough to hold what I need for an evening out. One has a detachable leather shoulder strap. Beautifully made, each of those bags becomes almost flat when I pack it in my suitcase. Although I have used each of them well over one hundred times, these bags remain beautiful, with their silk (silky?) lining and pockets intact and their leather softer than ever. Neither must have cost much, as I had very little money when I bought them. And even though I have more financial resources now, I could not afford to replace either bag even if I could find its duplicate.

Anita Rivera

Ah yes, the handbag, le SAC! This is where I fail. I cannot, and will not, carry an adequate one. My shoulders are too small and anytime I carry even my camera bag, I become fatigued! I have actually learned to carry only this: my keys, my ID, my mobile and RED LIPSTICK! That is all I carry when I’m in town. But for Paris? I’d need to re-think what I’d need, but the red lipstick will always be somewhere close on my person!


Red lipstick must always be close.. :)
Even with those few things Anita, they have to go in something… try the show bag… it’s very light… :) :)


I found a silk with embroidery eyeglass case in Chinatown NY a few years ago and it holds lipstick as well as a pair of reading glasses. I would take that if there was no actual handbag around..


It’s my one fail when packing for Europe, a small bag. I haven’t found the perfect one, and usually don’t want to take up the space, but that bee bag is so adorable! Here in the states I use a black clutch which does also have a chain handle tucked inside, should I need to wear it on my shoulder, although like you, Vicki, I’m not good at that.


I think the shoe bag was a genius move Vicki! When traveling I carry a big bag with all my necessities and a smaller bag inside with detachable strap containing cards, tickets, keys, phone, and a small sunscreen moisturizer and chapstick… that’s my purse once I arrive. I keep IDs and cash on me and so far that has worked for me.

Taste of France

In my tango days, I had a collection of very small bags, just big enough for my keys, lipstick, phone and a little money, with long, thin straps. I could wear them as cross-body without them getting in the way. Since I liked to seek out tango haunts on my travels around the world, I often would be alone in a strange place and not crazy about leaving my bag unattended. My itsy-bitsy bags did the trick.

Jean Rowland

You might like a London-based company called Wilbur and Gussie – wilburandgussie.com. They have a good selection of patterns and plains, summer and winter. The shoe bag was a great idea though …!


All things being equal I think I would opt for a Chanel wallet on a chain for this purpose.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Parisian Women And 5 Simple Beauty Rules on vickiarcher.com
5 Simple Beauty Rules