Are you wondering what to wear in France in August? August is peak summer in France and therefore the most important thing to consider for packing for France in the Summer is the heat. This guide covers the main French cities such as Paris and Marseille as well as the islands and the coastal regions of France.
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Weather in France in August
August is one of the most popular months to visit France. Not only because of school vacations but because of the country wide good weather. While this good looks at France at a top level, it is important to note that there are some regional differences in France in August. For this reason we have some specific regional guides linked below:
- What to wear in Corsica
- What to wear in Paris in August
- What to wear in Provence
- What to wear in the South of France
Also it is worth noting that the weather between months changes quite dramatically in France. Therefore if your trip spans a couple of months then please be sure to check out our other monthly:
How hot is France in August?
As I mentioned above, the temperatures tend to be good across France in Summer. Now depending on which part of France you are visiting will depend on how hot is gets.
Usually in Paris. the temperatures in August tend to have average lows of 16°C/61°C and high of 25°C/77°F. However it is not unheard of to reach 30°C to 35 °C / 86 to 95 °F.
Whereas in the South of France in Summer, which tends to be the hottest area of France, you can expect summer temperatures to be around 30oC (80oF) with little rainfall.
Does it rain a lot in August in France?
France in August is actually a relatively dry month however depending on the area you are visiting will depend on how much rain you will experience.
In Paris in August you can usually expect around 7 days of rain. But the total rainfall is minimal only averaging around 2.2 inches across the whole month.
Whereas on Corsica you are unlikely to see any rain. And typically you will get more rain in the North than in the South of the country.
Considerations for you France August Packing List
Before we get onto the exact items to include in your France outfits for August, we thought is would be worth outlining some considerations for your packing list. These are:
No matter the destination you are going to we always recommend packing light and aiming to travel with a capsule wardrobe. However this is especially important if you are traveling to France and are planning to drive or take the train to different destinations.
For more information on how to pack light for France in Summer we recommend checking out our guide on the 5 4 3 2 1 packing method which will help you create the perfect French Capsule Wardrobe.
Natural fabrics are your best friend in France in the summer months. Cottons, silks and linen are well known for being more breathable than man made fabrics and work for both French cities and the beaches.
Note: if you plan on adding linen to your French Capsule Wardrobe be sure to check out our guide on how to pack linen clothes before traveling as this will help you reduce the wrinkles in your clothes on arrival.
Everyone knows that mosquitos love to hang out by still water in summer. Therefore we recommend packing some insect repellant if you plan on dining al fresco near water while travel through France or plan on heading to a gites in the countryside. Although these mosquitos aren’t dangerous they are an irritant.
What to Wear in France in August
What to Wear in France in August for women
Skirts and dresses
Skirts and dresses are always at the top of my France summer packing list. That is because it fits in with local style more than shorts especially in the cities.
To be more in keeping with local fashion sensibilities, I tend to opt for midi or maxi length dresses and skirts especially in the cities.
Also I would select dresses in natural fabrics as these are a better choice as they will help to reduce sweat as wil selecting more flowing styles over tight fitting ones.
You will find that during the summer pastel shades and florals are always in style no matter the region you are traveling in.
Light weight trousers such as chinos, cotton pants and linen are good choices for France in August. They are good for churches which require modest dress codes and work as day to night transitions and in restaurants that have smart casual dress codes.
Please note: I personally think that jeans are too hot to wear in France in August especially in the South. For this reason we recommend leaving the jeans at home.
You will not tend to find locals wearing shorts in the city. However shorts are commonly worn on the beaches and islands in France.
A loose blouse works perfectly for warmer days and cooler nights and is a great item to wear to dinner in France.
T Shirts are perfect everywhere in France in August. Plain and lightly patterned t shirts are more akin with local styles. For this reason we leave the graphic and slogan tees off the packing list for France in Summer so you don’t look like a tourist.
Tank tops are also another good choice for France in August however don’t wear them in a church as you should have your shoulders covered here.
No matter where I am traveling to in Europe, or at what time of year a pashmina is always on my packing list. They are useful extra layers on cooler days and can help make your outfits more modest for visits to monasteries or churches in France.
PJs or Nightie
Lightweight pyjamas and nighties are an essential for France in August as not all accommodation in France will have air conditioning.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying. But worth noting that sneaker socks are useful for France in August to reduce sweat and odour in your shoe.
Sunglasses are essential in France especially in Summer. Be sure to pack a pair with good UVA protection for optimum eye protection.
A sunhat is an essential for France even in the cities but especially for the beaches and islands. For beaches and more coastal regions a wider brimmed hat is a good pick as it will provide more shade.
Whenever I travel with a sun hat I recommend taking this as carry on instead of a suitcase to help maintain the hats shape.
Swimwear is definitely an optional item depending on where you plan on visiting in France. The South of France and the islands are places you are more likely to require swimwear for beaches and pools.
However if you plan on visiting one of Paris’ famous outdoor swimming pools or are staying in a hotel with a pool then you may want to bring one for the city too.
Note: if you spend time on the beach, a beach cover will also be required for when on the boardwalks and at beachfront bars and restaurants.
What to pack for France in August for Men
The rules for men visiting France in August are similar to the considerations for women visiting.
Generally speaking we recommend packing the below for men in France in August:
T Shirts and Shirts
Short sleeve t shirts are perfect for sightseeing in France in August. Plain t shirts are more in keeping with local style than graphic or slogan tees.
But on top of t shirts we recommend having a button down shirt with long or shorts sleeves with you. These work for restaurants with smart casual dress codes and at museums and tourist attractions such as Versailles and the Louvre.
Lightweight trousers instead of jeans are more appropriate for France in August particularly in the South. They work in the city, at restaurants with smart casual dress codes and for churches.
August is shorts weather in France. We just recommend selecting the shorts carefully. Cargo shorts will make you look like tourist in France. Instead pack more smart casual shorts to fit in more with the locals.
Only required if you are staying somewhere with a pool or heading to the South Coast.
An essential no matter the month.
For same reason as above. Baseball caps aren’t commonly seen in the cities on locals, so a smarter hat is a better idea.
Underwear, Socks and Pjs
Note: if you plan to head over the border into a Monaco and are staying into the evening you may also need to pack a jacket to meet local dress code requires.
Best Shoes for France in August
If you are visiting France in Summer the chances are you will hit a beach, city and countryside too. As such we recommend packing at least 2-3 pairs of shoes so you are covered for all occasion. The shoes we recommend packing for France in August are:
Sneakers are the perfect shoe for summers in France. They are good in the cities but are also good on beaches and in the countryside and can even cope well on cobblestones.
Just be sure to have a lightweight pair with you that can cope with the heat as well as having sneaker socks with you too.
Sandals are also always on my France summer packing lists. If you want to use sandals during the day just be sure to check they are comfortable for doing lots of walking in. France is a country best explored on foot so having a sandal with good arch support is a must for day time use.
Also sandals are good at restaurants for smart casual dress codes.
And if you want a sandal with height for evenings, then I recommend a wedge over a heel as these are better in the cities. But leave anything with thin heels at home as these definitely are on my n what not to wear in France list.
Espadrilles are another good alternative to sandals in France.
Flip Flops (optional)
I don’t recommend packing flip flops for using the city in France. However they are good for beaches and pools in France.
What to Pack for France in August (non clothing)
So now you know what to wear for France in the summer, we will turn our attention to what to pack for France in August other than clothes.
Personally I always pack the below for France in August:
- Aloe Vera / Aftersun – just in case you get burnt
- Lipbalm with SPF – as I mentioned the sun is strong so on top of sunscreen we recommend packing lip balm with sun protection. Our favorite brand at the minute is sun bum.
- Insect Repellant – particularly for the South if you are going to be by the water or plan to dine al fresco.
- Travel Adaptor – France uses standard European outputs and plugs.
- Power Pack / Battery recharger
- Crossbody bag – depending on where you are in France will depend on how much this is needed But I would recommend a crossbody bag for cities such as Paris and Marseilles. As with anywhere in the world tourist cities can attract pickpockets so any deterrents are worthwhile.
- Backpack – useful for being in cities.
- Beach Bag (optional) – useful if you are visiting an island or plan on doing excursions by boat.
- camera – France is a beautiful country you will want to take lots of photographs
- Towel (optional) – only for those planning on spending time on the beach or on boat excursions. We recommend a quick dry one where possible.
FAQs about our France in August Packing List
What to wear to dinner in France?
France is a great foodie country but what should you wear in France in August in Summer? Most restaurants in France (apart from very touristy ones) will informally adopt a smart casual dress code in evenings. For this reason I tend to wear linen trousers, blouses and sandals or a maxi dress when I dine out in France at night.
Do you have any questions about what to wear France in August? Drop us a comment below and we will do our best to answer.