Food is such a big part of French culture but are you worried about what to wear to dinner in Paris? Well fear not, in this guide we round up everything you know about French dress codes and what to wear for dinner in Paris in formal restaurants and cafes along so you don’t feel out of place and have a fantastic dining experience.
Note: while unlike what not to wear in Dubai or what not to wear in Abu Dhabi there isn’t a strict dress code for what to wear to dinner in Italy. However if you want to be respectful and not look out out of place the following things should be considered
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Do restaurants in Paris have a dress code?
Not many restaurants in Paris have a formal and codified dress code but it is safe to say that Parisians dress well for dinner. I personally would not go to a restaurant in Paris in casual clothing and would always aim for smart casual as a minimum.
The exceptions to this are the Eiffel Tower Restaurants which definitely have a dress code – read on for a full explanation on what this is.
What to wear to dinner in Paris for women
If I were to define the dress code for women going to dinner in Paris I would say it should be smart casual.
Smart Casual dress
A smart casual dress is perfect in Paris whatever the season. For winter and shoulder season I would dress this up with a cardigan and tights and for summer a nice pair of sandals and a pashmina in case it gets chilly.
You can also never go wrong with a LBD (little black dress) in Paris.
Smart Pants or Trousers
You definitely do not have to wear a dress in Paris as a woman going to dinner. However if you opt for trousers or pants you should go for a more tailored and smarter pants.
If the place you are going to is more casual jeans are ok but you would want a rip free pair in a darker coloured rather than anything oversized or ripped.
Skirt and Blouse
If dresses aren’t your thing don’t panic. Dresses are not a prerequisite for what to wear to dinner in Paris. If skirts and blouses are more your thing then instead pick a nice skirt of any length (though I wouldn’t pick a short short skirt as these don’t tend to be worn by the locals) with a pretty blouse to match.
Boots or Wedges
Depending on what time of year you are visiting I would either opt for a nice pair of boots with a chunkier heel or a pair of wedges for dinner.
Thin high heels and stilettos are firmly on my what not to wear in Paris list. That is because there are many uneven walkways and cobbled streets in Paris. Something with a chunkier heel is definitely much safer in Paris.
You may be able to get away with a sneaker in Paris at some restaurants but if you have time to change before dinner I would. They definitely should be smart and clean if you do wear sneakers but personally I would recommend changing into a different shoe for dinner.
My number one travel accessory in Paris no matter the time of year you are visiting is a Pashmina.
They are great to help an outfit transition from day to night and more importantly if you are having an al fresco dining experience in Paris it is an added extra layer if you get a bit cold while dining outdoors.
If you are visiting Paris in Autumn or Winter then you will definitely want extra layers for your look as it can get cold. Be sure to have a dressy cardigan or a blazer with you when dining in France outside of summer.
What to wear for dinner in Paris for men
SHorts and not a common sight in Paris for dinner. And to be honest jeans are not all that common either especially in some of PAris’ finer dining establishments. I would recommend always wearing smart casual outfits for dining in Paris.
For men I would always opt for a tailored chino or suit trouser instead of shorts of jeans.
No Baseball Caps
Baseball caps are not very Parisian at anytime. But they are an even bigger no no for dinner.
As I have mentioned, the dress code for Paris restaurants tends to be on the smart casual sde. Personally I would not wear a hoodie and recommend opting for a smart blazer or nice wool jumper instead.
Shirts are big in the male French wardrobe. Short or long sleeves, either would be acceptable for men eating dinner in Paris.
Men in PAris don’t tend to weather t-shirts so much for dinner, especially bright colored and highly graphic ones.
If you want to wear a t- shirt in Paris I recommend sticking to monochrome or dark colors with no graphics or even better a polo shirt which is a good midway point between a t shirt and a shirt.
FAQs About what to wear for dinner in Paris
Can you wear jeans to Eiffel Tower Restaurant?
Did you know that the Eiffel Tower has more than one restaurant? There is Le Jules Verne and Madame Brassiere both in the Eiffel Tower itself.
These restaurants have some of the most coveted tables in Paris and do have a dress code.
What to wear to Le Jules Verne Restaurant
For Le Jules Verne restaurant the dress code is smart casual. They say that people will not be permitted entry if thety wear sportswear such as t shirts, trainers and shorts. They do not explicitly ban jeans but I would err on the side of caution and go for a smarter trouser such as a tailored chino just to be sure.
Sportswear (such as t-shirts, shorts, trainers etc…) are not accepted
Madame Brassiere also has a dress code which is states very helpfully is ‘proper attire’. I think this can be summed up as no sports wear, t shirts, flip flops. It doesn’t explicitly ban jeans but again I would err on the side of caution and go for a more formal trouser.
What do you wear to a fancy restaurant in Paris?
I recommend a smart casual outfit wherever you head for dinner in Paris. But if you are going for dinner in a fancy restaurant in Paris then I definitely recommend wearing something smart causal or higher in terms of smartness.
What is the Moulin Rouge dress code ?
If you are visiting the Moulin Rouge you should be aware it has a strict Dress code. To find out more about the Moulin Rouge Dress code and get some Moulin Rouge outfit inspiration click here.
What do you wear to a Michelin star restaurant in France?
Firstly, lucky you if you are dining in a Michelin star restaurant in France. you are going to have an amazing dining experience but you will likely be heading to a restaurant with a dress code. I would wear nothing that isn’t as smart as smart casual in a Michelin star restaurant in France.
Have you been for dinner in Paris? Tell us in the comments what you like to wear out for dinner in Paris.