What to Wear: 7 Weeks in Europe

What to Wear: 7 Weeks in Europe

Seven weeks in Europe…I’m so jealous!

I’ve been a long long time reader of your blog (loved your wedding) and know what if anyone can help me it’s you! I hope you have the time, as this is a fairly big request but my boyfriend and I are pursuing our long time dream of backpacking Europe! I know you have been and you always look tres chic so I’d like to seek your advice on how to dress. We will be going for 7 weeks at the end of March to early May. We’ll start in London, England, make our way through Paris (2 weeks-eek!!), hike the Cinque Terre in Italy, go to Tuscany, Rome, Venice and then ending in Madrid, Spain. I just can’t figure out what to bring for 7 weeks all in one backpack. I’d like to be comfortable but still cute. Have been told to just bring basics with lots of accessories but I was never good at the layering with basics thing. I’m 22, not conservative but we will be visiting a lot of churches, olive complexioned, 5’0, and a size 0-2. Any help you can provide will be very much appreciated!!

Basics! Pack a suitcase full of a few key pieces that can work on heavy rotation. Plan to add pieces and accessories as you shop your way across the country. Along with this, all you need is a skirt, a pair of leggings, tights and a handful of tops for layering that go with everything.

Dress – A basic black dress that can be worn almost every day, dressed up and down and never tires out.
Pants – Skinny cords are a bit more polished than jeans, but just as wearable.
Sweater – A basic gray heather sweater.
Trench – A camel jacket that can pack and is water resistant for the rain.
Boots – A flat pair for lots of walking. Wear these and the coat on days that your rucksack is packed up.
Flats – Me Too are my favorites for trips – they’re extra cushy but don’t look too informal.
Scarf – Fun to pick up a couple new ones along the way for layering.

I always find myself inspired to make new outfits and combinations thanks to the limitations of a single suitcase. It’s a great way to play with basics in new ways. Just be sure to pack things that, in general, go together.

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Bobbi at 3:32 pm

    I wish your "What to Wear" was around when I backpacked through Europe in 1999. Its embarrassing to look back at my photos and see my worn out, stretch, faded Levi's and ratty t-shirts in all sorts of beautiful places!

    I did almost all these sites in 1 month. My advice to your reader: don't over pack! They have clothing stores in Europe, if you forget something. Also, you are going to be lifting your suitcase to/from overhead storage areas on trains and buses. You'll have great arm muscles when you get back. Have fun! Its a trip of a lifetime. 🙂

  2. Nicole at 3:49 pm

    I actually live in Paris and I would say that this is a pretty good packing list if you want to look like a local, but I would nix the cords (ever try to clean dirt or dried food off of cords? a nightmare) and pack black leggings and some grey skinny jeans. I would pick up a few slinky t-shirts or dresses that can be worn alone or with the leggings or as pjs. A big squishy leather bag with a long strap that you can wear across your body would be a great and stylish travel purse.

  3. Allison Hasel at 2:42 am

    I have to tell you that I bookmark nearly all of your What to Wear posts! I love them all. Your advice is so straight-forward, stylish and most of all practical!

  4. Anonymous at 10:47 am

    I recently spent two and a half months living out of a backpack in Europe and this is great advice. I'd add tights, a cardigan and a pair of shorts. The skirt should be able to be worn at the hips or at the waist with a shirt tucked in. Every item of clothing should be able to be worn with the others – I can't stress that enough because you will get so sick of your wardrobe and at least the prospect of mixing and matching will make things more interesting. If you have to take something out, I'd suggest the boots. Have fun, your trip sounds amazing <333