Travelling light. My baggage is mainly emotional.

Planning outfits for Europe

I was SO proud of myself. My packing list for Europe was just 18 items long. Including the outfit I would wear on the plane.
What a hopeless, optimistic fool I was. The weather, my acquisitive nature, and a few foolish choices conspired against me and I returned with many many many more items than I left with.

But, for what it is worth, here is that base list.

3x strappy tops – white, black, and grey
3x shoes – boots, stud flats, and leather chucks
2x jeans – blue and black.
2x sweaters – chartreuse cardigan & fox sweater
2x tees – black lace & Kate Sylvester swan
2x jackets – leather and cropped blazer
1x blue belt
1x little black dress
1x sheer black maxi skirt
1x knee length black skirt

The mistakes:
I should have taken one fewer strappy top and one more t-shirt.
I should have taken a lightweight ¾-long-sleeved shirt.
I should have left my boots at home, they were not comfortable enough.
I should have taken a less sheer maxi skirt and ditched the knee length skirt.
I should not have taken that belt.
I should have taken one other warm jumper
I should have taken a pashmina. And I would have. Except I didn’t own one.
I should NOT have taken that DAMN belt. I did not wear it once. HATE.

In general though, I’ll stick by my list. For a trip shorter than a month but longer than two weeks? Definitely. Over packing drives me crazy.

In London with the fashion and the style and the wedding to attend I ended up adding four dresses and another pair of flats to my suitcase. I also added three shirts and a knee-length pencil skirt. Oh and another light-weight jacket. And a super cute mint-green-and-skull-print
In Edinburgh with the freezing cold, and the style, I added a cashmere sweater and another t-shirt.
In Prague with the oppressive heat I added a pair of shorts and two lightweight long-sleeved shirts. Oh and another t-shirt. I also bought a pashmina.

So, coming home my item count was 34. I was surprisingly disappointed with myself*.

A lot of what I purchased I didn’t wear overseas. Or if I did wear it, I could have very easily worn something I had brought from New Zealand instead. That’s not to say I regret the purchases. Well, maybe one of the t-shirts. I’m getting off topic.

My point is that out of the clothes I purchased in Europe, only a few of them were necessities. If you go through my list of mistakes they are all there – the sweater and pashmina because it was colder than I expected; the lightweight shirts because it was warmer than I had expected. The shorts because PRAGUE WAS FUCKING WITH ME.
I wore those damn shorts for a sum total of 6 hours.

Also if I had remembered how terrible I am when last-minute shopping for specific events I would have taken a dress to wear to the wedding. But I didn’t. So instead of taking one cute dress I bought FOUR. Two were options for the wedding and two were supercute dresses I found but that wouldn’t work at the wedding.
However! This does mean I have many many cute dresses now. Which I am pleased about. And which is why I am not allowed to shop for the rest of the year.

I should have made sure I had outfits that covered me knees to elbows for both hot and cold weather. It was a little awkward. Basically, unless you are sure of your itinerary for the day, dress so you could walk into a church just fine.

But don’t sacrifice everything. Looking cute is important to me. So I tried to look cute. But I was practical about it. Cute flats or cute sneakers, I didn’t take heels**. If you are tourist-ing then just don’t wear them. Especially around cobblestones. I saw too too much of that. They always looked ridiculous and uncomfortable.

Outside the Pantheon

* which was, frankly, ridiculous. My bag was not over the weight limit, it was not straining at the seams, and, most importantly, I could lug it both up and down stairs if I needed to. Admittedly I DIDN’T a lot of the time, but that’s because I have a very large very strong husband who could carry both his and my bag up stairs. But the rest of the time I insisted on carrying my own.

** I did buy a pair of Underground heeled creepers. They are amazing. Now I want regular creepers.



  1. tartarsandteacups · June 6, 2012

    This sounds like every Euro trip I make! I feel your pain (and at the same time, I love getting clothes when travelling!-Now you can wear it all with a twinge of “I’m super special because I bought this in London”!)

    • Sarah-Rose · June 7, 2012

      That is true. I prefer having ‘souvenirs’ I can wear than something that sits at home on a shelf, gathering dust.
      (although I still do that a bit)

      • tartarsandteacups · June 7, 2012

        All so true!

  2. katinedinburgh · June 7, 2012

    Did you really find it “freezing” here? I guess the worst temperatures are what you remember but I didn’t think it was too bad most of the time. I wish I’d loaned you something. You were very stylish, as always.

    • Sarah-Rose · June 7, 2012

      Oh! Not really – certainly not the day we arrived or the day we went to Falkirk. The day I actually bought the jumper however …

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