As an add on to my post about my packing list and considerations, I wanted to share my clothing essentials from my time in Europe. These are examples of how I wore and used pieces of clothing differently. I carefully planned my packing list before leaving, but once I arrived I realized some of the pieces I could have left at home, while others became more useful and handy than I originally predicted. These pieces are ones I would bring again in a heartbeat.
1. The chambray shirt: It worked great riding camels in the Moroccan desert, thrown over a dress for a new outfit in Munich, as a collar under a sweater in London, or thrown over a dress and left unbuttoned in Paris. It was light and airy, but still worked as an extra layer in the cold.
2. Midi red skirt: I am so glad I brought this skirt along. I didn’t wear it as much as I imagined I would, but it worked perfectly while exploring in Morocco while respecting their culture, and I felt extra chic while wearing it with a striped shirt in Paris.
3. White flouncy shirt: Besides wearing this in Morocco (seen above), this shirt ended up being nice and versatile. It was so airy it was perfect to wear with the hot Southern Spain weather in Córdoba, easy to tuck into a skirt while in Füssen Germany, and great for a night of dancing in the discotecas in Vigo.
4. Collared tank shirts: I brought two of these, a pink floral one and a white one, because they are such versatile pieces! They were perfect in the summer weather such as in Marseille France, or easily worn under a sweater in Amsterdam or a jacket in Brussels without causing bulky arms.
5. Black sweater: My biggest piece of advice is to bring as many neutral pieces that you can. You can wear them with anything. I wore this sweater out I had to throw it away when I returned home, which was so sad. It’s pictured up above with the chambray shirt while in London, but I also wore it while touring the Guggenheim art museum in Bilbao Spain, while on a hike over a t-shirt in Northern Spain, and it also kept me warm during my time in Dublin.
6. Striped shirt: The classic striped shirt should be on everyone’s packing list for Europe. There are multiple variations with size of stripes and colors, but it’s instantly classy. This bought this black and white shirt while in Barcelona Spain, one of the few clothing purchases during my time abroad. I had about five weeks of travel left and I had just thrown away my shirts that had gotten old when I found this one. It ended up being perfect and is still one of my favorite shirts to wear now. Like pictured above and below, I loved this shirt paired with the red skirt while in Paris. It became my go-to shirt to throw on, and was perfect for a day out in Bavaria Germany, which included horseback riding and going to the lake.
7. High Waisted Shorts: Oh I ended up wearing these shorts all the time as pictured in multiple photos above. They’re pictured in Córdoba with the white shirt, over tights in Brussels, Bilbao and Dublin, and also at the lake in Bavaria. Below, I wore them over tights while exploring a castle in the Check Republic. Normally I wore these with tights, as wearing shorts is not as common in Europe compared to the US. But, during the summer weather, especially in Southern places by the ocean, I wore them just as shorts a bit more.
8. Tights: These have also been shown in quite a few previous pictures, but tights were one of the most useful things I brought with me. Pictured are the maroon pair and black pair, but I also brought a pair of floral black tights as well. They could be worn under skirts and dresses, as well as shorts, which is how I normally wore them. They’re also a cheap, and easy-to-pack way to add more variety to your outfits. Plus, if you wear them so much you cause holes to form, they can easily be found all over the place for new pairs. Below I wore them while exploring an old fortress in Vigo, running around Brussels and while touring Edinburgh. While in Vigo, my friend and I found a pair of red and black spotted tights to wear for Mardi Gras as ladybugs. Plus, it’s a great example of how to use what you already have, as I wore my black dress that’s pictured in Paris above plus a red shirt borrowed from a friend. In the end, we only ended up paying for the ears/wand/wings which came in a pack and the tights.
9. Scarves: Scarves are just like tights: light and easy to pack, versatile, and great to switch up an outfit. I brought three with me: a heavy knit scarf, a thick maroon scarf, and a light yellow one. The knit and maroon scarves were perfect during the cold, rainy, winter months like when we traveled to Porto. I brought the yellow scarf during a lot of my trips, such as the trip to Edinburgh, and the bottom picture while in Italy. The scarf can’t be seen in that picture, but I would tie it to my purse while traveling through warm places like Southern France and Italy so I could throw it over my uncovered shoulders when we wanted to see the inside of a cathedral.
10. Coats: And last, but possibly the most important is coats! I loved the trench coat I brought with, it could be worn with everything. Unfortunately, during my first few months in Vigo, when it was constantly raining, I wish I had a coat that was a bit heavier. But it was also perfect as many places are a bit cooler, even during the summer. It was light enough to block the slight breeze while not overheating me, but heavy enough to help keep me at least slightly warm in the winter. An extra tip: bring a rain coat! My served me very well. While visiting a friend in Prague, I borrowed my friend’s blue trench, which helped switch up my outfits a bit more. My tan trench coat was perfect while in Scotland, and of course, the raincoat while in Porto Portugal again.