1. Light Warm-ish Layers
It will be cool in the mornings and evening, and mild or warm during the day, so a nice light trench coat, or a light wool jacket on top of 1-2 light layers and a scarf will be perfect for adjusting to the varying temperatures. The earlier in spring your visit, the more layers you will need, because Europe can get unexpectedly cold! Especially in March and early April, in countries like the UK, Ireland, the Slavic countries and much of Eastern Europe.
2. Keep it Neutral
This is a good packing tip overall. Because we cannot take our entire closet with us (if only!) we usually have to settle for a handful of outfits. Since you will be wearing a few layers, you want to be extra mindful of your wardrobe choices. Europe is quite trendy, and neutrals are ALWAYS in, so you can never go wrong with :
- Black & White
- Navy & Tan/Gold
- Peach/Blush & Grey
Limit your colors and textures, and you will guarantee a good wardrobe set that you can mix and match for days! One of my rule of thumbs is to bring at least two bottoms that are neutral (jean, black or grey, usually), and three tops that are neutral as well.
Another thing to keep in mind is pattern. Packing too many pieces with patterns or really busy textures can make it hard to mix and match.
3. Pack A Pair of Boots (preferably water-resistant or waterproof)
A good pair of comfortable shoes to walk in is a must in Europe, shoes like TOMS, All-Star, ballet flats, sport shoes and even short wedge heels are all good, but you know your feet best, so go with your staple. Now, watch out for those April showers! Europe in general gets a decent amount of rain at almost any given point of the year, especially towards the north. So a pair of boots will really come in handy, not only in case it rains, but in case the temperature takes an unexpected dive. Nothing is worse than walking around in cold, wet feet. Nothing.
4. Quality Matters
After my three week trip to Europe this past Christmas, I learned something when I came home. The clothes I wore the most took quite a beating. I ended up wearing my black leggings a lot more than I thought I would, and they were brand-spanking new before the trip began. By the end, they aged a couple of months in just a few weeks! Get clothes that can take the wear and tear of travelling, and are not delicate to begin with. A thin pair of leggings might give out, a loose-knit sweater might easily get snagged, and a sheer shirt might fray and come undone at the seem. Big no-nos.
5. Pack Breathy Material
Because you’re wearing layers and the temperature can vary greatly between morning and afternoon, you might catch yourself starting to sweat when you clue in that it is time to take off a layer or two. Avoid itchy, tight, and unbreathable clothes (except maybe as outerwear). No one wants to sweat before they’re even hot, or be uncomfortable so pack clothes that allow your skin to breath and move.
The examples I give above are all items you can order or find at particular retailers. These outfits are definitely more suited for sight-seeing tourists, (ie: looking at gardens, shopping, going to museums and restaurants) and not so much for the more outdoorsy, adventurous types who might be more into nature walks, hiking, or non-stop backpacking. So here are a couple of outfit ideas for any ladies who are really making some ground:
Tip: if you’re one of those people who are always cold (like me) bring a light pair of gloves and a beanie-type hat or toque during those early weeks of Spring! You’ll thank me…
Have fun packing!
Who is planning a trip this Spring? I plan on making more of these travel fashion-type blogs in the future. Let me know if you find these kind of posts helpful, in the comments below!