When not one but three SY readers email me with questions about their May visits to Europe, requesting some packing tips, I take it as a sign.
A sign to explore these questions further … and not be at all envious that Jo-Ann, Rhonda and Lesley are planning and dreaming about Venice, Barcelona, Paris and London and plenty of other stops in between.
Oh ok, you got me. I’m not envious as we’re also heading to Europe – a month later.
It’s a kind of tricky time to travel as it will be warmer but not summer warm. Even when we head to the UK in June, most days will be like a Queensland winter’s day.
It’s all about layers and (considered) options.
As you know, packing is not my forte but it’s an area that I’m getting much better at.
For our trip I will have to keep my luggage to 20kg (I hear you gasping now!) as we are doing some internal flights on smaller airlines and that’s pretty much the maximum.
I’m super determined to not over-pack. I’m going to make it work and I’m going to become the capsule wardrobe traveller I’ve always yearned to be.
So it’s with this newly discovered mindset that I’m tackling this week’s reader style questions and sharing my ideas for what to pack for Europe in spring.
To give you an indication of temperatures in Europe in May, Paris has an average minimum of 11 degrees and maximum of 20 degrees; Barcelona 14-22 degrees; Rome 11-23 degrees; London 10-18 degrees.
Yes, that’s a Queensland winter! Mild but nowhere near Australian summer temperatures. The good news is if you need to top up your travel wardrobe then what’s available in store now is the type of clothes you’ll need to pack.
Before you read on, catch up on this post – 9 tips for packing clothes for a trip away – for general tips to consider when packing for any getaway.
Your next step is to dissect this capsule travel wardrobe I’ve created below. What works for you? What do you already have in your wardrobe that’s similar.
Use this as a starter jigsaw puzzle to create a capsule in your favourite colours and incorporate your favourite pieces.
1. Bohemian Traders dress $129 | 2. Metalicus dress $129.95 | 3. Country Road tee $69.95 | 4. Boho Bird tee $49.95 | 5. Metalicus top $129.95 | 6. Blue Illusion leather jacket $549.95 | 7. Everyday Cashmere travel shrug $195 | 8. Seed scarf $49.95 | 9. Bonds leggings $19.95 | 10. Blue Illusion jeans $199.95 | 11. Louenhide bag $99.95 @birdsnest | 12. Mollini boots $199.95 | 13. Frankie4 footwear sneakers $219.95 | 14. Bohemian Traders bag $273.90
My husband and I are doing a Mediterranean cruise in May for three weeks (Venice to Barcelona including 17 ports). Really looking forward to it and it is my treat after 12 months of treatment for breast cancer. My question is – what to pack? I have gained weight with the steroids (hope to lose it) and now a size 18, so bear that in mind. Some things just don’t look good on me. I have a lot of Mela Purdie, ie soft cargo pants (black and sand), heaps of Mela Purdie mousseline tanks, tees, shirts, maxi pants in navy, white tux jacket etc (you get the picture). Any ideas would be appreciated as I’ve never been to Europe only Asia. – Jo-Ann
Mela Purdie is such a great label for travel – whether you’re heading for overseas or just around the corner, Mela Purdie pieces are worth the dollar value. I received my first Mela piece more than 10 years ago and it’s still going strong. They are easy to wash and don’t need ironing. They also take up minimal space in your wardrobe – or suitcase. Can you tell I’m a fan?! Work out from your current collection what gaps – if any – you have and aim to buy and fill those gaps by the time you travel.
I am a 63-year-old woman who loves fashion and your great approach to styling. We are very fortunate to be travelling to France in May and doing an 11-day river cruise as well as five days in Paris after. I am very excited but also a little unsure as to what to pack. I always find shoes a real challenge when you travel … must have too many! Any suggestions would be very welcome. – Rhonda
Ah, Rhonda, I too am hopeless in the shoe department when it comes to travel. I need my options. BUT. Increasingly I’m managing with two or three pairs (yes, I don’t know myself either) but I know things need to change for the future so I’m working on myself in that area. In your case, I would pack one pair of sneakers for walking around in all day and one heel (even if only a slight heel) for a night out with your husband. I can not recommend highly enough the Frankie4 Footwear brand for comfort and style – and there is a new autumn-winter collection being released very soon.
I have been scrolling through your posts and looking at your jeans recommendations to try and decide what to buy. I have a cupboard full of multi sized jeans at home and a trip to UK and Italy in May. I’m not happy with any of them. I need comfy/stylish jeans to wear while there. I have lost weight but I still like to be comfy round the waist, specially when there’s a lot of sitting involved and then there’s the inevitable extra kgs from all that eating and drinking I plan on doing. So what is your best travel jean option? The white ripped Embody denim jeans look sensational on you, as do the black Harlow Australia jeans, then there is the Blue Illusion shaping jeans that pop up in your feed. I can’t afford them all! – Lesley
Firstly Lesley, you need to ditch all the jeans that don’t work for you. It may seem harsh but you can’t embrace the new without letting go of the old. I love all three pairs of jeans you’ve mentioned. I think if you need to narrow it down (and I sure will have to) then opt for the Blue Illusion shaping jeans. Regardless of what else you pack, a dark blue jean will see you through everything from casual to stepping out to a recommended restaurant. These jeans are comfortable for travelling (no cutting in!) and continue to wash very well.
If you’ve travelled to Europe at this time of year, share your tips in the comments below. Got a style question of your own? Email me: [email protected]