A few weeks ago, while Amazon-shopping for some more travel clothing, and putting together my summer wardrobe for Europe, I said something I never thought I’d say:
“I think I have too much clothes.”
Yep, the girl who previously had a closet full of clothes with tags, and who would go for over a month without repeating a shirt, is now over-analyzing every piece of clothing in her carry-on.
After 3 months in South America, I realized how minimalist I can be. I didn’t think I brought too much to begin with, but the reality was that a good half of my clothes went untouched. I also started wearing the exact same outfit over and over again, and I surprised myself on how much I DIDN’T care.
Determined to make my bag even lighter for Europe, I learned from my previous packing mistakes and have come up with this new packing list:
4- travel friendly tops
2- fashion tanks
1- thin long sleeve
1- denim skinnies
1- black leggings
1- thin hoodie jacket
1- rain/wind shell
1- walking shoes
Here are my ultimate travel picks in more detail:
Travel tops: All Exofficio. I have officially been a fan of this brand since discovering their underwear a while back. Exofficio makes some of the best travel tops too, with easy to hand-wash and quick to dry fabrics. I brought mostly normal cotton/poly tops to South America, and they did not perform that well as they got wrinkly and smelly fast.
The only downside is that a lot of the options for women’s tops are seriously hideous (can I please be hired to design something that’s at least reasonably fashionable?). I chose a couple of the least offensive styles: the dry lattice tank (no longer sold), ruffled tank, and Java tech tee.
Long sleeve: Again, an Exofficio java-tech pull-over hoodie. Their java-tech material is actually made from processed coffee grounds and is designed to provide a lot of warmth in a lightweight and fast-drying layer. Believe me, for such a thin shirt, it is WARM! For chillier days, all I need is this shirt and my shell to keep the cold out.
Rain shell: I chose the Marmot Women’s Precip jacket as it was the thinnest and lightest waterproof shell I could find. And I like that it’s not baggy like a lot of the other shells. It was definitely an investment piece, but I’m SO glad I have it. It’s practically weightless (negates having to pack a bulky umbrella) and does a great job at keeping me dry, seeing how we experienced a ton of rain in South America, in London (expected), and now in Paris (unexpected).
Walking shoes: I learned my lesson this round to bring a good pair of walking shoes (at least, I thought I did). For South America, I sacrificed comfort for the coolness factor when I chose to bring Converse. I don’t recommend this! This time, I needed something comfortable, but there’s also no way that I’m going to walk around in hideous sneakers or running shoes.
Enter the fashion sneaker. After a long search, I settled on a pair of Teva Women’s Freewheel Washed Canvas Sneaker. Looks wise, they’re comparable to the Converse, but actually with a soft padded insole. After walking in them for a few days (like miles a day), I think they’re still not optimal. But for now, I’m happy to have a pair that’s not ugly.
Flats: Of course, a girl needs a cute pair of summer flats! I looked to the king of comfort footwear – Crocs – to answer this need. I never thought I’d be caught dead wearing Crocs, but I’m actually super impressed with their recent line of women’s flats.
The adorable Adrina Flat is your childhood’s jellied sandals all grown up. From the first moment I stepped into them, my feet felt like they were walking on pillows. No pinching at the toes, no rubbing at the heel, no discomfort whatsoever! I’ve been wearing them for a couple of weeks, and I pretty much never want to take them off. And dare I say that they are even more comfortable than the Tevas?!
Oh, I also like that they are completely rubber, so they can be cleaned very easily!
So umm yeah, I’m officially a fan of Crocs. I don’t think I will look anywhere else ever again for summer flats!
Undies: Is this getting too private? But yes, you know it – I wear all ExOfficio panties! When the tagline is “17 countries, 1 pair of underwear (ok, maybe 2)”, you know it’s the ultimate travel undies. One of mine mysteriously disappeared, so now I only have 3, but that’s honestly all I need. They breathe extremely well, hand-wash easily, and are pretty much guaranteed to dry overnight!
So here you go, my complete list of clothing items for (just shy of) 3 months in Europe this summer! I may, at a later date, share the other items I bring with me in my carry-on.
What are your travel must-haves and most trusted items? What kind of shoes do you bring for travel?
Note: I bought all items mentioned here, but some links are affiliate links, which help support this site, but are of no extra cost to you!
Photo credits: the items pictures on the left are manufacturers’ product photos.
This post is part of the #sundaytraveler series with Pack Me To, and don’t forget to support all the other participating blogs (links at the bottom of post)!