Friday, August 26, 2011

Ask Bedazzles: Packing For European Vacation

Happy Friday Loveys!!! It's time for one of my favorite sections that hasn't gotten very much attention lately. Ask Bedazzles! I got an amazing question from a reader a while ago but I've just been too swamped to answer it. So finally I carved out some time and here it is!

Hi Nikki!
I saw that you went on an Italy trip recently. We are going to Sicily in mid-September! Do have any recommendations for me concerning staple clothing pieces to mix and match so I can pack light? Muahh!
Katie, North Carolina

Yay! A perfect question. I've covered what to wear when you're at the airport but packing is a whole other subject!! Katie, you've already picked up on one of the most important parts of packing. Basics! The key is to pick pieces that can double up with another item or be worn again. Mixing and matching is exactly the way to get pieces to go further. Let's see what I've come up with:
European Vacation

{In Order: Solid Color Maxi Dress. Dark Skinny Jeans. Chunky Sweater. Lightweight Sweater. Bathing Suit. Sun Dress. Lightweight Tees & Tanks. Printed Scarf. Jean Shorts (not super short). Crossbody Bag. Glitter Flats. Wedges. Cute Sandals. Oversize Sunnies. Easy Jewelry.}

I learned a lot about packing on this trip since Billy & I only took one suitcase. I did pretty well only making a few rookie minor mistakes. So here is what I discovered and I hope it helps you Katie!

Pick a main color palette and add subtle colors. The more neutrals you have in your suitcase the easier it will be to mix and match. Here I went with blacks and grays with hints of pink. This way everything you bring will not only get utilized, but you'll be comfortable and stylish.

Chances are you will be visiting a lot of churches or Holy places while visiting Italy. And it's imperative you come prepared. In order to enter most places require women to have covered shoulders and nothing shorter than the knee. (Hint: do some research ahead of time) Maxi dress or skinny jeans with tanks are your best bet. You can stroll down the street eating gelato and then head inside the Vatican by just throwing on your lightweight sweater. I would pick a solid maxi that's a flattering cut for you and one that can be dressed up with wedges for evening. You'll be able to wear the piece several times swapping out sweaters and shoes. You'll only need one pair of jeans for your trip. Pick a dark wash skinny that will match all of your shoe options as well as tees and tanks.

Lightweight tees and tanks are also great picks. Stay with your color palette and pick cuts that can be worn with jeans, jean shorts or on top of dresses to give the illusion of two pieces (i.e. pair that black burnout over your maxi dress - it will be easier when visiting that church too!)

Use a cross body. I cannot stress this enough. I only packed one purse on our trip. It was an olive colored cross body that was very lightweight (so important) had an inside zipper for my valuables (passport, money ID) and could be worn with all my clothing options, day or night. I was thankful the entire trip for it. Double points if it's adjustable.

Take several sweater options along with one printed scarf. When I travel I have a uniform: Skinny jeans, tee, chunky knit, scarf and flats. When it gets cooler at night - pull on the knit sweater for extra warmth. The reason for a lightweight option is on your sight seeing days. The less bulky it is, the easier you can stuff it in your cross body when you get hot. Another practical and useful item? The scarf. It can double as a wrap when you're cold, a pillow on the plane and take the place of a necklace for photos.

Shoes. Such a toughie - I know. I failed at this and ended up bringing way too many. So here's what I think: Comfortable flats, comfortable cute sandals, and wedges. Have fun with this but make sure 1. You can walk all over the city in your choices without complaining and 2. They match your color palette. Leopard flats might be fun but glittered black ones are more practical (and they're glittered!) Wedges with a platform can be worn on quick day trips and also be your "dressy" shoe. They pair perfectly with maxis or jeans to polish off your look. Lastly (but not pictured) comfortable tennis shoes. I must stress with this last part, only pack if planning on doing physical activity. And DO NOT wear them on the plane.

Keep jewelry to a minimal. All you really need are large sunnies and a few pretty bracelets. They will tie your look together without weighing you or your suitcase down. Buy them cheap so if they break or get lost you won't be devastated.

Always be prepared! A swimsuit can be added for those "Just in case" times. If you're planning on doing a hike or any physical activity, pick a sports type bikini that you wouldn't mind laying on a beach in. Or you can pack a fun swim top that will match the bottoms from the sports suit.

One sundress that can be worn as a swim coverup and a dress for sightseeing. You can also layer a tank or tee over it for another look.

I hope these options answered your question Katie! You're going to have a great trip, look stylish but most importantly not be stressed about what to wear!! Have fun and happy packing!!!

Don't forget to send me your requests for Ask Bedazzles and you could be featured! :)

1 comment:

  1. Great post! And all so true! I remember when I went to Europe for 6 months and had my mom bring back an entire suitcase full of stuff when she came to visit because I WAY over packed ;) Thanks for sharing your tips!


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