Images: 1, I can’t track down, but 2 is from the lovelies at Obvious State
It’s here, friends! The big fat European vacation I’ve had on my bucket list for…oh, eight years and change…is finally on the horizon, and I am positively giddy. Two glorious weeks (and change) in Florence and Paris. It’s a good thing I have this face waiting for me at home, or I might expatriate while no one’s looking.
While I’m away, you won’t be lonely – I have some extremely stylish guests stopping by to share their idea of a dream day in Europe, and I’ll be popping in with envy-inducing travel snaps (if you’re not already following me on Instagram, now’s the time!).
But before I go, I thought I’d share the holy grail of packing lists, better known as “How to pack for a two-week trip without busting your baggage allowance”. I’ve honed and tested this list for weeks, and I’ll give you a report when I’m back on how well I fared, but I’ll admit – I kind of think I’ve nailed it.
First rule: instead of stressing about outfits, pack a palette. For this trip, it’s black, white and grey (are you shocked?). Camel and black, navy and cream…whatever works for you. If you stick to that rule, you don’t have to worry about outfits, or making sure you have a black and a brown belt, etc. Everything matches, and it saves a lot of stress knowing that everything works with everything else. (It also helps narrow down packing decisions. If it doesn’t fit the palette, it doesn’t go, no matter how cute it is.)
Second rule: don’t take anything that will make you cry if you spill a glass of red wine on it, or if it falls into the Seine on a romantic boat ride. This goes for your favorite pair of shoes, your heirloom necklace, and that Hermes scarf you’ve always wanted to wear in Paris.
Third rule: On any trip over 10 days, plan to do laundry. You’ll save yourself immeasurable grief, and it will make this packing list work for a trip of any length. Take a tiny bottle of delicates wash (or baby shampoo) to use in the hotel sink. Or send it out…you’re on vacation!
6 tees in neutral colors, ideally of the thin, drapey sort. I’m going with 3 black, 2 white, 1 grey and 1 nude.
1 sweater in a neutral solid, thin & slouchy enough to layer.
1 short-sleeved silk tunic
1 gorgeous printed silk blouse – to dress up, and for when you get sick of all those neutrals.
2 tanks – for layering
1 lightweight carry-on tote
1 messenger-style crossbody
Moto, denim or utility jacket
1 layering cardigan
1 weather-appropriate coat. A trench is a solid pick, but there’s no shame in having a little fun with this one.
Dress: One classic shift or tunic is all you need. Flats in the daytime, heels and jewelry at night. (If this is a summer trip, you could up this to as many as 3 dresses, but subtract at least 1 pair of pants.)
Shoes: (Always the hardest part, isn’t it?)
Sneakers. Really. Limping is not chic.
Flat ankle boot (fall/winter) or flat sandals (summer)
1 pair of comfortable flats that can be dressed up
1 pair of Tieks (for the plane, and to keep in your bag if you misjudge your shoes one day)
1 pair of heels or wedges you can walk in.