I have been looking forward to my upcoming trip to Europe since I booked it last Fall! I mean realistically, I have always been looking forward to this trip, because I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Europe and I can’t even put my excitement to words. Anyways, I have known about this trip and somewhat wanted to be conservative about what I am packing. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to bring A MILLION ITEMS for lots of potential looks IN EUROPE, but I knew I had to be practical, so made one heck of a wardrobe capsule. I did my research, looked up what others have done, and put my own twist to it. I mean I am fitting all this stuff in a carry on. Like I am going to be gone for a good amount of time AND I am only taking a carry on, AND I really don’t have to wear the same outfit more than once. I actually have come up with at least 48 potential outfits that I COULD wear. Obviously that is not going to happen. I mean I was was being truthful I would LOVE to just spend my entire summer in Europe. Exploring weeks within just one country. Realistically, that is not possible. I’m looking forward to my trip, but I have thoroughly enjoyed creating all these potential pieces, as well.
For background on where I am going, my trip to Europe includes England, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and Italy.
There were a number of reasons why I wanted to create a wardrobe capsule for my trip.
- I didn’t want to carry around a lot of stuff from city to city.
- I am able to create numerous outfit options with few pieces.
- I wanted to challenge myself (I am normally an over packer and have way too many items)
Helpful tips to create a wardrobe capsule for carry on travel:
- Pick neutrals and/or a color scheme.
- I personally wear a lot of neutrals in my every day life. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE color, especially red, but I do gravitate towards neutrals with color. The color I chose I also consider a neutral, army/olive green. This can be paired well with a lot of options. Especially red, and I will be getting my red from my toes and lips!
- Limit yourself.
- Do you really need a different handbag for each outfit? Do you really need that pair of heels? No. I chose basic items that I would be able to utilize for multiple items. Also, I always hate myself when I wear heels out on the town (especially stilettos), why would I make my feet uncomfortable for my weeks out of town? I chose three practical shoes (I have a fourth pair of shower sandals from Old Navy, I did not include those in this post) that I have RESEARCHED for optimal comfort!
- When in doubt, go basic.
- I have purchased some of these items because I wanted to wear them on the trip, but I have been able to wear ALL of them for every day life, as well. I did go more basic that I might wear back home, but this allows me to have more overall choices on the number of outfits I could create!
Items In My Carry On
I am packing a white button up blouse from JustFab. This blouse is simple, elegant, and feminine. I love that this button up blouse’s length is that of a tunic, because I have been able to wear it multiple ways. I am also a fan of the material because it drys quickly and does not wrinkle easily. Similar button ups can be found here, and here.
CROCHET SWEATER TANK
I recently came across this Madewell crochet sweater tank with ruffle sleeve details on Nordstrom and immediately felt it would be a perfect addition to my carry on wardrobe capsule! I am a huge fan on ruffles, love that it is a tank for warmer days, and a perfect layering items for cooler days. Similar tanks can be found here, and here.
BASIC TEE (WHITE & BLACK)
Madewell’s Northside Vintage White Tee and Black Tee are great additions to my suitcase. I had been looking a good tee to bring on this trip for a capsule wardrobe and decided on this tee. So soft and comfy! Obviously had to test them out prior to Europe, so I have been able to wear them almost weekly in my various work or casual outfits. Tees are great for layering, and black and white are GREAT neutrals that can create numerous looks.
Another great layering piece I am packing in my wardrobe capsule carry on is this lace cami from H&M. It is very light weight so a perfect under the coat or sweater option, but it could also be perfect solo for going out on the town! Similar lace cami’s can be found here, and here.
SHORT SLEEVE BUBBLE TEE
To add a piece of color I can layer, I chose a red (almost coral/pink) short sleeve bubble tee from American Eagle. I looked everywhere for a piece that could be a perfect addition to my wardrobe carry on capsule. Similar tees can be found here, and here.
I LOVE this utility jacket from Target! I have had it for a few years now. Jackets are a great way to make more diverse outfits, or a nice addition for a Spring outfit (or Fall). Since this particular utility jacket is a few years old, it is no longer available, but similar utility jackets can be found here, and here. A utility jacket is a great addition to anyone’s closet for a comfortable and stylish look, and a great addition to a carry on wardrobe capsule.
CROPPED JEAN JACKET
I have had my jean jacket for probably seven years, so my exact jean jacket is not available. My jean jacket that I plan on bringing is from American Eagle. A very similar jean jacket (cropped, color, style) is this Old Navy New Medium Authentic Denim Jacket. Jean jackets should be in everyone’s closet. I specifically like a cropped jean jacket because I am a fan of high waisted items, and I like the way it looks with dresses. I potentially want an oversized jean jacket, but have not made the plunge yet. Another similar jean jacket can be found here, and here.
I bought a compact rain jacket for my upcoming trip to Europe, and honestly is probably a great investment for life, not just Europe. I bought Eddie Bauer’s Cloud Cap Lightweight Rain Jacket in black. I do love my red and tan trench coats, but practically, this lightweight rain jacket is space saving in a carry on.
For any trip weather is a huge factor to the experience. There is always the possibility of cold days, or cool nights after a warm day. A good piece to add is a light cardigan. I am bringing this open stitch cardigan from Target’s Universal Thread. Similar cardigans can be found here, and here.
I am packing a very comfortable ribbed black sweater from Target from two years ago. It is quite long, so wears like a tunic, which is perfect for leggings, or can be tucked into a skirt or pants. All of which gives the sweater a lot of variety. Similar sweaters can be found here, and here.
Another great Amazon find are these pair of black Linen Joggers. Similarly to the palazzo pants, these joggers are great for travel days, eating, and eating. I bought my size in petite, to give the pants a more cropped look. In addition to traveling these will make great every day or work pants.
WIDE LEG PALAZZO PANTS
These olive American Eagle High-Waisted Palazzo Pants are extremely comfortable and stylish, and will be useful for travel days, eating, and more eating. They could also be used for sleep, if I need them. Similar pants can be found here, and here.
If I need jeans, I again am trying to go for comfort. I packed a pair of Super Skinny High Jeggings from H&M. They are so stretchy that they make them one of my favorite pair of jeans ever! I also enjoy H&M’s Skinny High Ankle Jeans that are only $9.99!
If you are not convinced yet that I love comfortable clothing, hopefully these next few leggings will. I bought black Patagonia Centered Crop Legging’s from Backcountry. My sister highly recommended these leggings after she bought them for her trip to New Zealand. I have worn these a few times now and they are VERY comfortable. I loved cropped leggings, or 7/8 leggings since I have shorter legs that they make the PERFECT length.
PULL ON SHORTS
Shorts in a carry on can be great for unexpected warm weather, for comfort and lounging, or sleep. A large amount of these items in my carry on can also be great sleeping items. I personally am bringing these pull on shorts from Target’s A New Day to sleep in, and the chance I don’t want to wear a dress on a warm day. A similar pair of pull on shorts can be found here.
SLEEVELESS MIDI DRESS
I am packing a red polka dot button front dress with pockets from Amazon. I bought this dress last year and knew immediately that it would be a perfect addition to my carry on. Similar dresses can be found here, and here.
T-SHIRT MIDI DRESS
I am a huge fan of dresses and wanted an easily convertible causal to going out dress to pack, and I chose this t-shirt midi dress from boohoo. With the right accessories it can easily be transformed to a perfectly comfortable night life outfit! Similar dresses can be found here, and here.
FLORAL MAXI DRESS
Since I am going to Italy I knew I wanted to pack a floral maxi dress. I already had a perfect dress that I knew I wanted to pack. I bought this floral maxi dress two years ago from Amazon. The actual print is no longer available, but there are other prints in the same style available here. Other perfect floral maxi dresses can be found here, and here.
ADDITIONAL CLOTHING ITEMS:
A great piece that can create a new outfit is a scarf. Since I am going with a neutral theme a leopard scarf allows for another pattern to my theme. The scarf I am packing is thin and from H&M. Similar scarves can be found here, and here.
ONE PIECE SWIMSUIT
You cannot go on a trip without packing a swimsuit. My favorite swimsuit is this black one piece from Target.
In addition to comfortable sneakers, I wanted a pair of comfortable booties. I have done a lot of research and finally purchased these Sam Edelman Petty Suede Ankle Boots. I have read reviews on a lot of websites and loved the low heel and look of these booties. I recently just sprayed these since they are suede and could come across rain. Make sure to always spray your suede shoes for protection.
No matter where you go on your travels, walking is always something that is going to happen. I bought a pair of Allbirds Wool Runners in Natural White, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM! If anyone is looking for a pair of comfortable walking shoes, let’s be real I do not run, these are great! I am super interested in the Wool Loungers and Tree Skippers, as well, so one of these days I will get those too.
I did extensive research and trying on of sandals before this trip. I wanted a pair of ultra comfortable sandals that I would be able to walk around Europe in. These Sorel sandals one my five pair try on session. I did not do extensive walking in the other pairs, but tried them on to see if they were even comfortable enough within my home.
Layered necklaces are all the rage right now and have been for over a year (I mean my grandma always wore layered necklaces at least ever since I was born). I love the pendant layered necklaces, and when I came across these Target Chain Link with Coin Charms Layered Necklace I couldn’t pass them up.
OVAL HOOP EARRINGS
I have been all about hoops lately, and they can go great with numerous outfits, which is always a plus for me! These gold Boohoo Oval Hoop Earrings are no longer in stock, but similar earrings can be found here, and here.
I am obessed with Nickel & Suede earrings. I decided to bring two different pairs that would be suitable with all of the pieces that I am packing. The first pair is the large Cedar Grove Leather Earrings. The other pair I am OBSESSED with. The Black Bloch Leather Earrings with Tortoise Post with be a perfect addition to many outfits!L
LARGE PURSE (CROSSBODY)
My sister bought me this purse for a Christmas present. It is from the Guess Factory store. This purse will be my go to for my this trip and will create depth to each outfit with the stripes. Since it has so many neutrals, it also will be perfect for countless outfits. There is also a backpack. Similar purses can be found here, and here.
SMALL PURSE (CONVERTIBLE)
I am packing this black convertible bag from thirty-one as it can be a crossbody or fanny pack. I have been wanting a fanny pack, and this convertible bag allowed me to get multiple functions from a crossbody! Similar convertible bags can be found here, and here.
Cheap sunglasses are my favorite! I tend to lose, scratch, or break sunglasses, so I always love a good dupe. These Amazon vintage round sunglasses have stayed in great shape this past year. I don’t want to bring an expensive pair of sunglasses on a trip because of the fact that I will likely lose them.
An every day lipstick is also a must. If I had unlimited space I probably would have a million lipsticks, but a red and more neutral colors will cover all the bases. Beautycounter’s Color Intense Lipstick in 9 to 5 is perfect for that neutral color. It is a perfect shade of Mauve.
BEIGE PINK LIPSTICK
An additional lighter neutral is Beautycounter’s Color Intense Lipstick in Backstage.
I truly feel like a red lip is always a must, so you should never leave for a trip without red lipstick. I have been using Beautycounter’s Color Intense Lipstick and their matte red is Girls’ Night.
To see how I used these pieces to make outfits, check out my blog post OUTFIT OPTIONS: EUROPE IN MAY.