How To Pack Light But Look Chic for Europe?

by Annie
(Columbia, SC, USA)

How to mix and match versatile clothing for a trip in Europe

How to mix and match versatile clothing for a trip in Europe

Any advice on how to be chic on the run? I am stumped over what to wear on my honeymoon to Europe next month. We'll be going to Italy, Germany, Austria, and England and I have read that most average temperatures will be in the mid 60s.

I'd like to just bring a carry on since we will be traveling to a new city roughly every two days. Three of the places we're staying will have washing machines so I would like to just pack a few outfits that I can mix and match.

It can get pretty chilly in the evenings in Europe during April so a couple of scarves are highly suggested for your honeymoon trip - a scarf is a perfect accessory to looking chic while you're on the run - and can instantly make your basic outfits look trendy.

I suggest that you check out the wardrobe essentials and get some ideas on basics that you can bring with you during your trip.

Here are some more tips:

How to Pack Light But Still Look Chic

Make sure everything can be mixed and matched (except for underwear)

If you want to travel with just a carry-on you need to be minimalistic. Now is the time to focus on your neutral and solid colored clothes (navy stripes in white and blue are fine), such as black, white, dark blue, brown (also includes nudes, cream, etc.) and gray - which are much easier to combine into different outfits.

One pair of pants can be worn at least 2-3 times before you have to wash it. Which means that you'll be able to wear 4 pair of pants (or bottoms) in a course of 10-12 days before you throw them in the washing machine :-)

Simple tees, t-shirts and a cardigan (which you can also wear as a lightweight jacket when the sun lits up from the skies) are also great to mix and match. You can also add a basic v-neck dress which you can chic it up with a belt when going into town for shopping.

If you're planning on bringing many tunic tops (tops that fall right below your butt) you can save room in your luggage by swapping some of the pants with denim leggings or basic spandex leggings which are waaay more lightweight than regular jeans.

Usually a light trench coat is versatile enough to wear with anything.


Accessories like a scarf and belt can spruce up your neutral-based clothes. Scarves can be worn in multiple ways (as a belt, headscarf, shawl, etc.) and should be your main accessory priority as it injects some color and can easily be a substitute for jewelry that are a hassle to wear when you're out traveling.

A belt looks chic when worn around the waist of a dress, a tunic shirt or top. 2 belts should be enough for your honeymoon. One for actually holding up your pants (but can also be wrapped around your waist to achieve a nipped and chic look!) and the other one for accessorizing your outfits.

Shoes are bulky and take up a lot of space, so I suggest that you limit it to one pair of high heels (for special occasions) and a pair of good walking shoes, and perhaps comfy ballerinas.

And a pair of Jackie O sunglasses are a must! Sunglasses add an instant glam factor to your attire, without looking like you're trying too hard.

Wear your bulkiest items on flight

This includes the shoes (sneakers or boots) you're wearing on your flight to Europe, along with jeans and jacket topped with a scarf to use as personal blanket.

I hope I gave you some ideas! By the way, I removed the image you attached because you re-sent the same submission, the last one without the picture, so I figure out that you changed your mind about adding an image.

Congratulations on your marriage - you're such a sweet couple :-) Enjoy your honeymoon in Europe!

If you still have any questions regarding what to pack feel free to leave a comment.

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What Is The Best Colour and Style of Handbag and Shoe Combo to Match My Travel Clothes?

by Zandee

I have a family reunion this year and a trip o/s and am determined to break out of the t-shirt and jeans rut I have been living in. In trying to help myself get some "style factor" your wardrobe essentials have been particularly helpful.

My goal = put a practical but stylish smart/casual travel wardrobe capsule together.

USA in September, warmer climate, touring and theme parks.

To pack light and work with 10-12 basic items using a colour pallet: azure/ light blue /fuschia /mushroom beige /charcoal grey /deep blue-black.

I selected this as I am "summer" cool mid colours with bluish/pinkish undertones. My body shape is a mixture figure; 8 Bust(14DD) and butt are balanced but waist can be thick... Moving into an H shape. Clothing size 14-16 Australian. 167cm tall. dark brown hair/ green/blu grey eye colour.

My plane travel outfit I plan to wear will be black batwing shrug, light blue v-neck tee, purple scarf, black yoga pants and ballet flats. Is this smart-casual-cool-comfortable enough? I will be transfering to bus then train for 3hrs after 17hour flight! With hubby and two sons 15 and 11.

So far I have:
1 x Black batwing knitted shrug
1 x Mushroom Beige 3/4 length cardigan
1 x Azure button down cotton top
1 x dark blue wash boot leg jeans
1 x charcoal grey slacks
1 x black yoga pants

I am hoping to add: 2 x either grey, navy or black pairs of (just above the knee length shorts)
1 x little black dress or long colourful summer style??

What would you suggest please. My arms are reasonably toned but my skin is fair and I burn easily so I prefer to have mid length sleeves or have to add a light cardigan.

Tops in white, light blue and fushia. A scarf(maybe purple).

I am thinking silver hoops/aqua bangles RE: costume jewelry.

My question is am I on the right track here please and what colour/style handbag and ballet flats to add to this capsule? I only want to take 1 handbag. I like the hobo style but not sure if that is best for my shape?? (I am sure to go shopping in the states for bags and some accessories) I thought grey either a darker charcoal grey or is a lighter shinier reflective grey bag better? A blue bag also came to mind... I am really confused.

Are black ballet flats best or grey/blue? I will also take a pair of Dianna Ferrari joggers. These joggers come in beige and khaki or white and stone but I was worried the white ones may be too bright for the colour pallet? I want these for walks and theme parks rather than my usual heavy joggers. What would you advise please? Shorts probably black/navy/grey/denim???

Any changes or suggestions you have would be great. I am very visual and have found your photos so helpful. This is really important to me and I have never put so much effort into creating my perfect travel capsule. I want to surprise my husband and family.

Thanking you in advance for your time and any feedback you may like to pass on.

I really appreciate and admire your natural ability. This has been a full time project for me with hours of reading and research!! Again your site has been amazing and really helped my quest. I want to look smart, stylish and age appropriate.

I would like to say I love your site! I thought it wasn't for my age group but have since realized your tips have been enlightening, inspiring and very helpful. I am in my early 40's.

Zandee from Australia

So far so good :) You managed to put together a nice palette consisting of your best colors and some basic neutrals that are easy to mix and match.

How long will you be staying in the US? A pair of pants can be worn 2-3 times before you have to wash it so you don't want to pack too many bottoms for your trip. 5 pair of pants are sufficient for a 2-3 week vacation. As long as you have access to a washing machine the bottoms will last throughout the trip.

I think one pair of gray and one pair of navy shorts is good - black is a bit severe out in the sun though. I suggest that you also add a pair of casual denim bermuda walk shorts.

The black yoga pants are quite practical for long journeys - as long as they're slightly fitted and not baggy, you can wear them during your flight to the US. A hobo bag will add a nice touch to your outfit.


I think you should go for one little black dress as well as a simple summery maxi dress - the little black dress for the evening (eating out with your family, etc.) and a long summer dress (in a lighter color from your summer palette) for both casual evening and day wear. A kimono style dress looks chic and covers your shoulders at the same time.


You might want to bring with a scarf that is versatile in color. In this way, you'll be able to only bring one or two scarves with you that you can mix and match with the rest of your clothes.

Silver jewelry like hoop earrings and a bracelet are basic enough to wear with anything. You can of course add other jewelry (eg. aqua bangle) for a pop of color. You might want to add a more jewelry pieces to your travel capsule to spruce up your outfits. Like for example a turquoise/bluish beaded long necklace looks terrific with a white top, denim walk shorts and flats.

Sometimes it's the accessories that can transform your outfits :-) Don't forget a pair of big sunglasses for instant chicness!

Blue beaded long neclace
Blue Glass Necklace


I think a gray or taupe colored bag would go with your colors - nothing too light or bright. A hobo bag that is a bit slim shaped, not too wide, can work for your body figure. A black bag would be a good choice no matter figure as it's not too eye catching and won't draw attention to your thick waist. Vertical shaped details like stitches compliment your figure.

Slimming hobo handbag
B. Makowski Hobo Handbag


For ballet flats, the colors black, gray and blue (dark) are basics that go with anything. I would personally go for black or gray, however if you feel that your outfits lack color then blue should be added too. Have you also remembered adding a pair of comfy jogger/walking shoes?

Jogger pants

The white Diana Ferrari may look a bit bright but it's good choice if you want to create a fashionable color statement along with your fuschia/light blue tops. However beige and sand colored joggers can help balance out your outfit - creating more of a chic and age-appropriate look.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions :-)

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Summer Holiday Wardrobe For Young Looking 50 Year Old

by Amanda

I am going on a once in a lifetime dream summer holiday, which includes a Transatlantic cruise, a stay in New York, a week in New Orleans and a cruise to Bermuda.

I need to pack light, as I'm going to have to carry my luggage with me for 5 weeks, but need to include a variety of clothing - formal wear for evenings on the cruises, comfortable clothes for city sightseeing, and beachwear and cool outfits for Bermuda.


I'm in reasonable shape for my age, and tend to dress fashionably, but flattering swimwear is required, and I'm not too keen on the idea of exposing too much of myself! I never wear shorts!

I'm a UK size 10-12, slim hipped and without much of a waist.

Any ideas or advice would be very much appreciated.

Hi Amanda, lucky you! I've always wanted to travel on a cruise, but haven't had the opportunity... yet :-)

If you want to pack light I suggest you start creating a wardrobe capsule. A capsule is a collection of clothes where all of the items can easily be mixed and matched and are versatile for a number of occasions.

You can for example bring two capsules of 8 pieces each (excluding accessories) and have outfits for almost a month - and by adding a few accessories to the mix, the capsule expands = more outfits.

Here's a Wardrobe Capsule with 6 Items:

6 Basic wardrobe capsule pieces

Now combine these pieces in different ways. Don't worry if the combinations look too plain. You can add texture and interest later. You just have to set up the basics:

7 Basic wardrobe capsule outfits

And now let's add 3 accessories to your travel capsule; a scarf, belt and a simple beaded necklace:

3 accessories to closet capsule

Now combine them with the basic outfits:

8 wardrobe capsule outfits

I'm sure you can squeeze out more outfits than what I'm showing you here. I can imagine at least 5 more combinations. Can you? :-)

Tips on Creating a Wardrobe Capsule:

  • A basic wardrobe capsule shouldn't consist more than 8 pieces excluding the accessories. The point is to combine few pieces into as many different outfits as you can

  • To make it easier for you to mix and match, use pieces that are simple in lines and shapes

  • Pack at least 2-3 of the same basic pieces. For example 3 of white basic t-shirts

As for your swimwear I think a swimdress or a tankini will suit your needs. They provide both modest coverage as well as a stylish flair.

I recommend for more fashion tips and packing advice for your cruise vacation.

Happy trip!

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More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish

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