What to wear for Europe summer holiday

elizabethtwrs

Member
Nov 27, 2013
259
142
Hi ladies,

I'm going to Europe for 3 weeks for a summer holiday in August. We will be in London, Lake Como and Budapest. I need some help on chic outfits I can wear on holiday, that are easy to walk and go sight-seeing in. I've been In a style rut for a while and have absolutely no idea what to pack!

So far I will probably bring a cashmere sweater and denim jacket to layer. Maybe a summer maxi dress. A pair of lace shorts, but not sure what tops to go with. Need to bring more bottoms. I don't like wearing jeans in summer, too sticky. Suggestions are welcome please! :smile:
 
Sep 8, 2010
154
1
California
Congrats on the trip! I did a multi-country Europe vacation this past April-May. The weather won't be the same, but I've been to England in summer so here are some thoughts.

1) It'll be warm/hot during the day, but be prepared for thunderstorms and showers at some point. A cute, light rain jacket will be useful. Also, two lightweight scarfs - one neutral and one a little funkier to jazz up outfits as well as protect your neck when it's windy.

2) You might consider switching out the denim jacket for a light blazer you can dress up/down as well as wear at restaurants and on tours. It'll make most outfits look sharper.

3) A pair of closed toe shoes, sandals (only because you're going to Como), and wedges. I can manage in flats (I'm not a sneakers girl), but that's a personal choice. I'd skip the flip-flop and heels unless you're brave - your feet will thank you in Como especially.

4) Dresses are the best unless you can't stand them. They're appropriate for a variety of places/cultures, are casual yet more formal in comparison to most other vacation outfits, and you'll suffer less in the heat! Skirts with a light knit or blouse work too.

5) Cardigans that you can wear with dresses or button downs. Great layers and cover ups when necessary.

6) Button downs in natural fabrics and in cuts that flatter you. They keep you cool and covered yet are sharper than tees. Polo shirts are also fine, or blouses.

7) A pair of shorts or two will be fine for Como. Iit's a resort town and thus is more relaxed (I'd say leave them if you were going to Milan or Rome for something more versatile). However, you might also consider capris or light trousers if that's your thing? I'd personally bring a pair of dark wash jeans, just in case, but if you really can't stand them in the summer, think of some alternatives besides only shorts. If you do the shorts, you might consider plain ones instead of the lace - though it depends.

8) A chic hat to protect yourself from the sun. There are plent of stylish wide brim ones. Avoid baseball caps. They scream American and aren't nearly as effective anyway.
 
Last edited:
Nov 22, 2007
2,094
404
Niagaria Escarpment
Sounds like a fabulous trip!

I usually take several pairs of medium/light weight pants cotton and linen in a good base colour like blue or burgundy. Something that you don't have to worry about cleaning everytime you wear and that you absolutely love. You can hang your clothes up in the bathroom to steam when you have a shower to keep them fresh.

Lots of fine knit tops in whatever colours work with the pants and a plain good quality unlined jacket. I'd pack a practical carefree version of what you love and find comfortable. Think in layers as it can get cold at night or early in the morning.

You should have a good go anywhere raincoat preferably with a few pockets.

Takes me days to pack as I like to have everything lying out for a while. I start with all of the pieces I'd ideally like to bring and then narrow down the selection until it's that magic capsule wardrobe everyone talks about now.

Make sure that the belts, scarves and accessories will get maximum use not just work with one outfit. Currently I just travel with one statement watch and leave the rest of my jewellery at home but you will know what pieces work best as your basics.
 

miss_chiff

O.G.
Mar 4, 2008
2,377
1,113
Loved Lake Como and London...haven't been to Budapest. Something to keep in mind...color. Here In the states bright colors don't seem bright, over in Europe the sun is different and bright colors seem brighter(at least up in London, Sweden, Ireland and such) . Just a little something to keep in mind. I was in lake Como in spring, and sun wasn't strong there yet. However, higher up in the equator, bright colors seem brighter. Wishing you a fabulous trip!
 
Last edited:

Sass

O.G.
Jun 23, 2007
1,295
56
London, UK
Hi ladies,

I'm going to Europe for 3 weeks for a summer holiday in August. We will be in London, Lake Como and Budapest. I need some help on chic outfits I can wear on holiday, that are easy to walk and go sight-seeing in. I've been In a style rut for a while and have absolutely no idea what to pack!

So far I will probably bring a cashmere sweater and denim jacket to layer. Maybe a summer maxi dress. A pair of lace shorts, but not sure what tops to go with. Need to bring more bottoms. I don't like wearing jeans in summer, too sticky. Suggestions are welcome please! :smile:

OP have a faboulous trip!

I have just returned from 4.5 weeks primarily in London with a short jaunt to Paris and then two weeks between Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Overall the weather was alwarm. Def between 20-30 deg in all of my locations. Last week London was HOT. For me an Aussie I could only wear shorts or a knee length skirt during the day. A nothing else was FAR too warm.

I'm not sure if you've gone on a trip like this previously but this was my first time. Being unsure of the weather I only brought 2 pairs of shorts and needed to do extra shopping to compensate for my lack of ability to wash.

I got the most use out of:

- My dressier shorts
- A black cotton/poly mix strappy dress I could wear with sneakers during the day or dress up with a cardigan and ballet flats at night.
- plain cool neutral cotton tops/tshirt.
- sneakers and black ballet flats.
- a wide brim black floppy chic hat.

Hopefully some of this is helpful to you and have a great time - I'm envious Budapest sounds amazing!!!
 

elizabethtwrs

Member
Nov 27, 2013
259
142
This is a great blog for ideas. http://dresslikeaparisian.com/what-to-wear-in-paris/ I would make sure I have very very comfortable shoes and a good umbrella. Right now it's sweltering hot in London.

Thanks ladysarah! The article was very helpful!

What sort of comfortable walking shoes would you recommend? I usually wear flip flops (I know, I'm a slob...) the article said no ballet flats! Mine aren't nearly comfortable enough to walk around all day anyhow..
 

elizabethtwrs

Member
Nov 27, 2013
259
142
Sounds like a fabulous trip!

I usually take several pairs of medium/light weight pants cotton and linen in a good base colour like blue or burgundy. Something that you don't have to worry about cleaning everytime you wear and that you absolutely love. You can hang your clothes up in the bathroom to steam when you have a shower to keep them fresh.

Thanks for the tips! I don't really own medium/lightweight pants though.. Mainly because vpl would show through for me. Are there any alternatives? Would it be weird for me to use my office pants and pair them with tanks / tees?
 

katran26

Bargain Hunter!
O.G.
Aug 25, 2008
6,263
152
Thanks ladysarah! The article was very helpful!

What sort of comfortable walking shoes would you recommend? I usually wear flip flops (I know, I'm a slob...) the article said no ballet flats! Mine aren't nearly comfortable enough to walk around all day anyhow..
I totally disagree about the ballet flats!!! I was in Paris during the summer and every stylish French woman (who wasn't wearing heels) was wearing ballet flats / or other types of flats...you won't have to worry about sweating if you wear those invisible/small socks that are widely available these days. Ballet flats saved me during every European trip where you have to walk a lot - mostly because they're comfier to me than any other shoe, and because they are stylish, and a far better alternative than sneakers/flip flops.
 
Nov 22, 2007
2,094
404
Niagaria Escarpment
Thanks for the tips! I don't really own medium/lightweight pants though.. Mainly because vpl would show through for me. Are there any alternatives? Would it be weird for me to use my office pants and pair them with tanks / tees?

If your office pants are the most comfortable wear those. You are on a long haul trip with several cities and obviously care about how you will look.

Here is a highly recommended travel resource from a lady who stays in the best places ie the Crillion and travels all over Europe regularly. Apparently their rain coats are virtually indestructible.

http://m.travelsmith.com/

And this from a friend who travelled through Italy in a smart car with one carry-on rolling suitcase and went everywhere from Hermes up & down and was always taken seriously. She particularly loved the dry over-night clothes. The secret was her low key and top quality accessories

http://www.tilley.com/us_en/
 

Princess Pink

Member
Oct 3, 2007
2,192
7
Have a look at the vivienne files - she has an amazing talent to put ideas & colours together.

I have travelled to Europe many times and you'll blend in more (with less hassles) if you're more casually dressed like most locals are. 'Dressing Like A Parisian' and all that sort of hype is a myth in reality or only to be found in very very small pockets around the country. Anyway, definitely invest in some decent ballet flats, they will be perfect with shorts or pants. If you find them uncomfortable or your feet sweat, you've been purchasing the wrong ones! Avoid heels and flipflops - many places the streets are uneven so wearing either of these is impractical. If you need 'heels' pick a beige or tan wedge sandal instead.

Pack light - the good thing is that in all these places you'll find a Zara or an H&M and you can easily add things to your wardrobe as you go. For example, I wouldn't bother lugging a coat there but if you find you need, just pop in somewhere and buy one.

I would also suggest a beige or tan cross-body to use rather than a handbag.

avoid packing overally patterned items (unless accessories) - stick to plain or very discreetly patterned tops, say two maxi dresses with the denim jacket, a pair of plain smart shorts, a tidy skirt (example a plain navy skirt), a smart blouse or two for evening, with a statement necklace, two pairs of ankle skimming pants (get some no VPL underwear if that's a concern) and you'll be done.

:smile:
 
Last edited:

katran26

Bargain Hunter!
O.G.
Aug 25, 2008
6,263
152
Have a look at the vivienne files - she has an amazing talent to put ideas & colours together.

I have travelled to Europe many times and you'll blend in more (with less hassles) if you're more casually dressed like most locals are. 'Dressing Like A Parisian' and all that sort of hype is a myth in reality or only to be found in very very small pockets around the country. Anyway, definitely invest in some decent ballet flats, they will be perfect with shorts or pants. If you find them uncomfortable or your feet sweat, you've been purchasing the wrong ones! Avoid heels and flipflops - many places the streets are uneven so wearing either of these is impractical. If you need 'heels' pick a beige or tan wedge sandal instead.

Pack light - the good thing is that in all these places you'll find a Zara or an H&M and you can easily add things to your wardrobe as you go. For example, I wouldn't bother lugging a coat there but if you find you need, just pop in somewhere and buy one.

I would also suggest a beige or tan cross-body to use rather than a handbag.

avoid packing overally patterned items (unless accessories) - stick to plain or very discreetly patterned tops, say two maxi dresses with the denim jacket, a pair of plain smart shorts, a tidy skirt (example a plain navy skirt), a smart blouse or two for evening, with a statement necklace, two pairs of ankle skimming pants (get some no VPL underwear if that's a concern) and you'll be done.

:smile:
+1 - on all points...great advice. I agree about the "Parisian woman" myth. Honestly, they're not crazily overdressed, and even the ones I saw, especially during the Spring/Summer were discretely styled and classy. And they all wore simple clothing, and walkable shoes, and some sort of statement bag.
 

ladysarah

O.G.
Jul 17, 2008
7,403
6,206
ladysarahinlondon
Thanks ladysarah! The article was very helpful!

What sort of comfortable walking shoes would you recommend? I usually wear flip flops (I know, I'm a slob...) the article said no ballet flats! Mine aren't nearly comfortable enough to walk around all day anyhow..
Flip flops are not great, you could loose them and also in busy places terrible things happen to ones toes.:biggrin: I rarely wear them in the city. Try something like this: http://www.veja-store.com/en/17-women very comfortable and chic. Regards the parisian woman look, generally very casual but beautiful quality well fitting clothes, they can move in. No tight clothes, No track suits and the like, but no ridiculous uncomfortable dressy outfits either. :cool:
The blog I suggested has some pretty good examples actually. Whatever you wear it needs to withstand long walks and long days.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Apr 15, 2007
62,921
6,307
Have a look at the vivienne files - she has an amazing talent to put ideas & colours together.

I have travelled to Europe many times and you'll blend in more (with less hassles) if you're more casually dressed like most locals are. 'Dressing Like A Parisian' and all that sort of hype is a myth in reality or only to be found in very very small pockets around the country. Anyway, definitely invest in some decent ballet flats, they will be perfect with shorts or pants. If you find them uncomfortable or your feet sweat, you've been purchasing the wrong ones! Avoid heels and flipflops - many places the streets are uneven so wearing either of these is impractical. If you need 'heels' pick a beige or tan wedge sandal instead.

Pack light - the good thing is that in all these places you'll find a Zara or an H&M and you can easily add things to your wardrobe as you go. For example, I wouldn't bother lugging a coat there but if you find you need, just pop in somewhere and buy one.

I would also suggest a beige or tan cross-body to use rather than a handbag.

avoid packing overally patterned items (unless accessories) - stick to plain or very discreetly patterned tops, say two maxi dresses with the denim jacket, a pair of plain smart shorts, a tidy skirt (example a plain navy skirt), a smart blouse or two for evening, with a statement necklace, two pairs of ankle skimming pants (get some no VPL underwear if that's a concern) and you'll be done.

:smile:

Great suggestions.. Paris for me has always been a walking city so comfy
shoes are a must!!

Also, you may want a light weight shawl for an evening stroll..

But most important, enjoy yourself(ves):smile:
 

Princess Pink

Member
Oct 3, 2007
2,192
7
Great suggestions.. Paris for me has always been a walking city so comfy
shoes are a must!!

Also, you may want a light weight shawl for an evening stroll..

But most important, enjoy yourself(ves):smile:
Yes, a shawl, I forgot that :P I'm loving the Nordie's brand cashmere/silk scarves at they have at the moment, super light but oh so warm - trying to buy as many colours as possible :P they would be perfect for a summer evening and to wear on the plane.


And YES, have fun!!!