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Completely overthinking this - black jeans versus blue for June England trip?

I did my first test pack today for a planned hiking/sightseeing trip to England 6/9-6/29. Came in at 19 lbs so far but haven't weighed my toiletries yet. I feel good about both the hiking and "fancier" clothes I have packed, but am totally overthinking which pair of Athleta lightweight jeans to bring - black vs blue. If it weren't summer, I would absolutely bring the black ones - they can be a little dressier and don't show dirt. BUT, I wouldn't wear black jeans in the summer in Cincinnati, though it tends to get pretty warm here. I know this is a silly little detail to even think about, so thanks in advance for your input!

Posted by
9429 posts

I always bring black jeans so that’s my vote. They look classier than blue imo.

Posted by
328 posts

Sharon, the Uk is very casual and laissez-faire with regard to clothes - just wear what works for you!

Posted by
1243 posts

I wear black pants all year round. That would be my vote. I think black can be more versatile on trips, but that is probably because I do not own any other colors. Sorry, not much help, but it is black for me.

Posted by
998 posts

British ex-pat here. How funny, we were doing a test pack today for our England trip in June. There is nothing wrong with wearing black in England in June. In fact, if the weather is a little damp and cool, then black may be preferred. I have been to England many times in June and have hit a heatwave a couple of times, but it typically is a mix of weather. I even pack short ankle black boots to pair with jeans for evening wear. Some say there is a three-color rule for England - meaning don't mix more than three colors together. I also don't take t-shirts that have a bunch of stuff all over them. But you can really wear what you want.

Posted by
7562 posts

Go with black, based on your fashion preference descriptions. Blue jeans aren’t that much less a solar collector than black, and as a dressier option, sounds like black will be more useful.

Posted by
11350 posts

I always take black jeans along as they can be worn for dressier locations too. I have never taken blue ones along on international trips world wide over many years of travel.
I have certainly worn black jeans when visiting Cincinnati in the summer, never realized they were a no no there.

Posted by
10287 posts

It's because Cincinnati is like a sauna in summer, not necessarily the color. I'm 2.5 hours away from Cincinnati and wear black Chico's pants all year around.

Posted by
2345 posts


This is a travel forum focusing mainly on travel to Europe. Everything mentioned in this forum is a first world problem.

Posted by
4060 posts

You will not be in Cincinnati. England does not think of jeans as working-man clothes gone upstream. When you see the prices in the shops, you will know why.
More practically: Jeans are heavy to carry and dry very slowly if washed. Your burden will be lighter with some version of chinos.
Just don't rip anything.

Posted by
198 posts

Thanks, everyone for your input!

mpaullynsettle - Hope your test packing went well! I appreciate your perspective on the June weather. Hmm, now I'll have to rethink my shoes. I was planning on either AllBirds Tree Breezes or a pair of black Munro sandals for my "nice" shoes. I love my black ankle boots but I think they're heavier than I want to bring. I will definitely be checking the weather as the trip gets closer. I've also followed the 3-color rule without even knowing it was a thing. :)

Suki -It's not a no-no to wear black jeans in the summer in Cincinnati; as Bets said, it just get's really hot and steamy here. i tend not to wear my black jeans because they feel too hot to me. Of course, my husband jokes that I have about a degree and half temperature comfort zone.

Travel4fun - Agree completely. I feel fortunate to be able to spend time thinking about travel and such minor details as what to pack.

Unless there is a heat wave in the forecast, I will plan to take the black jeans. They are lightweight and very quick drying so should travel well. Thanks again!

Posted by
198 posts

Estimated Prophet - Hahaha, you speak my language! Of course I had to go and check those out. Unfortunately, they are sold out of my size in black. I wear a LOT of Athleta clothes, especially any of the Brooklyn line (great for work). I appreciate that Athleta makes clothing in tall sizes, and that they are a B Corp.

Posted by
38 posts

(I always wear black sweats/pull ons on the plane and take 1 blue pair and 1 black pair- thats it for pants and have loved having an option!)

Posted by
1462 posts

I wear knit or stretch pullups because of the no seams comfort. Jeans take forever to dry if you need to launder or drip dry (light weight jean may be OK). I wear cuffed Tek Gear Joggers that are more tailored with pockets that look great with booties or walking shoes. I prefer black or charcoal pants worn with lavender, burgundy, or blue tops with snap open neck in mid weight technical fabric. Don't bother to bring sandals, except for flip-flops to wear in bathroom. Just wear closed toe shoes with rubber soles. Bring a rain hat or knit cap or head scarf. You can bring a short rain jacket with a hood, but I don't like to block my view. Hoodies are good for a nice day jacket, wear with nice Tees on the warmer days. A silk puffer jacket is a good layer at night. I was there in June, bring an umbrella. Bon Voyage!

Posted by
920 posts

I have a formula for my travel: all pants are black ankle pants but not black jeans--they are too hot for me and take too long to dry. I buy Talbots because they fit me well. They're not dress pants nor are they lined. They are a simple, crisp light cotton with some stretch and lyocell. All tops are white and 100% cotton. We rent a flat somewhere in the middle of our travels that has a washing machine. The price I pay is that I must iron my clothes, but it's worth it to me. I add color by taking two light-weight colorful scarves.

Posted by
195 posts

Columbia black pants for me for versatility when traveling. I also like khaki for hiking in hot weather. Jeans are heavy but they also can be dressed up or down and don’t need washing often if at all on a two week trip. I have a pair of navy blue, almost black, Athleta jeans that I think are very versatile too. I decided against taking them on my upcoming trip due to where we will be staying and our activities there— i.e. a lot of eating followed by hiking in warm weather. My experience wearing skin tight jeans on a long plane trip was not comfortable.

Posted by
993 posts

Bring the black jeans. Black looks nicer.

I don't own any jeans, neither blue nor black or any color. Currently I only own nylon hiking pants, and all cotton chino pants. If I was going to buy a pair of jeans they would have to be dark colored, evenly colored, without rips, holes, fading, or fraying, approximately fitting, not excessively baggy or restrictively tight. Yeah I know Jeans with those defects may be considered acceptable in most places but I still wouldn't want to be seen wearing them. I throw pants away for being less damaged than ones that are sold defective because the damage was done on purpose in the factory because that is the style.

Posted by
198 posts

Thanks for the additional input - lots to think about and some great tips! Teri, I love pull on pants too - interesting idea to take both colors and just mix and match.

Lindy - I also love black ankle pants, and have a pair of black Athleta Brooklyn pants that have "made the cut". They are very light and extremely quick drying. The downside is they are not warm at all on a chilly day. You are braver than me with the white tees. I would probably spill something on them right away.

Leslie - Agree on not wanting tight jeans. One of the reasons I like the Athleta jeans is they have a lot of stretch and do not feel tight when sitting. I've never worn Columbia pants - will have to check them out.

Kathleen - I love technical fabric as well. Pretty much everything i'm bringing is quick dry, other than thin wool shirts (and even those dry pretty quickly). I've realized I need to ditch the sandals for a light pair of rubber soled shoes, unless the weather is really hot and dry. (The last time we were in England was in July and they would have been ok that trip.) I do have my trusty Altra Escalantes to wear in addition to hiking boots. I was just hoping for something a little dressier for dinners but still extremely light to pack. I'm pushing it by planning for 2 pairs of shoes in addition to the hiking boots, I know.

Mike L - Agree completely on the ripped jeans. I just can't do it! I must be showing my age, because my daughters tell me they are in style.

Posted by
1625 posts

Take both of them! Wear one-Pack one.
I Live in California and would not usually wear black jeans in the summer unless they were the faded, destroyed kind and only at night (it can get chilly).
I am a carry on only traveler but have learned my lesson on the "take only one" packing rule. The "one" gets a hole, stain and then you travel around looking like a slob. No thanks. I took only one lightweight knit black cardigan my last trip, lost it and that messed up my whole capsule wardrobe I had planned, that was supposed to go with lots of other outfits!

Posted by
4420 posts

If you really want to enhance your light packing, get a pair of black pants from Rohan which dry more quickly than regular jeans.

Posted by
12172 posts

I'm with those who believe jeans aren't the best travel pants. They're heavy, bulky and slow drying.

I'd encourage replacing them with something that fills the same niche in your wardrobe but is less heavy, bulky and made of a fast-drying material.

That said, everyone wears jeans now in Europe and you should wear what you will be comfortable in. If you can limit yourself to one pair of jeans, wear it on the flight to and from to take that weight/bulk out of your bag.

Posted by
11371 posts

So what did you end up taking and how did it/they work out?

Posted by
198 posts the last minute, I followed Letizia's suggestion to take both colors - wear one, pack one. (!) I used a 21" carry on and in a moment of packing euphoria, found space to throw the second pair in. Both are very light, quick-drying jeans. I ended up wearing each pair multiple times, so it worked out well. I saw lots of blue and black throughout our travels - either color was appropriate. If I had to have chosen just one, the black would have been the most versatile for me.

My biggest packing challenge ended up being how to fit the extra just-in-case Covid paraphernalia we brought with us, such as tests, thermometer, meds, etc. That took up way more space than I expected. I also packed my laptop for work in case I tested positive, but the return to the US test was dropped as we were traveling over, so the laptop never made it out of my suitcase. Everything ended up fitting into the carry-on but it was kind of like putting a puzzle back together each morning. We had a great trip though - so thankful to have the opportunity to travel!