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Wardrobe Picks for 3 weeks In Europe

Hi there just spent the day going through my clothes for the "first" run of what I am taking for our three week trip to Venice, Rome, Santorini and Athens. Leaving September 2 - (4 more weeks and so excited) Going with RS convertible carry on only plus a personal item. Both hubbie and I are trying to only do carry on's for the very first time. I am freaking out a little but I do believe after reading every one's thoughts that this will be very liberating.

So here is what I have decided to take and not sure if its still too much? All opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Three walking shorts - brown, black and navy
Three capris - black, black and black (each one a different look at fabric)
Three long pants - (dressier light black jeans; actual jeans and black leggings - which I will wear on the plane.

Three multi coloured short sleeve shirts/t-shirts
Five sleeveless light shirts (Not into tank tops)

One beige skort (goes with all tops)
One navy casual dress

Of course one set of pj - underwear, bras and socks.

Sweater I am wearing on the plane, light cotton navy jacket and one navy and grey light long sleeve top.

Any suggestions or opinions? Thanks so much.

Posted by
2692 posts

Don't forget your bathing suit :). Not the best to advise a woman but having traveled light to Europe with one many times the only suggestions would be: walking shorts-take one or two, don't need three. Capris-if they are all the same color take one that you can wash out and that dries quickly. Nobody will notice the different fabric and you won't miss the weight. Ditto long pants-wear one, take one. Take three sleeveless light shirts. Doubt you'll need both a sweater and jacket but your call.

Posted by
2526 posts

If your list happened to be converted for a man it's well more than twice what I pack. But hey, if you like what's selected and you can manage hauling it...then do so and just enjoy your choices.

Posted by
731 posts

Have you tried packing all of this into your convertible carry on? What about the weight? I realize the leggings will be the most comfortable on the plane but oftentimes people wear their heaviest clothes on the plane to keep the luggage as light as possible.

I don't see a waterproof jacket on your list. I would include a light one and possibly drop one of your sweaters.

What about shoes? Do you have one to pack and one you will be wearing or are you only planning on one pair? Do the shoes go with all of your planned outfits?

Posted by
137 posts

I would get rid of 1 pair of jeans, 1 -2 capris, and 1 pair of shorts, especially since you are packing a skort and a dress. If your tops are light, keep them, however try to leave at home heavier fabrics. It all adds up in weight. Don't forget a light rain jacket, especially for Venice. Don't forget a hat, although you can buy it there. I also pack a travel umbrella but it is optional.

Posted by
503 posts

I think your list should depend on your tolerance for heat. I was in Greece last October and wore shorts the entire 2 weeks as it was very warm. I would keep all three pairs of shorts, not take ANY of the long pants and maybe two capris. Some of the woman on my tour would wear capris in the evening but I never found it cool enough to do so. A few days before you leave check the long range forecast for the places you will be and then decide what you'll pack. It is really up to you and your comfort level in heat. Have fun.

Posted by
13201 posts

Right now you've got 10 bottoms for 21 days. I would cut down the long pants to 1 to wear on the plane, 1 pr capris, 2 pr shorts and the skort or 3 shorts.

I would probably cut the long sleeve top since you are going to all warm places. I would probably cut either the sweater or the navy jacket. Do either of them go with every top and bottom combo?

I would probably cut the sleeveless shirts down to 3 which would give you 6 tops.

I would add the waterproof rain layer! I travel with that everywhere and have had some rainy days in Italy in September.

Posted by
985 posts

That seems like way too many bottoms to me. I would take all of the shirts though, because to me, that was what made me feel like I wasn't wearing the same outfit all of the time. No one really notices the bottoms as they are looking at your face, not your butt.
For bottoms, I would pack the 3 shorts, the dress or a skirt, and one capri. Wear the pants on the plane. Really, that should be more than you need. I would check temps before leaving to see if the long sleeve top is needed and would either take the sweater OR the navy jacket.
When we traveled for five weeks I took a total of four bottoms (wore one - the airline insisted on it) and didn't even need the 4th pair.
I am getting ready to travel for five weeks again. This time I'm packing one or two pants and wearing one. I'm still taking 7-8 shirts.
Have a great time on your trip!

Posted by
250 posts

Yup, too many bottoms, 2 of each is PLENTY, and skip the jeans. I find my tops get sweaty or spilled on, so I'd rather pack more tops instead if there is room. I also pack walking sandals, a comfy shoe with a slight heel, and wear my Ked type tennies. All are plantar fasciitis friendly, lol. I know, too many shoes for this forum, but not for me!

Posted by
10504 posts

'kathy' has a very good question --- have you tried packing all this stuff into your bags, along with toothbrush, camera, cosmetics, etc.

Posted by
1194 posts

Oof. I would change a lot of stuff on your list. You're missing some critical items and have way too much of others. I usually bring around 10-11 clothing items not counting the jacket. You are taking 21. And like I said, you're still missing clothing!

Here's my suggestions. September is usually hot. Plan for that, but also have something for chilly days. I've found Greece is HOT during the day and then cools down in the evening. Light long pants and a light weight sweater are appropriate for sitting next to the Sea while dining. I'm suggesting 2 dresses because of the heat, and they are better for churches. Make sure they're not too short. I'd also suggest a pair or two of Jockey Skimmies to prevent chafing in the heat. Wash out at night.

I would bring:

  • 5-6 tops total. I suggest 2 sleeveless, 2 short sleeve, one light long sleeve
  • skort
  • 1 capri
  • 1 pair of walking shorts
  • 1 pair light pants, such as linen (wear on plane)
  • navy dress
  • another light sun dress that doubles as a swim cover up
  • 1-2 light sweaters (one for plane)
  • thin packable waterproof jacket
  • cotton jacket
  • swim suit
  • walking shoes with good soles
  • strappy walking sandals

That will give you 4 bottoms, 6 tops, (24 outfits right there) 13 items total plus jackets and swimwear. Jeans and leggings will be too hot.

Bring a light scarf or two for churches.

Posted by
641 posts

The list looks a little heavy. A few suggestions:

  • Pick one base color: black, navy, or brown. You don't need all three.
  • Pick one versatile outfit for dressier evenings, and pack a few scarves or light accessories to change it around.
  • You really need only 3-4 bottoms and 5-6 tops total. You are especially heavy on pants, shorts and skirts.
  • Your traveling companions won't notice or care if you wear the same clothes more than once.
  • You will need two pairs of comfortable shoes. One for walking around, and one somewhat dressier (but still comfortable)
  • Take a look a Joan Robinson's packing video for women (somewhere on this site or on YouTube.)

Several previous posts are worth reiterating:
* A swimsuit is a must.
* A light rain jacket is a must.
* Try packing what you have, along with shoes and non-clothing items, and see if it fits. I kind of doubt that it will.

Posted by
641 posts

I just had another idea. When I was in Turkey in October a few years ago, I bought a light, gauzy, long sleeve, white shirt. I absolutely loved it for keeping the hot, Mediterranean sun off my arms. I will swear that I felt cooler in that shirt than in my short sleeve shirts.

If you don't have something like that, you might be able to find one while you are in Greece. I have never seen anything quite like it in the US.

Posted by
1194 posts

I agree with Marie. I bought a sea green tunic out of light cotton gauze. It was the best!

People in hot areas cover their arms and legs with light fabric to stay cool.

Posted by
4077 posts

Wayyyyy too much stuff.

I also think if you pack it all plus all the rest of the stuff you'll be taking in the carry-on and try to carry it, you will immediately start removing things. Weigh yourself first. Put the pack on and weigh again. The standard advice is no more than a total of 20 pounds for the packed carry-on.

Pack for one week and do laundry; in your room, at a self-service place or have it done for you while you do something else.

My advice is to choose 3 bottoms and maybe the dress. You certainly do not need 11 bottoms plus the dress! One often mentioned axiom is that if you will not wear it or use it at least 3 times, leave it at home.

If everything goes with everything else and you use some accessories, you can have multiple outfits with very few pieces. I take 3 bottoms, including the one I'm wearing. I used to take 8 tops, then went down to 6 and next trip it will be 4. I've found over time that no matter how many I take, I usually wear only 4 tops consistently. Four tops and 3 bottoms equals 12 outfits. That's plenty to cycle through for my normal month-long trips.

Posted by
10323 posts

I would take one less shorts, pants and capris as a beginning. I am traveling now and wish I had brought even less. I am using a RS 22" suitcase with wheels.

Posted by
11503 posts

TEN "bottoms " and a dress is way too much for me !

Two shorts , one Capri , one long pants . And then I would take two sundresses as Rome will still be hot and you can't wear shorts into churches there . I'd include a bathsuit for Greece .

Seems you are bringing a lot of warmer clothes , everywhere you are going it will still be nice weather . I'd bring a light windbreaker and one cardigan max .

Posted by
15277 posts

Yep, 10 bottoms plus a dress would be way too much for me too, Liz. For our three-weekers (we travel in the spring or fall) I pack similar to Nance: 3 pair of lightweight jeans - wear one and pack two - and 7 shirts or so that can be sink-washed/drip dried. One jacket + a lightweight fleece vest, depending on where we're going, and two pair of shoes: wear one, pack one. One t-shirt to sleep in + underwear, and no swimwear as we've never found time for that but you might. My husband packs the same.

We do as much sink washing as possible and hit a laundromat once or twice during the trip. Anyway, I'd reduce your number of bottoms by over 1/2? At most I'd take one black short, 1 black capri, the skort, and wear a pair of the long pants on the plane. I'd also scrap the dress - but I never wear them so you might feel differently - and either the jacket or the sweater.

I'll agree with doing a test packing and see how that goes.

Posted by
193 posts

Great advice here! I'm doing the same as Liz right now except I'll be in more cool places for our 3-weeks in September. I got out everything I might want to take and laid it out on my bed. It was a LOT of clothes!! I really want to take one pair of capri pants & a skort but just not sure if I can get three wears out of them with the weather. Might have to ditch those two items. I have 3 pairs of long pants - black, dark denim & gray that I can roll up to be more like boyfriend jeans/pants. Think I'll ditch the gray pair as it might show dirt more than the other two. I have a pair of olive travel material pant I got from Costco that should work well. That will be three pants but I might add one more pair of jeans just to be safe. I need to cut back on my tops as well and will take off one or two from each type (short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, nicer blouses) and try for two cardigans total. Have my waterproof rain jacket with hood, two scarves, a few jewelry options to change up looks & three pairs of shoes (tennis, Mary Janes, black wedge slip on for dinners on the ship). Also have one black dress & one black shirt that can go with all the nicer blouses. And swimsuit. Ugh. Still sounds like too much!!! I'm going to keep working on it!! :-)

Posted by
24 posts

Thank you all so much for the suggestion - you are all right. Looking at the bed right now it is a a lot of clothes. The tops are really light and flowy. I guess I should get rid of a pair of capris, shorts and pants. My problem is thinking "perhaps I won't feel like wearing that today" but I guess with travelling with a carry on - you have to get over that "what if" thinking. If we want to travel light and I am carrying my own bag then I better cut back. The capris are the same colour but one is a very light black pair and the other one is like a cotton/lycra mix one feels really light but may be too form fitting for the heat. Perhaps I should take a looser fitting capris instead - don't know what to do? Not sure what kind of heat we are talking about - I am hoping the heat wave Rome is having right now will have come down a lot by the time we get there lol. With respect to the long pants - leggings for the plane ride. I can't stand anything to restrictive in the tummy area when sitting in a plane for so long and the other one I can't decide either a casual black cotton pant or my jean jeggings which are super light and stretchy.

We are not planning on doing any swimming or going to the beaches so a bathing suit won't be required. Now for the skort and dress? My thighs really rub together and not very pleasant in the heat. Bought a anti chafe balm from the Running Room and suppose to help with that problem. The skort is just about the knee and very light and all the tops would go with it. The dress is a cotton jersey material - sleevless - loose fitting with a little hood at the back. Really cute but wondering if a cotton summer dress would be better. I probably won't wear the skort or the dress until the evening perhaps change before going out for dinner. Can't decide what to do - perhaps get rid of the skort and add another dress.

For the tops yes you are all right - I can cut down on them but as posted, I think with limited bottoms the changing of the tops will allow me not to get frustrated with only a few choices for all of that time. I will have to rethink perhaps one or two of them.

Yes i will bring a couple of scarfs for churches. The shoes I am bringing will be one pair of sandals and the pair of runners I will be wearing on the plane with perhaps a pair of flat slip ons. The running shoes don't actually go with anything but unfortunately all of the ones I have tried and have the support I need are quite bright and loud. Comfort is my priority. Going today to check out a speciality store for Vionic running shoes - but they are also a bit bright for my liking.

Hoping that my runners don't turn off people but figure who cares. We are doing this trip all on our own - planned everything on my own and therefore really don't need to impress anyone or worry about what people think on a tour group. Comfort is important and being able to last all day and night during our one and a life time trip.

Posted by
137 posts

Do you usually wear this dress at home? I the answer is yes, then pack it, but if you have issue with thigh rubbing, just leave it at home and keep the skort instead. For churches in Italy, I usually always have 2 light silk scarves in my day bag- 1 can cover the shoulders and 2nd can be used around the waste, if you are in shorts.
Personally from your list, I would only take 2 shorts, 1 skort, 1 capris and 1 long pant for cooler days/evenings. Wear leggings on the plane and for hotel. Tops you can eliminate once you decided on the bottoms, but take twice as much tops as bottoms which you can layer. Like 2 -3 sleeveless, 2-3 teeshirts and 1 long sleeve. 1 rain jacket, 1 cotton sweater for the plane and for evenings.
If you need to decide what to eliminate, get rid of heavier clothes. I recently started to take silk tops- they pack to nothing, wash/dry easily overnight and I don't feel hot in them.

Posted by
13201 posts

With a limited amount of clothes in your suitcase plus being really busy in new locations, you will not have time to think Am I in the mood to wear this today. You just put on clothes and go. I would say your athletic shoes go with everything. Your feet need to be comfortable. Frankly, if you are leaving in less than a month now is not the time for new shoes. You need to be able to walk some distances in them before you go! I hope you have done that with the ones you have.

I am thinking you are not counting all the possibilities for your outfits. Lay your final choices out on the bed, say 4 bottoms and 5 tops. All tops should go with all bottoms. That gives you a base of TWENTY outfits! Add your 2 scarves to each outfit and that gives you SIXTY outfits. Try on each bottom with every top to make sure everything goes. If you have a top or a bottom that only goes with one thing - it does not make the travel team. If you do take a light long sleeve then that layered over your previous 60 outfits gives you another 60 so 120 outfits. (And really I am poor at math so if someone wants to check those calculations, go for it...but you get the idea!)

Don't take 2 dresses especially if you are worried about chafing. Take the lightest dress, the lightest long pants and the lightest weight capris. To me the thing that works best for thigh chafing is compression shorts but they are HOT.

Posted by
3580 posts

Dark colors show wrinkles and soil less than light colors. If you take all this stuff you will want to leave half of it home next time! You can plan to wash out one or two things each evening and hang it to dry overnight. I use just a dab of shampoo for hand washing. Laundromats are sometimes available. I've seen women in light-weight knee length dresses who seemed very comfortable in the heat. Shoes -- wear comfortable walking shoes for the plane and walking in the daytime. I take sandals to use as slippers and to have a change for other activities. Umbrellas for about $5 are usually quite available if it rains. My color combo is navy, red, purple, gray, white. Look in your wardrobe to see how you already dress. Most of us don't need a new wardrobe for travel. When you get it all assembled to fit into your suitcase, check the total weight. Does it all fit in? Can you easily lift it overhead? If it's too heavy, weigh individual items and reject the heavier of two items. I often weigh things on my kitchen scale. If one shirt weighs more than another I will leave the heavier shirt at home. My carry-on weight 20# or less if I want to be comfortable with it. There will be some miscellaneous things such as toiletries, cosmetics, notebooks, cameras, and vitamins that will add bulk and weight. Some of us no longer travel with books, but have various devices that hold books electronically. I travel with an IPad, a few maps, and printouts for my hotels. Printouts aren't necessary any more since all those things can be stored on phones, etc. I haven't gotten to that stage yet.

I bought an under-seat carryon bag recently. I have room for about two outfits in it along with the other things I need. It weighed 11# when I traveled a few months ago. One more top and one pair of capris would have been welcome, but the smaller bag was easy for me to handle on my own.

They sell clothes in Europe. Many times I have bought an item of clothing when I was cold. You probably won't run into cold weather, but give yourself permission to augment your wardrobe if necessary. A new scarf is always nice.

Posted by
6447 posts

Congratulations for taking the "pack light" challenge! You will be amazed how nice it is during this trip. I would suggest laying out your clothes on the bed. Now pick your 4 favorite outfits- the ones you would reach for first for a hot Summer day with friends at home . Add 1-2 more tops, keep the long sleeve top for evening and leave the rest at home. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
6447 posts

For anyone having problems with chafing while wearing dresses, I bought a couple of culotte style slips on Amazon that eliminate the issue.

Posted by
6447 posts

For anyone having problems with chafing while wearing dresses, I bought a couple of culotte style slips on Amazon that eliminate the issue.

Posted by
1194 posts

but I guess with travelling with a carry on - you have to get over that "what if" thinking

"What if" is guaranteed to make you pack heavier.

The correct question is "what is the worst thing that would happen if I don't have this?"

Posted by
2438 posts

I'm new to packing light too. Last European trip was 25 years ago when we took riding boots, breeches and a helmet for a week long trail ride in Ireland, plus everyday clothes. And we came home with a "pet box" full of souvenirs.

I'm leaving in two weeks for Venice, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria (Yeh!!). I think you're packing a bit much. I'd leave out the jeans because they're heavy and bulky. Because I had melanoma, I try to wear long sleeves and pants. Also my crepey legs cringe at capris and shorts are only for home. I suggest doing test packs, then weigh and measure your bags. Packing cubes help. After doing a couple test packs for weight and bulk, I came up with the following for my carry-on. Total weighs 19 lbs. and I'm using RS's rolling carry-on.
4 legging: black, gray, red and wear black/gray camo
2 short sleeve shirts, red and cream
4 long sleeve shirts, black/white, white print, black w/ red zipper doubles as a light jacket, and wear another black/white
2 tunics, black and red/black to make the leggings a little dressier
shorts and sleeveless t-shirt for sleeping, and can double as daily wear.
red tank top
2 black camisoles and 1 dreaded bra, wear 1 cammie
5 undies, wear 1
6 pair socks, wear 1
red jacket, water resistant
2 throwaway hooded rain coats from the 99 Cent Store.
2 pairs shoes, wear 1
1 pair fitflops
2 books
laundry supplies
spare glasses,
tour/flight information folder

In my PacSafe Citysafe 4000 tote, which is stuffed full at about 11 lbs., is
black pashima which will double as a blanket on the plane
cashmere black sweater
inflatable pillow
311 bag
drugs, snack bars, a couple days of supplements
chargers, battery pack, plugs
camera, small tripod
book for the plane
fairly large Travelon crossbody purse which holds every things my home purse does cut down to scale and has room for daily sightseeing paraphernalia
neck wallet while on plane

I don't see the weight as a problem. As I use the supplements the bags will become lighter. The challenge has been to get the dimensions to comply with the airline. Shoes are bulky to pack. I know people on the forum pack a lot lighter. I cringe at the idea of wearing clothes for more than one day. I sweat too much to even consider that. Venice and Rovinj are warm and humid; Europe is currently having a heat wave. It's hard to guess the weather in two weeks and during the 2 1/2 weeks we there. Everything I'm taking is hand washable and almost all are tech fabrics that will dry quickly.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
489 posts

I would recommend watching Sarah's youtube (RS tour guide) video on how women can pack light. I used her methods of weighing everything and deciding what weighs less when culling some items from my initial pack list. I was very happy with my decisions.

Now, I was just in France for 3 weeks and many MANY women were wearing skirts or dresses. I also have that issue with chaffing, but I carry a good product from band aid for areas that seem to get excess friction (feet and ummm) anyway it works. (a stick like deodorant) Even if you just nix the shorts for a skirt for dinner, you'll feel better and less casual.
I hope you have cubes for packing, as I now LOVE them, easier to pack and repack. We are headed for 4 weeks to Romania and Bulgaria, plus a couple of other stops and I know I want to be light... no more than 3 nights anywhere.
Happy travels!

Posted by
3518 posts

For thigh chafing try Bandelettes. Order on Amazon or at I purchased 2 pairs w/shipping was around $35. It is a small band of nylon that goes around your thigh and viola, no rubbing. I only wear one, not both and it works fine.

Posted by
193 posts

I really like Jean's tip of lay out outfits, choose 4 favorites & then add a few extra tops. I am going to try that!!

Posted by
24 posts

This is wonderful - thank you all so much for the great information. Husband is agreeing with all of you - pack for the best case scenario and not the worse case. I think I am going to again, try on everything - if a top does not go with all bottoms it stays home. If it is uncomfortable - stays home. The skort actually is very nice and light but thinking about it the short parts ride up all the time - great for the office but not for any length of walking around. Going to leave that at home. The sweater I was planning on wearing for the plane - does not go with anything else I am bringing if left undone so going to leave that and perhaps bring a sweater that will at least go with most of the tops. This is actually helping me a lot - thank you so much.

Leggings coming and will bring one other long pant (still undecided) which one. I do have a pair of linen pants so light and comfy but they are light beige/creme colour and thinking that the first time I sit anywhere they will get soiled. The darker bottoms to me work much better than lighter bottoms.

Jackets? I am deciding on the navy blue cotton "barn style" jacket with hood from Roots I purchased not too long ago or a thin windbreaker (water resistant) black and white one. Was gong to bring the blue one if it gets cool in the early morning or evenings but thinking a light sweater would do the trick for that. Also the windbreaker (quite cute - longer in the back - quite stylish) would be lighter and if its a downpour have purchased the rain ponchos from the dollar store.

I am using packing cubes - love them. I have been walking with my runners for weeks now - they are okay - just bought a slip on vionic shoe for the hotel / strolling in the evenings. Also my sandals are light weight and also vionic.

Having trouble picking out scarves - is it terribly wrong to have a mismatched scarf for just using if need be to get in the churches? Its funny I have a bunch of scarves but rarely wear them during the summer and if it is going to be as hot as everyone is saying than I think I would not bother trying to match them with my tops.

Dresses? Mmm.. I want to bring them but not to stay in my bag. I can bring tight spandex shorts with me for under the dresses if the anti chafe balm does not work but I think that having an option for a dress to change into for dinner would be nice. Have to think hard about this one.

Posted by
824 posts

Lots of useful information here! I think you are underestimating the temperatures in September; looking at the various weather sites on the web, the average in Rome for Sept is around 75, and it is slightly higher in Athens. Humidity averages are around 55% or higher. These are what I have experienced when I have been in those two cities in early fall. Definitely lightweight and loose clothing for comfort and preferably a natural fibre or a good quality microfibre. I trust you are taking a hat or if not, planning on buying one there?

Keep practice packing - I've already done 2 and I am not going until beginning of October!

Posted by
2 posts

Liz, if you bought Body Glide from Running Room, you will be OK. It works well. I have top-heavy thighs and use it when wearing a skirt with bare legs or with shorts that ride up. Often one application is good for most of the day or all day if it isn't an overly hot day. No difference between the 'men's' and 'women's' version, except the higher price for the pink packaging. The travel size is great to put in your day bag to reapply as needed.

Posted by
731 posts

The best advise I ever received regarding packing was to bring the things I would normally wear at home. You shouldn't have "Travel clothes" and "Clothes I wear at Home". Weight is very important and I take a hint from Sarah Murdoch and weigh my clothes. The heavier clothes don't make the cut, no matter how cute they are! Pam's advise of making sure all tops go with all bottoms is so important. A couple of scarves will do wonders in changing the look of an outfit.

I am very into the dresses I've purchased from Lularoe. They weigh next to nothing and pack very well. On my trip in October I will wear a lot of them with knee length boots, but I am going to London and you are going to a warmer climate. I think packing a dress will be something different you can change into for a nice dinner. Pack your bag and weigh it. That will help you decide!

Posted by
4077 posts

I never wear shorts or capris or sleeveless tops anywhere that someone can see my 71-year-old multi-veined legs or my crepey upper arms. Beyond my obvious vanity, getting sunburned would have been a major bummer on my trip to Italy this summer. Hot and humid as it was, I wore long pants and long-sleeved tops. Unless a miracle occurs, there is no place you are going that will not be sunny. Plan accordingly. The combination of covering up and good sunscreen resulted in absolutely no sunburn for me on the month-long trip.

I must admit that I was envious of the women I saw who wore sleeveless tops or shorts or capris or dresses or skirts. Hardly anyone ever wore a hat. I bought a crushable hat from a street vendor in Rome at the beginning of my trip and wore it everywhere during the day. You could do the same.

I own no dresses or skirts. I keep wanting to have a skirt for my 3rd bottom or just to wear in general, but long panties or compression shorts aren't long enough for me. If I decide to keep the skirt I recently ordered, I intend to try some of these. The last time I looked for something like them was many years ago and I found nothing. Now there are lots of similar options available.

I'm a big fan of Winter Silks. In fact, I got 2 WS tanks and 2 WS short-sleeved tops to use for layering, to sit around the room in and to sleep in while I was in Italy. They weigh nothing (2-3 oz each), but I could have made do with only one set. They dried almost instantly after washing.

One packing mistake I made was not bringing a pair of shorts for the room. I ended up buying a tank-topped house dress in Venice to serve the purpose.

I did sweat a lot, but all my lodgings were air conditioned and I found that I could simply hang up my top and it would dry by morning. My tops were very lightweight, the heaviest being 6 oz. I don't drink alcohol and didn't eat much garlic, so I could wear the same top twice before washing it, but I never wore the same one 2 days in a row. It can be a big ewww for some people, but the idea of wearing something more than once before washing is consistent with packing light.

Over several trips, my husband and I have become accustomed to what we call "European dry." That means the garment may not be as dry as we're used to, but it is dry enough to pack or wear. The term applies regardless of how or where the clothes are washed. You may need to acquaint yourself with that concept, too.

Posted by
2438 posts

Lo, we who live in the desert know the importance of covering up. I've had melanoma a few years ago and now see the dermatologist every six months. Years ago I loved to show off my bikini body. Now I cover up my old(ish) lady body for health and vanity.
Kathy in Phoenix

Posted by
13201 posts

Liz, you can tell many of us are passionate about light packing. Since none of us are attached to ~your~ wardrobe it's easier for us to suggest what to cut. I think you are getting the hang of it. Yes, dump the sweater unless it goes with everything! It sounds like you are on your way to making some non-emotional decisions. Yes, leave the skort at home if it rides up! You could take it and your athletic shoes for a 5 mile walk and see how it does, lol!!

You will also see TONS of scarves for sale in Venice and Rome (along with vendors selling hats like Lo bought. I did too on my first trip to Venice!) so you might pack one and then buy one or two or .... when you get there. The longest trip I have taken which was about 8 weeks long, I wound up with EIGHT scarves. They are heavier than they look and I could barely pick up my suitcase at the end of the trip, lol! I am better at restraining myself now.

I love packing cubes as well. They help keep me organized and sane!

Posted by
80 posts

I usually bring a dress and a skirt or two (I don't like to wear shorts) and I pack some light weight, wicking spandex shorts to wear underneath. I found some made by Jockey on sale, and they worked perfectly. Dress + dress with jacket + dress with sweater + dress with scarf = four outfits. Just make sure EVERYTHING matches everything else. Pick a palette and stick to it. Unless you are traveling with a fashion maven no one will notice if you wear the same things a few times. Most of us wear similar pieces on a fairly regular basis at home, too. The beaches can get breezy at night, including the restaurants and bars on the shore, so make sure you are ready for that. You will probably want to pick up a scarf or sweater or something as a souvenir, so leave some room for that :-)

Posted by
24 posts

Hello there - I did try packing in the winter for the trip and it all came out at 20 lbs which I was totally amazed at. My issues I am having is minimizing even more. In my original plan of what to bring it was too much. I am slowly cutting back every day. I am determined to do this - hubbie last night told me the less I bring the more I can bring back home lol. He knows what my weakness' are.

The outfit on the plane has to be taken into account of the number of items I am bringing right? My problem now is narrowing down the actual sweater I will take that I can use all week in the evenings. I have a thin windbreaker to bring with me in black and white with a hood and a cotton navy blue jacket I bought for the trip. A bit of conflicting information as to whether or not I should bring both (windbreaker in the suitcase in case of bad weather) and the other coat with me on the plane. I don't think wearing the coat as my sweater layer would work in the plane very well. In my mind I was thinking that the cotton coat would be my outer layer in the evenings and then just bring one other thin long sleeve sweater/top - if I have to wear that sweater every night that would not be a big deal right .

I am a bit stressed as my mind goes back to our Viking River Cruise we did two years ago in April- for half of the trip we froze during our sight seeing because the weather was not what we thought it would be as it was snowing and quite cold- and apparently it was colder than normal (figures) and that is why I am stuck on the whole bringing things in the event of change.

I have decided to go and get a lighter legging - the legging I planned on wearing on the plane is way too thick for the trip - usually wear them in the winter here so they won't be any good walking around in the evenings in Italy or Greece. Any suggestions as to a good spot to purchase light leggings - and not the kind that show every bump and dent. lol? Lulu Lemon perhaps- hubbies suggestion which I can't believe given the price of them here in Ontario. .lol.

Am I really over thinking all of this?

Posted by
2438 posts

Hi Liz,
I bought Spanx leggings. They are little on the heavy side but hold the flap in. I also am packing a pair of Goodrider riding tights to wear as leggings and the cutest red Nygard leggings which I found at Dillards. I threw the dress out of the suitcase to reduce weight and bulk and never considered jeans since they're hot and bulky.
Have you thought about limiting your wardrobe to a couple coordinating colors? Do you wear navy and black together at home? I'm taking black, gray and red with the exception of one cream shirt that has gray beaded trim.

When you test pack be sure in include your shoes, toiletries, any drugs, electronics, purse and 311 bag. They add up to make a difference in the weight and bulk. This is where I am struggling to make it all fit.
Have a great trip!
Kathy, 18 days and counting down, panic time!

Posted by
379 posts

No idea if you can find a similar garment, but I found a knee-length, slightly heavy merino cardigan from Talbots with a two-way zipper on it. I can wear it on its own with the zipper in various configurations or belted, and I wear it as a liner for my knee-length black trenchcoat. One of the best things I ever bought. Look for things like this and plan to wear the heck out of them.

Posted by
25528 posts

I take very long trips, so I'm sure to encounter some temperature variation. I detest being cold. Most of my clothes are selected for use in the warmest expected destinations, then I add layerable items to see me through bad weather. My layers-for-warmth are a light set of CuddlmDuds longjohns (worn only once or twice so far), a lightweight fleece jacket, and a lightweight but waterproof, jacket/windbreaker. I have rarely needed to combine the fleece and the jacket. If it's both cool and windy or looks like it might rain, I can usually just wear the jacket. The fleece will no doubt get some use in England in September, if only in the evening post-theatre.

One thing to keep in mind about the "wear your heaviest outfit on the plane" mantra is that once you're in Europe you probably won't often need such heavy clothing, but you still have to move it from hotel to hotel. You're going to have to fit everything you're not wearing into your suitcase or carry it in your hands on hotel-change days. After a few trips doing that with a full-length raincoat, I switched to short rainjackets, and I make sure there's enough room in my suitcase for all my outer garments. Fleece is a godsend. It has replaced the heavy wool jackets I formerly carried.

Posted by
795 posts

I am quite obsessed with my packing list. I try to pack only 15 pieces of clothing (thanks to Travel fashion Girl's blog), excluding pjs and undies. I usually take 2 additional bottoms (pants, leggings or capris), 5-ish short sleeved shirts, one long sleeved button down black shirt that can be a layer or worn on it's own, and another sweater. This year i am travelling in warmer weather, so I am adding a dress that I can can wear with leggings; I also have one longer undershorts that I wear with a shorter skirt, sort of like the shorts used for biking. I might push the 15 pieces and bring a skort, which I wear at home more often than shorts.

everything I wear has to go with each other.

I do find that making my list is helpful as I do tend to overpack. i do manage carry on only and I think I may weigh each piece of clothing. I already compare weights of clothing just by holding them in both hands and choose the lightest.

Have a great trip. June

Posted by
4077 posts

Liz, I don't believe you are overthinking this at all. It's not easy to plan for less to be more on your trip. I do think you may be anticipating cooler weather than you are likely to encounter.

For averages at the places you listed, you can go to the links below. Take a close look at the average daily highs and lows for the months, as well as the precipitation, then click over to the Daily Averages under Weather and choose the days you will be there. Using that, you can also see records both directions. Keep in mind, these are averages so things may be different when you are there.

Please do not discount the power of the sun in these places. Slather up and cover up. And if you run out of sunscreen, any pharmacy in both countries will have plenty to choose from.





Horsewoofie -- I haven't had melanoma, yet, but I have had many, many skin cancers removed over the years, most requiring surgery. That comes from growing up with fair skin in a sunny climate (San Antonio) at a time when there was no sunscreen. I, too, see the dermatologist semi-annually. Most of the serious damage is done before the age of 12, but getting even slightly sunburned is no picnic for me.