Chic & Easy European Travel Packing List

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Inspired by a question from long-time reader Jen in Pittsburgh (hi!), I went down a (fun) rabbit hole of searching for the perfect easy-but-chic outfits for travel. She was asking what to pack for Barcelona in late winter, and while that seems a little specific, the more I thought about it, the more I realized the packing list I was pulling together would actually apply to many destinations and seasons. (And it inspired this outfit I recently covered, too!)

What To Pack For A Trip To Europe: My Outfit Approach

The goal when I’m traveling to Europe is always to look chic and cool, to be comfy, and to look decidedly NOT like a standout tourist. And unless I’m heading to the beaches and islands or the very northern parts, I’m probably gonna bring a similar wardrobe to a variety of locales. For my style, that includes versatile pieces that layer well, can be easily dressed up or down, and have a classic, slightly sporty vibe.

While browsing some favorite sites for pieces to include in an actual list, I kept running across inspiring outfits. It hit me that this is probably a great way to approach packing lists from now on. Start with some solid style inspiration and then break down the pieces that you either already own or need to add to your collection to complete the looks. So, here’s the inspiration I started with!

My takeaways from my travel inspiration board were this:

The goal when I'm traveling to Europe is to look chic & cool, to be comfy + to look decidedly NOT like a standout tourist. That includes versatile pieces that layer well, can be easily dressed up or down & have a classic, slightly sporty vibe.

Of course, it’s hard not to try to solve all the world’s packing list problems every time I come out with one of these articles, but the key is to find those main problem-solving pieces and then you can fill in with your favorite additional items…like a favorite black tee or your everyday gold necklace and earrings.

The goal when I'm traveling to Europe is to look chic & cool, to be comfy + to look decidedly NOT like a standout tourist. That includes versatile pieces that layer well, can be easily dressed up or down & have a classic, slightly sporty vibe.

01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

Chic & Easy Outfit Inspo For Your Next European Vacation

I feel most successful with my outfits for travel when I don’t try to bring the trendy pieces I own. Those are fun to try out each season, but usually they’re more difficult to style and not as versatile.

I like that these pieces are all pretty classic. I feel confident they’d take me through many years and that they feel chic but not fussy (that’s always my goal.)

One thing I would add to this list is a gorgeous scarf or wrap. My fav is a lightweight cashmere poncho-style I can wear mostly as a scarf but with the option to wear as a wrap if needed. This is another gorgeous option here.

1 | Everlane The Dream Pants

These Everlane dream pants are fabulous and would be so easy to pack. They are substantial and won’t wrinkle but are still super-comfy. They are versatile and just one of those forever pieces….Plus, they have pockets! TTS. Wearing a S.


2 | J.Crew Cashmere Classic Fit Crewneck

J.Crew makes some of our team's favorite cashmere and it often goes on sale. These sweaters are light but warm pieces perfect for packing. TTS. Perhaps size up if you know you'll layer underneath.
Image Credit: J.Crew

J.Crew makes some of our team’s favorite cashmere and it often goes on sale. These sweaters are light but warm pieces perfect for packing. TTS. Perhaps size up if you know you’ll layer underneath.


3 | Everlane Silky Cotton Relaxed Shirt

I love a classic pinstripe mixed with black pants and shoes, and the trench coat would be the perfect topper over this Everlane button-up. Classic but not boring!
Image Credit: Everlane

I love a classic pinstripe mixed with black pants and shoes, and the trench coat would be the perfect topper over this Everlane button-up. Classic but not boring!


4 | Nordstrom Cashmere Turtleneck

Another team fav in the cashmere category, Nordstrom's cashmere turtleneck is a closet staple. Soft and lightweight, but also warm, it's great for layering.

Another team fav in the cashmere category, Nordstrom’s cashmere turtleneck is a closet staple. Soft and lightweight, but also warm, it’s great for layering. Shana likes to wear these silk camis underneath as a layering option.


5 | Everlane The Easy Pant

The goal when I'm traveling to Europe is to look chic & cool, to be comfy + to look decidedly NOT like a standout tourist. That includes versatile pieces that layer well, can be easily dressed up or down & have a classic, slightly sporty vibe.
Image Credit: Everlane

I have the shorts version of these easy pants from last summer, and the fabric and fit are perfection. TTS and a comfy, but structured elastic waistband that doesn’t bend or fold over. I can’t wait to try these, and I’m hoping they’ll continue to offer more colors.


6 | J.Crew Leather Belt

The goal when I'm traveling to Europe is to look chic & cool, to be comfy + to look decidedly NOT like a standout tourist. That includes versatile pieces that layer well, can be easily dressed up or down & have a classic, slightly sporty vibe.
Image Credit: J.Crew

I adore the belt over the layering jacket in the collage above. This one is similar, and again, classic! You could belt the pinstriped top, too. Being shorter waisted I sometimes have trouble with this accessory, but it looks so great I want to keep attempting it. I think sticking with a bit thinner belt (ie. not any thicker than this one I’ve linked) can be helpful in making it a success.


7 | Everlane Day Glove Flat

Shana has blogged about the Everlane Day Glove flats for years as her favorite go-to flat she could walk all day in.
Image Credit: Everlane

Shana has blogged about the Everlane Day Glove flats for years as her favorite go-to flat she could walk all day in.


8 | Everlane Italian Leather Chelsea Boot

I've had these Everlane Chelsea boots for a couple of weeks now, and they are so great. The gum sole is a fantastic detail, making the shoes look lighter, and it's cushiony, too.
Image Credit: Everlane

I’ve had these Everlane Chelsea boots for a couple of weeks now, and they are so great. The gum sole is a fantastic detail, making the shoes look lighter, and it’s cushiony, too. The fit, height and overall look of these is what I’ve been searching for forever. TTS and a really lovely shoe. (Also in my forever closet.)


9 | Re/Done Stovepipe Black Jean in Comfort Stretch**

I’m not someone that goes anywhere without jeans, but sometimes black jeans can be more versatile than blue denim. I adore these Re/Done Stovepipe jeans and have linked a style in comfort stretch vs my rigid denim, thinking that would be comfier for travel. (I had to go up one size.)


10 | Madewell Oversized Shopper Bag

Madewell's oversized shopper is structured and chic — not too giant but big enough to carry what you need everyday. The shape and the front phone/mask pocket are what have me ordering it to try. Madewell bags are the best and so well-made
Image Credit: Madewell

Madewell’s oversized shopper is structured and chic — not too giant but big enough to carry what you need everyday. The shape and the front phone/mask pocket are what have me ordering it to try. Madewell bags are the best and so well-made. I’d also probably bring a cute classic crossbody (love the option for interchangeable straps). The tote is also available at Nordstrom.


11 | Emerson Fry Layering Jacket**

I have and adore this Emerson Fry wool jacket because it’s warm and stylish, but the poncho/wide + short sleeve style makes it perfect over bulky sweaters or other jackets. I love a layered look but sleeve widths don’t always allow for that. This does! But, right now it’s a bit low in stock. It comes in a gray, too, here or this chic puffer style or this option also caught my eye.


12 | J.Crew Factory Classic Trench

There are few jackets more classic, stylish, or versatile than the trench coat. Find a classic one you love and it will also become a forever closet piece. This one from J.Crew Factory gets good reviews, is a really timeless style, and is a reasonable price, too.
Image Credit: J.Crew

There are few jackets more classic, stylish, or versatile than the trench coat. Find a classic one you love and it will also become a forever closet piece. This one from J.Crew Factory gets good reviews, is a really timeless style, and is a reasonable price, too. It’s been tricky to find any well-stocked trench coats right now. If money is no object, then you simply can’t beat the Burberry Kensington trench, especially to dance around in on a European vacation, but if you can find this Lauren Ralph Lauren option in your size, it’s a stunningly close alternative.


13 | Quay All In 56mm Aviator

A gorgeous pair of sunglasses really tops off a look and I love these from Quay at Nordstrom. I like the brown tortoise to compliment the tones in the belt and trench.
Image Credit: Nordstrom

A gorgeous pair of sunglasses really tops off a look and I love these from Quay at Nordstrom. I like the brown tortoise to compliment the tones in the belt and trench.


14 | Tretorn Nylite Plus Sneakers

The goal when I'm traveling to Europe is to look chic & cool, to be comfy + to look decidedly NOT like a standout tourist. That includes versatile pieces that layer well, can be easily dressed up or down & have a classic, slightly sporty vibe.
Image Credit: Saks

Please dear world of travelers, can we move away from the running-shoe-worn-with-everything phase? I believe in being diplomatic in what I cover here and we never want to say “you must do this or you mustn’t do that”, but honestly one thing that stands out so much when traveling is seeing workout shoes worn with everything. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but…a classic tennis style sneaker, an Adidas Superstar, a Tretorn (like these), an Air Force 1, a P448, a Golden Goose…are all going to look way less touristy-American and way more fashion-forward than the literal sneakers you workout in. Sorry sorry…rant over but haha gosh it’s a passion-project of mine 😂

**Indicates meets our requirements for sustainability.


Do you have any favorite pieces that would fit along these lines? I’d love to hear about them. I’m looking forward to continuing to style up the black Dream pants, Chelsea boots and hopefully give you a review on the Madewell bag. And let me know if there are other destinations you would like to see this adjusted for! Happy, happy travels friends. This gal cannot wait to get back out there!

xo,

L

Would love for you to say hi over on my Instagram @laurajansenstyle where there are mostly odes to snacks, OOTDs and everyday mom life stuff in Portland, Oregon. xoxo

Oh, hey, Pinners! Thanks for sharing 🙂

The goal when I'm traveling to Europe is to look chic & cool, to be comfy + to look decidedly NOT like a standout tourist. That includes versatile pieces that layer well, can be easily dressed up or down & have a classic, slightly sporty vibe.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Bravo for providing a list that will prevent Americans from embarrassing themselves. I’ve noticed that when I dress in similar attire waitstaff and shopkeepers will approach me in In their native language while they’ll greet Americans in shorts and sneakers in English bc their outfits give them away. It’s also worth mentioning that some European churches still expect women to cover their shoulders so it’s best to save the camisoles and sexy sundresses for other excursions.

  2. So, I’ve already ordered the Banana puffer poncho and I’m going back and forth between the Dream pants and the Brooklyn pants from Athleta. Planning on bringing Air Force 1s and Dr. Martens. I will admit that I think i MAY be wearing this pair of running shoes on the plane, but just because they’re crazy comfortable and they easily slip on and off! Will I pass the cool test if I promise not to wear them for sightseeing?! 🤣 https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/adidas-womens-ultraboost-d-n-a-slip-on-running-shoes-21adiwltrbst40whtftwa/21adiwltrbst40whtftwa

    • Haha you always look great and those do have a unique cool twist to them with the elastic upper. The Dream Pants are going to be a bit heavier weight than the Brooklyn pants if that factors in for you at all. Both are great. Can’t wait to see pics from your trip!! I love love it there!

  3. Hi Laura, love your posts! Can you please share where the jeans in the picture with the black poncho are from? They are exactly the look I’ve been searching for. Thanking you in advance!

  4. Hi Laura – I have never commented before and I have been a follower for 9 years. Just wanted you to know that I love your packing lists and I always buy things off of them! I bought one of my most complimented shoes from one of your lists in 2018. I loved this one! So sad that the Emerson Fry jacket is out of stock. Thanks for such a great and helpful post!

    • Thank you so much Tara! I’m so so glad they are useful and you’ve found pieces you like. Keep an eye on the EF jacket I believe it’s a piece they tend to restock! I’ll do the same. Thanks so much for commenting!

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