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All Roads Lead To...: Packing

Update: All new posts can be found at http://thewanderingmind.net.

From the moment I first learned of the destination for my graduation trip, I began doing what I do best: planning! Sadly, Clay demanded that he be the one in charge of planning the trip because it was a gift to me for completing grad school. What kind of gift is that?! (Just kidding - a trip to Europe is an amazing graduation present). With no accommodations to search for, no tours to book, and no little known restaurants to discover, I turned to the one thing I could plan - my wardrobe. In February. For a trip that would occur in July. And okay, maybe I gave Clay a small (ish) handful of suggestions about the trip.

Things I needed to consider when packing were:

  • The trip would be 2 1/2 weeks
  • We would be going to Germany, Italy, Greece, and Turkey
  • Part of the trip would be a cruise, so I would need clothes appropriate for both daytime and evening, including formal wear
  • It would be hot (although not quite as hot as Texas)
  • There would be walking; LOTS of walking
  • And, for real, it's Europe - I had to look at least reasonably cute!

So that's how, in February, I ended up taking pictures of almost 30 outfits. My goal was to be able to wear each piece at least 2 times. Thus, I had to not only plan what I was packing, but also plan the order in which I wore things. Seriously, I was not going to re-wear a shirt in which I had sweated all day in Athens and I certainly wasn't going to take out a loan in order to afford laundry service on the cruise ship. Because I love lists (almost as much as I love Mexican food), I gleefully planned out exactly what I would wear each day. On the trip, I actually adhered to the list reasonably well. Of course, after spending all of that time arranging and taking pictures of outfits, I got the brilliant idea to just take a picture of my outfit each day of the trip. Which would have worked wonderfully if I had actually done that the entire trip. So some pictures are of me having fun in said clothes in Europe, whereas others are much less interesting.

What I Wore:

My travel day outfit - yoga pants (the kind that don't scream "I'M WEARING COMFY PANTS"), coral Columbia shirt, and a scarf; I also had a gray cardigan along for when I got cold. Good thing my outfit was comfortable, because it ended up being a loooong trip to Germany (more to come on that fiasco).

When we finally got to Berlin, I could not wait to shower and change into this brown maxi dress with a teal tank top and scarf.

Bonus picture for Berlin day 2 because one picture has my name and one picture has Brandenburg Gate, both of which are awesome. I wore navy pants (Berlin was so amazingly cool), a brown tank, and mint cardigan.

The first day in Rome I wore black capris and a gray and white striped shirt. It was comfortable for the flight from Berlin to Rome (with yet another delay, ugh!), yet also worked for walking around once we arrived.

Sightseeing in Rome was toasty - I wore blue capris and a floral peplum shirt.

This was my perfect embarkation outfit - white linen pants, purple cowl neck, tan and white striped cardigan. And bonus - it was nice enough that I didn't have to change for dinner that evening.

The first day of the cruise was a sea day. I explored the ship in tan capris and an olive shirt. That evening was our first formal night.

Our first stop was Santorini. It was only right to wear white linen pants. I paired mine with a navy, polka dot top. That evening, we got back on board late, so we quickly showered and changed for dinner where I wore the brown maxi dress with the tan and white striped cardigan. Notice the repetition?

Another sea day - tan linen capris, blue shirt, scarf. We just went to the casual dress restaurant that evening because we didn't want to spoil a lazy day at sea by doing complicated things like getting dressed for dinner.

Istanbul! Blue capris with a tribal shirt (knees and shoulders were covered). That evening I wore navy pants with a floral shirt for dinner and a wine and cheese concert on the lawn (like an actual lawn - there was real grass on the cruise ship).

I'll be honest, I don't actually remember what I wore for the second (partial) day in Istanbul. Maybe brown shorts with something? But that evening I wore black pants with the floral peplum top, a fact I only remember due to this picture.

In Ephesus, which was probably tied with Athens for the hottest day, I wore black capris and a Columbia shirt. That evening I wore black pants, the purple cowl neck, and a black cardigan. I also added a gorgeous scarf that I had bought in Istanbul.

In Athens, I wore brown shorts, a teal tank top, and the mint cardigan. That evening we were so tired we didn't even leave our room - we ordered room service.

On Mykonos, we spent the day on the beach, so I wore this over my swimsuit. For dinner, I wore this brown dress.

The next day was a sea day. And again I can't remember what I wore. So much for that take-a-cute-picture-of-my-outfit-every-day-of-vacation idea. That evening was the second formal night, but we opted not to dress up and ate in the casual restaurant.

Our last port was Naples. I wore brown shorts and another Columbia top. That evening I wore black pants and a blue and off-white top. Obviously I am running out of words to describe clothing by this point.

We had a full day of touring when we got back to Rome before flying home. I wore navy pants, and this tank and cardigan combo (my shoulders needed to be covered for the Vatican).

What I Didn't Wear:
Despite my meticulous planning, I ended up packing just a few things that I didn't end up wearing. Namely, one dress for a formal night and the accompanying shoes and then one dressy shirt that I had packed for dinner. All in all, not too bad and both were things that could have easily been worn if our plans had been different.


Shoes and Accessories:
I have to brag a bit - I am pretty proud of my shoe selection for the trip. I only packed a pair of Toms, a pair of Chacos, two pairs of heels (one that I didn't wear), and flip flops. I also wore one pair of shoes, which I affectionately call my "travel shoes" on the plane. Seriously, I deserve a pat on the back, or at least a high five!


I packed a handful of accessories, including scarves, necklaces, and bracelets. They were easy to pack and I did not bring anything valuable. I also brought a rain jacket and my new PacSafe bag, which was the perfect bag for this trip. Along with pjs, my swimsuit, a few cosmetics, and some other miscellaneous items, all of this fit into a carryon and half of a suitcase. I realize that perhaps the most helpful thing to do at this point would be to actually share my packing list, but I'm feeling lazy. So instead - more pictures!


Before the trip, we also bought packing cubes, which were admittedly awesome, especially for the repeated packing and unpacking that we did before the cruise. Here is all of my stuff packed and ready to be put into suitcases (I think the shoes are hiding):


Not too bad for a 2 1/2 week vacation. At this point, it does not seem conceivable to have left anything out about what and how I packed for our European vacation, but feel free to ask questions! Up next will be the (hopefully) more interesting stuff about the trip!

Posted by cgplatt 17:51 Archived in USA Tagged packing outfits europe_2013

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I need you and Clay to come me for my next trip. Good job.

by Cheryl

Thanks! Maybe if this whole psychology thing doesn't work out I can pack for a living ;)

by cgplatt

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