Europe Packing Diary: Fall Travel Capsule Part II

Today, I thought I’d walk through the items included in this travel capsule for Europe. Each item was selected according to the expected weather and my expected travel activities. As usual, I try to be realistic about what I’ll be doing if I don’t have a firm itinerary so I don’t pack “just in case items”. I will admit that this capsule is more “fashion” than “functional” than I usually pack but it was nice to pack just for one travel activity and climate.

I’ve never traveled with my leather jacket before because I prefer more functional outerwear, but the expected weather conditions seemed perfect for it. Plus, if you can’t rock a leather jacket in Paris what good is owning one? I’ll confess that I did waver on packing it, but in the end, I’m glad I brought it.

I don’t usually gravitate to graphic tees but I liked this one (shown below) because it’s lightweight and has a worn, vintage feel. Here I am at the MOCO Museum in Amsterdam posing with a KAWS piece. I’m essentially wearing a black tee and black pants-adding a checked blazer, red belt and vintage bandana add some interest to an otherwise plain outfit. (PS I don’t usually like posting photos of myself but I thought it would be helpful to illustrate the versatility of some of the capsule items.)

Here’s a walk-through of the rest of the items in the capsule:

J.Crew Field Jacket
I’ve been eyeing this jacket for years, I finally gave in when J. Crew had a 35% off everything sale. It’s a classic and looks great with just about everything and you can layer a light puffy jacket underneath to “winterize” it. It’s also a less bulky version than the utility jacket I usually pack.

Leather Jacket
A draped collar faux or real leather jacket has a slightly softer edge than a true biker style jacket. The one shown above is a faux version. What I packed was this version that I bought during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale several years ago. It was an investment piece for sure but I wear it often and it’s nice to have in your arsenal of capsule options. I also love this sueded version from Old Navy.

Ivory/Cream Sweater
A pullover sweater is a great mid-layer for your capsule. I just went with ivory because I have a thin, yet not too heavy version in my closet. It layers easily under jackets and over tee-shirts. Remember, thin knits that you can layer are better than bulky layers.

Blazer
I absolutely love this blazer I found at H&M. It’s a soft jersey type material, not too structured and long so it covers up areas I want covered up and finally it has nice, deep pockets. Because the material is more on the softer side-it packed up compactly and did not appear wrinkled once I wore it. I was able to dress it down very easily with t-shirts, jeans and sneakers for my capsule. And you could easily pair with the black tee/turtleneck, black jeans and booties for a more dressed up look. Black and white based plaids and checks are on trend and I saw many people wearing this type of pattern on pants and coats while in Europe.

Button Down
A button down shirt layers easily under sweaters or jackets and is always helpful during those “transitional” weather days when it’s not quite cold yet. If this is not your style, a blouse or tee shirt can be substituted.

Black Tee Shirts
Black shirts are just a no-brainer in my travel capsule. I usually buy the Luxe tees from Old Navy (on sale) because the drape on them is flattering and since they are a synthetic blend (and not all cotton) they aren’t bulky. As I mentioned before I did mix it up a bit with this graphic tee.

Striped top
I have an addiction to stripe tops. It’s just a very easy pattern to wear and for this capsule I liked mixing it with the plaid blazer and leopard print scarf (not at the same time).

Tissue thin turtleneck
Thin turtlenecks are a great item to pack for late autumn weather. It provides additional warmth and layers wonderfully under sweaters and jackets and even dresses. It never actually got cold enough during this trip to wear this but it was also unseasonably warm for fall in Paris and Amsterdam.

Lightweight Wide Leg Pants
I mentioned these pants before and they are the Athleta Gramercy Track Trouser. They are perfect for travel because they are so lightweight. You can “winterize” them by wearing base layer leggings, or leggings or tights underneath or just a longer jacket that covers your core and upper leg area. I wore these one evening and the material was just slightly thin for the chill in the air but If I had had a longer jacket or a layer under they would have been fine.

Jeans, Black Jeans/Pants
I hesitate to recommend any jeans because that’s truly a personal choice based on the best fit on your body and your budget. I packed a straight cut pair rather than a skinny jean pair because this was my airplane outfit and I wanted to be comfortable. Skinny, black jeans pair well with booties and sneakers. Black pants can easily be substituted as well.

Sneakers
When you travel in Europe plan on doing a lot of walking, it’s imperative that you pack and wear comfortable shoes. Sneakers are acceptable footwear as long as they look fashionable and intentional. I will do a round-up soon of the types of sneakers that are good for travel. Footwear is an area where you want to invest in a good, stylish and comfortable shoe.

Waterproof Bootie
I love the versatility of a bootie for fall travel, add waterproof functionality and you’ve got a reliable travel shoe. While this was a very comfortable shoe, my sneakers were more comfortable and so I ended up wearing the sneakers more often. It was nice to have this dressier footwear option though. I’ve had my eye on the Blondo brand for awhile and just decided to invest in them this year since this trip and my upcoming trips require footwear that’s a little nicer than my rugged, but comfortable Teva de la Vina’s.

Scarves
I love a scarf, that’s no secret but lately I find that I want to cut down on my bulk in my luggage even more. So, I’m only wearing a large, warm scarf in transit and packing smaller square scarfs or bandanas to give the same impact of color and/or pattern but without as much bulk. This might change in colder climates but for fall it worked out fine. Animal print scarf, bandana, Red print silk scarf.

Belts
This is the first time I’ve packed belts in my capsule. Since both the jeans I packed were high-waisted I was able to wear belts. This also added a splash of color or interest to travel outfits. At $9.99 the red belt I found at H&M is one of my favorite accessories in my travel and everyday capsule. The black belt has texture to add an interesting detail.

Crossbody Bag
A nylon crossbody bag is great because it’s easily packable in your luggage. On travel days I use a large tote to carry around my essentials that include my camera gear. I use the Lululemon festival bag because it’s the right size for holding my daily essentials and small camera. Other options include this multi-pocket cross body bag.

Tote
On travel days I carry a Lululemon tote that I’ve had for years. It contains all my camera gear and all my in flight essentials. Also, if I’ve bought any souvenirs it gives me extra room to bring them home in.

Raincoat
There was no rain in the forecast for my trip but I still packed a lightweight rain coat just in case. Check your forecast and always include a raincoat if the forecast requires it. You don’t rain to slow you down too much during your travels.

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