Minimal isn’t usually in our vocab when we’re packing for summer vacation, but there’s no bigger buzzkill than lugging an overpacked suitcase when you’re jetting from Reyjkavik to Rome.
So, for this summer’s European travels we challenged ourselves to go minimal and it taught us a few things.
First, you want versatility so pieces you can wear and wear and wear again are musts. But the key to rewearing fashion isn’t always in how you do it but in what you wear. Meaning just because you’re going minimal doesn’t mean you need to go basic — vibrant prints and loud patterns can work too.
Note that we’re assuming you’ve taken a page from Meg’s minimalist packing style and are already packing your favorite jeans, sunnies, and sneaks. So here are the other essentials to add to your European packing list.
Opening phot by Jovana Askrabic
Minimal should never mean dull even when it comes to something as essential as a basic tee. We like that this J Crew tees is tailored enough to look polished but unique enough to never be boring.
To keep things light, we mostly pack one-piece outfits (see: slides 5 to 8 aka our never-ending love for dresses and rompers) during the summertime. Even so, we’d never dare travel without at least one pair of pants.
These YFB joggers are a perfect balance of tailored and relaxed so they’ll go seamlessly from a day of touring to a night on the town.
Think “summer style” in Europe, and linen is sure to come to mind. Our Euro friends wear linen anywhere from sunbaked hikes to late night tapas crawls and always look stylish while doing so.
We say follow in their fashion footsteps and pack a linen number like this Rails linen top, which only gets better with wear.
A garment that doubles as a coverup and a sundress? We’re so in! A dress like this classic number by Reformation are on our European vacation packing list because they allows us to lounge seaside in Italy then head to an alfresco dinner, all without skipping a fashion beat.
If you’re wondering when you can wear a romper, it’s now: when it’s too hot to worry about what to wear.
This Tularosa romper is something we’d don seaside in Santorini—with easy slides during the day or dressed with strappy sandals and statement earrings for night.
Obviously you need a LBD for your adventures and this summer we’re all about twists on the classic. It’s so simple and helps you look put-together while beating the heat.
We’re partial to this black dress by The Kooples, which looks good pretty much anyway you wear it.
Our dream European vacation would include a few over-the-top dinners where we’d pull out a stunning maxi dress.
The perfect maxi dress being one that’s easygoing but effortlessly stylish like this sunny, tropical number from All Things Mochi. Seriously, just put it on and you’ll be in instant vacation mode.
Sure, it’s likely you won’t get too chilly at night but we still say you should pack a lightweight leather jacket.
Preferably one like this IRO jacket; the mix of tailored and easygoing lines mean it looks just as good draped over your shoulders as it does zipped.
We adore bralettes — they add a femme edge when peaking out beneath your blouse or add another dimension to your backless numbers.
We can’t get enough of Intimissimi’s intimate line that’s full of bralettes ranging from cute and carefree to subtly sexy.
On our latest trip to Europe, we packed multiple purses, but all we ever really used was a saddle bag. The long strap allowed us to wear it crossbody, when we wanted our hands free, and a smaller size one like this Loeffler Randall is just small enough to carry the essentials while avoiding bulkiness.
We kinda can’t remember what summer was like before stylish slides came along. Luckily, the trend is still going strong so we can wear ones like these metallic Castaner embroidered slides anywhere our adventures take us.
When you’re exploring you want shoes that are stylish, durable, and comfy. We’re so obsessed with this block heel (with a strap) trend because they provide a much needed update from your typical thong sandal. Alumnae has definitely gotten our attention this season helping us dress our ensembles up or down.
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