I Just Got Back From Berlin—5 Things I Regret Packing and 17 I Wore on Repeat

Roughly three years after my last trip abroad, I finally stepped foot on foreign soil again, this time for a weeklong trip to Berlin and Zurich. The trip itself was perfect (if you don't count having to deal with connections in the middle of a full-blown air-travel crisis), from the candlelit French dinner I enjoyed right off of Berlin's Spree to my day trip to Dielsdorf, Switzerland, a picture-book town 20 minutes outside of Zurich. My packing job? Let's just say it had its low points.

After so much time away from traveling, especially internationally, and with only a carry-on suitcase to work with, my packing skills were a little rusty. But now that it's been a week or so since I got back, I've had time to ponder those items that I probably didn't need, as well as the ones I couldn't have survived my seven-day jaunt around Europe without. Scroll on to see every outfit I loved from my trip and simultaneously learn all about the items I could've very well left at home. 

Pack: Lightweight Tops and Trousers
Leave at Home: Non-Walkable Sandals

Breezy cotton tops and lightweight trousers were among my most-frequented items during my trip, which conveniently took place during a mid-July temperature spike. But even with the warm weather, I was able to walk miles on end in my flowy, breathable tops and pants. The only thing hindering me from walking everywhere were the sandals I chose to pack, which despite being easy to walk in in NYC, didn't quite cut it in Berlin, where cobblestone streets are the majority instead of the exception.

Next time I'll bring:

If you love scarf tops, this cotton alternative from Tibi is perfect for you and far more breathable than silk. 

My gray Totême pants are sadly sold out, but these linen ones from the brand are just as good. *Adds to cart.*

Still chic, but tenfold more comfortable. 

Keep: Silk Dresses and Versatile and Comfy Heels
Leave at Home: Items That Only Go With One Thing

I'm a certified outfit repeater. When I find a combination that I love, I'll wear it again and again until I get sick of it. Such is the case with this look, which includes a Miaou corset and a Silk Laundry dress that I fashioned into a skirt. Here's the issue: When you pack items only for the sake of wearing one outfit, you inevitably have to leave more versatile items at home, cornering yourself on days when you're not wearing that one perfect look. Next time, I'd keep the dress, which can clearly be worn in multiple ways, as well as my By Far shoes that are surprisingly comfortable and elevate any outfit, and leave this patterned corset at home. I love it, clearly, but a more neutral option would get more use. 

Next time I'll bring:

I still like the idea of having a corset with me, especially since Miaou's Campbell corsets are impossibly flattering and cool. But next time, I think this black alternative would get way more wear than my patterned one. 

A summer slip dress is perfect for any occasion, from a long day of walking to a formal affair. If you're especially crafty, style it in unexpected ways to get even more use out of it on your next trip. For example, add a thin, beaded belt or tie a cashmere knit around your waist.

A thicker heel will always be more comfortable than a skinny one. Unless you have a black-tie event that calls for a high stiletto, there's no need to sacrifice comfort when you can still look great in a pair that won't kill your feet. 

Keep: Windbreaker Pants and Easy Sneakers
Leave at Home: Unnecessary Knits

Though I ended up finding a time to wear this cashmere sweater-vest, I don't think that I would allocate precious luggage space to it next time, especially in the middle of summer. I would, however, bring along these swishy trousers from Lioness, which I've already gotten tons of use out of this summer. And, of course, my Sambas had to tag along—they go everywhere with me. 

Next time I'll bring:

These pants fit like a literal glove. I simply cannot stop wearing them. 

If I hadn't brought that sweater-vest all the way from NYC, I'd have absolutely worn this look with an easy tank and maybe a fun belt. 

I'm 100% loyal to Adidas when it comes to sneakers. There's no better brand, period. 

Keep: Tube Tops and Slip Skirts
Leave at Home: Knee-High Boots

This summer, no clothing item of mine has gotten more use than my tube tops. Paired with skirts, trousers, jeans, and more, the Y2K style is proving to be a versatile and essential contribution to my wardrobe. So, of course, I brought along a number of variations on my trip. Not so essential, though, were the knee-high boots I somehow managed to fit into my suitcase. Though I have been known to wear them at all points in the year, bringing them along on a midsummer trip was simply unnecessary. I wore them once, yes, but I assure you there were countless other items I could've brought that would have (1) taken up less space and (2) proven to be more valuable.

Next time I'll bring:

I ultimately think owning tube tops in all the basic colors like black, tan, and white is essential for summer. 

Slip skirts might not be the number one trend of 2022, but I'll never not own at least three of them. They're perfect for day and night and work for every season. 

I missed my loafers beyond belief on this trip, so yes, they'll be joining me on my next one. 

Keep: Washable Fabrics and Cool Sneakers
Leave at Home: Just-in-Case Outerwear

I'm not sure what I was thinking bringing a heavy-duty leather jacket on a mid-July trip, but hey, what's life if not a learning experience? Rather than packing outerwear just in case the flight was cold or it looked good with one of my outfits, next time, I'd rather bring along lighter-weight layering pieces that could be worn to stay warm on the plane but also throughout the trip. No question, though, for traveling, there's no combo better than barely there pants (these are from SIR and are incredible) and cool and comfy sneakers (mine are Wales Bonner x Adidas). 

Next time I'll bring:

I usually bring multiple white tees on vacation just in case I spill on one of them (which I often do). This one is great because it works with both casual bottoms and more formal ones. 

These pants are divine. They're basically the pant version of a poplin button-down shirt. 

These sneakers are, at the moment, my most prized possessions. I wore them constantly on my trip and am already thinking about investing in another pair from the collab if I can get my hands on them.

Shop everything else I brought on my trip:

A white button-down shirt goes with anything and everything. Plus, you can roll it up tightly, and it hardly takes up any space in your suitcase. 

I'm all in when it comes to the micro-miniskirt trend, so yes, I did bring one on my trip, and yes, I did wear it on a number of occasions. 

I'm a strong believer in investing in a handbag that goes with everything. Really, I don't see a point in packing multiple purses on a weeklong trip. Just find one that's neutral and chic. 

I love a waistcoat suit in the summer because while it looks incredible together, it looks honestly even cooler separate. At its simplest, you have three outfit options, but really, there are dozens depending on the different bottom and top variations you pack.

Copy and paste the above. Clearly, a great pair of trousers is necessary for a trip, but having a matching, tailored vest to go with is icing on the cake.

A cool baseball cap will make any outfit look cooler. Plus, they can be worn on the plane and work as a great replacement for the dry shampoo that didn't make it through security. 

Given that Berlin is known for its going-out scene, I couldn't possibly visit the city without bringing a little black mini. 

I switch out my sunglasses like crazy, but on this trip, I only packed two pairs, these from Prada x Raf Simons and my sport sunglasses that I wear when running. Simply put, I think they're cool, and conveniently, they work with every look. 

I've gone through stages of being really into stacking jewelry, but these days, my rotation is pretty simple. I wear the same silver chain necklace every day, have a gold bracelet soldered on (I got mine at Catbird), and never go a day without my Cartier Tank secured on my wrist. Really, the only bold jewelry item I ever wear is a belly chain, and even that is fairly low-key when you consider that this is the style I picked. 

I never, ever travel without cashmere socks, especially when my destination is far away. They're the ultimate comfort on a long flight.

I actually went to a gala while I was in Berlin so a black-tie dress was essential. Even still, I avoided unnecessarily packing stilettos. No one has room for that. 

To be worn on a bag, as a top (in multiple different ways), or as a headscarf. And those are just the highlights. 

For those days on vacation when it's really hot and you have no real plans, I like to wear a simple combo of jean shorts, a sweater-vest or structured tank, and sandals or loafers. It still looks nice but is super casual. 

My favorite thing to do in a new city is run in it, so I always make sure to pack at least one workout set. 

The perfect match to the above sports bra. 

Packing running shoes is always a drag because they take up a good amount of space and don't really contribute to your daytime outfits. The way I justify them—besides the fact that they allow me to explore new places on foot and that running keeps me feeling energized and grounded on vacation—is by stuffing them with annoying small items, like socks, in your suitcase.