I Just Spent 3 Weeks in Europe, and These 7 Pieces Carried My Vacation Wardrobe


(Image credit: @deborabrosa)

I've always been an overpacker, so when I booked a three-week trip to Europe this summer, I decided it was time to change my bad habit. I was heading to London, a small town in the French countryside, and then to a few towns along the French Riviera, so I needed to pack a variety of outfits fit for everything from the city to the beach. To streamline the packing process, I laid out everything I planned to take at least a week before my trip and then revisited them to edit things down. After trying on every single item and attempting to create different outfits with each, it became clear which pieces could be worn multiple times and which would only be worn for one hyper-specific moment during the trip. 

Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to packing for a summer trip, especially if you're going to multiple locations like I was. I prioritized the pieces I could create multiple outfits around and am proud to say I nailed it this trip. For the first time, I actually wore every single item in my suitcase. However, I noticed there were a few items that I wore over and over again in every location I visited. These were the backbone of my vacation wardrobe, and I would've been lost without them. Now that I know how much mileage I got from these, I plan to build future packing lists around them. From oversize button-downs to linen pants, these are the versatile vacation clothes that will always have a spot in my suitcase. 



(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

I mentioned earlier this summer how I've been leaning into non-denim shorts lately, and that's especially true on vacation. The only shorts I packed were made of linen, cotton, and other breathable fabrics that kept me cool in the European heat. Whether paired with a bikini at the beach or a button-down for dinner, lightweight shorts were one of my most-worn items. 



(Image credit: @cassdimicco)

The counterpart to breathable shorts is a pair of lightweight pants. Whether it's linen, gauze, or eyelet, a pair of breezy pants is ideal for everything from late dinners to travel days. 



(Image credit: @anoukyve)

The simple ribbed tank top is having a moment this year, and it also happens to be one of the best tops you could bring on vacation. It goes with virtually every bottom in your suitcase and looks equally chic thrown over a swimsuit as it does with a maxi skirt. I brought a few different colors on my trip, and they was easily my most-worn item. 



(Image credit: @deborabrosa)

An oversize button-down is the layering piece that keeps on giving. Need a cover-up? Button-down. Feeling a chill in the air heading to dinner? Button-down. Throw one over any outfit, and you're instantly more polished. 



(Image credit: @nnennaechem)

This one may be obvious, but a great suit is a necessity on a summer holiday. Pack your favorite one (or three) for the pool, boat excursions, and beach days. 



(Image credit: @chrissyford)

Although I brought other shoe options to Europe this summer, I lived in my favorite slide sandals. They're chic, comfortable, and provide the perfect laid back touch to a summer holiday. 



(Image credit: @piabaroncini)

Easy, comfortable dresses are the go-to on a summer trip because they take the planning out of your outfit. I love a dress that isn't too short or too tight, meaning it can be worn day and night to any activity you have planned. One and done is the way to go on holiday. 

Next up: These under-$100 dresses are giving South of France vibes.

Caitlin Burnett
Contributing Editor