Fall travel outfits for Europe - une femme d'un certain âge

How my 4-week Europe travel wardrobe worked out…

My fall travel outfits from Europe (Italy, Paris, London). Packing for Europe in fall.

We’re home and unpacked, and the laundry is (mostly) done. So I wanted to recap and review my travel wardrobe while it’s still fresh in my mind. Above, a few of my fall travel outfits from Europe, utilizing what I packed. (The yam colored scarf was purchased in Paris; here’s a similar style.)

What I packed for fall in Europe

Susan B packs for Italy...here's the travel capsule wardrobe.
Susan B's travel wardrobe outerwear for Europe.

Above, the travel wardrobe I’d planned. Click here for details.

What I wore (or didn’t)

At the last minute, I made a few changes from what’s shown above based on weather forecasts. I ditched the two brown sweaters, one pair of jeans, and the rain boots. Instead of the long down coat, I subbed in a shorter, lightweight down jacket. I added a leopard print cashmere/silk long scarf.

Last minute updates to my Europe travel wardrobe. I ditched a few pieces and replaced the down coat with a lighter jacket.

I’m quite happy I made those changes! We had very little rain so the boots weren’t needed, and the shorter down jacket was plenty warm. I wore almost everything at least once, and could easily remix pieces for outfit variety.

Here’s the lineup:

MVP’s

  • without a doubt, the lightweight down jacket. I wore this almost daily, especially in the countryside and during the second half of the trip when the weather was cooler.
  • the ankle boots. They felt a little dressier than sneakers, but were still comfortable enough to walk in all day. (Mine are a few seasons old from Aquatalia; here’s a similar style.)
  • all of the lightweight crewneck sweaters. These layered well under jackets, but weren’t too warm for heated interiors.
  • the Lo & Sons Pearl crossbody bag.

Pinch hitters

  • the plaid jeans were a fun alternative to denim. I know some of you aren’t crazy about the cropped bootcut style; here’s the same fabric in a slimmer leg style.
  • the long navy blazer. Mine’s a few years old, here are a few with a similar look

Click here for more travel wardrobe ideas and packing tips!

Benched

  • the solid long-sleeve tees. I kept reaching for the striped ones, HERE and HERE.
  • the ivory blouse. Not warm enough for evenings.

Wish I’d brought…

  • another pair of non-denim pants instead of one of the jeans (but I didn’t really have any in my wardrobe that worked with the other pieces, and I can’t pack what I don’t have… 😉)

I did do some shopping along the way, and wore a some of the pieces during the trip, which was a nice refresher. But even without those, I always was comfortable, felt appropriately dressed, and could create variety with what I’d packed. Overall I’d give this wardrobe a score of 8.5/10.

More fall travel outfits from Europe:

Out and about in Milan and Piedmont, Italy

More travel outfits from Italy

Out and about in Tuscany

Out and about in Paris

Out and about in London

Stay in touch.

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59 Comments

  1. Lyn
    November 6, 2021 / 4:56 am

    You looked very comfortable and appropriately dressed in all your outfits on your travels . Loved everything you wore . Looking forward to see all the new purchases you made in more detail.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 6, 2021 / 6:26 am

      Thanks, Lyn!

  2. Kelly
    November 6, 2021 / 5:16 am

    It was fun looking back over all your outfits from the trip. I feel the jackets/blazers and scarves really made your wardrobe seem endless. I try to take 2-3 different second layers on trips for versatility. If they weren’t so darn bulky and heavy in the suitcase, I’d take more. And I have to agree on not using the silky blouses that I pack. It’s either too hot or too cold for them but I always feel compelled to pack one! Everything looked beautiful though I think your outfits from Out and About in Tuscany were my favorite. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of your trip!

  3. Memee
    November 6, 2021 / 5:43 am

    Very informative! How did the backpack carryon work out?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 6, 2021 / 6:06 am

      Thanks, it worked out very well. Loved being able to be hands-free while traversing through the airport, and it was easy to stow in the overhead bin.

      • Memee
        November 6, 2021 / 7:02 am

        Great! I ordered one for my France trip scheduled for spring. I was a bit worried about the overhead bin stowing.

      • Maria
        November 7, 2021 / 5:48 am

        I just received mine last week on your recommendation! Glad to have the good report!

  4. chris
    November 6, 2021 / 6:10 am

    Can you link to the brown and white striped top upper left in the photo? (neckline doesnt quite look like the ayr french fry but perhaps it is…)

      • chris
        November 7, 2021 / 3:11 am

        Why am I always drawn to the most expensive item without knowing anything about it lol?!?! I swear this is the case 100% of the time! When I saw that it was an amazon link I was like “oh snap I’m gonna get a deal on something super cute” wa,wa. wahhhhhhhh. Foiled by my own good taste again.

  5. Carillon
    November 6, 2021 / 6:37 am

    You do such an excellent job of coordinating your clothes into different outfits.

    I did have a question though. I know England requires a test after you arrive. How did you schedule that?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 6, 2021 / 6:45 am

      Thanks! We had to schedule the test online before filling out our Passenger Locator Form. It was a bit of a pain in the a**, honestly. 😉

      • Catherine L
        November 6, 2021 / 7:01 am

        If you go to the UK Government Covid site, try looking for Randox for Day Two tests, if in London.
        Ordered prior to traveling, and for us , staying at a Red Carnation Hotel, there was a discount and the self administered test kits were delivered to the hotel. Drop off once done was less than 5 minutes away. Hope that’s useful.

        Happily, the pre boarding tests for UK are no longer required. So much easier on our wallets!

        • Carillon
          November 6, 2021 / 12:38 pm

          Thanks Catherine

  6. Susan D.
    November 6, 2021 / 6:43 am

    I have two of the light down jacket you picture and link to. I have it in Navy and in the Black. I love them–and have found them to be wonderful layering pieces. Great job on your travel wardrobe Susan!

  7. Susan D.
    November 6, 2021 / 6:46 am

    I have two of the Uniqlo light down jackets–and love them. Mine are in navy and in black. They are fabulous layering pieces. The navy on went with us to Alaska and I wore it most every day. I think I’ll get the natural color jacket and a red if they have one in the future. At that price, they are quite a steal.

    • Linda
      November 6, 2021 / 7:41 am

      Very impressive. Did you do any laundering or refreshing of the clothing items? I have a question on the windowpane jeans. Kind of confused on the rise of them. Are they a low, mid or high rise? I am 5 feet 5 inches in height and low rise don’t work for me. Thank you.

  8. Catherine L
    November 6, 2021 / 6:52 am

    You are definitely my source for travel wardrobe information! Earlier on I admitted that on my recent trip , London and then month long driving tour of UK West Country, I had overpacked a bit. Too many scarves, since I wore the same four, and a silky cream blouse (too! ) that always looked wrinkled, as well as 2 cashmere pullovers that coordinated but were too warm. Jewelry was relegated to whatever was easy with wearing masks, unless going to dinner and wanting a bit more glam. Stayed tucked inside shoes most of the trip.
    Part of my error was , that after so few opportunities to go out over these past months, I hoped to look much more put together. I learned from your tips, Susan , and in retrospect would have pared down several things. Still had room though for a pair of Selfridges leopard loafers, unique scarves bought at museums shops, and day dresses from White Company which can be worn with tights this winter.

  9. Jeri Ray
    November 6, 2021 / 7:52 am

    I’m curious – what size did you select for your Uniqlo jacket? I’m about your size so it would be helpful to know.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 6, 2021 / 8:26 am

      Hi Jeri, I’m wearing the Medium. (I’ve found Uniqlo tends to run a bit small.)

  10. Linda
    November 6, 2021 / 8:24 am

    I look forward to hearing about your visit with Red Leopard and Annie Castano.

  11. Joan
    November 6, 2021 / 8:26 am

    Thank you for the interesting recap! A question about your handbags: you wore your Pearl colored Lo & Sons bag frequently, and I purchased it (in metallic gray) after learning about it on your blog. You also took your Puzzle bag, which, particularly in the color combo you have, looks great with lots of your outfits. Do you find the Lo handbag more practical for travel? I’ve seen from your photos that you wear your Puzzle bag a lot in SoCal day to day. I love the design of the Puzzle bag but wonder about its practicality.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 6, 2021 / 8:29 am

      I used both bags on the trip. The puzzle bag was a little lighter, but the Pearl has more organizational compartments, which is handy when you’re trying to dig out metro tickets or a cell phone to show your vax status.

      • Joan
        November 6, 2021 / 8:31 am

        Thanks, Susan!

      • November 6, 2021 / 11:02 am

        I have the Lo Pearl bag too and find it very useful for travel. I used it on trip to Greece and Italy in Sept/Oct. It is secure and big enough to hold my small wallet, cell phone, reading glasses, sunglasses when I’m not wearing them, small guide book, lip balm, pen, nail file, etc. Very well organized, can be worn cross body, and I can use it all day without it paining my shoulder.

    • November 6, 2021 / 11:04 am

      I have the Lo Pearl bag too and find it very useful for travel. I used it on trip to Greece and Italy in Sept/Oct. It is secure and big enough to hold my small wallet, cell phone, reading glasses, sunglasses when I’m not wearing them, small guide book, lip balm, pen, nail file, etc. Very well organized, can be worn cross body, and I can use it all day without it paining my shoulder.

  12. Jill Ann
    November 6, 2021 / 8:36 am

    I’m interested in the Uniqlo down jackets, but don’t have a store in my city. I have the impression they run quite small, do y’all find that true? Hesitate to order online because of uncertainty about sizing.

    The outfits look great, I especially like the navy blazer, and the fabric on the windowpane plaid jeans. Count me among those who do not like the bootcut crop style, though!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 6, 2021 / 8:41 am

      Hi Jill Ann, the Uniqlo jackets do run a little small, IMO. Maybe try going up a full size from your usual? I’m wearing a Medium.

    • Ginger Whelan
      November 6, 2021 / 9:02 am

      Yes they run small. I am 5’7″ 137# and would ordinarily wear a med in just about anything. I got the Uniqlo vest in med and almost can’t get the bottom snap closed. Wish I had ordered the large. Co. is based in Japan and I think the sizes reflect smaller people in general there.

    • Lyn
      November 6, 2021 / 3:41 pm

      On the Uniqlo website, they give you the actual garment width so you can see what size you need without having to rely on vague descriptions like “fitted” or “roomy.” Just measure the jackets you have and you should be able to make a pretty good guess.

  13. Gina
    November 6, 2021 / 9:19 am

    Wonderful article with valuable insight regarding what you planned, what you actually brought and you wore most often. I’m in the process of planning four weeks in France & Germany in May, two large cities and a few smaller ones in the country. Will definitely be bringing Marino Wool pull overs for cooler days and rain. I’m happy to have your packing plan as my guide. Thank you for sharing. Your photos are very helpful, as are links to some of the merchants where you bought items – especially scarfs.

  14. November 6, 2021 / 10:05 am

    I’m impressed that you can travel so immaculately with a white (OK, off-white) jacket! I’d be a spaghetti-magnet.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      November 9, 2021 / 7:19 am

      Moi aussi. I take only darker colours while travelling (light). I don’t mean all black – rich reds and violets, forest green… Never navy, which reminds me of uniform.

      I really need a pair of good walking shoes that don’t look mumsy…

  15. Carlene
    November 6, 2021 / 10:31 am

    I was in Italy at the same time as you-we missed each other by about a week! My workhorses ended up being my black and tan ponte slacks, my lightweight sweaters and wraps for evenings. It was definitely chillier than I expected!

  16. Elizabeth
    November 6, 2021 / 11:05 am

    I love the recap! As interesting as the what I am packing post! 🙂 That is very helpful for future travels!

  17. November 6, 2021 / 11:28 am

    You didn’t mention the EF latern pants. I’ve been eyeing them.
    What was your take?
    Thanks

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 6, 2021 / 11:36 am

      I wore them a few times, mostly in the evenings and was happy to have them. You can see one outfit with them here.

  18. November 6, 2021 / 11:58 am

    FYI i loved your plaid cropped bootcuts; they make for a fun, youthful, creative look. They work well for you!

  19. Val
    November 6, 2021 / 1:35 pm

    Loved following your trip. Looked amazing and your outfits were perfect. Glad you had such a nice time.

  20. Elizabeth
    November 6, 2021 / 2:37 pm

    I too find Uniqlo ultra lightweight down as well as Patagonia NanoPuff vests & jackets to run a size smaller than my usual, & both brands because they don’t allow for hips! (I usually wear size 10P or medium but in U & P need a size L). I have numerous colors & love them. Also have a Martha S version w short sleeves & a similar one from Uniqlo a few years back that is lots of fun (a more expensive version currently available at JS McLaughlin).

  21. Lyn
    November 6, 2021 / 4:05 pm

    I know you are trying to get away from black, but a pair of black pants is indispensable. They go with everything. Whatever happened to those Eileen Fisher black washable crepe pants? Everyone on your blog raved about them so I bought a pair. They lived up to the hype. I wear my jeans all day and the EF’s at night. What more do you need? (I pack pretty light. I have the same backpack as you and I can get everything for a 2-week trip in it. One backpack, no carryon, no checked luggage.)

    • Jan Whichard
      November 6, 2021 / 8:18 pm

      Hi Lyn…I travel a lot and always take black or navy pants. I actually tried Chico’s traveler pants and I was pleasantly surprised how nice they were. A few years ago I bought several pairs of EF crepe pants. They wrinkled terribly but I find the ponte knit does not. I think Susan looks adorable in lantern pants but one me (5’4” size 12) they look a little clown pantsy. The thighs are ok but the legs are wide and then taper. Try them on…the fabric is useful.

      • Lyn
        November 7, 2021 / 8:30 am

        I know Susan loves the lantern pants, but I can’t say that I like the look, even on her. I have some Chico ponte knits — they don’t wrinkle, but they do bag at the knees after some wear. There are always trade-offs. On the last trip, during unusually hot weather in southeast France, my “dress” black pants were Uniqlo joggers, altered to remove the ankle bands so that they could pass as “regular” pants. (I sew, so I can do my own alterations.) They were comfortable, lightweight, and packed great. But since I usually travel during the much cooler shoulder seasons, the EF washable crepe will remain my go-to.

  22. Margot
    November 6, 2021 / 6:54 pm

    Just a thought for you and other frequent travelers – A couple of years ago I saw a man in a coffee shop in a matching lightweight down vest and down jacket (I believe his were Patagonia but many brands carry something similar). He wore the vest under the jacket and looked so smart and put together! I told my kids about it (they both travel to a wide variety of climates for business) and they both have invested in this look. Each piece can be worn separately or in cold weather they can be worn together.

    • Lyn
      November 7, 2021 / 8:36 am

      I’ve seen men wearing trim collarless down vests under suit jackets, just like a sweater vest (but so much cozier.)

  23. November 7, 2021 / 12:54 am

    You are the best travel packer that I know.
    Greetje
    PS and that orange Weekend Max Mara jacket that you bought is awesome.

  24. Judi
    November 7, 2021 / 5:33 am

    Very interesting how you were able to travel so lightly…. and so perfectly Susan.
    I love your choices and love that blue coat.
    I remember when you first bought it so went back to see how you had it shortened.
    Trying to find similiar as I am in Spain 2 months. It is unique.
    I can see that your fast diet plan is working
    And that your longer hair, in my opinion is so much prettier.
    You look lovely in all your pictures.
    Thanks for your ideas.
    We are Madrid 3 weeks and already did 6 side trips by train. 80 percent vaccinated here. Lots of masks indoors and out and all public transport.
    3 weeks Sevilla and then to Southern Spain Estepona and side trips with car…
    My husband is an expert Europe driver but I feel your anxiety in the small villages. We have done that many times in Italy. Yikes.
    Cooling down here but been gorgeous weather.
    By the way we are fully vaccinated as are all travelers to Europe. …and my husband had booster before we left. They are Not vaccinated Americans in Spain despite what state department says. Not sure about other countries. There are no boosters like in the states here.

  25. Christine
    November 7, 2021 / 7:10 am

    These packing posts are just the best. Thank you! It looks like you took along a second pair of sneakers (pictured with that fantastic long blue blazer). Would you share what brand they are? I am always on the lookout for comfortable sneakers that look good with something other than leisure wear.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 7, 2021 / 7:16 am

      Hi Christine, thanks! The off-white sneakers were purchased in Milan, and are from Loewe.

  26. Nicole
    November 7, 2021 / 9:28 am

    I tend to overpack and have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t make sense to schlep all that stuff around particularly if I end up not wearing several of the pieces. I love your packing posts and so appreciate you summing up what worked and what didn’t.

  27. Jood
    November 7, 2021 / 11:14 am

    I would be very interested to see some of your ‘tabletop’ outfits. I am planning a long weekend in France and trying to decide what to wear to restaurants in the evening. I think I’ve got my daywear sorted, thanks to you.

  28. Chrissie
    November 7, 2021 / 2:49 pm

    Your packing was so informative, I love the bright colors on you too! Will you do a post on hotels or lodging? Or maybe what booking sites you use? It’s been a long time since I did any traveling but next month we go to Italy!

  29. DakotaTeacher
    November 7, 2021 / 3:58 pm

    Wondering about that attractive leopard scarf…would you consider it an outdoor accessory? Is it too warm to be worn indoors? Thanks so much for the vicarious trip 😉

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 7, 2021 / 4:07 pm

      I’ve worn it indoors on many occasions, including during our trip. It’s very lightweight, and not at all bulky.

  30. Maria
    November 9, 2021 / 4:15 am

    Your packing skills are extraordinary. I’ve learned many useful techniques and tips from you or your travels, both long and short, over the years. Thank you.

  31. Paula
    November 10, 2021 / 7:08 am

    Your travel wardrobe seems to have worked well for you. While we have almost completely different styles (I’m definitely in the NO to cropped flares camp!) I can appreciate the way you put together your wardrobe for a trip. I do mostly the same, working with a small number of bottom pieces and more tops and outer layers to mix and match. I do find a great pair of black pants to be indispensable, however. So much so that I took two on my last trip (different fabric weights for weather fluctuations, plus double duty as daywear and out to dinner wear). Yours is a bit jeans heavy for my taste, as they take up so much room in the suitcase. One pair is enough for me. I think because I wear jeans so much at home, I like to take it up a notch when I’m travelling! I usually take two jackets (one is always a raincoat), two pairs of shoes, and one bag. We have tended to travel in the off seasons, including Italy in March one year! I do love that Uniqlo light down jacket and may look at a cream one as well – I have the one with the collar in black but I think the cream is nice and would work with lots of things. Also considering an ultralight vest to go under my raincoat. There’s a pretty wine colored one on their website. It looks like you had a great trip, and four weeks! I’m jealous. One day, when I’m not working anymore.

  32. Judi
    November 11, 2021 / 9:20 am

    Susan,
    I wish I could share photos from Spain. Madrid, Sevilla and towns in between.
    Very, very casual. Everyone is in jeans and sneakers or leggings and boots, combat and ankle….. Lots of neck scarves.. Many puffer coats when chilly. Tourists and locals.
    The one thing I notice is at the department stores, sales associates are dressed up. Men wear suits. And on Sunday when locals are out with family packing restaurants after church., everybody is dressed up!!!
    Very sharp.!!!
    It’s always a challenge to get use to the schedule. Big lunches about 2:30 with shops closed. And late dinner after 8 or 9.
    And reservations are necessary.
    We always come home needing to diet.

  33. Mary
    November 26, 2021 / 5:49 am

    I love your style! Which finish of the Pearl crossbody bag did you carry? I’m trying to decide between the Nappa and Saffiano for daily wear plus some travel.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      November 26, 2021 / 5:53 am

      Hi Mary, thanks! The one I’ve been using recently is the Saffiano finish in cream/off-white. It’s a little more structured than the soft leather and I find it’s really durable.

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