My Italy travel wardrobe for autumn - une femme d'un certain âge

How to pack for Italy (+ Paris & London) in autumn

Susan B's 3-week Italy travel wardrobe capsule.

What I’m packing for an autumn trip to Italy…

Pinch me, I must be dreaming! We’re just a few days out from a trip to Italy we’ve been planning for almost 2 years. (With stops in Paris and London on the tail end.)

This was a challenging wardrobe to assemble for a number of reasons.

  • It’s a longer trip (almost 4 weeks!) than we’ve taken in many years
  • Though I’m excited to be traveling in autumn, it means variable weather, with temperatures ranging from mild to cold, and probably no small amount of rain.
  • We have a mix of city and country destinations and activities
  • And this will be the first European travel wardrobe I’ve put together without relying heavily on black. 😉

But I’m always up for a packing challenge!

Looking back over my recaps of past travel wardrobes, I’ve noticed a pattern of wishing for more color and variety. So I’ve tried to build that in here while still keeping the size manageable. I hope to supplement this wardrobe with some shopping along the way, but need to have the bases covered so I’m not scrambling to find something I need.

I’ve had some feedback in the past from people who find my travel wardrobes and outfits “boring.” I get it, though I’m not one of those bloggers/influencers who travels primarily to photograph pretty outfits in pretty places. We travel to be able to experience new scenery, tastes, and culture. (As well as to further explore our favorites.) So my wardrobe has to be functional above all else. By “functional,” I mean cohesive, layer-able, comfortable, versatile, and climate- and venue-appropriate.

Weather forecast for Milan in October.

Here’s the current forecast for Milan, our first destination.

My Italy travel wardrobe for autumn

The only limit I gave myself with this Italy travel wardrobe was that it had to fit in my medium-sized suitcase (similar), leaving room for a few purchases along the way. Because of the length of this trip and plans to shop, I opted for a checked bag. I will also have a carry-on backpack with essentials and a change of clothes, just in case.

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

Shoes

When planning a travel wardrobe, I always start with the shoes. City destinations are relatively easy to plan for, but we also have some activities out in the countryside that may involve traipsing about in muddy conditions. So I’m packing an old pair of black all-weather boots if needed.

Also:

I also plan to do a little shoe shopping in Milan 😉, but at least I have the bases covered here.

Bottoms

I always travel with jeans, and they’re what I wear most days. I know some people avoid them because they’re heavier than some fabrics, but I’ve found the pros outweigh the cons. First, they don’t need to be laundered often, if at all. Second, they’re versatile, easy to style, and appropriate for most venues. Don’t let anyone tell you that jeans aren’t worn in Europe; they absolutely ARE.

  • 2 pairs medium wash jeans, similar HERE and HERE. (I’ll probably wear one of these in transit.)
  • 1 pair dark wash jeans, similar HERE.
  • 1 pair ponte knit lantern pants. These in “Espresso” (how appropriate for Italy!) are my Little Black Pants alternative, and can dress them up or down.
  • 1 pair plaid jeans, just for fun!

Tops

Using the concept of “tabletop dressing,” (keeping bottoms simple and versatile, adding variety and interest above the waist), I usually follow a ratio of 2-3 tops per 1 bottom.

Blouses/Tees

  • ivory blouse (if I need to dress up)
  • 2 solid long-sleeve tees in brown HERE and soft yellow HERE.
  • 2 striped tees HERE and similar HERE. (Both of these are lightweight and 3/4 sleeve, so should be comfortable for warmer days.)

Sweaters/Cardigans

Yes, I’m still relying heavily on neutrals, but in brown, ivory and camel rather than black. For color (as well as warmth) I’ve included several scarves, and expect to pick up a few more along the way.

Outerwear & Accessories

Susan B's travel wardrobe outerwear for Europe.

I’ve selected outerwear that can accommodate mild to very chilly and/or wet conditions. All of these pieces are a few years old, but I’ve linked to similar items below:

Coats & jackets

  • The navy long blazer was purchased in Italy in 2017. It’s a lightweight wool that’s warm, and I can easily layer a sweater underneath. Similar look HERE and HERE
  • This yellow rain jacket will brighten up dreary days! I can layer up underneath if needed. Similar HERE and HERE
  • The packable down coat is lightweight and SO warm. This season’s version HERE.

Scarves

Bag

  • This Lo & Sons Pearl bag has been my travel go-to for years. It’s sleek, chic, secure, and holds everything I need.
  • If there’s room in my case, I’ll pack my Loewe puzzle bag (similar) as an alternate. It’s also lightweight and secure.

As always, I’ll leave room for a Wild Card. That’s a piece I add or sub out at the last minute based on weather forecasts and whim.

More packing and travel wardrobe tips

  • If you’ll be checking bags, be sure to keep prescription meds, a change of clothes, travel documents, and any other essentials with you in your carry-on Personal Item bag.
  • Packing cubes can help you stay organized (especially if you have multiple destinations) and can help compress items to save space. I like these with the clear mesh tops so I can see what’s inside.
  • Dress in layers or keep a lightweight wrap handy for the plane. Cabin temperatures can fluctuate wildly.
  • Plan ahead, but be sure to check weather forecasts at your destination(s) immediately before you leave. Weather can be very changeable in some locations this time of year.
  • For more travel wardrobe ideas, packing and travel trips, visit my Travel Wardrobe Resource Hub

I’ll be sharing lots of travel pics from our travels on Instagram, so follow me there for the latest. I’ll also be posting here during our travels, so be sure to sign up for updates if you haven’t already.

Stay in touch.

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88 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Calvert
    October 6, 2021 / 4:22 am

    Have a lovely time. I think you might have just hit a sweet spot with the weather. Here in the UK we are looking forward to a few days of warm weather courtesy of hurricane Sam!

  2. Marty
    October 6, 2021 / 4:34 am

    Thanks for this post! First, I am SO jealous of your trip! Italy is my first choice to visit again as soon as possible. And I agree with your packing “style” so I don’t find it boring at all! This is the type of trip when you can live in a bathing suit, caftan, and sandals after all. But one question that might seem silly – but am wondering what or which type of wallet you use. The Pearl bag is great, but not the largest, so your wallet can’t take up too much space. Thanks!

    • chris
      October 6, 2021 / 4:43 am

      Just a note on wallets; when I go to europe i switch to my small “travel wallet” – you really don’t need all of those loyalty card etc that you lug around on the daily so I need a wallet that fits: drivers license, two credit cards, debit card and medical insurance card.

      • Marty
        October 6, 2021 / 4:55 am

        I do the same, but am curious to know specifically which wallet is used. Thanks!

        • Casey
          October 6, 2021 / 5:30 am

          The Vera Bradley keychain wallet is very small and only $15. Holds all my credit, medical, library cards, etc. Of course, as Chris said, you won’t need most of that for travel. I’ve used it as my everyday wallet since I like a smaller bag and it’s held up great for over 5 years. One note, there’s not really room for paper or coin currency so that would need to go directly into your bag.I don’t generally carry much cash so it’s not a problem for me.

          • Anne
            October 6, 2021 / 12:53 pm

            I use that too!

    • Sarah
      October 12, 2021 / 9:46 am

      Hello, I carry the Pearl and use a leather The Big Skinny Tracie TriFold. It fits perfectly in the zipped side closest to my body. There are other styles to choose from, and I’m considering a smaller one for travel. Cheers!

  3. Kath
    October 6, 2021 / 4:39 am

    Happy travels. Still in lockdown where I live, so taking great pleasure in just thinking about packing for overseas travel. Really appreciate seeing how you’ve pulled your new palette travel wardrobe together. And now looking forward to seeing your photos and reading your stories from the European tour. Enjoy yourselves.

  4. chris
    October 6, 2021 / 4:46 am

    I just returned from a week in the netherlands and germany (even summer is tricky there: it can be shorts weather or jacket weather even in august!) and I always strive to pack ONLY a carry on luggage. I try to get smarter about packing each time. Funny thing is, even with just my (fully stuffed) carry on I came home with a couple of pieces that I never wore! Pack a good deodorant and enough undies and honestly you really need A LOT less than you think – even after you’ve edited your choices.

  5. Ellen
    October 6, 2021 / 4:48 am

    I have been to all of those places at this time of the year (Septermber through mid October) and I think you are packing too many warm clothes. I have been in France and London in October and had temperatures in the high 70’s. If it were my trip, I would pack fewer sweaters (one cardigan, two merino pullovers). And while you are going with what you have, and thats sensible, in the future you might want to consider a short light weight down jacket (my all time favorite is from Athleta), paired with a raincoat that is longer than the down jacket so that the two can be layered together if its a cold and rainy day (my Athleta raincoat is my favorite as well). Both of these can be rolled up and reduced to the size of a water bottle. Just saying

    • Mady
      October 6, 2021 / 10:18 am

      Our 17 day trip to Italy exactly 2 years ago didn’t require more than a sweater and light jacket on the few chilly days. We even had days of beach/swimming weather. Of course, weather varies and excursions to Paris and London may require warmer items.

      • Susan Blakey
        Author
        October 6, 2021 / 10:34 am

        I think it depends on where in Italy you are. We’ll be in the north, and temperatures there are forecast to be mid-40’s at night to low-mid 60’s during the day. And it will definitely be cooler in Paris and London.

  6. Susan
    October 6, 2021 / 5:08 am

    Because the colours in your travel wardrobe are based on your new colour palette, it is anything but boring. I am very envious that you are able to travel to Europe, as us plebs in Australia are still locked down in our prison fortress, with even state borders closed. I do wonder though, if you are nervous about the Covid pandemic in Europe and were you able to get travel insurance to cover it? Have a fantastic holiday and I am pretty certain you will need the extra room in your suitcase after hitting the shops in Paris and Rome. Bon voyage.

    • Julia
      October 6, 2021 / 10:17 am

      Like the previous writer, I am also interested in travel insurance. Was it easy to get a good deal?

  7. Karen
    October 6, 2021 / 5:08 am

    Susan, have a wonderful trip! A functional, comfortable wardrobe is important, and I feel it’s good to blend in with the country I’m visiting. Great shoes, bag and a scarf go a long way in upping an outfit. Thanks for the post.
    I use a very small zipper wallet when I travel, as others have mentioned.
    My question will be how covid requirements may change between countries and how the return process goes with getting the test and results when you are returning home. Our trip to Italy is postponed to next fall, but I have a number of friends who were in Europe this summer. Ciao!

  8. Kelly
    October 6, 2021 / 5:15 am

    Question for you and this community… Has anyone tried wearing underarm pads while traveling to get more wear out of clothing before washing?

    Susan, love your colorful clothing choices. All the variety in color, pattern and texture will keep you from getting bored. I hope you will post daily pictures so we can see all the ways you style your capsule wardrobe!

    • Tea
      October 6, 2021 / 6:01 am

      I’ve worn them “back in the day” and used to buy them from Vermont Country Store. I think they are clever and hadn’t thought of them – I’m going to get some “just in case”…where do YOU buy them, Kelly??

      • Kelly
        October 6, 2021 / 7:31 am

        I’ve never bought any, but thought it could give me an extra day of wear on shirts. Was curious how well they worked. Thanks for the response.

      • Catherine
        October 11, 2021 / 6:38 am

        I used to wear them to work under my suit jackets but I never thought to bring them traveling. You can order them on Amazon. They have disposable options or washable ones.

    • Lyn
      October 6, 2021 / 7:33 am

      Try the Uniqlo Airism tee base layer. Not sweatproof, but still a layer between your underarms and your clothes. They are comfortable, lightweight, and dry easily overnight. (I size up — they have a snug fit.)

  9. LouAnn
    October 6, 2021 / 5:32 am

    Thank you for this. It’s so helpful! Just curious…what do you suggest for wearing on the plane? The heaviest items? Thank you.

  10. Kami
    October 6, 2021 / 5:44 am

    After being caught on a couple of trips with very warm temperatures and not enough lightweight clothing, I have learned to pack predominantly for the high temperatures, and then throw in a few pieces to cover the lows or an unexpected cold snap. Most of our time is spent out and about during the daytime, but low temps are usually occurring in the wee hours of the morning when we are unlikely to be prowling around at this stage in our lives! If any temp is predicted below 50F though, I bring a packable down coat. It takes up little space (or is light to carry on without “counting” as an item) and will make up for the lack of other warm clothing if I misjudged. I have also realized that no one else is noticing what I am wearing, so re-wearing the same pieces isn’t really a problem. One caveat. If the temps are very warm, clothing (especially tops) get “stinky” with less wear. I usually pack a couple extra lightweight tops if the forecast is 80F or above. I also bring a travel size bottle of wrinkle releaser, which can freshen up most items for a second wear. Have a wonderful trip, Susan. I hope to follow in your footsteps next year!

  11. Cindylou
    October 6, 2021 / 5:49 am

    What a difference in your travel wardrobe! It’s so bright and cheerful, the pictures will be great. I am eager to travel again soon and I’m fully vaccinated. Is it safe to travel to Europe now and is there a website that tells you where it’s safe to travel? I like to travel in the fall too and actually followed your lead last month with a road trip up the California coast, which was fabulous. My second granddaughter is due in a week so I can’t travel this fall but maybe in the spring. I’d appreciate any advice from you or your readers.

    • Carol
      October 6, 2021 / 6:24 am

      I can’t speak for all of Europe, but much of western Europe is doing pretty well (I live in Portugal, where we lead the world in vaccinations). Italy is currently at 70%, as is France, with Great Britain at 67%. People here are fairly respectful about wearing masks, especially indoors – honestly, I feel safer here than I would in many parts of the US!

      • Judi
        October 6, 2021 / 2:32 pm

        I’m visiting Spain right now for two months until Dec..I was nervous. However vaccination is at nearly 80%.here.
        People are very compliant with masks. Airlines are strict. Must show vaccination card to fly and have a negative covid test to return to the states.
        Weather is fabulous. 70s and sunny. Madrid
        With day trips, then Seville, and Estepona…Ronda with more day trips.
        We have been on plane. subway, train, bus and soon rental car. So far ok. Fully vaccinated of course. Again all folks are masking up, even with high vaccination rate. No hotels for us but rentals.
        Hoping to stay healthy.

        • Judi
          October 6, 2021 / 2:53 pm

          Also yes you need the QR code to enter Spain but we have not had to show a vaccination card since we’ve been here, though we keep it with us.
          You must be vaccinated to enter Spain now..
          Filling out the QR code information before you leave the U.S. is a must. Be ready to show it with the passport on arrival in the countries that’s request it.

  12. Jill Ann
    October 6, 2021 / 5:54 am

    We postponed our Europe trip (again) until next summer. Part of the reason was that we were concerned that, while the countries are open to tourists, perhaps many of the things we want to see might still be closed. Will be curious to hear if you find everything wide open or no.

    • Gwoman
      October 7, 2021 / 7:38 am

      We are currently in Seville, headed to Madrid on the weekend. After traveling around Andalusia for three weeks, we have not encountered any tourist sites closed. A few restaurants and other businesses remembered from other trips have closed but otherwise life seems pretty back to normal here.

  13. Marian
    October 6, 2021 / 5:57 am

    I love seeing your choices and hearing your reasons. I know you will check the weather, but even so, in 4 weeks – much can change. So having some variety is great! I have been working on capsule wardrobes – starting with a general travel one – and I chose some black, but have quite a bit of color in my tops – and they can almost all mix and match. I don’t think anything you do is boring!

  14. Nancy
    October 6, 2021 / 5:59 am

    3 weeks in Italy sounds sublime. Your tips are great. I used packing cubes for the first time on atrip to California with 3 hotels they made it so much easier. Enjoy your trip.

  15. Margot
    October 6, 2021 / 6:04 am

    This wardrobe is beautiful! Love the colors – even though they are not mine! When we went to Europe at this time of year pre-pandemic, I took a long-ish quilted vest, a lightweight coat, and a cashmere wrap/scarf. I couldn’t believe how often I got away with just the vest and scarf. Day temps started in the 40’s and ended around 70-ish. I could have used more ss shirts to wear under my merino sweaters. I packed single use packets of Eucalan soap. I use it to wash my hand-knits. Because you don’t have to worry about whether you have rinsed it out completely it worked perfectly for travel and I used it to wash whatever needed it. It comes scent-free or in many wonderful scents (I love the eucalyptus!).

  16. Darlene M
    October 6, 2021 / 6:11 am

    Susan I have been waiting for this post’! We are leaving next week for 2 weeks in France. Since we are not experienced travelers and in our 70s we are doing a riverboat for most of the trip. I am considering faux leather black leggings with several colorful silk tops for dinner. What do you think? I am doing a lot of silk tops because they are light weight. I will see you in Paris!!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      October 6, 2021 / 6:38 am

      Silk tops can be a great option, especially if they’re washable. My main suggestion would be to pack clothes similar to what you’d wear at home, so you’ll be comfortable. Even in Paris, “smart casual” is usually as dressed up as you need to be, unless you’re headed to the opera.

  17. Laura Lesieur
    October 6, 2021 / 6:12 am

    Susan, I very much admire your pluck at undertaking such an ambitious trip in our uncertain times. You are very disciplined about your packing, and I’ll be the first to admit I’m not. I AM the sort of person who likes to take pretty pictures in pretty places, and I love wearing European pieces in Europe. Although I did take only a carry-on for our first trip to Paris in September 2014, I have acquired several pieces since. I found an investment in a Burberry trenchcoat was well made. I also have a large Hermès silk/cashmere wrap and a couple of go-with-anything scarves. Dressing up while we are in France is just part of the fun for me (and my husband!) We do go to a lot of classical concerts, so that informs a lot of my wardrobe. Looking forward to your posts, and remember so many of us are living vicariously through you!

  18. Teresa
    October 6, 2021 / 6:15 am

    Hi Susan,
    I live in Italy so I can give you some tips about the weather at this time of the year.
    At the moment it’s still comfortably warm but can get chilly in early morning and evening.
    Really, a lightweight down jacket would be enough though a rainproof coat might be useful in the UK and Milan. Layering is essential as sometimes it can get hot in the daytime!
    Everthing is open nowadays but remember to wear your facemask especially in crowded areas!
    Have a wonderful time and let me know if you visit Ferrara!

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

      Thanks, Teresa! My friends in London advised the down coat for that portion of the trip, and since it squishes down to nothing, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to bring it. And yes, we are consistent maskers!!

  19. Leoni McVey
    October 6, 2021 / 6:19 am

    We are going to Germany soon and I usually travel with a lightweight hooded knee-length LLBean raincoat that is completely waterproof. I wear it frequently at home and layer madly if I travel when it is cold. I find having wet legs so frustrating that this year, I bought the same coat in a long version that comes several inches above my ankles (I am 5’2”) and covers dusters …which I love and hate to see hanging out from under clothing. The long length may or may not be fashionable but it is eminently practical for keeping really dry. And I wore the short version on the Acropolis in 60-mile-per-hour winds so I know the coat is a wonderful windbreaker. The coat’s outer shell appears to be laminated to plastic.

  20. Monica
    October 6, 2021 / 6:20 am

    We are also going to Europe in a couple days and I plan on copying your travel wardrobe. I’m curious as to what you wear on the plane? I’ve read to wear your heaviest shoes, which would be boots for me, but I also want to be comfortable for the 8 hour flight.

  21. Cinzia
    October 6, 2021 / 6:26 am

    I will be excited to follow your travels. Where in Italy are you headed besides Milano? I hope you’ll take photos (as you often do) of what people are wearing at your destinations. I had two trips planned to Europe this fall but sadly one was canceled and one was moved to 2023!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      October 6, 2021 / 6:41 am

      Thanks! We’ll mostly be in the north: Piedmont area, Bologna, Modena, & then west to Perugia. We have some day trips also out from each of those.

  22. Karen B
    October 6, 2021 / 6:26 am

    I love the colors! I was just in Italy for a month. I had three dresses which I wore all the time. I was so glad to see lots of women in dresses again. I only brought one coat, only worn once in Sicily at Mt Atna. I had 2 pairs of pants and 4 tops. I only ever use a carryon but I do check it so I don’t have to haul it through airports.
    I hope you have Venice in your plans. I spent ten days there, had not visited there in the past because I don’t like crowds.

  23. Sandra
    October 6, 2021 / 6:43 am

    Have a wonderful trip, Susan. We’ve done several 1-3 month trips to Europe and I always pack for a week then launder the clothes (the plus side of renting an apartment).

    Lots of wonderful exhibits in Paris and several new/reopened museums (i.e., Carnavalet, La Bourse de Commerce-Pinault Collection).

  24. Jill
    October 6, 2021 / 6:49 am

    Would love to see a photo of Linda Wright and you in Paris at her shop!

  25. Debra
    October 6, 2021 / 6:57 am

    Looks great, but as others have said, you might want to plan on a couple of outfits in case of extreme heat. I’m headed to France for two months next summer and am already thinking about what to bring – your wardrobes always give me a good starting place. For sure a checked bag for me that trip! I am looking forward to reading the recap after you return – it’s valuable to learn what worked and what did not. Bon voyage!

  26. Linda Mitchell
    October 6, 2021 / 7:04 am

    I have been a huge fan of JCREW’s merino tippi sweaters for travel. Mine need to be replaced and it seems now the Margot style has now taken the tippi’s place, but has a long sleeve instead of a 3/4 length, like the tippi. As a fellow petite, have you found the long sleeves on the Margot style not too long…the 3/4 tippi sleeve was actually just right on my short arms.

  27. Paula
    October 6, 2021 / 7:05 am

    Have a wonderful time!! I would love to go to Europe right now ( I really want to visit London and Paris) but my husband is hesitant. I’m curious as to how your trip goes!!
    The packing tips are very helpful even when I travel in the US. I would like to know what you do with your skin care, hair car and cosmetics when you travel. That seems to be my biggest problem. With You being gone for a month the small travel sizes probably won’t work.

  28. Becky
    October 6, 2021 / 7:11 am

    Is there a chance you may not need 4 pullover sweaters in your capsule? Would a patterned blouse to wear on its own or layer under a cardigan or jacket be a useful addition? I think you have one in a lovely tiger print on a navy background that could work here.

  29. October 6, 2021 / 7:20 am

    Looks great, and I’m SO happy you get to go!!!

  30. Jane
    October 6, 2021 / 7:20 am

    I’d like to recommend 2 travel items. First, the Eddie Bauer Cirrus Lite hooded jacket or coat. It honestly packs down to nothing. I also love the LL Bean Perfect Fit pants in the original style. Unbelievably comfortable, hold their shape and have good pockets! Safe travels!!!

  31. Deanna
    October 6, 2021 / 7:24 am

    Have a wonderful trip. Your travel capsule looks complete, fun, and well thought out. You’ve got this down to a science. Have you used this backpack before? I wonder what the weight is when packed. I noticed in the description it can also be carried, rather than worn on the back.

    • Jennifer
      October 6, 2021 / 9:39 am

      Deanna, I have used this backpack on several trips. I really love it. It’s very lightweight empty. However, on my first trip I stuffed it full (this backpack will hold a lot!). I shall not do that again. It’s comfortable on your back or slung over your shoulder. Highly recommend it.

      • Alexis
        October 6, 2021 / 10:47 am

        I’m really happy to hear your recommendation for this backpack – I need to buy one for future travel, and I’ll get this one!

  32. October 6, 2021 / 7:50 am

    I’m in awe of your planning/packing prowess! I’m getting ready for a mere six-day trip to Denver–my first trip outside California in almost a year and a half–and I’m nowhere near as prepared as you are. For one thing, the weather forecast has abruptly changed to include rain and snow. (I haven’t seen snow in decades.) For another, I’m flying in, taking an overnight Amtrak train on the return trip, and walking everywhere in Denver.

    If I had time, I’d replace my old backpack with the one you’re using, which looks like it’s designed for a woman’s body. Most travel packs, including the one I’ll reluctantly be using, are designed for men, which means the straps are set wider apart than is ideal for me.

    • Carol L Jansch
      October 9, 2021 / 10:17 am

      Nancy F., we live in denver,r and the rain/snow is now only forecast for higher elevations than Denver, and then only lightly. I’m sure you’re following it closely. Just pack layers! It’s cool (even cold) in the morning, so I wear a t-shirt, sweater or jacket, maybe a scarf. Off goes the scarf, then sweater around mid morning, back it goes on late afternoon. It’s so dry this time of year and we haven’t seen rain in months in southeast Denver. And it doesn’t rain for long, maybe 20 minutes tops, if it does rain. so a small umbrella would be adequate. Probably not a raincoat. This is all based on my assumption that you’ll be here this month? Obviously, November and December are cooler and wetter. But it’s almost always sunny! So glad you’re visiting our lovely city, have a great time.

      • October 9, 2021 / 9:00 pm

        Thanks for the insider tips, Carol! Yes, I’ll be in Denver next week.

  33. Helen Baker
    October 6, 2021 / 7:54 am

    Dear Susan, how exciting this all is!

    I very much hope you will consider subbing one of the pairs of blue jeans with your white/off white pair – I think you will find them much more useful. There is no ‘no white after Labour Day’ sensibility in Europe at all and, as long as you don’t wear them to trudge around a vineyard in the rain, I’m sure you’ll be able to keep them wearably clean!

    I am sure you will find that when you are in any of your urban destinations, you will feel the long blazer is the perfect piece, so, along with some of the other commenters, I think you will need fewer of the warmer knitwear items, and more lightweight tops – maybe you could even slip in your turquoise linen Eileen Fisher top (worn on Insta on July 12) – which will sit comfortably under the blazer. Maybe the cute coffee cup top too?

    I live in London and don’t expect to be wearing anything really warm for city activities for at least a month or more; rather I’ll be wearing my summer uniform of trainers, jeans, and a light or mid weight top – with a jacket as my autumnal addition.

    I hope you have a wonderful time, and very much hope that you get to visit the Letters to Camondo ceramics exhibition by Edmund de Waal at the Musee Nissim de Camondo.

    Helen

  34. diana
    October 6, 2021 / 7:55 am

    Always love your packing posts! For myself I would add a few more tee shirts.
    Also 8nterested to know what else you are taking specifically for covid- masks- how many? Disposable or? Hand sanitizer, etc.
    Also have you been able to get the pass snitaire ( France)?
    Hve a great trip! Will be following along as we hope to go to Europe next May/June.

  35. Lyn
    October 6, 2021 / 8:05 am

    I agree that you have overpacked — too warm and too much. (Three pairs of jeans??) I’m committed to international-size carry-on, no matter how long the trip. There inevitably comes a point where I have to haul my suitcase up a long flight of stairs. You have a great wardrobe to choose from — it would be easy to pare it down to fit.

    I just got back from two weeks in France. Keep your Covid vaccination card handy and have fun.
    .

  36. Barbara
    October 6, 2021 / 8:34 am

    Have a wonderful trip and let us travel vicariously with you! I would like you to photo packing your suitcase and carryon. Also a photo of you dressed for the plane. All of this would be helpful. Thank you!

  37. Treva
    October 6, 2021 / 8:36 am

    My Christmas gift last year was a Lo & Sons Pearl Crossbody. I’ve used it twice this year. It’s small, yet big enough that I can carry my Epi-pen & inhaler as well as my sunglasses. I have a small wallet that I use with my Pearl. It’s a great purse for travel.

  38. Char
    October 6, 2021 / 9:11 am

    Have a safe trip. Will be interested in how you navigate all the Covid protocols. I would think they sound
    safer than many places here. Hope to do a trip next year.

    And most importantly where is Gigi staying for a month?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      October 6, 2021 / 9:35 am

      A friend will be house and dog sitting so Gigi is in good hands! 😉

  39. Ann
    October 6, 2021 / 9:50 am

    I am tempted by the Lo and Sons bag. My only problem are my new prescription sunglasses. They are kind of large and they are in a gigantic case. Any suggestions?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      October 6, 2021 / 9:51 am

      I think it would depend on what else you need to carry. The center compartment of the Pearl is fairly roomy. I’ve managed to fit a small folding umbrella in there.

      • Treva
        October 6, 2021 / 12:34 pm

        I also wear prescription sunglasses, as well as having an epipen and an inhaler with me at all times. I have travelled twice with my Pearl and have had those items as well as a small wallet and a small makeup bag. The Pearl is much bigger than it seems!

      • Elizabeth
        October 7, 2021 / 11:28 am

        Agree – I have two Pearls and use them constantly for every day wear as well as for travel. It’s depends how you load it – if there aren’t lots of things in the side compartments, the middle compartment can even hold a book or small tablet. The softer nappa leather model seems a bit stretchier, too. I find I don’t need a wallet when I use mine – I just put my cards in one of the side compartments or the inner pockets.

        And Lo and Sons is having a sale right now!

  40. Eve
    October 6, 2021 / 10:54 am

    You know what they say, “You will spend twice the money you expected and you will need half the clothes.” I am seeing reversal clothes out there now. Cute vests, skirts and tanks. Might be interesting to take one or two on a trip.

  41. Anon
    October 6, 2021 / 11:14 am

    I always enjoy seeing your travel wardrobes. This looks like it will serve you well. There are enough options to layer up. I might add one extra pair of shoes, but then I have been known to destroy my footwear on trips. Travel clothing is meant to keep you comfortable and appropriate on your journey. Bravo for doing this without black. Can’t wait for the blog posts.

  42. Christine
    October 6, 2021 / 11:43 am

    I always have difficulty with the pants portion of my wardrobe. They have a tendency to stretch out and look sloppy after a couple of wears. I noticed everyone just packs a few pairs, I don’t know if I could survive with four pairs for four weeks.

  43. Catherine Low
    October 6, 2021 / 11:58 am

    Happy to know you’re on your way soon , and so appreciate seeing your plans for packing, Susan.

    We are presently in Hampshire UK ,a week into our month long driving trip. I found that initially in London,
    the 3/4 flat knit sweater jacket that was a major colour ,was a waste of space… just too much rain ☔️,so my new leopard print lined cream weatherproof raincoat was well used. Stylish and useful.
    I went a bit silly with my scarf assortment, but gave myself a pass since they are easily rolled into little buns and stuffed into tiny spaces.I am using a couple of soft zippered bags for folded silk scarves and undies… easily found and pack very flat.
    Needed space for different comfortable shoes, but upbeat with how handy they become for storing socks, bags of jewelry, travel size shampoo etc.and shoes are kept separate with complimentary shower caps I always nab everywhere I go.Loafer, short boots, sneaker, perforated slip ons, soft leather sandal. Airbnb often ask for shoes to be left in porch area , so something clean for indoors is good for aging feet.
    Even though the heavy rain is done for now, I’m finding I packed too many cashmere(3)pullovers. Too warm.
    Susan, is this why you choose merino wool? The many scarves are accents for these sweaters.

    *note: rarely ‘flannels’ (face cloths )found in bathrooms here and EU, so buy a couple of cheap ones to put into a plastic zip bag, with a small bar of soap if you like (often liquid only) and wash and dry thoroughly before storing.
    If looking grotty by trip’s end, just toss.
    I chose a beautiful newly done cottage in The New Forest here, but did not see ‘ washer only’ , so all of my guy’s socks and undies are washed and lying on every available radiator! Shirts are on hangers in sunny windows between frequent showers.
    We were in the Red Lion pub next door initially on Sunday, with our first wash lying outside to dry, when we saw another deluge blow in! Everything went back in for a hard spin, and onto radiators! Lesson learned.

    On to Dorset soon to Evershot and The Acorn Inn (writer Thomas Hardy) to be indulged 3 nights before 4 more Airbnb cottages westward.
    Fashion find: discovered ‘White Stuff’ in Lymington for soft dresses, a unique blouse , and cool socks for my guy.
    Will add tights once home, and enjoy on chillier days !

  44. Cynthia Brown
    October 6, 2021 / 12:31 pm

    Great post, Susan! I read it over several times! Can you tell me why size you bought your Sezanne jumper in?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      October 6, 2021 / 12:34 pm

      Thanks, Cynthia! I purchased that sweater in the XS.

    • Stephanie Ashworth
      October 7, 2021 / 12:33 pm

      We’re in London right now. Everything is open. People are masking up when asked. It’s not as crowded as usual and we are having a grand time!

  45. October 6, 2021 / 1:02 pm

    Oh my gosh, have an absolutely wonderful time!!! I think your packing choices are perfect!

  46. Tracy
    October 6, 2021 / 1:55 pm

    Those plaid pants are so cute! I can’t wait to see how you wear them. I had a pair of plaid pants 30 years ago, purchased on a vacation 🙂 I loved them. Have a wonderful trip.

  47. Elizabeth
    October 6, 2021 / 1:59 pm

    A bright & cheerful travel wardrobe, Susan. Wishing you a fantastic trip!
    Question…would you consider doing one of your “talks” with European bloggers, during or after your trip? Maybe discuss the differences & similarities of clothing, hair styles, buying practices,etc, between N.American and EU/UK women. Maybe include your Dutch friend, Greetje, and a German blogger I follow, Annette Holdrich of Lady of Style. Both of these bloggers speak excellent English.

  48. Darlene M
    October 6, 2021 / 2:32 pm

    I have been enjoying all the comments. One question for those who have recently been to France, do you have to have something from France with. QR code on it?

    • Lyn
      October 6, 2021 / 4:20 pm

      I applied over a month ago before I left and never got it. A friend got hers mid-tour. I just used my US covid card and it was fine. They are used to them by now.

  49. Judi
    October 6, 2021 / 2:54 pm

    Also yes you need the QR code to enter Spain but we have not had to show a vaccination card since we’ve been here, though we keep it with us.
    You must be vaccinated to enter Spain now..
    Filling out the QR code information before you leave the U.S. is a must. Be ready to show it with the passport on arrival in the countries that’s request it. Everything seems open

  50. Cheryl
    October 6, 2021 / 3:52 pm

    Hi Susan,
    Love what you’ve chosen to pack..not my colors, but I can certainly sub in my cool colors when we ( finally!!!) get to Europe next year.
    I won’t add any “advice”; I see a lots of your followers have done that already. I will say that when we made out first trip to Italy in 2007, we traveled in mid-October. I packed some lightweight sweaters and tops to wear under a blazer. It was fine for Tuscany and the latter part of our trip ( there for 12 days). However, the first few days in Rome? Hot! Hot! Hot! So maybe a few t-shirts, just in case.
    I guess I did add my two cents!
    Also….not related to this post, but to one of a few weeks ago. You mentioned a new cologne you’re wearing….Atelier Cologne in Rose Anonyme. You described it as an “ autumn rose”. Well, after wearing citrus and light florals all summer, I was ready for anything described as “ autumn”. After I ordered it, I was worried..I don’t normally like rose scents. Would I smell like a grandma ( I am one, but don’t want to smell like it!).
    Anyway..it arrived, I put it on, and fell in love. It’s EXACTLY a how you described it. A light rose fragrance with a woody, smoky undertone…perfect for Fall. Thank you!
    Again, enjoy Italy, enjoy the people, the food, the history. Looking forward to your dispatches.

  51. Karen
    October 6, 2021 / 5:02 pm

    Looks like a great pack job I bet you can lose one pair of jeans tho! The shoes look sensible and smart. You’re a pro! K

  52. October 6, 2021 / 5:02 pm

    I love your clothing pieces (my colors), but this would be way too many clothes for me to move between 3 countries (I refuse to have my husband deal with my luggage), and I often travel alone. I travel carryon size only. However, that’s me, so we all must make our own decisions about how much we take, etc. That being said, I travel from fall to spring. In the middle of the winter I don’t take this many warm clothes. Too many jackets, I’d pick one, but you might want to pick two. Too many sweaters, I’d pick two. Also, I suggest you throw in 2 short sleeve layering pieces…so many times it has been higher than average temps. My daughter married in Liverpool, UK in October one year…the entire weekend was in the 80’s…bizarre, yes, but it happens and you don’t want to sweat! If you are worried about being cold, pack some nice leather gloves (I use these often in the UK on rainy days) and pack a hat…doesn’t have to be a winter hat. So basically, I would pack two short sleeves, two long sleeves, another blouse that could stand alone or layer, two sweaters or vests, three pants, one jacket or two if one is a raincoat, and one lounge pant and shirt/Pj’s. I use hotel laundries. Accessorize with scarves and necklaces. Take only two shoes, wearing one of them. It is so much nicer and safer to not look or feel burdened down by luggage. I keep my suitcase at 20-22 lbs and my personal item at 5-6 lbs (camera woman here) at the most. I care more about weight than anything else.

  53. Elaine Beale
    October 7, 2021 / 12:28 am

    I love your travel wardrobes but this one has too many clothes for me. I travel for two to three months at a time with an international size carryon bag with wheels and a small cross body bag (which is just big enough for my mini iPad, passports etc).. I would take 2-3 jeans/pants and a pair of leggings, 1 thermal top, 4 tops, 1 fleece, 1-2 light, thin wool or cashmere sweaters that can be worn alone or layered and a couple of scarves.. For outer wear I would take a micro puffy (mine weighs 200 grams and stuffs into a tiny pouch) and a rain jacket. I would swap out one pair of boots for a smaller, lighter shoe, probably loafers. Loafers can be worn on their own or with stocking socks in the cold and are great for breakfast/ dinners in the hotel. They also do double duty as slippers at night. I often check my bag (which usually weighs 8-9 kg) because Australia has a strict carryon weight limit of 7 kg but I fly carryon in Europe. I have a bodgy back so it’s important for me to have a bag that I can manage on my own. By travelling with one small bag I can carry it up and down stairs and lug it onto trains by myself. Happy travelling! (We’re looking forward to Australia’s borders opening so we can travel again!)

  54. Carlene
    October 7, 2021 / 2:15 am

    I’m with you on the amount of items you chose! Three weeks is a long time, and as long as it all fits in one bag, I say bring on the variety! Have a great trip!

  55. Lesley Revuelto
    October 7, 2021 / 4:00 am

    The selection you have is great. I’m in Croatia right now and the weather has been warm to chilly. Too few shirts and you’re washing laundry every night if the days are hot and you get sweaty. I packed two pairs of Athleta Brooklyn joggers, a pair of jeans and a skirt. The joggers have been perfect for sightseeing during the day.
    I have 4 pairs of shoes: white sneakers, sandals, ballet flats and flip flops. I could have left the flip flops but they’re nice to have if you visit a spa or just like to have something on your feet instead of being barefoot in your accommodation.
    Rain coat has been a big plus this time of year and I’m glad I packed mine instead of an umbrella.
    Have a wonderful trip!
    Bon Voyage~

  56. Shira
    October 7, 2021 / 6:17 am

    Your selections are So beautiful! They look lovely together. I can’t wait to see your photos. Hope you have a great time. Thank you for sharing your packing tips and your plans. Bon voyage!

  57. Julia
    October 7, 2021 / 5:54 pm

    I always find that when packing for a trip, clothes aren’ t the problem. It’s beauty products plus hair tools that take up all the room!

  58. Patricia
    October 9, 2021 / 7:50 am

    You have been a big influence on my packing! I no longer overpack and always use a carryon We went to Portugal, Spain and London 3 years ago at this exact same time. Started the trip in skirts and sandals and ended up having to buy a puffy coat at the end for Barcelona and London. Also, I packed a raincoat and got soaked through – next time I will make sure it is waterproof. Love the backpack idea! Next trip!

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