What I’m Packing for 2 Weeks in Europe & the UK: My Spring Travel Capsule

Today I’m sharing my 2-week travel capsule wardrobe for Europe and the UK. Keep reading to see what I’m packing, and how I chose what I did.

I have to admit, when we first began traveling back in 2007, figuring out what to pack was no small source of angst for me. Was I packing the “right” clothes? Would I have everything I needed? This fear-based mindset often resulted in overpacking, or choosing pieces that were so generic that everything looked the same. But with practice and keeping notes about what worked or didn’t, my confidence has grown. And I think I’m getting pretty good at putting together travel capsule wardrobes that are functional, appropriate, and express my style!

This time I’ll be traveling for a couple of weeks, hopping between London, Amsterdam, and Paris. So I need to keep it on the lighter side, while still being prepared for April’s changeable weather.

I’m still planning to check a bag. But because I’ll be taking trains between destinations, I’m going to downsize to a carry-on size suitcase to keep it more manageable. (And I’ll be trying out some new travel gear, so look for reviews soon…)

My spring travel capsule wardrobe for Europe & UK

Before compiling any travel capsule, I always keep an eye on weather forecasts, and refer back to prior travel wardrobes. My travel wardrobe from last fall in London was one of my best, so I’ve incorporated some of the parameters (and styles) that worked so well. A limited palette, and fewer pieces with less redundancy made it easier put together outfits for just about any venue. So I’ve repeated that here.

Without further ado…

What I'm packing for 2 weeks in Europe and the UK: 6 tees and pullovers, 2 cardigans, 3 pants, 3 shoes

(I’ve lightened all images to better show details.)

My neutrals are brown, denim/navy, and ivory. For color accents, I could easily have gone with red again, but wanted something that felt lighter and more seasonal for spring. So I chose 3 green tops that range from “Seafoam” to “Mint Green” in my Spring palette.

I’ve also factored in my recent epiphany about what constitutes a “basic” for me. So I’ve included some quirky and playful pieces this time. Still, everything works well together and can be dressed up or down.

What I’m packing…

This also includes what I’ll be wearing on the plane…


I always start with shoes when planning my travel wardrobes.

  • Ankle boots. For travel days, or chilly or wet weather, I like to have a pair of ankle boots. They can also dress up an outfit for going out to dinner or the theater. This is a pair I’ve had for a while. I’ve had the cobbler add a rubber half-sole and waterproof them. This one has a similar look and is also waterproof.
  • Sneakers. I’m packing the same pair I took to London last year. They’re comfortable and supportive, and go with everything.
  • Loafers. Something in-between the boots and sneakers. These are quite comfortable and zhuzsh up my simple separates. If the snake print is a bit too bold for you, this one (“Saddle multi”) has a more subtle croc texture.


These are all comfortable, work well with the tops, and can dress up or down.

  • Silky cargo joggers. Ok, so NOT your basic trousers. 😉 But surprisingly, they work almost anywhere a classic trouser style would. They dress up or down, are comfortable, and washable. The color IRL is a little darker, a grey-ish, olive-ish brown (in between “Donkey” in the Spring palette and “Bronze” in Autumn.) Here’s a similar (and budget-friendly) style.
  • Jeans. Barrel-leg style. Again, not the expected, but they work with everything, and I feel very bien dans ma peau in these.
  • Coated denim trousers. (Similar) These were one of the MPV’s from my London travel wardrobe, so decided to bring them again.


I’m packing a mix of light-to-medium weight tops, mostly sweaters.

  • Cashmere-silk cardigan (Similar). Another multi-tasker. Can be worn on its own as a top, or over another layer.
  • Merino sweater-jacket. This is probably the bulkiest piece I’m bringing, but it really earns its keep. I can wear open as a light jacket, or buttoned as a top.
  • Striped shirt. Mine is Madewell, from last year, and almost sold out. Here’s a similar style in cotton gauze fabric.
  • Wool shell/vest (Similar). This piece can function as a shell underneath the jacket or cardigan, or as a vest over the shirt or lightweight tops for additional warmth.

The green tops are each meant to be a singular color accent in an outfit, rather than worn together. I’ll also be packing a few scarves for more color and pattern options.

Outerwear & accessories

I’ll make my final outerwear choices close to departure, but at the moment am planning to bring this packable down jacket (similar). It’s a bit lighter than the down coat I’ve often traveled with, but still plenty warm. I may also bring a rain coat or shell, depending on forecasts.

I’ll bring several scarves, including the ones shown above. I’ve had that Loewe bag for a few years and have traveled with it previously. I may also pack one of my Lo & Sons Pearl bags, depending on luggage space.

Base layers

I like to bring a couple of silk jersey tanks to wear underneath my sweaters and tops. And I’ll be bringing some silk long underwear (tops / pants) in case the weather turns colder than expected.

Before I leave for the airport…

I’ll do a final check on the weather in my destinations, and make adjustments if necessary. I always allow myself one or two Wild Card pieces, to be added at the last minute, based on forecasts and whim.

Because I’m checking a bag, I’ll pack a change of clothes in my carry-on luggage. Medications, my laptop, and my favorite travel amenities will also go in the cabin bag.

Yes, some of the pieces in my capsule are spendy. Check the links marked “Similar” for budget-friendlier options. And be sure to check out the Travel Wardrobe section in my SHOP for lots more travel-friendy pieces.

As always, I’ll do my best to capture daily outfits from this travel wardrobe, and will review and recap upon my return. If you’re looking for more packing tips and wardrobe ideas, come check out my Travel Wardrobe Resource hub. And happy travels!

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  1. We’ve never checked bags going to Paris or London but have never done a 3-country trip. ( did a Germany/ France and Switzerland/France plus s France/Denmark at various times). All carry -on. You are amazingly strategic and i like that! Bon voyage!

  2. Looks to be the perfect Spring travel capsule .
    Loving the greens in it .
    Have a wonderful time and hopefully the rain will have eased here in the UK when you arrive here . We’ve had so much rain this winter and Spring .

  3. Dear Susan,
    Your travel capsule is beautiful. Thanks to you and other videos I packed a similar variety of looks for my trip to London last September. We had a wonderful trip, but, what do you do when the weather doesn’t vary? Last September, London experienced record high temps and it was in the high 80’s everyday! Well, obviously, I went shopping for sandals and another light weight blouse or two. (I dragged my booties and cashmere around for two weeks) I’m just wondering if this has ever happened to you?

    1. I’ve never had a trip where the heat didn’t break after a few days. The longest and (unexpectedly) hottest was 4 days of a canicule in France back in 2019. I ended up buying a pair of linen pants and a couple of tees.

  4. Very nice! I would love to see flat layouts of a few potential outfits as that is challenging to me. Enjoy Susan

  5. I am excited for you and a bit jealous, to be honest. Your trip sounds amazing. Maybe you’ll stop by ME&EM while in London? It’s such a gorgeous store . I also like wearing tanks under my sweaters and heavier tops. Each year I purchase many new cotton Caslon tanks from Nordstrom but maybe I’ll start to invest in some EF like you. What color of tank do you wear most under your sweaters and such?

  6. Hi Susan-big question: do you hit the laundrymat and if so how often in the two week period? Underwear can be done by hand, but your outerwear items? Just trying to grasp how it all works! have fun.

    1. Hi Cathy, I rarely find I need to wash outerwear or most clothes during a two-week trip, but if so I’ll either find a laundromat, or use hotel laundry service (can be pricey, but sometimes worth it for the convenience). I usually pack a couple of spot cleaning items like a Tide pen and Janie Stick (for grease spots).

  7. Brilliant Susan! You’re such an inspiration. Have a fabulous trip and I look forward to viewing your daily outfits!!

  8. I LOVE your choices Susan! The Tibi pants I love love love–interestingly I’ve been wanting a pair of pants like that for years. I notice that some of your choices are (for me) on the expensive side, but I figure you’re getting them as investments. Just curious: did you get size S in the Tibi pants? Are you traveling solo? Can’t wait to follow your adventures!

  9. I just returned last night from 20 days in Paris, Amsterdam and a river cruise down to Belgium. I reviewed the weather in advance and saw several 15 – 19′ C days. What I soon discovered was 19′ C at home (West Coast Canada) is a lot warmer than 19′ C in Paris. I did well with ankle boots, sneakers, ponte pants, cardigans and my trench coat. I bought my husband a cashere scarf and I wore it over my coat most days. I even bought a wool cap (fisherman/dutch boy style) which was fabulous in the wind and the rain. Most days we carried our umbrellas – even when no rain was in the forecast – as it generally rained. Merino wool sweaters would have been a good addition (I will be buying more) and my silk and cashmere scarves were lifesavers. All in all we packed well – but more warm light layers would have been better. I only had 1 silk cami and 1 wool under tee. We travelled March 21 – April 8 and experienced very cool and wet until the last two days where it was 24′ and 18′ C in Amsterdam which was wonderful. Have a great trip!

  10. Hi Susan –

    Question – you say you’re checking a bag but downsizing to a carryon – can you explain? Will you be leaving your bigger suitcase somewhere?
    I’m spending 2 weeks in Ireland and Scotland this summer, and my goal is to do it with a carry-on only, because we will be doing a lot of traveling around among various places.
    Do you think a carry-on is feasible? We will be staying with family at various times and will have access to washer/dryer.

    1. I’m going to check my carry-on sized wheeled suitcase, and will carry-on a small “weekender” size bag and personal item bag. I think it’s much easier to travel carry-on only in warmer seasons, and if you’re staying with family for some of the trip, you might be able to do laundry.

    1. Thanks, Lee, and yes, I’ve been wearing it to walk the dog here on chillier mornings. Haven’t yet featured it on the blog.

  11. Bonjour Susan, I’m in Paris right now and it rained about 4 different times today so I’m glad I brought a raincoat this time. I came with a carryon and a large bag (with a smaller purse inside)
    and am happy with my choices, but will have to do some laundry. I’m a winter so I chose black, navy, medium blue for colours.
    Have you booked the Dior exposition at the Dior museum? I went last April and am excited to go again this trip, just outstanding. I think you would love it. Thanks for all the packing tips over the last few years! Bon voyage!

    1. Hi Carol, thanks! I did see the Dior exhibition when it was first launched in 2018, but may have to go back…

  12. Susan, these colors are beautiful! Can’t wait to see the outfits you create. One request, please … we are desperate to find a good quality, decently-priced suitcase that can be used as a carry-on for international flights. When you pack for this trip, please share which suitcase you choose. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, and will do! I’m trying out some new travel gear this trip, and will review once I’ve road-, rail-, and airport-tested.

    2. Just my 2 cents….I have a set of Lipault bags that I bought about 8 or 9 years ago and they are still in perfect condition, I love them because they are very light weight and easy to lift. (I prefer soft sided luggage). The ONLY thing I have had to do is replace the zipper pulls (not the zippers). Also I think they are really elegant looking. I have travelled all over the world with them and they still look great.

  13. You’re going to look gorgeous in this wardrobe Susan. What will you wear on the plane and for travel in between countries? It’s always a problem for me- some people take a separate outfit for those travelling days.

    1. Thanks, Briar! I’m planning to wear clothes and shoes from this group for travel days, but am keeping an eye on the weather and may swap or add a Wild Card piece.

    2. Thanks for asking about a specific outfit to wear on the plane. I also wanted to ask Susan that question and what she chose to wear. I like to have a super-comfortable outfit that is only for long travel days. I pick something that if I spill something, the clothes can be easily cleaned in the hotel after I arrive, instead of risking a mess on my nicer daily clothes. I have worn Athleta’s Brooklyn pants or nice black joggers and a matching jacket, for example. I’d love to hear other suggestions.

  14. Great capsule Susan!
    That pullover with detachable snood is genius. I love the idea of multi-wear items, like reversible jackets and dresses etc. Would add another dimension to a smaller wardrobe too (what I’m aiming for).
    Thanks for sharing the ‘psychology’ behind how you chose your travel capsule.
    Looking forward to seeing your outfits and any shopping
    Bon voyage,
    Julie xx

  15. I admire your flexibility in determining your neutrals, and your color choices. You’ve inspired me to be more interesting and thoughtful in my travel wardrobe (put to the test this fall). Looking forward to your trip report!
    For those with champagne tastes, but beer budgets, I urge you to look at ebay. There are sellers who provide photos with measurements (I would never buy without measurements), and are careful to point out even minor flaws. I was surprised at how good ebay’s filtering system is. You can put in “Garnet Hill shirt” and filter it by style, sleeve length, size, color and more. Many sellers will have ‘returns accepted’ (you do have to pay for return shipping). I’ve bought several pieces that I’ve been happy with. If you know the label’s fit and you read descriptions and photos carefully, it’s as good an option as a store.

  16. WOW! Looks great! Love the colors and shoes. Spendy is good if the clothes last and you feel good wearing them!
    Looking forward to the pics.

  17. Hi Susan,
    I enjoy your website and have learnt a great deal. However, chick ….you don’t look good in barrel leg pants. In fact, who does? They don’t compliment your figure in the slightest. You’ve got a really cute, petite figure and barrel- leg pants just make you look like you’ve been riding a horse for too long.

    Stay away, in my opinion. Still, I enjoy following you despite your occasional fashion disaster. You’ve got a great classic and fun edge to your style. Barrel-leg jeans should be banned! However edgy they may appear, they look awful.

    My friendly 2 cents,

    1. Well…we’ll have to agree to disagree on these. Not everything has to be “figure flattering,” and I love the fun and quirky vibe they add.

      1. Hi Susan,

        You’re right that on this point we can agree to disagree. I learn so much from your excellent ideas and suggestions and you do such a great job putting all the travel wardrobes together. I’m a fan!

        All the best,

  18. Hi Susan, long term reader and seldom commentator, however just wanted to say how much I appreciate your packing tips and advice, particularly the post trip reviews. We have a four week cruise/tour early next year where the first half has temps of 15 – 30 C and the second 8 – 15 C, so with a few warm weather additions I think this capsule will be great guidance – if I can stick to it. I particularly like the greens!

    Thanks also for your recent discussion and links on ‘the basics’ – it has really helped me to clarify my thinking about what I feel I ‘should’ pack vs what I feel most like myself in.

    WRT the barrel leg pants, I really like what they add to your overall look and how they complement both your carefully chosen tops and your personality – you look great!

  19. That all looks great, esp the jacket. It is very changeable here in the UK at present, dodging between pouring rain and bright sunshine, unseasonably warm and, as today, cold. You might like to consider an umbrella. On the plus side…the blossom, the blooms, the bright stinging green after all the rain – a beautiful spring awaits.

  20. After decades of bouncing around the UK and Europe for work, I would never go in April or May and not include a good looking raincoat or a Barbour jacket. Sleek, chic, day to night. Rain or shine one looks pulled together. I’m afraid anything ‘puffer’ will leave you feeling like a wet marshmallow.

  21. Hi Susan,

    This poat could not be morw timely for me! I leave for Europe: Stockholm, Berlin & Cooenhagen (mix of visiting friends and train travel) next week. Weather will vary. I am a seasoned traveler and chronic overpacker. A few times I have under packed I felt underdressed out of place. I am going to take a hard look at my wardrobe. I do have one item of color but will mostly be wearing black, gray and olive. https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/pilcro-painter-buttondown-shirt?color=266&type=STANDARD&quantity=1

    I am going to try HARD to follow your packing formula above. Though I will take a 4th pair of shoes, Birkenstock slides to wear at the Airbnbs.

    In addition, I am planning to take a light short puffer coat, and light rain jacket but wondering if I should take my color blocked cotton trench as it is more stylish. Your opinion & feedback is greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Mary, have a wonderful trip! Regarding the rain jacket vs. trench, that really depends on your activities and style. Remember that a coat comes off as soon as you’re indoors, and depending on the venue, there may or may not be a place to check it.

      1. Thank you! Food for thought. Great post and the Jarbo quilted jacket looks SO much better in your photo than the vendor’s website.

  22. I’m glad to see your purse in the last photo. It looks like the perfect size. I need a new purse that isn’t giant and doesn’t scream tourist.

  23. Susan I can’t help but post here again! What a rich conversation here! I love the tips from you and your readers. I’m struck by your travel capsule this time–so uniquely you!! The color choices are unusual and wonderful and I love the quirky additions that have such fantastic structure to them. I’ve always felt intense pressure when traveling, not to stand out as an American but to blend in — so my sartorial choices have always been conservative and mostly neutrals (black featuring prominently for years). Seeing your choices is very liberating! Thank you so much for another wonderful posting.

  24. I have a question (for anyone and I feel silly asking it): what about technical wear vs ‘real clothes’ when traveling? Susan I know you don’t travel with technical wear–I’m thinking of the Athleta pants, for example. Thanks

  25. My husband and I are leaving in 2 weeks for 10 days in London. We also plan on checking our bags. Do you use the AirTag in your checked bag?

  26. Susan, I am going to be in Scotland and Ireland for 10 days this summer. I’m looking for a packable raincoat that is truly waterproof, has a hood, and looks nice enough to wear out to dinner but is also good with jeans and sneakers. Any suggestions?