MIFM in Europe: What I Wore

This is not going to be a packing for Europe how-to post, but I am happy to report that, after this trip, I can officially say that I have outgrown my over-packing tendencies.

I mean, yes, I did have a few things that went unworn, but overall, everything got a turn or two, and there were very few superfluous items in my bag (my hairdryer quickly became superfluous when it got fried, even though I was using a converter).

So, what was in my bag?

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Well, for one, this easy-breezy dress from Walmart ($9 last year).

My photographer (read: husband) briefly forgot the cardinal rule of outfit documentation and didn’t include my feet in this shot, but, considering that the trade-off is a better view of the surrounding (gorgeous) countryside, I’d say it’s a win.

I bought that big floppy hat and those Ray Ban knock-offs (they wouldn’t have fooled anybody, but they did fit well) within 10 minutes of wading into all the shops in Fira on our first day, and I proceeded to wear them a lot for the rest of the trip. Totally worth $22 (side note: it’s always shocking to do the conversions from Euros to dollars to see what you actually spent. Inevitably, I end up feeling ripped off).

The nights were cool in Santorini, so later on, I changed into this little ditty.

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{Skirt: Old Navy, old;  Top: consignment sale; Sandals: handmade in Greece; Belt: LOFT, old;  Jeans jacket: J. Crew Factory—one of the most worn items in my closet}

Because of the varying temperatures and the fact that I get inexplicably hot, then cold very quickly, I carried that striped bag everywhere, and it always had some sort of warm layer and often a light scarf inside.

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{Shorts: Goodwill; Shirt: consignment sale; Necklace: Walmart, $5…recent purchase; Sandals: handmade in Greece}

Day 2 was pretty warm, so I started the day with shorts for lots of hiking and beach exploring. But by the end of the day, I’d added jeans…

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…although I would have been fine in shorts for our 2 mile hike up and down a steep incline. By the time we cooled down and headed to dinner, though, I needed a sweater. So, yeah. Europe in June = layers. Definitely.

Day 3 was warm again during the day, so I stole my husband’s fedora (in an attempt to stretch my 5 day old straight hair just a liiiiiittle bit longer) and threw on a tank and shorts.

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{Top: Kohl’s, old; Shorts: Goodwill; Wedges: Goodwill}

This was the one and only bakery we actually bought something from in Greece, and it was pretty good. Not life-changing. But tasty.

I had one rather impulsive buy in Santorini, and that was these black harem pants, which my husband has teased me about ever since, even while admitting that he actually kind of likes them on me.

harem pants

Pardon the dirty mirror.

{Pants: bought in Greece; Tank: GAP, old; Belt: GAP, old; Scarf: bought in Greece; Jacket: same as above}

I don’t know how much actual wear they’ll get, but I’ll tell you this: I wore them on our flights from Santorini to London, and they were soooooooo comfy. It felt like flying in my pj’s, so I wasn’t complaining.

The only rain we saw on the entire trip happened the first night we were in London (after an absolutely beautiful, sunny afternoon).

 

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{Jacket: same as above; Jeans: GAP, old; Shoes: Beall’s, old; Shirt: Target}

The rain cooled down the temps considerably, which is why I’m so awkwardly buttoned and bundled up here. Definitely not my cutest look, but hey, I stayed warm!

P.S. Anybody else wondering why there’s a giant blue chicken smack dab in the middle of Trafalgar Square?

The next day, I knew a lot of walking was in store for us, so I wore extremely unexciting gym clothes and tennis shoes, which did not get photographed…more’s the pity.

But that night, we headed to Notting Hill to wander, and I added a few more layers to ward of the evening chill.

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{Jeans: GAP; Top: Old Navy, last year; Scarf: gift from a friend; Booties: American Eagle, last year}

Moving on to Paris, I wandered around most of our first day in those same black jeans (what can I say? they’re comfortable} and my military vest, feeling a bit Rambo-esque.

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{Tank: Old Navy; Vest: Old Navy; Shoes: Ross}

Day 2 in Paris was the day of our food tour and also the day that the strange man from Montmartre had a fit about my shoes…or feet…or both.

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{Shirt: Goodwill; Shorts: Goodwill; Scarf: Walmart, recent}

And, as usually happened as it got cooler, I changed into a long-sleeved shirt and jeans for that evening’s festivities (read: eating more yummy food).

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{Top: Anthro…I got it for $8, and the clerk was so jealous; Jeans: Victoria Secret outlet, $10; Shoes: Ross}

Of course, a trip to Paris isn’t complete without visiting Versailles.

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{Dress: Old Navy, last year; Sweater: Target, recent; Scarf + Shoes: Greece}

I tried to keep my ensemble neutral for this one so as not to clash with all the gold filigree and ornate tapestries. Ha!

Later on, I threw on my trusty jean jacket and a fun necklace for a trip to Luxembourg Gardens.

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My next outfit is probably my least favorite of the entire trip. I liked the concept in my head, but the actual execution ended up being Frump City (in my mind, at least), and I spent most of the day fussing with my chambray shirt and belt trying to find a combo that made me feel less self-conscious.

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Our last day in Paris ended up being one of the most fun of the entire trip and would have been even better if I’d worn different shoes…

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{Top: Old Navy; Scarf: Paris flea market; The rest= same as above}

We walked a TON that day, and while I was good for the first 4 miles or so, eventually my feet kind of wanted to commit suicide. Even the most comfortable heeled boots are not made for walking marathons on concrete.

My last outfit in Paris was one of my faves because it consisted entirely of items that I bought on the trip.

The first layer was this $14 H&M dress that I bought in Paris.

striped dress

And then, I added a scarf I’d bought at the flea market earlier in the day, a pair of wedges I’d found in a shop the day before, and this gorgeous fitted red pea coat that we found at Camdem Markets in London. I vacillated forever over whether to buy it (it was only 35 £ , but that’s still like $58 US) until my husband finally tipped the scales by declaring how much he loved it (he kept saying it throughout the day and when I wore it in Paris too, so I think I’m convinced ;) ).

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Funny story: we asked someone to take our picture together in front of the Eiffel Tower, and it turned out to be a girl from Texas, of all places, who, as she was leaving said, “I love your coat. You look very Parisian!”

And then, another American lady with her daughter asked us to take their picture, and as she left, she commented that she wouldn’t have guessed I was American because I looked so Parisian in my red coat.

And then, when I posted a picture of Shaun and me together when I was wearing this coat, several people (all American, I think) commented that I was working a Parisian “flair.”

But you know what? I didn’t see a single Parisian wearing anything like this outfit while I was there. Their color palette tends to be much more subdued and considerably less showy than a statement red coat + stripes + a colorful scarf.

So, I ended up concluding that we Americans have an idea of what it is to be Parisian in our heads (maybe from movies?) that may not be the least bit accurate at all.

And there you have it, folks. 2 weeks worth of travel outfits. I tried to stick with lots of basics (and skinny jeans, of course; it’s Europe, after all) that I could mix and match with a few florals and stripes thrown in for variety and ended up mostly happy with my results.

Honestly, I’d say that my favorite/most useful/most worn item from the entire trip (I wore it on the plane every time we flew) was my cargo vest. It went with practically everything (well, that involved jeans, anyway) and was super-convenient for storing headphones, my passport, boarding passes, gum, etc. in the deep pockets so I didn’t constantly have to dig through one of my carry-ons. So, I guess if I had one piece of wardrobe advice for your next trip that involves a fair bit of travel, it would be to invest (har har) in one of those (I think I got mine for $20 brand new, so it’s really not such a steep investment as all that)

Did y’all have a favorite look from the trip? I’m pretty partial to that pretty red coat.

Any brilliant overseas packing tips for the rest of us? I will not be taking a trip like this for many, many years…if ever again, honestly. But a girl can dream…and squirrel away good advice, just in case.

Are you surprised, sometimes, by the things in your closet that become staples? When I first bought that vest, I loved the idea of it but had no clue what to do with it on me. But I’ve since worn it a ton and am completely happy I went for it.

If you had to describe the “Parisian” look in 10 words or less, how would you do it?

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13 thoughts on “MIFM in Europe: What I Wore

  1. Strangely I enough, even though I love that red jacket, my faves of the outfits you wore all involve jeans! Oh, and what you were wearing on day 2 in Paris (Montmartre).
    You have some fab outfits. :)
    Sheree

  2. Love the red coat!! I’m a bit of a jacket enthusiast myself. :-) my current favorite is a red denim my husband spent too much on for Mother’s day last year. I am bringing his price per wear down on that one though!

  3. You are “Abbie”solutely adorable! Practically no one in EU wears tennies – so that’s how you spot the (us) Americans. ; )

    You’re correct about the “American assumption” of Parisian style.
    It’s really all about staples – good quality over quantity, classic, chic & neutral(s).
    I still have a few items from when I went as an exchange student just over 20 years ago. All are still in fashion (thank God!) cause they cost this then 17 year old an “un bras et une jambe”. ; )

    The culmination of my shopping in Paris included a visit to Chanel where I could only afford a nail polish but was soooo worth it.

    So glad you had an amazing & safe trip!
    Can’t wait to see more!

  4. Your outfits are so cute, and I like the way you layer. I love your red coat and striped dress. It does look more “American in Paris.” But I think of Parisian dress as fancier than American, but more subdued colors. Definitely, nicer things, no sports clothes or shoes worn outside the actual sports.

  5. i totally concur with your thoughts on how americans think parisians look. i was all, i can’t pack color, i have to wear black, and you know what? i saw everything being worn there. trying to have a look that was “paris” really was more in my head than in real life. although…yes to scarves. they’re not kidding about that, eh?

  6. OH! So much FUN to see everything you wore and hear the bits and pieces of the trip!!! Really makes me want to put a european trip on our must do list!!

    I love that green skirt from Old Navy…I couldn’t pull off that color, even on the bottom, but it was adorable and, even though it was your least favorite outfit, I thought the chambray/tank/belt looked great on you (but fussing too much makes any outfit “uncomfortable”)!

    You had a ton of great looks; I liked them all, but might have to tip the scales to the white dress/jean jacket/necklace as my favorite with both green skirt outfits close behind…they just look so vacation-y and comfy and pretty…I love all the jeans looks, really; but skirts and sundresses are my happy place :)

    Parisian look in 10 words or less (in my mind’s eye of course ;) ):

    Flawless skin, skinny legs, pony-buns with chic, beautiful ensembles (sorry, I picture what I think the PEOPLE look like, than I do the clothes) :D

    1. Christy! So sorry to take so long to respond! Unfortunately, my friend didn’t actually knit the scarf herself but bought it at a local shop. Sorry. I know that’s not much help.

  7. I loved watching your instagram feed while on your trip! I always have cute outfit ideas when I travel & usually end up only wearing comfort pieces. I love love love your whole look in the green anthro $8 shirt! Shoes! Hair! Sunnies! Perfection! I’m also quite jealous of those greek sandals you had made!!! Awesome!

  8. Love your post on outfits but I have to admit I’m looking forward to the food post. Ha. I love your floral strapped shirt that your wore with the white shorts and jeans (especially with the jeans, your red striped wedges, cute scarfs and especially the red coat. By far my fave. However it definitely looks British to me. Not Parisian. Unless you count Madeline. Thanks for sharing.

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