15 Days in a Backpack: My List of Clothes for Europe

My clothes laid out before packing. (Photo by Lauren Klamm)
My clothes laid out before packing. (Photo by Lauren Klamm)

When I first started packing for my trip I felt so lost and confused. Do I need to be fancy? How can you backpack and be fancy? Does Europe have clothing norms I should know about? What  kind of shoes do I bring?

Even now I look at my packing decisions and I’m a little baffled (how on earth did I bring six pairs of shoes in my backpack!) I’m not claiming to be a “fashionista” or a packing expert.  But, this is what I brought for my trip:



  • 1 pair dark skinny jeans– this is a European staple. They look good on just about anyone and they can be dressed up or down.
  • 1 pair of black leggings– a great option because some places require your knees to be covered. In these cases leggings can easily be thrown on under a skirt or a dress.
  • 1 pair of  black capris
  • 1 pair of jean capris
  • 1 pair khaki shorts- great for roughing it while backpacking or hiking.
  • 1 black skirt
  • 1 black maxi dress
  • 1 black above the knee dress
  • 1 blue belted dress with sleeves- be sure to pack one dress with sleeves for more conservative destinations.
  • 8 pairs of underwear- I packed half the amount of underwear I needed because I knew I would be doing laundry somewhere along the trip. Unfortunately, one very small load of laundry cost me $15!


  • 5 T-shirts
  • 1 button up shirt
  • 2 tank tops
  • 1 long  sleeved pink cardigan– to be dressed up or dressed down
  • 1 short sleeved tan cardigan
  • 1 white shawl
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 2 day time bras
  • 1 sports bra


  • 2 scarfs and 2 belts- quick and simple ways to change up an outfit.
  • 1 swim suit- if you plan on going to the beach a lot bring an extra suit so you can always have a dry one.
  • 1 statement necklace- nothing too expensive but glam enough to dress up an outfit.
  • 2 earrings
  • 1 cross-body bag- I chose a cross body so I could keep my belongings close to me for safe keeping!
  • 2 sunglasses- one pair would have sufficed!
  • 1 watch- you’re going to need a device to tell you the time when your phone is not accessible. Get nostalgic and bring yourself a watch.
  • 1 umbrella


  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair black rubber flip flops-beaches and showers are about the only appropriate places to wear flip-flops. But you’ll be glad you brought them when you hop into a hostel shower stall.
  • 1 pair BirkenstocksI love my Birks! They are so comfy. They were perfect for trekking around town.
  • 1 pair Tevas– great for hiking to beaches or exploring rocky territory.
  • 1 pair tan flats- easy to wear for daytime and nighttime.
  • 1 pair grey van’s
  • 1 pair of hiking shoes- Good support for when my feet were dog tired.

I also found TravelFashionGirl.com and StylishGirlsTravelToo.com to be helpful blogs for my packing woes.