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Be ready for spring in Europe in no time
Part of the charm of luxurious European getaways is trying to put on a new persona that matches the chic atmosphere of wherever you visit – be it London, Paris, Milan or Barcelona. To feel as if you belong next to residents of these stylish cities, you have to look the part. The trick is knowing what to pack and keeping in mind the season during which you’ll be visiting. A little bit of research doesn’t hurt before your big trip, so here are a few tips to help make sure you’re prepared and Euro-chic in no time.
Just like in the U.S., springtime in Europe is mild and at times rainy, which can be tricky to prepare for. You’re probably trying to pack light, considering most airlines charge for a second checked bag, so it’s essential that you map out which items are a must. You’ll be doing a great deal of sightseeing, so the right shoes are crucial. One pair of versatile, neutral waterproof shoes, such as Hunter or Sorel boots in lightweight styles should be good for any inclement weather you might experience, and if you just can’t fit them in your luggage, surrender to the fact that you might just have to buy your first pair of Parisian boots…which is not exactly your worst-case scenario.
Second, an everyday jacket that can transition from day to night is the perfect travel item. Coats take up a great deal of packing space, so the less of them you bring, the better. Bring or buy one in black, tan, navy or gray, as Europeans are traditionally subtle with their outerwear. If you’re visiting Italy or France in the late spring or early summer, then feel free to start pulling out florals and vibrant colors in your wardrobe.
Act like an ambassador
Sometimes, it’s okay to be a tourist. If you’re visiting the Eiffel Tower or snapping a photo of your friend clutching a fresh baguette, consider those your free passes. However, if you want to be treated like a local, you have to act like one. As a foreigner in another country, some individuals might pass judgment without even realizing. At a market, you might not be able to haggle prices as well, simply because you’re not as accustomed to the exchange. If you carry yourself with confidence and style, and perhaps brush up on the French language a tad, you might be able to fool a few locals into thinking you’re one of them.
“You should know Europeans’ idea of casual is a bit more pulled together than Americans’,” said Travel + Leisure’s style director Mimi Lombardo. “…I always think of myself as a representative of our country when abroad and step up the style quotient.”
Plan to mix and match
Because you have little space to pack, you might have to rewear certain items, and to make it easy, just pack clothes in three or four similar colors and shades. Navy, beige and white or black, mustard and gray work, and for times when you need a little pop, make sure you’ve packed some vibrant accessories to add pizzazz to your ensemble.
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