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Young Female Backpacking in Europe-What 2 wear while remaining fashionable?

Young Female Backpacking in Europe-What 2 wear while remaining fashionable?

May 31st, 2009, 07:03 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
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Young Female Backpacking in Europe-What 2 wear while remaining fashionable?

Hi! I am leaving for 2 months in Europe Mid June and returning Mid August. I'm worried about the heat and remaining fashionable AND comfortable. Is this possible? I will be in London, France (southern and northern), italy, and Greece.

What shoes should I bring, I'm in my mid 20's and have never been to Europe. I'm worried about finding a good pair of shoes to 'go out in' at night whether it be a club in greece or a bar in London. Are there any suggestions for any good transitional shoes? I've looked into the Cole Haan/Nike shoes, which are pretty cute. However, is it possible to remain fashionable but still have comfort without looking touristy in Europe?!

Any kind of comments/help I would GREATLY appreciate it. I'm pretty stressed out about this being my first time and all to Europe.
EuroBackpacker1 is offline  
May 31st, 2009, 07:26 PM
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I would worry more about packing LIGHT & finding clothes that are easy to wash out in the sink, so you'll look nice and be clean for 2 months traveling & still be able to lift your backpack! Worry less about looking "touristy"... after all you'll be carrying a backpack most of the time, I think they'll know

Shoes are so individual, you need to get them ASAP and wear them around at home to make sure you can walk for 8 hours straight in whatever you take. Also take 2 pairs so you can trade back & forth. I think Cole Haan/Nike Air shoes are fine. Being summer I'd also take a pair of sturdy sandals like Naot, Ecco, Clark, or Mephisto type. Sketcher mary-janes work well for some people. And I know some people make fun of this, but I also take a pair of sneakers (my regular white gym sneakers). Believe me if your feet get blisters or are hurting bad, you'll be thankful for them and will care less about fashion at that point! There's some New Balance out in gray or black that aren't so bad looking. I'd also tuck in a pair of regular flip flops.

Hard to recommend clothes not knowing your usual style, but I myself would take 1 pair light-weight, loose long pants, 2 pair capri, 1 pair long shorts (in cotton or rayon, dark colors or prints) and about 7 tops - tanks & t-shirts, one long sleeve so you can layer. No more than 1 pair of jeans (if you are a person who "lives" in them) because they are heavy and hot.

As far as being stressed and the going to Europe for the first time part... don't be worried. Once you get on the plane, you'll be fine!!!
suze is online now  
May 31st, 2009, 08:11 PM
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I'm about a decade older than you, but I'm a HUGE FAN of Cole Haan's Nike air shoes. Over the last 4-5 years, I've purchased at least 8-10 pairs of them, and many of those have gone on many trips to Europe with me.

I love them because they're light as air, and very soft (I prefer the suede leather ones). However, the soles are thin, so after several days of LOTS of walking (esp cobblestones), my ankles do get tired. But, I still wear them mostly for my European trips because of the lightweight and the comfort.

I usually wear a pair of lace-ups for the day (I own several pairs in various colors), and recently, I bought a pair of black suede maryjanes. I wear the mary janes for dressed-up things at night, such as classical concerts or a nice dinner. Of course, I don't sit in the super-expensive seats (where the patrons wear high heels), so my flats don't stand out too much.

Also, I'm too old to go clubbing, but I think those black mary janes will be okay for you.

This is the one pair I bought recently:
yk is online now  
May 31st, 2009, 09:34 PM
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I'm doing a similar backpacking trip (Spain>Fr>Switz>Italy) this August. I've been looking for a good multi-purpose cute but super comfy walking shoe and have been looking at Privo's by Clarks. They have some flats which aren't too touristy looking and are a little cheaper than the Nike Air with pretty good reviews too!

jackers is offline  
May 31st, 2009, 10:10 PM
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Don't forget a sundress and cardigan (if you're a sundress gal). And a cute swimsuit! France and Italy have GREAT outdoor markets with cute, cheap clothes (and swimsuits) so you can definitely pick stuff up along the way. I see lots of backpackers come thru our town (St. Remy in Provence) and everyone wears tanks or tees and shorts. For walking I'd say go with the most comfortable shoe you can find and don't worry how it looks...you'll see tennis shoes and sturdy walking sandals everywhere. Your charm and wit is what will win them all over, not your shoes! Have fun, be safe, bon voyage!--Julie from www.provencepost.com
JulieMautner is offline  
May 31st, 2009, 11:14 PM
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You will see lots of converse tennis shoes over here, in every color and style. Ballerina shoes are great for evenings and they don't take up much space in your bag. I'd go for the good walking sandals though, just cause you don't need socks and they are cooler.
Mainhattengirl is offline  
Jun 1st, 2009, 02:37 AM
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Have you heard about the latest line of clothing from the GAP, Banana, Old Navy Group? It's called Athleta.
They have a line of clothes for travel that I think would work for you. Lots of pretty sundresses, shorts, capris, and tops that look like they would pack well and wear well. You'd have to order quickly if you want them in time. If I were in the States I would order a ton!

If you decide to wear sundresses or tank tops don't forget to bring a shawl or wrap to cover your shoulders for churches.

Have fun!
BKP is offline  
Jun 1st, 2009, 03:13 AM
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BKP - I didn't realize that Athleta was from the gap. I was wondering I've been getting the catalog.

I'd recommend some light skirts as they wash well, dry quickly and look a bit more dressed up. If you can find things in microfiber that dries faster than cotton. Like the others said, you can always pick up things along the way - especially fun sandals for going out at night.

You'll have so much fun! don't worry.
Sally30 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2009, 07:15 AM
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I am a huge fan of Skechers Mary Jane type shoes for night because they are much lighter than the Clark, Ecco, and Cole Haan shoes that I have tried but still have good tread on the bottom. For the day, I strongly suggest that you wear sturdy comfortable sneakers or hiking shoes because we walked a lot in Italy (probably about 3-4 miles every day).

I have a standard travel wardrobe that I use on almost every trip: http://www.theroadforks.com/gear/clothes
The key, I think, is to find comfortable clothing that dries quickly and feels fairly light so that you can wash the clothes in the sink (or in a laundromat and air dry). You don't need to buy lots of "tech" clothing but a few well-chosen pieces could really help you out on your travels.
akila is offline  
Jun 1st, 2009, 08:51 AM
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First off, to remain fashionable trash the backpack and get a 22" roller bag and a shoulder tote.

For some general advice see http://tinyurl.com/n4r9xd. He's a geezer but has some specifics for women.

Looking "touristy" and being a traveler are two different things. You'll notice when you get over there.
spaarne is offline  
Jun 1st, 2009, 01:03 PM
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I love Sketchers too. I've got a pair of the mary janes that are cute and comfy. I've also got a pair of ballet flats from Naturalizer that are great too - good tread, comfortable, look a little dressy, and they are small so they pack really well.
november_moon is offline  
Jun 1st, 2009, 01:08 PM
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Oh - another suggestion. I know you were asking about shoes, but underwear is almost as important so I thought I would put in a recommendation for the No Pantyline Promise line from Jockey. The material is a thin nylon, so it dries really quickly and basically disappears under any clothing. I take them with me on trips all the time and they work really well - plus they aren't terribly expensive.
november_moon is offline  
Jun 1st, 2009, 01:24 PM
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Wow!! Thank you EVERYBODY for your great suggestions!! I definitely feel more confident about my travels ahead
EuroBackpacker1 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2009, 01:27 PM
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Oh and also, I did check out Athleta by Gap and they have some really cute, traveling things!! I've already put my order in for some sundresses/skirts!
EuroBackpacker1 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 08:55 AM
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EuroBackpacker, I know you are already gone, but if there are others out there reading this post, I just re-did our post on a woman's packing list based on what I carry when I travel and what I will be carrying for our round-the-world trip. http://bit.ly/3t8HoY
akila is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:09 AM
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Looking "touristy" and being a traveler are two different things...

sure, sure....
Dukey is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:54 AM
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Like yk, I am a huge fan of the Cole Haan's which incorporate Nike Air technology. I have both summer and winter styles and these are my go to shoes for Europe and anywhere that I travel that requires lots of walking.

I would bring a pretty tank dress for evenings and a cardigan or pashmina wrap for cooler nights.

I have some Athela yoga style pants that are quite dressy when I pair them with a pretty camisole and top. They wash well also.
kfusto is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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never heard of sketchers mary janes but looked them up and god those things are hideous. I can't believe people are recommending them for a 20-odd year old to go out clubbing in! Please...don't.

clubs in London usually have a dress code of some sort - either according to 'genre' or just generally dressy. Trainers/sneakers are pretty much universally banned.

In Europe, for clubs, bars etc, you'll fit in (most places)best wearing dark skinny jeans, a top of pretty much whatever style you fancy, plus medium/high heeled sandals/shoes (or pretty flats if you prefer but not ones you'd pick for walking round all day in.
nona1 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 08:24 PM
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akila, I see you are coming Down Under. Have the best time!! Where all will you visit in Australia? Watch those kangaroos!!
YvonneT is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 03:42 AM
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course youre gonna look like a tourist
wear what you wear at home

get your colours done before you go
and only buy those tones

choose a colour theme and stick with it

i bring cargo pants - grey

and then a variety of red black and grey tops

in winter i pack scarves to lend variety

bought gortex hikers this time
cute grey and comfortable and waterproof
lanejohann is offline  

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