Summer in a Backpack

by Brittany


As you know, we are backpacking around Europe this summer, leaving in one week and five days!!! Before we leave we have to finish selling all our furniture, have a stoop sale which will hopefully account for all our extra clothes and books and finish packing the few boxes that we will be keeping! So yesterday I decided to really buckle down and figure out all my outfits and pack my backpack and see what the weight was (crossing my fingers the whole time that it would be under the 10kg limit for RyanAir). Jesse was amazingly patient with taking pictures and giving fashion advice as I tried on every combination of clothes.  The result was better than I could even hoped for! My mom and I have been profusely researching how to get by on the smallest amount of clothes imaginable (see my Pinterest board on the subject). So the final cut ended up with only 12 clothing items and 18 + possible combinations! Those 12 items include my bikini and straw hat!!!

Here they are, I'm starting with all the combos with this grey maxi skirt that I found on top of a dumpster:

Vintage shirt from garage sale

Vintage shirt from garage sale

Boys school uniform shirt found in a nearby alley 

Boys school uniform shirt found in a nearby alley 

I have no idea where this shirt came from... my guess is the Salvation Army

I have no idea where this shirt came from... my guess is the Salvation Army

Old Navy blouse from Wheaton Goodwill

Old Navy blouse from Wheaton Goodwill

These are with my All Saints Spitalfield cut off shorts that I found at American Thrift on Chicago Ave for 3.99. Note: instead of packing jeans I am just bringing a pair of black tights to wear under these shorts if its chilly.

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Detail of shirt...this is about as polka dotty as I get!

Detail of shirt...this is about as polka dotty as I get!

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This shirt is a razor back...it looks like a halter here but it's not

This shirt is a razor back...it looks like a halter here but it's not

My favorite outfit

My favorite outfit

These next few are the two dresses that I'm bringing... I'd love a little feedback on the black one especially... I thought it was too fancy but its nice and light and really pretty and, with the hat and belt, works nicely for daywear after all. So I thought it would be a good dual purpose dress despite being  intricately elegant (ha), thoughts? 

The evening version , worn with platform heels not shown. It would works much better with an actual pair of heels but I do not have space for such frivolities!  Dress from Rainier Valley Seattle Goodwill.

The evening version , worn with platform heels not shown. It would works much better with an actual pair of heels but I do not have space for such frivolities!  Dress from Rainier Valley Seattle Goodwill.

Daywear version... I like it daywear styled better actually, mainly because it ties in the shoes so much better.

Daywear version... I like it daywear styled better actually, mainly because it ties in the shoes so much better.

A more casual sundress (Salvation Army) that I can wear with both my converses and the platform sandals.

A more casual sundress (Salvation Army) that I can wear with both my converses and the platform sandals.

Ok I need more feedback here, which sweater should I bring???

Express sweater from American Thrift on Chicago Ave

Express sweater from American Thrift on Chicago Ave

Pros: its that funky square shape that's in style right now. I love the color. Fitted sleeves.

Cons: Perhaps not the most flattering shape? Bulkier. Does not match red blouse.

Shrunken cashmere sweater that I claimed salvage on from Jesse's wardrobe.

Shrunken cashmere sweater that I claimed salvage on from Jesse's wardrobe.

Pros: Light weight and less bulky. Color matches everything including red blouse. Soft and warm, because its cashmere. More classic shape.

Cons: Its a shrunken sweater (the other one probably is too, to be honest) so its a bit poofy in the sleeves. Less stylish shape.

Ok, last but not least, the sunglasses! Here's the exciting story: All my old sunglasses were totally busted. One pair that I wore for a whole summer literally falls off my head. I have no idea what happened to them over the winter. Or my head shrunk...either way its weird. I was really wishing I had a pair but was not going to buy a pair because I decided I was tired of drugstore sunglasses that morph for no apparent reason over the winters. So one morning I was making myself breakfast and glanced in our war-zone of a spare room (it's where we are throwing everything for our stoop sale) and there was a pile of sunglasses. I knew we'd found a box of them in a dumpster a while ago but they were all weird and crazy and too big. But there was a pair I'd never seen before and it was gorgeous and inlayed and fit me perfectly!!! Then I looked at the frame and read "Hand made in Italy." Now those are magical words for me... they just do something to me and I go weak in the knees. I couldn't believe how amazing this find was! So I wore them for a week and then this weekend I remembered to tell Jesse the story and he of course had to look them up online. Turns out Persol Sunnies are quite the hot item! I kid you not, $225 used on Amazon!!! He was quite bummed that I'd discovered them first cause now he can't try and sell them!

All we can figure is Jesse found them on the same dumpster that he found the Tiffany platinum wedding ring and he was so excited about the ring he didn't think to look up the sunnies!

I'm quite smitten with them.

Persol Sunnies. Hand made in Italy.

Persol Sunnies. Hand made in Italy.

That's all folks! Here is the packed backpack... 12.9lbs complete with all make up, toiletries and camera with two lenses!

please excuse the Instagram photo

please excuse the Instagram photo