January is the month for new year resolutions and fresh starts. February is the month for short dark days and feeling bad about breaking resolutions. March is the month for getting excited about spring – and then being bitterly disappointed when it starts to snow again. But April? Well, April is all about weekend getaways!
No matter if you’re planning a city break or a trip to the country, you’re going to want to be comfortable (the wrong footwear, whether you’re sightseeing or hiking up a mountain, always ends in tears), look good, and be prepared for any occasion (who knows what chic surprises your partner has planned for you?).
One way to make sure you have everything you could possibly need while you’re away is to take the entire contents of your wardrobe with you. However, aside from being slightly ridiculous, this will bust your baggage weight allowance if you are flying, and even if you’re not, taking lots of heavy luggage is always stressful – and definitely not the point of having a relaxing break!
There’s an art to dressing and packing in spring and autumn – but down worry, it’s easy to master! Read on to discover all of my tips…
How To Pack
Style-wise, the best way to survive spring is to embrace layering. The weather can be pretty changeable, with both deceptively warm summer-like days and very cold nights. Therefore you need to ensure you can stay cool (and top-up on your vitamin D) when the sun is shining, and keep warm when it goes behind the clouds or sets for the evening.
For a more in-depth look at how to prepare and pack for a weekend getaway, take a look at my blog HERE.
What To Pack
Wherever you’re going, your priority should be to make sure you’ve got the right shoes and jackets for the local weather. Spring can be rainy anywhere in Europe, so you want to make sure both are water-resistant (I’d also recommend packing an umbrella and a hoodie, too).
A lightweight down jacket (you can fold many of the new designs down into a really tiny size) or a water-resistant trench (ideally made of a lightweight, breathable fabric) go with any style. Just ensure that there’s room to put on an extra layer underneath, in case the temperatures drop.
Color-wise, neutral monochrome shades (blue, beige or grey) work best for coats and jackets, as they easily match with most outfits.
Cotton t-shirts, viscose tops or blouses (both long and short sleeves), and even lightweight wool are great for this time of the year.
As I mentioned above, layering is must, so make sure to match your tops and t-shirt with the rest of your outfit. A slightly loose silk or cotton woven cardigan can be a great layering piece, as can a casual blazer. Both can be worn alone when warm, or underneath the jacket when cooler.
Jeans or chinos - anything that’s comfy and not too pale-colored or delicate (you need to be able to sit down on a bench or the grass in a park, if the occasion arises). Personally, I always take two different pairs of jeans - one for the day and a dressier pair (darker color, less ripped, etc.) for the night, just in case I want to dress up a bit.
Pretty sneakers are a must - I usually choose a neutral color (such as sand, light golden, or beige) that matches all my outfits. I also always pack a pair of heels for the night (ideally chunky, or something you can walk in for at least 500 meters).
My personal style is often elegant clothes worn with pretty sneakers that are embellished or shiny, so they work even in the nighttime. But, if you prefer sneakers a bit sportier, ballet flats, moccasins, and even oxfords can work as alternative for the evening or when you want to look smarter.) Shoes have to be comfortable!
I usually pack a maximum of one dress or skirt to wear for a night out, unless I already know that we are planning to go somewhere specific (the theater or a special restaurant, for example). However, at this time of year, I find it best to have the weekend planned out in advance, so that I can pack the right pair of jeans to dress up or down depending on the occasion, as jeans work regardless of the weather!
Scarves – Take two options, one lighter silk or viscose scarf that’s dressy for special occasions, and a light wool one for when it’s cooler or windy when you’re out and about.
Handbag - I like to have a rucksack plus a mini bag for traveling, and a clutch for going out to fancy places in the evening. During the day I alternate the rucksack and the mini bag depending on what’s on the schedule.
A note on mini bags - don’t go too small! It needs to be able to store your basics - purse, cards/documents, tissues, wet wipes, lip balm, phone, maps, etc.
Jewelry - my favorite part! I always have a little more than I need because it takes very little space, but can enhance and change any outfit. I always pack one or two statement necklaces, several pairs of earrings (studs and statement), and plenty of rings and bracelets.
Belts - I color coordinate with my outfits, and usually take two - one for night outfits and one for day.
Your Spring Weekend Getaway Checklist
Plan outfits, rather than just gather items that you like.
Take time before you leave to try everything on and make sure it all fits.
Remember less is more. Instead of taking your entire wardrobe with you, mix and match items so that they all work with together.
Color coordinate. Not only your clothes but your shoes, jacket, accessories and handbags.
Stick with things that you know you’re comfortable wearing. This is not the time to be experimenting with new things that you never worn before, or that you're not sure of.
Accessorize. Even the simplest jeans and white tee outfit can work for a night out if you add the right accessories.
Don’t forget to pack your sunglasses and sunscreen – you may get lucky with a hot and sunny day!
Prioritize practicality over fashion. This is not the time to show off your pretty lemon yellow coat with frills and embellishments that you only use for special occasions. Instead, go for items that are versatile and work from morning until night in any weather conditions.
Looking stylish and feeling in control of your image doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require a little bit of effort, and sometimes you do need a little helping hand. If the advice in this blog has been useful for you, I think you’d really like my FREE Chic Sheet – a fantastic (even if I do say so myself!) resource that I’ve put together just for you. It’ll help you get dressed with confidence every day – no matter the occasion or time of year.
Veronika Nemeth is the Founder and Creative Director of The Stylish Female Society. She is a seasoned Image Consultant, Personal Branding Expert and Transformational (Life)Style Coach helping heart-centered women to find their soul-aligned style and create a magnetic presence online & offline by uncovering their true essence and revealing their inner beauty through their style.
Her mission is to inspire women to step into their power, live their own truth and shine their authentic light through being the best version of them.