European Packing Guide:
Oslo, London, Paris
One suitcase, three European cities. When tasked with packing for Oslo, London and Paris, Here & There Magazine pulled inspiration from each city’s distinctive style. Take a peek at our European packing guide (part 1) to see what our co-founders deemed essential.
Spend a few days in Norway’s capital and you’ll notice that the locals carry themselves with a relaxed ease that’s slightly different from the rest of Nordic Europe. It’s as if typical Scandinavian style – subdued and streamlined – was injected with a bit of quirky coolness. City life is defined by distinctive dichotomies: nature and street art, modern architecture and historical buildings, upscale restaurants and bohemian cafes. Juxtaposing forces carry over to the fashion scene, where you’ll see people mixing vintage finds with pieces from Norwegian designers like Frank Remme and Eva Emanuelsen. When packing for Oslo, anticipate cooler temperatures and bring comfortable shoes for walking. Luckily, many of the main sights are close together, so exploring by foot is easy and enjoyable.
Oslo’s Grünerløkka district is known for its vibrant art, boutiques and hip little cafes. While exploring this eclectic enclave, you’ll notice that many Osloites dress in colourful pieces from vintage shops and aren’t afraid to take fashion risks. Naturally, there’s no better place in the city to wear a pair of head-turning statement pants. Temperatures tend to be on the chillier side, making a pair of funky pants an ideal choice for an evening out.
Urban hiking boots
For an escape from the hustle and bustle of Oslo, locals head to the islands. You don’t have to go far: just hop on one of the ferries that sail around the Oslo fjord. Along the way you’ll find several picturesque spots to have a picnic, swim or go for a hike. If you’re heading to the trails, a pair of versatile boots is necessary. Striking a balance between stylish and functional is always a challenge, but you can never go wrong with a classic low-cut bootie with a rubberized sole.
London’s weather may be dreary, but the city’s fashion scene is anything but. From posh Chelsea to the edgy East End, locals have fun with their outfits and often opt for bold colour combinations and out-of-the-box pieces. Outrageous ensembles that would typically turn heads in most cities are widely accepted, making it the perfect place to experiment with new styles. The streets really come alive during London Fashion Week, where it isn’t uncommon to see the eccentric in full swing. The key to dressing like a local is to be playful and not take yourself too seriously. For inspiration, just look to the 46,400 people who currently work in London’s fashion industry. With several bustling markets and internationally renowned designers ranging from Vivienne Westwood to Stella McCartney, shopping is a must. Arrive with room in your suitcase but don’t forget to pack a few key accessories to complete your look.
London is often rainy one minute and sunny the next, so you’ll want to carry a pair of shades that you can whip out at any given moment. Luckily, more brands are designing sunglasses with travellers in mind. Meaning, they’re crafting them out of materials that won't easily scratch or break. In London’s colourful neighbourhoods of Notting Hill and Shoreditch, daring styles are embraced; making a pair of over-sized mirrored shades a smart choice.
A functional fedora
England has a rich history of millinery and the act of donning an outfit-completing hat is still standard. As a traveller, the key is finding a hat that strikes a balance between comfort, fashion and functionality. Materials like wool felt are perfect for keeping your head warm and dry in the rain and snow. Blend in with the stylish locals of the Royal Borough of Kensington with a brimmed hat like the British bowler or classic fedora.
Paris is easily one of the most fashion-focused capitals in the world. Designer labels, couturiers and Paris Fashion Week attract people from all over the world, while style mavens have become obsessed with emulating the “French girl” look. From Françoise Hardy to Catherine Deneuve, French women throughout the decades have always approached dressing with a certain je ne sais quoi. Outfits are minimal yet creative, with just the right amount of editing and accent pieces. Even the French beauty routine has garnered interest for its unfussy appeal. Today, athleisure style is rampant in the French capital’s most stylish neighbourhoods. While packing for Paris, stick to sporty yet feminine pieces that you can layer.
A chic knit dress
Stroll through the fashionable streets of Le Marais and you’re bound to see countless locals who ooze sophistication. Make-up is minimal and outfits are often streamlined. A knit dress is an ideal option for layering (especially in the fall). Pair it with black leather booties and a scarf or top it with a trench coat. Comfortable and classic, it’s exactly the type of piece that will take you from day to evening in style.
A cozy sweater
Sweaters in Paris come with slightly higher expectations in style than that of your average city. Fusing cozy fits with high fashion items will be your best bet at delivering a pulled-together look that’s also practical for the chillier seasons. A bold-coloured knit in addition to your highest pair of black-wedge booties, a few fabulous jewels and a minimalist-styled clutch will set you apart as you head out to the Breizh Café to enjoy some chocolåt crepes.
A 3-in-1 cleanser
After many hours spent perusing the streets and sites, it feels incredible to close the door to your hotel room, kick off your shoes and literally wash off the day. Traveling to new places with different climates can sometimes unexpectedly wreak havoc your skin, so coming prepared with a product that cleanses, hydrates, and removes makeup is a good idea. Since you probably don’t have room in your sac for your regular at-home skin regime, seek out something travel-sized, and try looking for a cleanser that’s pH balanced so you don’t have to worry about a toner.
A lightweight moisturizer
When faced with long flights and busy travel days, taking care of your skin is of the utmost importance. A lightweight moisturizer is something you can apply as you need it without feeling greasy, and can even help give your skin a healthy glow throughout the day. Pop it in your tote along with your favourite berry lipstick, and you’ve got the perfect minimalist beauty plan for a traveller on the run.
Exploring a new city often involves a lot of walking, so being prepared with the right footwear is essential. Boasting many of the most coveted tourist attractions worldwide, Paris is a place you want to take in every moment, from the cobblestone side streets to the grand views of the Louvre to the sights of stylish locals bustling by.
A stylish smartwatch
We’ve all been there – halted on the sidewalk, digging through our mess-of-a travel satchel for our cell phones, paper maps or hand-printed side notes that seem to have been engulfed in a bottomless pit. A stylish smartwatch – always just an arm-wave away – makes life simpler and stress-free as you navigate your day. You’ll be able to get alerts about breaking news and weather so that day plans don’t go awry, as well as be able to coordinate via text message with travel comrades who may have taken on another site. Tip: if you’re really feeling savvy, be sure to upload and organize the apps that best suit your travel needs before your trip.
© Here & There Magazine