I just got back from a week in Belgium and Amsterdam and as per usual, I overpacked. It was pretty warm in Cleveland when I left so I completely forgot how to dress for the fall weather, let alone rainy fall weather. I packed everything in my Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack (I’ve reviewed it before, so check that out here) and I didn’t leave myself much room to buy any souvenirs. Here’s everything I packed for one week in Belgium and Amsterdam in the fall, and the things I should have packed or didn’t need to pack.
- Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack
- With all the cobblestone streets, packing in a backpack was a good choice, but the weight started to get to my shoulders. I think I need to fill the backpack and take it to an REI to get it properly fitted to me.
- Columbia Pardon My Trench Rain Jacket
- I ordered this after it got Robin’s stamp of approval and it is really pretty cute for a rain coat. It held up really well to several torrential downpours and the medium was roomy enough to fit over my leather jacket.
- Leather Moto Jacket
- The friend we’re visiting in Belgium recommended a denim jacket equivalent for the evenings, so I’m brought my leather moto jacket. I bought a leather motorcycle jacket from ASOS several years ago and the prices of their real leather jackets have since gone up, so here’s a similar faux-leather style. If you want real leather, here’s a good option. A leather jacket was the perfect thing to wear for both day and night activities, so I’d highly recommend packing one. My friend Jamie bought one in Antwerp and wore it for the rest of the trip!
- Birkenstock Mayari Sandals
- Essentially everyone I know has these sandals now, 100% stamp of approval. These also were a fave shoe for my Thailand packing list. My foot started giving me some trouble on the trip and these were the most supportive option I packed. They got a lot of use.
- Black Leather Ankle Booties
- I bought mine a few years ago from Madewell and they are one of my favorite pairs of shoes. They didn’t hold up great through the rain and got very waterlogged. Thankfully after getting soaked, it stopped raining for the last two days and I could wear my Birkenstocks. If you are looking for some leather moto booties, this pair from Frye looks nice.
- White Converse
- I wore these for one day and then my foot started hurting. They were a great option for wandering around though, my foot just wasn’t cooperating.
- Leather Tank Top
- I wore a cream leather tank top for the one night I went out to a cocktail bar. As a super-tired granny, I skipped the night my friends hit the club, so I didn’t re-wear this. It was nice to be able to dress up a bit though and this top didn’t take up much room. Here is a similar version in black and one in cream here.
- Black Tank Top
- I wore this on the plane and then never wore it again. Shouldn’t have packed it
- Black T-Shirt
- I panicked right before leaving and grabbed a few more tops from Target. I wore this once and it wasn’t really necessary. The plain black version is available in stores, but here is a similar one with stars on it online.
- Grey Peplum T-Shirt
- This shirt was also pretty unnecessary, or I should have picked ONE between this and the black t-shirt.
- Striped Long Sleeve T-Shirt
- Black Long Sleeve T-Shirt
- Another Target panic purchase. I do like their A New Day line though, so that was a good discovery.
- Grey Long Sleeve Sweater
- I’ve had a thin, grey, longish sweater from H&M for several years and I love it. I should have just brought this sweater and not the long cardigan. This one from Macy’s has a similar long length, which is perfect for pairing with leggings.
- Long Cardigan Sweater
- I wore this on the plane and then never wore it again because it didn’t layer well under my jackets. Shouldn’t have packed it
- PJs – Cleveland t-shirt
- PJs – Athletic Shorts
- BDG Super High Rise Twig black jeans
- These used to be my favorite black jeans, but Urban Outfitters recently changed the fabric they are made out of and the internet is outraged about the new, worse iteration. They also seem to have discontinued the Super High Rise in favor of the High Rise, and my torso/belly button placement DEMANDS that extra inch you got on the Super High Rise. I packed one of my old pairs, but you should all know I’m upset. I bought an extra pair of black high rise jeans in Antwerp and they didn’t fit in my bag. They also stretched out a lot, but have a great high rise. They are the Donna jeans by Cheap Monday.
- Levi’s Wedgie Jeans
- We’ve talked about our love for these jeans before and these were perfect for the trip.
- Girlfriend Leggings x 2
- I wore one pair of these on the plane and then wore the other throughout the trip. I only needed to pack one pair. These pants were amazing in the rain though, I feel like they were semi-water repellant.
- Leather Backpack
- I wore this every day of the trip while wandering around the cities. I bought my backpack in Mexico and it is the perfect size to hold a water bottle, some snacks, and whatever wheels of cheese I bought and needed to cram in it. This one from Abercrombie and Fitch looks like a similar size.
- Party Purse
- I used this once and it didn’t take up much room. It was good to have a little bag for being fancy. Mine is very old, but this Baggu one looks like a great option, I love their leather pouches, so I’d imagine the purses are just as nice.
- Fanny Pack
- HUGE fan of fanny packs, I love being hands-free, but for this trip, carrying water was more important so the backpack won out. I probably could have left this at home. I did do a lil DIY before I left and replaced the Everest logo with a cute patch from Poppy & Quail.
- Satchel – Carry On Personal Item
- I used an old Madewell purse as my personal item, most of my stuff fit in it, but since I bought so much cheese and some new pants on the trip, my backpack exploded into a second personal item. I packed all my extra stuff in to a grocery bag and snuck it on the plane with me. This purse worked out well for my personal item since it was big enough to hold some water, snacks, and plane essentials. I never used it during the trip though, so I could have gone with the leather backpack as a front pack, or used a more collapsible tote as my personal item to save space. Here is a similar bag available at Madewell now.
- I brought the full semi-Korean skin care routine. No regrets.
- I brought a bunch of my fave Lively undies, bras, and bralettes. Should have brought a second bralette, otherwise, no regrets.
Should have packed
- Chelsea Rain Boots
- My leather booties got SOAKED in the rain and are still not dry several days later. I should have brought these little rain boots. I got mine from Marshalls a couple years ago, but Madewell has a similar pair. Since they are ankle boots and plain black, they can kinda pass for actual shoes.
Have any of you been to Europe during a rainy week in the fall? Any recommendations for what to pack for one week in Belgium and Amsterdam for my next trip? Let me know in the comments
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Featured image photo shot by Jamie Meggas.