40th Birthday in Paris and Rome

Hi Chantelle,

I’m travelling to Europe for the first time, with my husband, for my 40th birthday.

I’ll be spending 7 days in Rome (with possible day trips to cities nearby) and 10 days in Paris. November should be cold, I’m Brazilian, so I’m trying to put together a smart and functional wardrobe for the trip.

Whenever I travel, I tend to be a little crazy. Two years ago I spent 15 days in a tropical beach in the northeast of Brazil and carried 16 pairs of shoes, including flip flops, sandals and high heels.

This time I intend to travel with only one suitcase, but would appreciate to have your tips.

My daily style is jeans, smart blouses or tunics, boots or platform sandals, completed by accessories produced by me … which means jewellery and handbags.

Thank you in advance for your help … I’m short (5.3ft) and chubby (125lbs ) …

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Hi – your first trip to Europe … Wow, you must be so excited!

You are going to the two most chic cities in Europe so you will want to pack accordingly and look amazing for your 40th birthday getaway.

I imagine you will be site seeing and taking off on the odd day trip here and there are times when you will be soaking up the atmosphere in cafes, restaurants whilst shopping and visiting galleries or exhibitions – the list is endless.

Traveling light is definitely the way to go especially when there’s going to be an opportunity to treat yourself in the vast array of boutiques in these beautiful cities.

Start with thinking about what footwear to take with you. You will be needing one pair of smart, comfy flats, more than likely for site seeing and walking long distances. You will also need to take with you one pair of smart heels for the evening – go for a dark neutral or metallic colour that will go with every evening outfit you have. You are Brazilian so I imagine you have olive skin and dark features (please correct me if I am wrong …). Your best neutrals are black or gold for evening and brown for during the day. Smart heels could mean heeled sandals, boots or wedges so opt wisely.

Pack one pair of jeans and two pairs of smart, casual trousers and these can be worn throughout your days out.

Take two pieces of knitwear with you preferably a smart, short fine cardi and perhaps an oversized cashmere cardi or jumper – you will be able to put little vest tops underneath or long sleeve tops depending on how cold it is.

Pack eight comfy casual cotton tops, these could be a mixture of strappy camis, t-shirts, long / short sleeve shirts and long sleeve tops – make sure they coordinate with your chosen knitwear.

I also recommend taking a smart / casual fitted jacket / blazer to see you through day and evening – black, brown or another dark neutral would be suitable. If you find it easy to coordinate colours then be creative and go for something more daring and again, make sure it matches with all tops.

For evening, take two smarter tops with you and ones that go with your trousers. In addition pack two dresses to wear for dinner or out in the evening and just coordinate different accessories to change your evening looks.

Accessories – take three to four different necklaces with you along with a choice of earrings, one leather oversized bag for site seeing, one smaller clutch for evening and two pashminas – wear in the day as a scarf over your jacket or use in the evening for a useful cover-up.

The above is just a guide but I hope you have found my advice helpful … and just remember, if you take less then there’s more room left in your travel bag for buying that all important treat/s!

Please let me know how you get on,

Chantelle x

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