ABOVE: Europeans love wearing muted colors; you will see everyone wearing black all year long.
Deciding what you should pack before your journey abroad can be stressful. It definitely made me uneasy, because I wanted to fit in with European styles while also sticking to what I feel comfortable wearing. The fact that had limited space to bring clothes was also a nerve-racking factor. I ended up bringing two suitcases full of clothes ranging in styles.
No matter where you go in Europe, you’ll find that Europeans are very stylish. They have their own fashions and trends, so keeping up with that may not be the easiest task. My advice would be to dress in what makes you comfortable and wear clothes that you want to wear.
During the semester, one trend I noticed that Europeans loved was wearing sneakers. They wore them with everything from dresses to jeans to skirts and everything in between.
During my time in Rome, I saw quite a wide range of what people would wear. It definitely changed between the older generations and the younger crowd. The main staple that I would recommend would be cool jackets. Romans wore jackets the entire time that I was there, even when the weather warmed up. Cool jackets would be a great thing to invest in, because it can really pull together an outfit and it’s also a necessity when walking around the city in the colder months.
A good jacket is key while studying abroad, because the weather is different everywhere you go and there is always guaranteed walking.
One thing I would be cautious of is the difference between American style and European style. Americans, especially females, love wearing athletic clothing. The trend of "athleisure" has not made its way to Europe yet. Mentally preparing yourself to wear jeans every day instead of leggings was something every girl I met had to go through.
My Doc Martens saved my feet on numerous occasions. From cold and snowy Switzerland and Sweden, to rainy Florence and Rome, they were my go-to shoe.
When packing for your trip abroad, many websites talk about the number of shoes that you should bring. A number of them say to bring the bare minimum, because shoes are usually one of the heaviest objects in your suitcase. Personally, I have a shoe problem -- I love shoes and I own way too many pairs. That's why deciding which shoes to bring was challenging. I made sure to bring a pair of tennis shoes for any activity that could present itself. I also wore my Doc Martens for majority of my time abroad for a number of reasons. In Rome, the winter is very rainy. I didn’t bring a pair of rain boots, but my trusty Doc Martens were perfect for any type of weather I encountered. In total, I brought six pairs of shoes with me to Rome, and it was honestly a good amount. I wore all six pairs throughout my time abroad, while in comparison, some of my roommates brought more than 10 pairs and didn’t wear the majority of them. Basically, my advice is to bring shoes that are comfortable to walk in and make sure to have a pair that would be good under any type of weather or circumstance.
Megan Reid is the Spring 2019 CEA MOJO Blogger in Rome, Italy, and is currently studying at University of Alabama.