I’ve recently returned from a wee city break to Porto; it was the first holiday me and my partner have been able to take together, and also the first time in over a decade that I’ve been abroad to somewhere hot – so to say I was excited is an understatement! Also, to say I packed way too much and was massively over-prepared for sunny weather would be an understatement too. Somehow, I managed to pack 14 separate outfits into my hand luggage (how I did that is a separate post in itself!) which for a week away is probably a bit excessive.
In my defence: city breaks can be so difficult to pack for. For a beach holiday as long as you have your cozzies, sunglasses and a couple of cute dresses for the evening you’re all set – but the clothes you take for a city holiday need to get the balance right between comfort for exploring the city, coolness to combat the heat but also substantial enough to withstand the general wear and bother of daytime city travel. So, today I thought I’d pull together this ‘what I wore’ post and share everything that I actually wore on my city break – I won’t go through everything I packed as we’d be here all day!
This patterned maxi was one of my favourite mooching about daytime looks. It’s an easy to wear sleeveless column dress – from BooHoo Plus (now sold out) – which was an absolute godsend on the hot days. The material is really light and it also has slits up either side, so when there was a bit of a breeze it was beautifully cooling on my legs.
The sandals I’m wearing here are Birk-a-likes from Primark; they only cost a fiver and, for me, they’re just as comfortable as the real thing. My legs become very painful if I’m not wearing supportive footwear and Porto is not the most accessible city in the world: it’s very hilly, plus there are uneven pavements and cobblestoned streets EVERYWHERE. These sandals really saw me through with minimal discomfort, and for that I am extremely grateful. They’re also available in tan, leopard print, gold, and silver, and I’m considering nipping back to pick up a pair in every colour.
Okay, you may well have seen this dress on lots of plus size babes so far this summer and there’s a good reason for that: this is a such a brilliant warm weather dress! The palm print is divine and the fit is seriously comfortable. I wore this for an evening out when the weather was extremely clammy and it kept me really cool, it turned out to be the night before a huge thunderstorm so you’ll probably know the kind of hot, muggy weather I mean.
A loose fitting, kaftan dress like this is the sort of thing you’d usually think to take on a beach holiday, but it’s perfect for a city break too, especially for an evening meal. This one is from Monki, their sizes from an L upwards fit a variety of plus size bodies. They bring out colourful prints that I love season after season, I just hold out hope that they will launch an official plus size range soon.
I mentioned the thunderstorms and well… it ended up raining for quite a few days during our break which I was so gutted about. Despite all that over-packing, I didn’t bring anything that was suitable for rainy weather. I actually ended up wearing the palm print dress and the oversized, striped tshirt dress from Monki that I travelled over in to keep warm on the chilly, rainy days. I’m taking that as a lesson learned though – always pack something for rain just in case!
Right then, we’re in new territory here for me – a playsuit. Me and shorts have not been friends for a long long time, but life really is much too short to be hot when you don’t have to be. So this year I’ve challenged myself to wear more shorts and shorts-based pieces, this playsuit being one of them. And y’know what? After all that fretting about getting my legs out, I love it, it’s so freeing and much more comfortable than I realised.
This playsuit is from Junarose (via ASOS), another of my favourite brands of the moment for colourful prints, and it’s one of the comfiest pieces I took with me for daytime sightseeing – with built in chub rub protection too! I’m a tall-ish woman so I sized up once and really that seems to be the trick with these all-in-one type garments as in my experience it works for jumpsuits too.
There’s a pattern emerging here, isn’t there? I’m in Junarose again… this cute geometric print shift dress (via Navabi) was the perfect choice to wear for the hottest day we were away. It’s a great length, so I got the benefit of the sun on my legs, and the 3/4 sleeves meant I didn’t burn the hell out of my arms as I’m always a bit concerned about exposing my tattoos to the sun. I ended up wearing it with my trusty old Adidas trainers, as it was at this point in the holiday that I started to struggle with walking, but this dress went with the trainers pretty well.
Underneath all of these outfits, other than the playsuit, I wore chub rub shorts and I really couldn’t have done the holiday without them, they’re SO GOOD. For a touristy, walking type holiday – which a city break usually is – grabbing some of these shorts is an absolute must as it makes chafing into a complete irrelevance. Mine are from Big Tights, but shorts from Evans and Chaffree come HIGHLY recommended by people whose opinions I trust so those are worth checking out too (and happily we have discount codes for both!).
Lastly, if you want to see more of what I got up to in Porto, or fancy seeing any of the outfits mentioned in this post in motion to get a better idea of how they fit, then check out my recent (and first ever) YouTube video for more.
Do you have any tips for city break packing that you could share with us? What sort of thing do you consider a city break essential? As ever, let us know in the comments!