If you didn’t already know from the thousands of photos I put on Instagram, I recently took a trip to Switzerland to see my brother and his family.
I had a real swell time and managed to cram 3 days worth of outfits, 2 bags of Halloween goodies and a shed load of gluten-free scran into just hand luggage ( Swizzleland is a bit behind on Coeliac Disease, so I take my own grub )I think you’ll agree, that is pretty spectacular and I’ll explain how to ram your hand luggage to max capacity later.
Firstly and most importantly, I will serve up some looks from my trip and explain my sartorial choices in the minute and explicit detail you have come to know and love.
My bro declared he’d like to take Alan and my good self to Rheinfelden on day one. This is only a short train journey away from Basel where his crib resides. This here bridge I am pictured on is very excitingly situated in two countries! One end of it is in Germany and the other is in France!! I can’t tell you how giddy I was to have visited a hat-trick of countries in one day.
For my triple country bonanza, I donned a new black polo neck, freshly purchased for £12 in Tesco the day before my travels. It had come to my attention that despite having a massive rambunctious, opulent wardrobe of class swag, I had failed at owning any basic items. My bad! But I am loving this new versatile clothing staple and can recommend it when visiting one or more countries which do winter really well.
My trews were a relatively new purchase, from Next via eBay and they are pretty simple, like me, but super comfortable with an elasticated waist. These stretchy little strides encompassed all my needs for a comfortable flying experience, easy sightseeing and handling a boisterous niece and nephew.
My coat for the day and in fact the entire trip was this single breasted Primark number. It completely failed at warmth but picked up points for being stylish and looking a lot more expensive than it actually was (£20)
To add pizzazz to what was quite a muted look, I wore these totally Extra rust shimmer ankle boots. I was winning at footwear the day I bagged these for £8 in the Primark sale. Also, a new follower on the ‘gram described them as ‘bomb-ass shoes’ and you really can’t ask for more than that in life!
For my bag I went with this new grey £8 Primark bargain as it matched everything, including the bleak November sky and the sorry depths of my soul.
Day two consisted of a surprise trip to the Roman ruins of Augusta Raurica. I wasn’t paying attention in history at school so I hadn’t realised that Roman stuff was everywhere and not just in Rome. It was fascinating to see all the Roman shit exactly as it was back in the day. It was especially realistic if you ignored the nearby motorway and Swiss housing estate. However, more important than history is of course, fashion.
When visiting historic sites, it’s mega important to bust out your best new clobber and I’m delighted to present to you this adorable eBay pinafore dress with cute-ass kitten on the front.
If we look a little closer we can see the sweetest and most loveliest kawaii upside down heart buttons. I am smitten by them and don’t even mind that they’re the wrong way up.
I teamed my perfect pinafore with a simple H&M striped top underneath and the same grey coat, bag and shoes as per before.
You may have noticed that I accessorised my look to perfection here. When the suggestion of a Roman ruin themed day out was mooted, I was gutted I didn’t have any suitable accoutrements with me. HOWEVER, the beauty of having a young niece and nephew means you can scavenge around in their play pen and chances are, you’ll come up with some startlingly suitable items. First up, I found a pair of rubber swords, these alone would have been plenty good.
But when my bro clocked them, he laughingly pointed me towards a helmet I hadn’t noticed.
“If you’re going to look like a nob-head” he grinned, “you might as well do it properly”
I couldn’t agree more and so henceforth and forthwith, I donned said Roman helmet, brandished my sword and blended in with my surroundings perfectly.
You can see that I look exactly like a modern-day right Roman nob-head although I must pass on a word of caution, children’s Roman helmets are not designed for adult heads. It was a piece of work trying to keep it on my head, I’ll tell you!
It must have slipped off a thousand times, but for your delectation and amusement, the exact moment of it falling off my head is here on the interwebs, photographically captured herein by the ever-talented Al.
Eventually, I realised it was easier to stab people with the helmet in my hand rather than on my head.
I learned from the audio tour that a woman of my calibre wouldn’t have fared well in Roman times. Sexism was the norm and ladies got the top seats at the back of the theatres away from men, ‘cos they were prone to being ‘unpredictable and moody’. Imagine how a nob-head like me would have fared with my unpredictable dressing-up antics? I would defo have been the very worst kind of woman but I would have been exactly the same as I am now and not given a shit, even if my head had been fed to the lions.
For my final Swiss day out, we perambulated around Basel taking in the sights and eating very expensive Bratwurst sausages.
As they say, a sausage a day keeps the end of holiday blues away, but only if you’ve remortgaged your house to pay £10 a pop for said processed meat product.
No sooner had we wolfed our pricey saussies, the heavens opened and a torrential downpour ensued. We were forced to haul ass to Basel Munster, a former episcopal church built between 1019-1500 in Romantic and Gothic styles. Now a reformed Protestant church, it is one of the main landmarks and tourist attractions of Basel. It adds definition to the cityscape with its red sandstone architecture and coloured roof tiles.
Also it’s got 399 excellent reviews on Trip Advisor and only 2 terrible ones which speaks volumes for its visitability.
If you enjoyed that description, feel free to share it, but please don’t run it through plaigiarism software because it absolutely will not stand up to analysis. The last bit about Trip Advisor and the word visitability will, but don’t put that word in an essay because it’s a made up word that I invented because there just wasn’t the right word available.
For my final ensemble, I had another go at the pink and red trend. Long-time readers of the blog will know I hopped on the back of this trend in March, but there is absolutely nothing wrong in being a trend repeater. Especially if it’s a completely different outfit the second time around, which this is.
Turns out the Munster was the perfect location to showcase yet more shit from Primark! Readers, I am delighted to introduce to you these pink flappy trousers which were reduced to £7 in the sale.
They are totes comfortable and have a useful buckle detail so the strides can be tightened or loosened as per your ever changing needs and eating habits.
I teamed them with this red polo neck, also from shopping Mecca Primark. At £5, this was a super-awesome bargain and I luckily had the presence of mind to snap it up in two other colours.
The black cardigan, originally from H&M but purchased at the British Heart Foundation chazza was the perfect extra layer to tie in with my Office black boots. In mint condition aside from a few cat hairs, it was a reet good bargain at £3.99.
The same grey coat was rolled out again and this is my toppest tip for packing light, take one coat that goes with everything. A plain neutral colour always works well, something that’s a medium weight so you’re not too hot, but roomy enough so you can add layers underneath if you end up freezing your tits off like I did.
The same advice goes for your handbag, pick one that matches your coat and indeed everything else. I always travel with a squashy bag that has lots of compartments. This Primark one has three sections inside, plus a zippered section outside. Good for all your travel necessities like passport, boarding pass etc so you don’t have to root around looking for stuff.
I also favour a cross-body bag when travelling as your hands are then free to eat expensive sausages and there’s also less chance of common thieves looting your purse.
I’ve curated the rest of my top packing tips for you and will present them in list format, because who doesn’t love a list?
1) Make sure your hand luggage meets the size requirements of the airline but DON’T get a hard rigid case, get a soft squashy one with loads of zip-up pockets on the front as you can fit more shit in it.
2) ROLL not fold your clothes, you can fit more shit in your case.
3) WEAR large bulky items, I had a massive chunky cardi on during the flight so I could fit more shit in my case.
4) If there are any queries about whether your hand luggage is actually still hand luggage because of all the shit in it, politely argue blindly that it is but offer for it to go in the hold if that would help. Only a certain amount of hand luggage is guaranteed to go in the cabin, so by offering to put it in the hold, you save the staff the aggro of one extra person being pissed off at them because they didn’t realise their hand luggage might go in the hold. Just remember to take your personals, meds and one pair of pantaloons out and put them in your handbag in case they lose it.
5) Travel with someone who travels very light, like my partner Alan. Inspect their hand luggage before it’s zipped up and if you see anything in there you think is unnecessary, suggest it’s taken out and that some of your stuff is put in there instead. You can then fit EVEN MORE SHIT IN YOUR CASE!
On that note, I shall end this exceptionally long and detailed travel fashion blog! Hope you liked it and that my tips for travelling light were pertinent enough. Of course, you could always check in a bag but I am way too tight to do that! And so’s Al, but we have made it work and saved a fortune to spend on sausagey snacks instead.
Tune in next time to see what I got up to at the Manchester Christmas markets!
Love Laura X
*photos by Al. And I took the one of the Munster from the top of the big wheel