At last: report on my trip to Portugal (long)

At last I have sorted through our Portugal pictures and can write my report.

Portugal is a beautiful and warm-hearted country. The people there are amazing and really a pleasure to meet. The seafood is awesome and pastries are to die for. Their oranges taste like nothing I had in North Amereca: they are so juicy and rich in taste! And they grow on the trees in winter even on the streets - like our maple trees.
Traveling there in early spring is challenging becasue it can be quite rainy: we had some rain at least half of the days but there was just one completely rainy and gloomy day the rest were rain and some sun. On the other hand the crowds are non-existing and the prices are very budget friendly at this time.
All in all we had an amazing trip and a lot of fun and great memories!

I made a big mistake of not taking my own camera. I thought it would be enough for my hubby to have a camera. Unfortunately it is not easy to make pictures of street style if you have to ask somebody to take them: by the time you have his attention the person you were intersted in is gone! :-(
I have not seen neither BF jeans nor slouchy trousers: no wonder our Rute's family had hard time adjusting to her BF jeans! Actually there was an almost total rule of skinnies.
Jeans were everywhere, both dark and faded: I did not see too many non-jeans trousers. To my dismay I have seen quite a few examples of leggings worn as pants.
Except some young girls in mini-skirts dresses and skirts were almost non-existing. Boots of all styles reigned supreme including tall boots.
One thing which jumped on me was the abcence of short hairstyles on women: majority of them wore their hair long, old and young both.

I was not very successful with shopping. First of all we did not have much time we wanted to spare from sightseeing. Secondly nothing really caught my eye in the stores. I made one purchase only - a nude oversized clutch (pic 1)which I still have to debut. I am warming out for the idea of a clutch and caught myself several times on holding a cross-body bag as a clutch.

The weather was cool and rainy at least half the time. Trench, straight leg jeans and combat boots were worn more than anything else.  Turtelenecks and sweaters were the most useful tops. I also layered button down shirts under the sweater quite often.
My slouchy trousers were not worn oftem because I don't like them much with the boots and I had to wear boots a lot due to the rain. Surprisingly my dress got worn a lot because it played well with the boots.
Here are my lessongs learned on this trip:

1. Waterproof and comfortable footwear is a must and ideally more than 1 pair so you can switch daily. Now I am on the lookout to add a couple of pairs.
2. Waterproof trench with a removable liner is a godsend! I did not have to remove the liner at all but it is a nice feature - and makes the trench warmer.
3. I should take more warm clothes than I think I need if traveling in the shoulder season in the moderate climate.
4. Sleveless tops are pretty much useless in this season unless I travel to tropics. I would rather take some lightweight shirts or tops with long sleeves which can be scrunched if it is hot.
5. Having more than one blazer is a good idea. I really liked t have one leather blazer and one thin woolblazer - having them in different weights made dressing for different weather conditions easier.
6. Travel with one carryon per person  for 2 weeks is comletely possible. We were so happy our bags were small when we had to lag them uphill on the steep cobblestoned streets! Wheels just don't work there - period. Also my hubby could carry both of them if required - he would not be able to do this with bigger bags.

 This is what I packed- in the order of usage (see pictures 2- 9):

1. Trench - worn at least half of the trip (pic
2. Leather blazer and black tuxedo blazer - one of these was worn almost every day either layered under the trench or as a outer layer on warmer days
3. Straight leg dark wash jeans  - were heavily used because of the rain
4. Slouchy trousers - were worn on the plane and when I was able to wear oxfords. In drier weather I would wear them more often.
5. Jersey stretch dress - worn at least 1/4 of the days.
6. Black and purple turtlenecks - worn a lot for warmth
7. Black and white striped sweater - the same
8. Gap cat BF shirt - I wore this one more than oher shirts, layered under blazers and striped sweater
9. Denim shirt - worn once
10.Black and white striped shirt - not worn at all: fabric was too thin for the weather.
11. Black sequin short sleeve top - worn once layered over a black t-neck
12. Grey and black striped long sleeve tee - worn once
13 Combat boots - worn the most
14 Flat oxfords - worn fair amount
15 Nude low heel Fidji pumps - worn once - too cold
16 3 scarves - one wool and 2 silk - worn almost daily
17 One white studded belt

I think it was all - not counting socks and underwear of course :-)

Unfortunately my Steve Madden combat boots did not survive this trip: rain and steep cobbled streets were too much for them. I am looking for a waterproof replacement for them now. (pic 10)

And just a fun fact: do you know how monks battled obesity in the middle ages? In one of the monasteries they had a very narrow door through which they entered their refectory (dining room): those who could not squeeze through it had to fast until they could. :-) See pic 11- I can definitely squeeze into it - whew!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Adelfa replied 7 years ago
    I love packing and travel posts! Thank you! I am planning a 3-week trip to Costa Rica. I think it will be easy to fit everything into my carry-on because of the warm temps. I think it's amazing you managed given the climate you were dealing with.
  • rae replied 7 years ago
    Wow! Beautiful clutch! Gorgeous pics! Fab outfits! Poor combat Travel did a number on my Report booties last year, too. When I came back I noticed I'd almost worn a hole in the leather. Thank you for this in-depth report from abroad - I almost feel like I was there... almost. Just enough to crave an international vacation. :)
  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago
    Great recap & photos.
    Love the clutch. Sorry about your boots:)

  • Marigold replied 7 years ago
    Great photos! Sorry to hear about your boots, but I bet looking for the replacement will be fun ;)
  • replied 7 years ago
    Great photos! Too bad your boots didn't survive...maybe an upgrade to some Frye combats? :)

    Gorgeous clutch and your trench is beautiful.
  • Joy replied 7 years ago
    What great photos and summary of your trip.  You look wonderful.  Like you I didn't wear anything sleeveless except to layer with warmer items.  My one sweater got a workout, as did boots that now need to be reheeled.  My flats were only worn once to dress up a dinner outfit a bit when meeting DS's girlfriend.  Lessons learned for March travel.  Thank you for letting us see a bit of Portugal through your eyes.
  • pil replied 7 years ago
    Beautiful pictures, Sveta! Lucky you taking such a fab vacation and looking great too. Despite all of the pre-vacation wardrobe pondering isn't it funny how the actual usage works out? But, I suppose weather has an awful lot to do with that.
  • Karie replied 7 years ago
    Sounds like you had a fantastic vacation, Sveta! Even though we have control over what we pack, we have no control over the weather. 
    I guess that's the sign of a great trip, when you do so much walking / go so many places that you wear out your shoes!
  • Agnes replied 7 years ago
    Well you look really good on all your photos Sveta! and I love your new clutch. I just find whenever I go to a new country its never what I expect.
  • hedgiehog replied 7 years ago
    Thanks for sharing your photos, Sveta. The scenery was beautiful and you looked like a model for a Tavel/fashion magazine! Shame about the boots, hopefully you will enjoy shopping for new ones. 
    I always enjoy learning how other people pack; it gives me inspiration for my upcoming trip. Btw, I love the trench! Fab colour on you. 

  • Mochi replied 7 years ago
    Thank you for the lovely photos, descriptions and your really useful advice. I'm thinking now that if Portugal was cold, I should not expect northern Italy to be much warmer! (Even a month or so later.) You and Zap have some sage advice on dressing warmly that I believe I will follow. And also, you look fantastic. Love your clutch. That is perfect as a remembrance of your trip. 
  • Suz replied 7 years ago
    Sveta, what amazing photographs! I guess the disadvantage of letting hubby be the lens is you do not get many photos of street style. The advantage (for us) is that we get more photos of beautiful and oh-so-stylish you!! No wonder he couldn't take the viewfinder off of you. You look as gorgeous as your surroundings. 

    The new clutch is lovely! Great choice. 

    Your boots  -- your poor boots! But those boots have had a lot of wear over the year or two you've owned them, for sure. So it was for a good cause that they died. 
  • Krista replied 7 years ago
    Lovely recap, Sveta! You look fantastic in all of your pics!

  • texstyle replied 7 years ago
    So wonderful to see your photos Sveta - and I agree with Suz, it is nice to see you in the photos (I'm always the photographer myself so I rarely have photos of myself, except in the mirror!).  I really love that clutch - what a great neutral to have and a fun memento of your trip. It looks like it was a beautiful place to visit and you looked fantastic in your travel wardrobe.
  • K. Period. replied 7 years ago
    You look absolutely gorgeous, of course, because you always do!!! I love the nude clutch. Perfect for summer.  (My DH was laughing because I looked at today's forum posts and exclaimed, "Oh! Yay! Sveta's clutch at last!" Because how crazy is that, being all excited to see a clutch that someone on the forum whom you've never met in person posts a picture of their latest accessory. But that's how we are, right?!? :) )
  • Sveta replied 7 years ago
    Writing this post was like reliving my vacation all over again so the pleasure was all mine! :-) I am sorry this is such a novel but it was hard to compress 2 weeks of the trip into a single post!
    Thank you for your comments!
    Adelfa, Costa Rica packing should be easy.
    Rae, old Europe is so hard on footwear. I wondered how often Portuguese have to replace shoes: this may be a reason why Europeans prefer quality over quantity...
    Joy, thank you for allowing us to visit a bit of Japan with you as well :-)
    Ceit, Frye boots are really a possibility as well as Dr. Martens.
    pil, this is the trick with traveling especially in the shoulder seasons: you have to be prepared for weather swinging either way which means some of the stuff may not be worn.
    Nancy, I have been in the north of Italy in October - I guess it should be similar in weather to April. It was not very cold but it was chilly. I wore a light coat then. Definitely bring a trench and at least one warm sweater: even if days are warm night and morning can be chilly.
    Suz, these boots were through Paris and now Portugal. At least they have seen the world before they died :-)
    Thanks for loving my new clutch. It is a new style and color for me in a bag so it may need some adjustment. I am not sure clutch is the right bag fro my life style but I like the idea. This one was not expensive so it will be a good one to experiment. It is not a leather but the quality seems good, like a good soft leather. I like that studs are in the same color - less blingy and more subtle this way. It actually fits all regular stuff from my bags so hopefully I cna make it work for my lifestyle.
  • Transcona Shannon replied 7 years ago
    What stunning photos Sveta and thank you so much for the write up about your trip. You have the "I'm-a-beautiful-tourist" look in every single pic! Sooooo incredibly stylish you are.

    That clutch is divine and what a beautiful memory of your trip. Sorry 'bout the boots though :(
  • Sveta replied 7 years ago
    k can shop, I guess nobody from outside can really get the spirit of YLF community. Sorry I kept you waiting!:-)
  • Tina.b replied 7 years ago
    Such gorgeous photos, and how lovely to see you in all of them! What a wonderful vacation. I love the clutch, versatile colour and great details. 
  • missvee replied 7 years ago
    Thanks for posting these beautiful photos. I feel like I'm travelling right along with you :-) .  Your clothes look great. I love the boot pic - those are truly dead and gone.
  • rachylou replied 7 years ago
    I have to study your travel report! You look very stylish and appropriate in all your photos. I think I could like Portugal, from your pics :)
  • ruthe replied 7 years ago
    Thanks for sharing all the photos and information. Enjoyed the trip (through your eyes :). Wonderful.
  • Vivi replied 7 years ago
    Thank you for detailing out what worked and didn't. I'm going to be in Paris, Lisbon, and Seville in late May/early June. Happy to see jeans are totally appropriate, but would love to wear BFs. I'm really struggling with shoe options as most of my best shoes have a heel on them. I just ordered several pair to test out, including the SE taupe booties Angie listed.

    Beautiful pics and your outfits looked great. The polka dot dress and boots was fantastic. Sometimes dresses feel the most comfortable to me so I'm glad they worked out for you.

    Think I'll post my travel capsule in the coming weeks to get some opinions.
  • Makrame replied 7 years ago
    Thanks for the travel report!  Gorgeous photos and you look great!

    I agree on the long-sleeved shirts - my favorite items for traveling in colder weather are thin polyester long-sleeved blouses that take up very little space and do not wrinkle.
  • Sara L. replied 7 years ago
    What a beautiful clutch!  Your poor boots - at least they served you well on your trip.  I have a friend from Brazil who says that Portugal is his favorite place to visit and I'm glad to hear you had a great experience as well.
  • Aida replied 7 years ago
    You glamorous traveler, you! Gorgeous photos, and such a fun way to catch glimpses of what you wore as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on packing and wearing, along with the style you saw in Portugal. Very interesting about the lack of slouchy/BF style pants and also the longer hair!
  • replied 7 years ago
    Sveta, you stylish traveler! Who else can wear combat boots with hose and a dress and look so totally chic? I loved your pictures, travelogue and story about the dining room door. That is the smallest door I have ever seen! 

    FYI I read somewhere that the roof tiles (pictured in #6) used to be hand made by the women, using their thighs as a mold to get that shape! 
  • Angie replied 7 years ago
    WOW!! Love the pics! You look KILLER stunning - just like your new clutch! I'm glad you had a wonderful time. Glad you packed the right stuff! And boots are on your Fall shopping list :)

    I LOVE Portuguese food. Now I feel like some.

  • Sveta replied 7 years ago
    Thank you again for your comments. I am glad that my travel musings are helpful for you ladies Wise people always learn from others mistakes, right? :-).
    Vivi, I would definitely wear BF jeans on the trip. I hope you will find comfortable shoes in time for your trip.
    Claire, I have never heard this about the roof tiles- funny!
    Angie, I am sending pasteis de nata (custard tarts) your way - do you have a cup of tea ready? Actually my favorite desert in Portgal was a chocolate meringue with almonds - yum! This was pleasantly surprised me in Portugal about deserts: they are very tasty but not very sweet like North American ones. Heaven!
  • Lisa replied 7 years ago
    Thanks for the recap.  I am going in a few weeks and your list is really helpful.  After hearing about your footwear I plan to bring only flat, walking shoes and boots and lots of layers.

You need to be logged in to comment