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What to wear in Europe this summer: European Summer outfit inspiration

Picture perfect scenes at the Algarve in Portugal, wearing high-rise denim Levi shorts and a ruffled plaid top

Are you wondering what to wear in Europe this summer

Have you browsed Pinterest but need a little bit more European summer outfit inspiration?

I’ve got you! I’m Mel, a travel blogger from London.

I’ve roamed through Italy’s charming streets, Greece’s beautiful beaches, and Croatia’s clear waters, and I know just how crucial it is to pack smartly for a European summer.

The right outfit makes you feel great, keeps you cool and comfortable in hot weather, and looks cute in photos.

You’ll likely be wandering through ancient cities on cobblestone streets, relaxing on sun-drenched beaches, and sailing on azure waters… So in this guide, I’ll share my top 8 different outfits for summer in Europe. Let’s dive in!

European Summer: sunrise in Puglia, overlooking the gorgeous coast

What To Wear in Europe This Summer

What’s the weather like in Europe in summer?

It’s important to note that not all European countries experience the same weather patterns during the summer months, but you can still generally assume the weather will be warm and humid.

While the UK is notorious for a cheeky rainshower even in the height of summer, Mediterranean countries like Italy, France, Greece, and Spain have a reliably hot climate, usually around 30 degrees celsius (86 fahrenheit).

From late May through to early September, Europe typically basks in scorching temperatures that seldom dip, which means that locals and tourists get to revel in long, sun-kissed summer days.

So I’ve put together five stylish yet comfortable outfit ideas perfect for European summer. These outfits are ideal for romantic walks along the Seine or relaxing days on the Amalfi Coast, ensuring you look effortlessly chic from day to night.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive European Summer packing list, check out this post.

Let’s get into the outfits!

What To Wear in Europe This Summer: City Outfit Inspiration

Exploring Lisbon's quaint, hilly streets in a white dress and slip-ons | What to Wear in Europe This Summer: 8 Stylish Outfits for Beach, City & Evening

Exploring Lisbon’s quaint, hilly streets in a white dress and slip-on sandals

1. Exploring the City: Soaking up the Sun in Medieval Piazzas

  • Linen Dress (or Cotton): For effortless charm, you can’t go wrong with a flowy linen shirt dress or cotton mini dress, ideal for exploring cobblestone streets and quaint cafes. (This Everlane white cotton dress is a staple in my summer wardrobe, offering comfort and style for city adventures – plus it looks super chic for evening drinks.)
  • Lightweight Linen Shirt or Cotton Cardigan: Layer a linen shirt or cardigan over your dress for versatility and added coverage during cooler evenings. (This Everlane linen shirt is a travel fave of mine, I bring it absolutely everywhere!)
  • Sneakers or Sandals: I personally prefer wearing sneakers – white or cream trainers are my favourite since they go with everything! Equally if you want your toes to fly free, you can’t go wrong with a cosy pair of Birks.
  • Small Handbag: Go for a small handbag with a crossbody strap for easy access to your belongings while on the go. (Also, a sling or bumbag works well – like the viral UniQlo sling, my go-to for city explorations, which comes in all kinds of colours.)
  • Sunglasses: European summer essential! Protect your eyes from the sun – I love these ones from Sunnies Studio.
What to wear for summer in Europe: girl in sunhat, straw bag and white outfit oes sightseeing at San Michele in Foro, a Roman Catholic basilica church in the gorgeous Tuscan city of Lucca in central Italy

Sightseeing at San Michele in Foro, a Roman Catholic church in the gorgeous Tuscan city of Lucca in central Italy

2. See the Sights In Style: Cathedrals, Museums & Food Markets

  • High Waist Linen Shorts or Trousers: Stay cool and chic in high-waisted linen trousers that offer both style and comfort for long days of exploration. (These sustainable Everlane linen shorts are a travel essential for me, offering the perfect blend of style and practicality.)
  • Long Sleeve White Linen Shirt: Keep it classy with a crisp white linen shirt that shields you from the sun while maintaining a polished look. (As mentioned I swear by this Everlane shirt for its breathable fabric and timeless appeal.)
  • Pastel Top: Add a pop of colour to your ensemble with a pastel croptop, bringing a playful and summery vibe to your sightseeing adventures. Lighter colours also keep you cooler as they reflect sunlight rather than absorbing it.
  • Straw Hat: Shield yourself from the sun in style with a straw hat that adds a touch of rustic charm to your sightseeing ensemble. Straw hats are a beachy travel essential, offering both sun protection and style, AND they look great in photos!
  • Mini Backpack: Carry your essentials in a mini backpack. (I do love a Longchamps mini backpack for its versatility and durability, perfect for urban explorations. Once again, the UniQlo round sling is also a winner for style and function!)
What to Wear in Europe This Summer: 8 Stylish Outfits for Beach, City & Evening

Wearing a black playsuit, black sandals and a leather crossbody bag for a night out in Barcelona!

Night Time Bar-Hopping: Dancing Under the Mediterranean Stars

  • Bodysuit and High Waist Trousers: Transition seamlessly from day to night with a sleek bodysuit paired with high-waisted trousers, perfect for dancing the night away. (These UniQlo high-waist, wide-leg pleated trousers are my go-to for bar-hopping adventures. They keep me cool and look super cute.)
  • Mule Heels or Flat Sandals: I love these Everlane heeled mules which go with everything.
  • Handbag: Opt for a stylish handbag with a chain strap for a touch of sophistication while bar-hopping through the vibrant streets. (The Cactus Sling is a staple in my nightlife wardrobe, it’s small but mighty, and in such cute colours.)
  • Statement Earrings: Elevate your evening look with statement earrings, adding a touch of glamour and sparkle to your ensemble. (These earrings are my go-to for adding a pop of glamour to any outfit.)

What To Wear in Europe This Summer: Beach Outfit Inspiration

Salty and sun-kissed in the Algarve, Portugal, after a day at the beach!

Salty and sun-kissed in the Algarve, Portugal, after a day at the beach! The green top is actually a swimsuit, which I pulled these Everlane shorts over. I wore sneakers because we did a hike at sunset.

Beach Day: Enjoying the Mediterranean Sun

  • Flowy Cover-Up: A lightweight, flowy cover-up is perfect for the beach, offering style and a bit of coverage while letting you enjoy the sun. It’s a must-have for me because it’s stylish yet functional. Once again – love a linen shirt!
  • Linen or Cotton ShortsThese guys are so much more breathable than denim shorts and dry quickly if they get wet! I absolutely love these high-waist linen shorts from Everlane, a sustainable brand).
  • Straw Hat: A stylish straw hat not only looks great but also protects you from the sun, keeping you cool. I love how this UniQlo crochet hat blocks the sun but is still breathable and adds a beachy vibe.
  • Flat Sandals: Comfortable flat sandals are great for walking on the sand and add to your beach style. These are my favorite for beach days, comfortable and durable. These Everlane sandals are lovely and go with everything, though the sole is very flat. If you need arch support try these ones – I love mine and they’ve lasted me years.
  • Sunglasses: ESSENTIAL! Protect your eyes from the sun – these glasses are my faves from Sunnies Studio.
  • Straw Beach Tote: A spacious straw tote bag holds all your beach essentials and has a coastal vibe. The Topshop oversized straw tote is PERFECT for carrying everything I need for a day in the sun – practical and stylish.

 

Boat Trip: Sun-Kissed Adventures Along the European Coast

  • One Piece Swimsuit: Opt for a flattering one-piece swimsuit in a bright colour or fun print, ideal for lounging on the beach or diving into the crystal-clear waters without worrying about any slips. (Especially if you’re going to be jumping off a boat, you don’t want any awkward reveals!)
  • Straw Hat or Baseball Cap: Shield your face from the sun in style with a straw hat or baseball cap, providing essential sun protection during outdoor adventures. (This cute Polo cap is my go-to for beach days, though I do love a classic straw sun hat. The UniQlo crochet hat is a cute throwback to holidays as a kid.)
  • Waterproof Bag or Oversized Straw Beach Tote: Pack your essentials in a waterproof bag or spacious beach tote, ensuring your belongings stay dry during boat trips or beach outings. (This Topshop oversized straw beach tote is a must-have for me, offering plenty of room for all my beach essentials.)
  • Long-sleeve linen shirt: Protect your arms from burning, plus a lovely white shirt looks tasteful over a bikini.
  • Change of Clothes: Pack a change of clothes for post-beach activities or exploring coastal towns, keeping you comfortable and stylish throughout the day. Aim for clothes that help you transition from beach to town, like a flowy dress you can pull on, or a cute linen shorts and top co-ord.
Stunning sunset over Sarakiniko Beach in Milos, Greece

Wearing a black midi dress during a stunning sunset over Sarakiniko Beach in Milos, Greece before dinner

Romantic Night Out in Europe: Dinner and Drinks by the Beach

Grinning under the sun in Tuscany, wearing a Seafolly bikini

What To Wear in Europe This Summer: Outdoor Outfit Inspiration

What to Wear in Europe This Summer: 8 Stylish Outfits for Beach, City & Evening

Country Living: Wine Tasting in Bordeaux

  • Midi Dress: A breezy midi dress, in a floral or pastel shade, is elegant yet comfortable for wine tasting. Perfect for wine country, it’s stylish and comfortable. I ADORE this Tencel midi dress from Everlane (Tencel is a sustainable material that’s as lightweight and breathable as cotton, but more environmentally friendly!)
  • Lightweight Cardigan: A light cardigan is perfect for cooler evenings, adding warmth without sacrificing style. A travel must-have for me, it’s comfortable and stylish: the Everlane organic cotton rib-knit cardigan is my favourite. It’s so lightweight and keeps me warm when there’s a breeze. I have it in bone white and royal blue – I love both colours equally!
  • Block Heel Sandals: Block heel sandals look polished and provide stability on uneven paths. My choice for wine tasting are the Everlane mules. They’re stylish and supportive, and you can roam around vineyards without your feet hurting.
  • Statement Earrings: Elegant earrings add glamour and draw attention to your overall look. I love resin earrings for their chic design and versatility, or just straightforward plain gold or silver small hoops.
  • Crossbody Bag: A stylish crossbody bag keeps your hands free while you explore and taste wine, offering convenience and style. Great for wine tours, it’s functional and fashionable. The UniQlo round sling also wins as it fits a camera/water bottle!
Admiring the stunning Turche Cave Waterfall in Valencia, Spain

Admiring the stunning Turche Cave Waterfall in Valencia, Spain

Active Chic: Hiking Craggy Caves and Hidden Waterfalls

  • Sneakers: Lace up your trusty sneakers for comfort and support on rugged trails and rocky terrain. (These cream Nike sneakers are my faves because they’re comfortable, look good with everything, and support my feet on hikes!)
  • Shorts: Choose lightweight, moisture-wicking shorts for ease of movement and to stay cool during your hike. (Or, opt for shorts in a natural fabric – I love these high-waist linen shorts from Everlane, which I use for walks all the time!)
  • One Piece Swimsuit: Wear a versatile one-piece swimsuit under your shorts to easily go from hiking to swimming in natural pools. A one-piece swimsuit is great for active days out, providing coverage and freedom to move.
  • Sun Hat: Use a wide-brimmed sun hat for UPF protection to keep your face shaded while you’re out exploring.
  • Sunglasses: Durable sunglasses protect your eyes from glare and UV rays, ensuring clear vision of the scenery – one of the most important things you need to wear in Europe this summer!
  • Backpack: A durable backpack with adjustable straps carries all your essentials, with enough space for water, snacks, and more. The Sandqvist Ruben 2.0 backpack is my top choice for hikes – fits all my camera gear, comfy, plus it’s water resistant!

(Check out my review: Sandqvist Ruben 2.0 Backpack Review: The Best Travel Bag EVER?)

Wearing a bikini and straw hat whilst melting by the pool in Tuscany

I hope you found these European summer outfits useful and that they help you work out what to wear in Europe this summer!

If you’re looking for a more complete packing guide, check out: What To Pack For Summer in Europe: Your European Summer Essential Packing List

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Mel Legarda

Melissa Legarda is the founder of illumelation. She has worked as a travel blogger, creator and writer since 2015, and has collaborated with well-known brands worldwide. She has helped over 1,100+ students improve their travel photography skills since launching her creative courses. Her mission is to encourage and empower others to travel and create more. Find her on Instagram.