Travel capsule for Berlin

I'm heading to Germany for a week, leaving tomorrow. The first few days are a conference in Heidelberg (at which I am giving a talk) and the second half is tourism in Berlin. I think I can manage with a single carry-on. I collected everything I might bring into a pinterest board:

shoes: flats, ankle boots, tall boots (comfortable for walking, good for rain)
bottoms: 3-4 pairs of jeans, knit skirt, leather shorts
dresses: shirtdress, t-shirt dress?, drapey knit dress
tops: assorted
warmth: lightweight wool cardigan
jackets: denim, leather?

wandering the city: jeans with tall boots, basic top
low-key nightclubs: leather shorts, silk blouse or wool top, ankle boots
giving my talk: white button-down tunic, black straight jeans, flats
hanging out with scientists: assorted
restaurants: assorted

I love everything in my list right now, but I worry that I'm overlooking something. E.g., will I be too cold? (Probably not. I run hot.) Will my ripped boyfriend jeans be inappropriate? (Again, probably not - Berlin is full of young hipster types.) Will I fit into my jeans? (A good question but I am ignoring that problem.) Am I bringing too much? (Probably.) Will I be underdressed for clubs?

If anyone has favorite edgy boutiques, etc, in Berlin, let me know! I'm looking forward to visiting COS in person, and I also noticed that Zara prices are much lower there than here. But those are both chains I can get here...

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  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    No answers for you, but wishes for a wonderful trip.

  • UmmLila replied 4 years ago

    I love your collection of items and they look like they will work well for your needs. Those R13 black jeans look very tempting. However, I wonder if you might need something for rain.

  • Greyscale replied 4 years ago

    Oh gosh. Rain. I'm bringing an umbrella and the tall boots, but no waterproof jacket... California has been in an awful drought for years. It rained once or twice last winter, but it's really been over two years since I had to think about rain. (I miss it a lot.) I *think* I'll be ok with the jean jacket and an umbrella, but maybe not...

  • Astrid replied 4 years ago

    You don't need a rain jacket. It's supposed to stay fairly warm and there might be rain, but I never wear a rain jacket in everyday life besides days when I go trekking. Just be sure to take an umbrella with you when you're out and about.

  • bj1111 replied 4 years ago

    I love your strict color palette and thinking in terms of outfits/events. I prefer the leather jacket if you have room for only 1. I wonder if you need both the short sleeve sweater and the sonar wool top--i would swap the denim jacket for one of these? Or the tall boot AND the ankle booties--of course i once brought 7 pairs to a 7 day mtg?

  • Deb replied 4 years ago

    I love your selections, which will mix, match and layer well. I tend to think that one boot will suffice, probably the ankle boot. You could wear the gorgeous leather jacket and booties to travel and keep your luggage lighter. Berlin is über cool, artistic and intellectual and these clothes will fit the vibe. All the best with your presentation, have a great time and stay safe. Gute Reise!

  • O replied 4 years ago

    Check the brand called OSKA. There should be a shop in Berlin. I've discovered them only this spring and now I wish I hadn't :-) Interesting designs, excellent make and fabrics. 

    Best of luck in Heidelberg and enjoy Berlin. If you have any time left, I'd highly recommend visiting Cologne. I think you'd love it.

  • Astrid replied 4 years ago

    I had looked OSKA up when Ornella wrote about her dress and they have a store in Oranienburger Straße in Mitte. Unfortunately I don't have any great tips, I'm not an edgy dresser and have a small budget - so not conductive to shopping small hip boutiques. You might like to have a look at the Liebeskind Berlin store, maybe you know them already? They are at Neue Schönhauser Straße 8, not far from the OSKA store  actually. I there are other stores that could interest you in that corner. The Dr Martens store is around there as well.

  • Lynne replied 4 years ago


    Have fun, Berlin is a beautiful city!  I love Picard handbag and wallet, they are made in Oberhausen and are beautiful quality.  Have a look at the link and see what you think :). 

  • frannieb replied 4 years ago

    Great travel wardrobe - it is wonderfully mix and match. I think for boots it depends on your feet. I can't wear the same shoe two days in a row because my feet are fussy that way so the amount of shoes looks good to me.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Fabulous capsule -- and have fun!!!! Good luck with your presentation, too. Try to snap some pics for us. :)

  • O replied 4 years ago

    Check the shoes by TRIPPEN. There are shops both in Heidelberg (Heumarkt 1) and Berlin (Alte Schönhauser Strasse 45).

  • CocoLion replied 4 years ago

    Your capsule looks good and is very similar to what I packed on my trip to Seattle last weekend (SSIF).

    My only suggestion might be to reduce one of the black sweaters/wool tops and replace with two more white tees.  You only have one and a white tee dirties quickly yet is easy and light to pack plus a wardrobe workhorse.

    As far as shopping -- the last time I was in Berlin was 2008 so I couldn't say.  I'm a big fan of castles so I enjoyed my day trip to Potsdam (Schloss Sanssouci).  Also make sure you have some pants with give in the waist as German pastries are TDF.  You must arrange your meal schedule so that "Kaffe und Kuchen" (coffee and cake) are eaten daily!

    1 -- Apfelstrudel 
    2 -- Cheesecake
    3 -- Plum cake
    4 -- Sacher Torte

    (technically 1 and 4 are Austrian, but wildly popular in German)

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    You seem pretty set to me, altho I admit that seems like a lot of jeans to me. Jeans are heavy. My goal in life is to get everything I need into a 16" suit case :)

  • Greyscale replied 4 years ago

    I'm on the train from Heidelberg to Berlin. Thanks for all the advice and ideas!

    So far: yes, I definitely definitely brought one or even two more jeans than I need. Also, my straight-leg jeans are too tight to zip right now. I don't know how that happened. And I should have left the leather jacket at home. The denim jacket is so great for travel because I can shove it under a plane seat or whatever without trouble.

    Shoes - very happy that I brought three, but my new flats are causing some weird problems with my toes / ball of foot. So I'll be wearing the boots - which have supportive insoles - a lot now that the professional part is done.

    I love Trippen shoes! I am definitely going to the store in Berlin! There's one boutique in San Francisco that carries them but they are out of my price range. I'm sure the selection is much bigger at the Berlin flagship store. I will look at them anyway in case I fall in love with something.

    And my wallet is Liebeskind - I should check their store for a small purse. I've been searching for something light and minimal.

  • Greyscale replied 4 years ago

    OMG. I just finally put all these places on a map and realized our hotel is a few blocks from COS, Trippen, OSKA, and everywhere else I want to shop. Boyfriend and I agree that shopping will be this afternoon's activity as soon as we arrive, because that will leave the rest of our trip for more cultural experiences. ;-)

  • bj1111 replied 4 years ago

    shopping is anthropological...just sayin'

  • Sveta replied 4 years ago

    Have fun!

  • Astrid replied 4 years ago

    Yes, have fun! :)

  • O replied 4 years ago

    It's 22h and I expect you scored something today... ;-)

  • Greyscale replied 4 years ago

    I actually didn't buy anything! I ran out of time to go to Oska. A few things I'd liked online from COS didn't really fit in person, and another sweater seemed too expensive for an impulse buy. I might swing back by there later, but today is museums and such.

    I'm sad that my guy isn't taking the opportunity to find cool Euro clothes. He's very slim and European men's clothing is cut much better for him. Plus much more stylish, and I know he cares about that. He doesn't have patience for shopping, but he cares about clothes.

    Today's wardrobe realization: I really should have brought my converse. I can walk in them all day.

  • heb replied 4 years ago

    Have fun!

  • Astrid replied 4 years ago

    Yes, in my life every shoe has to be a whole day walking shoe... Hope you'll have the chance to do more shopping - which museums and sights are you visiting?

  • replied 4 years ago

    It sounds like a wonderful trip! I'm glad you're having fun and getting some shopping in, along with the more cultural activities. :)

  • crutcher replied 4 years ago

    I thought shopping was a cultural safe, have fun and come back with a ton of pictures...

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