by - July 14, 2017

I really shouldn't have spent any spare pennies on even more clothes... buuut you only live once and all that.

So let’s chat about my favourite clothes and accessories that I’ll be taking. Yay! Exciting part. As one of my big goals this year (you can see MY TWENTY SEVENTEEN DREAMS post here) is to improve my wardrobe by dressing far better than I do, and with a little more style, I’ve done my best to select items that I’ve felt look a little more expensive (though they really aren’t, at all), suit my body shape, and are of course a little more trendy. I’m predominately a jeans, vest top, and cardi girl. I definitely don’t do dresses unless they’re a plain maxi, if I’m going to a wedding/formal event, or if I’m heading out on a girl’s night.

Buying 'trendy' has been a little bit of a challenge, but it's also been a great way to explore new options that I wouldn't have even considered before. There have been lots of frustrating moments, with lots of hatred toward strapless pieces (bloody bardots), but slowly I'm getting there. For example, I never ever thought I'd even consider buying a bodysuit... but here we are, four bodysuits later. One of them is even coming with me on my travels!

The bodysuit I'm taking is from boohoo. It's a fabulous mink/mocha colour, and I absolutely love it. I've really struggled to find tops that I like lately, fashion is really making things difficult for the bigger busted girls, and so bodysuits have been a real life saver. The poppers on any bodysuit can be a real nightmare to fit together, such an awkward position, but without them you'd be stripping off every time you needed the bathroom... so thank you poppers. The bodysuit is basically an upgraded version of a vest top, so not straying too far from comfort but straying enough to get excited about it, with extra straps of fabric across the chest. All in all it's really flattering, and a brilliant colour - especially for my olive skin tone. The bodysuit also comes in two other colours, and this particular version it is a 'tall'. There is a similar 'normal' sized version on the website, but the tall fits me perfectly and I'm only a tiny 5ft 2.5". Must be the boobs.

I also came across an amazing pair of high-waisted shorts that I recently posted on my Instagram. They're amazing. They're a Primark find, and they team so well with my new bodysuit. In fact, they team so brilliantly well with almost everything. I've always wanted a pair of lace-trimmed shorts, and I could never find a pair I liked enough to buy, I also didn't feel like ruining a pair of my own shorts by attempting some DIY. Thankfully these shorts were all over the place in my local Primark store so you really couldn't miss them. Just a note - if you do head to Primark to find these beautiful lace-trimmed shorts, make sure you buy a size up. Sadly they're pulling a H&M move and their shorts sizing is absolutely ridiculous, the size 12 I tried on was most definitely not a 12.

Shorts here  |  Bodysuit here

Next up is another Primark find. It's a light-weight 'distressed' knitted jumper in a very pale grey/blue, and I love it. I almost didn't pick it up as I was a bit put off by the distressed look, but I'm so glad that I did. It's a really flattering fit. It's also fairly stretchy, really comfortable, and a little over-sized so I took home a size 6/8, woo hoo! Their jumper sizing is clearly nothing like their soul-destroying shorts sizing... but speaking of the shorts, they also look great with this jumper. I feel that these shorts will be making a lot of appearances over my two weeks away... 

As we're expecting a huge mix of temperatures during the two weeks jumpers are definitely needed. Plus I'm a big knitwear fiend, so I never mind an array of jumpers. The temperatures we'll be facing are due to be anywhere between 18-20 degrees Celsius at the warmest points and as low as -25 degrees Celsius in the coldest points. It hasn't made for easy packing, especially as I want to take as little as possible and travel light! I'm hoping this jumper will be perfect for cooler evenings teamed with shorts, but also come in handy when the temperatures get really icy and I can pair it with jeggings. I'm also thinking it'll look perfect against snowy peaks, fjords, and glaciers (I'm not thinking ahead for those Instagram photos or anything...).

Jumper here

I have limited myself to just two jumpers. Hmm. The knitwear voices in me keep screaming 'pack another one'. The next jumper I'll be taking is a really soft, comfy, stretchy, knitted number from H&M in a fabulous charcoal grey. I haven't tested it against the shorts but it does work well with my black jeggins, which is just as well because it's definitely one for the colder days. I bought the jumper in a size small - again, no issues with jumper sizing, clearly even H&M love to be generous with their jumpers (I'm not complaining!). You will probably want a vest top underneath if you're like me and like a little extra length on your tops.

I do love a bit of grey, so when I saw this jumper I had to pick it up. It's such a soft fabric, and a little fluffy. It's honestly the cosiest jumper I've owned in a long long time. Unfortunately I can't find this jumper on the H&M website to share it with you all; I did buy it all the way back in January on a birthday weekend away. Hopefully it, or a twin version, will make an appearance in their autumn/winter collection this year. Sob sob. There are a couple of similar options on the website so I'll share those with you below, though sadly they're not as fluffy.

Option one here  |  Option two here  |  Option three here 

I really couldn't go anywhere without a cardigan or two, so I'll be taking two grey options with me. One is a chunky knit cardi from Primark, and the other is a light-weight knit cardi, also from Primark. Clearly I love a bit of Primark, who doesn't?! Kudos to Primark for these two cardigans because you certainly wouldn't think either came from their store. They've quickly become my favourite possessions in the cardigan world. I think it helps that they're both a little heathered/marled, I find that this always makes clothes look a little more up-market - especially in grey. 

The lighter-knit cardigan is a simple, marled grey cardigan that you can throw on with almost anything and head out the door. I wear it quite a lot, but it's definitely more for the warmer months as it is fairly thin. It's a long sleeved cardigan so it does keep you somewhat warm, and it's nicely fitted in all the right places. This version was quite popular in Primark over spring into early summer so I wouldn't be surprised if there are a handful left in stores, or at least some really similar options.

The chunky-knit cardi was an eBay find, and I'm assuming was from Primark's autumn/winter collection last year. It's still in brilliant condition, no frays, no marks, no pulls, no missing buttons. I'd been looking for a chunky-knit cardigan in grey for some time and couldn't find any that really made the cut, but I am beyond pleased to have found this one. It works really well with all-time favourite shorts as well as a pair of jeggings, so is a great versatile item to take. This one is definitely more for the chillier climate as being quite a thick knit it really does keep you toasty.

Cardigan here

Now, I feel like I can't go all the way to Scandinavia without taking a checked shirt, am I right?! Either way, this H&M find is coming with me. Again, another piece I picked up in January, but these checked/tartan shirts are always absolutely everywhere. I have had a peek on the H&M website and sadly this perfect red and black shirt isn't anywhere to be seen, but I am assuming that H&M (or someone!) will have a very similar version appear throughout autumn/winter. Checked shirts are still surprisingly so popular.

This shirt isn't particularly thick, but it also isn't overly thin either. It's definitely an option for the colder days as I really don't like to be over-burdened when the sun is shining. Being a busty girl I will have to wear a vest top underneath as I won't be able to do all the buttons up, but I do prefer to button-up a shirt rather than wear it as a cardigan. If I'm going to embrace my inner lumberjack then I may as well do it properly! This shirt will brilliantly match the new burgundy marled-knit hat that I've ordered too. Team that combo with my black jeggings and pink hiking boots and I'm good to go, just find me an axe!

Whilst we're talking checks, let's chat blanket scarves. I have two big blanket scarves, they're absolutely enormous. You can open them out to huddle among their over-sized knitted goodness, or you can roll or fold them as you please to use as a scarf. I definitely make use of both wearable options. 

The office at work is like an igloo in the summer, I kid you not, so I permanently leave one of the two on my desk. The sun is shining outside so naturally people think they should make it as cold as possible inside. Please no. Just no. So out comes the blanket scarf. The second scarf is always available at home for day to day use. It's so snug, it's brilliant, so this definitely has to come with me to keep me warm.

These scarves were literally all over the place last autumn/winter, and you can still find plenty of them now. I found both of mine on eBay, but you'll also come across them on apps such as Wish. They are from Asia, so they delivery can take a little while, but they're so worth the wait. Be mindful though as a lot of listings class their scarves as blanket scarves, but they're just regular sized knitted scarves - first hand mistake!

Blanket scarf here

A huge love of everyone’s has so far been the pink hiking boots that I bought especially for this trip. So many of you have mentioned how much you love them! Yay! I absolutely adore these boots, their colouring is so perfect and they’re warm and comfortable. They work really well with my dusty pink shorts, my new denim lace-trimmed shorts, and my black jeggings. Hurrah! What a win win scenario. I honestly can’t believe how lucky I’ve been with some of the items I’ve bought for this trip. Usually I buy an enormous haul of goods and either hate everything or nothing matches. Maybe I really am getting so much better at selecting items.

I’ve been trying my best not to find out too much about the trip, the scenery, and my fellow travel companions before I set off - for the sake of extra excitement at the time of arrival. As it’s a pretty well-controlled trip I don’t have to worry too much about where I’m going and how I’ll get there, so I can relax and just enjoy the adventure. However, that being said I did take a sneaky peek at a couple of travellers who are current on Topdeck trips all around the world. Luckily I haven’t found more than one or two individuals who are on the trip I’ll be heading out on, but there have been some travellers in similar climates.

I did snoop for a very good reason. I wanted to see what the girls were wearing to make sure that I was dressing appropriately, and also to see what footwear they had all taken. There was a huge variety, but I’m almost convinced that I’m the only one taking hiking boots. Everyone else seems to be in regular fashionable ankle boots or trendy trainers. Well. I love my pink boots so they’re definitely coming with. Even the laces are a pastel pink, what more could you want?! Hello beautiful boots.

Hiking boots here

After my mini Instagram rummage I’m now pretty pleased with my clothing choices. I was happy anyway, but I now feel confident that I’m not going to be under-dressed but also not going to be too over-dressed. I’m sure I’ll be one of the eldest in the group, but that’s no different to some of the friends I have at home, I’m pretty much the grandma to one group of fabulous girls. Luckily I don’t feel a day over 22, so I think this helps with my clothing choices. I don’t want to dress too young and tacky, and I don’t even know what you’d wear to ‘dress your age’ at 28 anyway?! but I do feel like I’m finally finding my feet in the fashion world

Every trip away needs a pair of sunglasses, even a trip to the Arctic Circle. I found some pink, almost mirrored, cat-eyed sunglasses in Primark for only £3. What a bargain. I had to buy these, and have worn them for every sunny spell ever since. They’re gold framed, with rubber nose pads, and lovely dusty pink lenses. They were a little odd to get used to over the first couple of wears as your peripheral vision almost looks as if it’s encased in a giant bubble, so strange! Minor weirdness over, I completely ignore that now and must admit I don’t even notice it. Which is good because I’d hate to give up these sunnies. 

If you're sat there thinking 'I don't know what this crazy girl is talking about, mirrored cat-eye sunnies?!' - you will definitely have seen them somewhere on social media, they are everywhere. They're hugely popular, they’re fabulous! You can find them in a small variety of colours, mainly a pink and gold version or a silver/grey version. I just happen to have one set of each, and these really are mirrored lenses. 

As a huge thank you for sticking with me and my brand new blog, and because I’m so excited to be going away, I’m going to be hosting a giveaway over on my Instagram RIGHT NOW. Right this moment! It's live! Right now! 

Two lucky ladies will be winning a pair each, colour chosen at random. The winners will be announced in next Friday's blog post. Head over to my Instagram here to find out more.   

• Giveaway here •

There are a number of other items that I’m taking on the trip, including pjs, a bikini, sandals, and a small variety of other tops and shorts. I’m sure you’ll see these in images of my travels whilst I’m away and of course in some very excited blog post when I’m back. 

I’m beyond happy with the clothes I’ve safely set aside for this two week adventure and definitely don’t think there will be any last minute changes. I however will more than likely spend an evening or two planning the most useful way of packing my bag… as in, do I put clothes at the bottom and other items on top, or do I put other items at the bottom and clothes on top. As I have access from both ends of the bag it’s not a huge dilemma, but I’d rather my clothes stayed in good condition so I assume I’ll have them at the top, with my hiking boots laid on their sides at the bottom.

I’ll absolutely be using the rolling technique for my clothes, and if you haven’t heard of this - try it out. You simply roll your clothes as tightly as possible, instead of folding them, to prevent creasing and to allow yourself a little extra room in your bag. Win win! It really does help. I tried and tested this method when I packed for Thailand all those years ago. Of course, if you're packing a suitcase you probably won't need this method.

I know I keep saying it, but I really am so super excited for this trip, I honestly can't wait to start packing. I still have a few items that I'm waiting on, including insect repellent and some travel-sizd shampoo bottles, but other than that I really am all set. Ahh. I can't believe how quickly it's come around, but I suppose I did book it with only four weeks to wait. Hello to my next big adventure! 9 days to go.

Claudia xo

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  1. It's so exciting to see it all come together! Are you going to put up a few posts whilst you're travelling?
    Morwenna x

    1. ♥️ aww thanks for commenting!!

      I probably won't be able to! But I will keep a travel diary and do a huge post when I'm home! I'll keep Instagram updated though. 😂

      Claudia xo

  2. I love that blanket scarf it is gorgeous! I can't believe it's only 9 days away how exciting!! Em x

    1. Ahh they're so comfy and warm! Love huddling up in one!

      Claudia xo

  3. Loving the different outfits! Great post Hun, my fav has to be the shorts and grey cardigan! Also what a great giveaway xx

    1. Thank you! :) I absolutely love my grey cardigans, I couldn't be without them!

      Claudia xo

  4. What cute finds! I really loved that distress (slight-destroyed lol) sweater and the chunky-knit cardigan!

    1. Aww thank you :) Hehe slightly destroyed! It really is!

      Claudia xo

  5. I love all the outfit pictures! Such cute travel/holiday outfits! And the shoes are amazing!!
    xoxo Annaleid

    1. Aww thank you! <3 I'm so excited to get out there and get wearing them, I'm just hoping I don't pull a lazy move and hardly wear any haha.

      Claudia xo

  6. Wow how exciting. Can't wait to see your adventures x
    Lola Mia // www.lolitabonita.co.uk

  7. Wow how exciting. Can't wait to see your adventures x
    Lola Mia // www.lolitabonita.co.uk

  8. I hope you enjoy your trip!! I'm a big supporter for you trying new clothing- these pieces look amazing on you and you don't even look 28 at all (I thought you were literally my age, around 20)! And yess, I've seen those sunnies all over social media and got myself 3 different colours, hahah. Have an amazing trip! X

    Simplee Nikkie
    I'd love to follow each other! :)