So after several days schlepping through Disneyland Paris and a day at Peppa Pig World with two demented toddlers this week, I feel I’ve earned my stripes on this subject. It’s a question I’ve seen pop up on the style and beauty boards of Mumsnet many times, so I thought I’d throw my two-penneth in.
I’ll start from the bottom up. There are two things that can really ruin a family day out. The first is being unprepared for inclement weather and the second is inadequate footwear. I always, always wear flats on this kind of day. I’m quite comfortable in a chunky mid heel but I wouldn’t consider it for theme-parking.
Another pitfall is wearing a shoe you have not worn for a prolonged period before. I destroyed my feet on a brutally hot day at Legoland last summer by wearing a pair of gladiator sandals. Sweaty feet and multiple straps = the seventh circle of chafing. I recommend trainers (I prefer high top or sporty styles, but I’m sure Converse/Superga would work equally well) for cooler weather or something like a Fitflop (I know, I know, but they are SO COMFORTABLE) for summer. At the moment you could probably pass ’em off in the name of Normcore.
I’ve just snapped up these fabulous pink Nike Internationalists after stalking them for months – they’ll be perfect for future days out.
Next you’ll be wanting trousers. Theme parks aren’t really the place for skirts, IMHO. Too short and you’ll be flashing unsuspecting tourists, too long and you’ll be stumbling on it as you clamber on and off the log flume. I suppose knee length could work but I’ve never had any success with knee length casual skirts. Comfortable jeans with at least (because no one wants to see your arse) a mid rise are good for cooler weather, whereas I find a cropped version good for summer. If you’re so inclined you could do shorts, but be wary of thigh chafe if you’re not a sylph. Keep the length decent though (see arse point above – underbum is even worse).
I’ve been favouring my new Gap distressed straight legs lately, they feel slightly fresher than skinnies or boyfriends. They are showing as £69.99 on the website but I picked mine up for less than half that on offer in store, so I’d advise checking there. I like the fact the distressed areas are patched at the back (keeps the chill out, said the gimmer).
On top, layers are always a winner. You usually start out on these days at the crack and it can feel nippy, even in summer. Chances are you’ll be in and out of overheated attractions too, so you may need to shed a layer. On my most recent trip I found a vest, short sleeved tee and lightweight sweater a good arrangement. In winter, I recommend a full layer of Uniqlo Heattech or similar (yep, leggings and all). This was my saviour when we went to see Father Christmas at Peppa Pig World. I was deliciously snug while Mr TMT cried like a little bitch all day.
On our trip to Disneyland Paris I favoured these Gap Pure body tees. They’re a great price and my grey one is now coming up on three year’s service and still looks as new.
As far as jumpers are concerned, I tend to prefer a lightweight merino knit or a slogan/graphic sweatshirt. Currently tickling my fancy is this little Zoe Karssen number:
Coat wise, I would always suggest a waterproof of some description, especially if in the UK. Theme Parks rarely have a great deal of shelter and being wet and soggy is THE WORST. In winter you obviously want your all weather down jobber. Again Mr TMT shivered in his waxed jacket while I was a paragon of smug warmth in my Barbour. How we laughed. Well, I did. This time, it was fairly fresh down in Hampshire so I wore my lightweight neon parka which was last year’s Gap. It was also excellent at keeping the worst off on the water rides. However, I appreciate neon yellow may not be everyone’s bag, so this grey Mango one may be a tad more versatile…
Bag wise I always take two. A cross body for my essentials (read: iPhone) and a rucksack for the kids’ crap. As my Disneyland Paris wardrobe was a capsule collection of navy and grey I chose this lovely lime number to add a bit of interest.
Rucksack-wise, it was my trusty Kanken. This bag has been hands-down my best buy of the year so far. I use it pretty much every day, either as a gym bag or to cart toddler paraphernalia. I’ve got a sensible navy one, but I quite fancy the slightly less practical but gorgeous blush pink. Can you tell I’m having a love affair with pink at the moment? You can currently get 15% off with code BONUS15.
I’m probably teaching my grandmother to suck eggs here, but I thought I’d throw it out there anyway. Hopefully it will prove useful to someone! And to prove I practice what I preach, here I am at not-so-sunny Peppa Pig World (looking ever so slightly broken by the experience).
Coat – Gap
Sweatshirt – Zoe Karssen
Jeans – Gap
Trainers – New Balance
Bag – Balenciaga