It happens every summer. Every travel vacation actually. Or, for some of us, it even happens during the year in the event we travel for work. It’s called packing. And for most of us it’s not only a chore, but a pain.
Unless you’re going on a trip for over a week, it’s almost best not to have to check your luggage. You can if you have the time, or if taking luggage as a carry-on really bothers you, but other than that, do your best to make things easiest on yourself. Checking in (especially when traveling domestic) means long lines, insane wait times, and puts you further behind of actual check points that you do have to make. Most luggage these days are tagged with their measurements, as well as whether they’re suitable for carry-on travel.
For city trips, consider how much walking you’ll do and how many occasions you will have to dress for. By occasions, I don’t mean days. It is hard, but you have to be ruthless when packing or else you’ll end up hauling too much along that you won’t use. A simple color palette with core colors being black, grey, white, navy or chocolate (or a combination of any two) is a good place to start. Introduce color with accessories. If our mentioned colors are far too boring for you, stick with colors from what I like to call the new neutrals: army green, pale rose, brick red and mustard. Opt for easy pieces like slim wrinkle-free trousers, a pencil skirt that can be dressed up or down, and a great shirt dress that can change looks with a pair of shoes.
For tops, I love Banana Republic’s quarter sleeve boat necks, and v-neck lightweight sweaters from J. Crew. Take one pair of jeans, in either white or rinsed wash, which will take you from day to evening. Look for fabrics like Modal, Tencel, and jersey, all which can be rolled up for packing. Which brings me to the next packing tip: roll everything! Sure it’s a little time consuming to get things neat, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run since your travel wardrobe will be far less frumpy that those of your travel companions. Pick accessories such as belts, silk scarves, and bracelets that are easy to stowaway and that give a signature punch to your look. In the city you’ll want a good pair of flats (metallics are still all the rage, along with jeweled concoctions like Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu), and of course, a nice heel for night. If you keep everything else simple, feel free to bring along a fab pair of shoes. After vacations are for fun.
Implement one day bag and one evening bag. Hard, especially for us handbag afficionados who feel we need a different bag every time we change our socks, but better for you in the long run. Longchamp bags are fantastic for folding flat and packing to be sure you have space to bring souvenirs back, and ditto for unused luggage space.
If your travels are taking you to a warm, tropical setting, go white hot. Find white basics that fit well, from jeans to dresses to swimsuits. It’s a surefire way to look good and chic in 90+ degree weather. Mix it up with texture (a huge forecast of what we’ll be doing for fall) and fuse crochet, sateen, and sheer fabrics. If the thought of you in that much white has you seeing visions of margarita remnants on a pristine Tory Burch blouse, hit a thrift shop and stock up on easy, breezy print dresses. Over a swimsuit or with bare legs and a gold sandals, you’re set for anything. The throwback trend of insane print dresses is back with avengance this summer, so if thrift stores make you nauseous, take a look at what young brands like Milly or Tibi have to offer. Pack flip-flops for the beach (Havaianas are a tried-and-true favorite for comfort and color selection), a flat sandals for day (think Dolce Vita or Matt Bernson), and a blinged-out flat sandal or strappy heel for evening. While I’m hardly the blinged-out type of girl, I do find them useful for warmer climates since you can throw them on with a filmy C&C California t-shirt dress and look very put together.
When it comes to bags at the beach, think practical. One clutch and one beach-appropriate bag will do the trick. A wristlet may be a good option if you’re not good at keeping up with a clutch, and stylish options are abound. Kate Spade and Michael Kors do brilliant wicker clutches with deliciously oversized hardware, and Land’s End and Whole Foods make great canvas bags that can be thrown in the washer after hitting the beach. If the latter are a bit too casual (or boring) for your taste, try scouring local ethnic markets for huge straw bags at an inexpensive price point. Take advantage of the setting and grab as much coral and turquoise as you can
stomach when it comes to jewelry, especially if you’re doing all white. Remember, pops of color keep things interesting.
The key is to be effortlessly chic and remarkably comfortable. And isn’t this always the goal? Happy travels!