Whether you’re a jetsetter or a once-a-year traveler, packing a bag with everything you need can be super stressful. But, because I have to travel frequently, I feel like I’ve got a good routine when it comes to the out-of-town essentials. The key to keeping your style fresh on a trip, while not having to bring every piece of luggage you own along, is simple: basics meet statement pieces.
Since I like to travel as light as possible, I always try to bring a few basic items that can be combined with “personality pieces.” In my opinion, you only need to bring one pair of jeans (unless you’re going on a two-week excursion), and I love Joe’s The Skinny jeans ($169). They can be mixed and matched with multiple tops to create totally different looks (and shirts, which can be rolled up, take up way less space than packing three different pairs of pants). I also always like to bring a simple, form-fitting black cocktail dress. Splendid makes a super comfy — yet sexy — one. One night, I can wear just that, and if I’m going out on multiple occasions, I can always pair a loose-fitting top over the dress and voila! You’ve got a skirt/shirt combo.
Shoes are heavy and bulky, but they’re also necessary. This is the one area that’s always hard for me to edit out. You need day shoes, night shoes, active shoes and I don’t go anywhere without flip flops. So, I usually allow myself one for each category… and then I cheat and add on another that I don’t pack and can just wear. I typically try to coordinate one pair of heels that can go with all my night outfits — usually something black and not too flashy so people don’t notice if I’ve worn them twice. My YSL Tributes ($795) are my mainstay, but any pair will do. Then, I’ll usually bring something that can be transitioned from day-to-night like a nice pair of wedges. Dolce Vita makes comfortable styles that are super cute and still affordable. Then, you just need flats, workout shoes and sandals or flip flops of some sort. Since the wedges are usually the biggest, that’s what I wear and I’ll pack the others.
For me, the real secret to showing off my style while vacationing is in the jewelry. They’re the smallest items to pack, but a lot of times, a statement necklace or a bunch of bangles make more of an impact than your clothes! Big earrings are back for fall, and Kate Spade has some great chandeliers in a bunch of bright colors. If you pull your hair back and sport a pair of those, you’ll definitely be showing off some serious style. I’m also sort of obsessed with adding a bit of edge to my outfits. Pairing something like Fallon’s silver triple chain necklace ($190) with a pair of skinny jeans, heels and a cute top can instantly make the look evening-wear appropriate.