Fashion on the Road: 4 Packing Tips
Fashion on the Road: Four Packing Tips
I love to travel. I have quite the extensive list of places I want to see (one day we'll get to Tahiti). But until we do, I'll be thankful that I fell in love with a man whose job requires extensive travel. His job has afforded me the opportunity to see parts of America I never dreamed I would get to explore. It has also provided me many a chance to practice my packing skills. In fact when you move cities 21 times in 42 days, you have to become quite the professional packer. I've learned quite a bit about fitting a stylish wardrobe into a tight space, and I'd like to share some of this with you.
So whether you are packing for a short visit, a nice vacation, or are packing your car for the long haul, here are four packing tips that I’ve deemed most helpful for packing a smart (and stylish) suitcase:
- Basics are your best friend
Basics, those solid, or minimally patterned pieces are your best friend. Add a scarf to that blue top, or pair it with your favorite dramatic earrings. Wear it with shorts, or jeans, or your favorite denim jacket, and completely change the look. Accessories are easy to pack and don’t take up much space, so if you keep the bigger pieces basics, it becomes easy to restyle the same pieces for completely different looks.
Below are some of our favorite Sweet Lupine basics. With a mix of solid (soft & comfy) tops, long-sleeve and lightweight sweaters, one true jacket, and a smattering of bottoms, we can mix and match these pieces all season long for countless looks. We also love that working with basics doesn’t require much planning (i.e. we can grab whatever is on top of our suitcase) because everything will match (well, okay, maybe not the bright green top and the green skirt, but if monochromatic is your thing, or if it’s St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll be good to go :) )
- Dresses are your next best friend
Dresses take up less room in your suitcase and one dress is an entire outfit! Just throw it on and head out the door. If you can find a “basic” dress, even better. You can also wear your favorite tee or sweater over any basic dress and most maxi dresses to create the appearance of a skirt/ top combo (sometimes, these are my most successful outfits).
When I pack for travel, I always have a handful of sundresses, one or two “dress up or down” pieces, and a maxi of course! Below, I’ve shown how I style some of these pieces- using accessories, tops, and sweaters to change up the look. These same accessories are the ones I pair with my basics above for even more style options.
- You really don’t need all those shoes
Shoes may be the most difficult piece to pack in a small space- and how many pairs of heels are you really going to wear anyway? While there will inevitably be a few occasions to dress up over the course of your trip, one pair of nude and/or black heels should do the trick. Boots are another space-stealer. If you’re traveling in the fall or winter, pack one or two of your favorite pairs (again, a nude/brown and black work well) and then pack jewelry, scarves, or even clothes in the leg of the boots to save space. For those of you more interested in sneakers, take your favorite few, especially the ones that allow you to walk long distances without blisters, but be mindful of the fact that you probably don’t need a different pair of shoes for each day of your trip.
- Forget all the fashion “rules” you’ve ever heard
I vividly remember my freshman year of college on the east coast. I was from Los Angeles and my roommate (and one of my now, best friends) was from New Jersey. I was heading off to a winter networking event where the dress code was “business casual.” I put on black dress pants and a bright floral sweater. My roommate looked at me horrified and said, “What are you doing? You can’t wear that!” I honestly thought she was kidding, until she proceeded to explain that I can’t wear a bright floral sweater on a dark November day, in Philadelphia. She quickly gave me one of her “J-Crew approved” dark-solid tops and off I went.
Of course in the corporate world there is a more strict dress code, but when traveling for pleasure, throw all those fashion rules out the window! No white after Labor Day? No floral in the winter? Bright colors are only for summer? Forget it! I’ve come to believe clothing is nothing less than an “artist’s medium” for coloring the world more beautiful, in ways as unique as the wearer.
Wear those pieces that make you feel good; the pieces that express your joy, your passion, your happiness. Wear these pieces not to impress anyone else, but because in our ever-visual world, your clothes are a means of self-expression, and may just be a way to spread some joy. So wear white after Labor Day and wear bright colors all year round, if that’s your thing. Or bring out the dark colors for winter and save your floral for spring if that’s how you roll. But don’t do it because some “fashion guru” set the rule; do it because you like the preppy style, or the boho-chic look, or because you’re the edgy one. Do it because it makes you happy to wear it (or because it’s the only clean thing left in your suitcase :) ).
Thanks for reading along with me! What are you’re favorite packing-tips? Please feel free to share below!
PS- We never need to pack a suitcase to find beauty in the space that surrounds us, we only need to take the time to look for it; something I remind myself often, especially when wanderlust sets in. :)