As much as we all love to travel, there is always that smidgen of stress that tags along with the looming task of packing. It’s not that we’re procrastinating because we don’t want to go on a trip. It’s that we’re trying to figure out how not to overpack while still bringing all of the necessities. Especially for women who take pride in their sense of style, it can seem seriously limiting to bring just a couple pairs of shoes.
But the fashionista who has had her fair share of trips knows that less is more when it comes to packing. All you need to do is figure out which items to bring that will serve more than one purpose. It’s all about double and triple-duty pieces.
Because packing is one of the most common stressors when traveling, we decided to lay out some of the most important pieces to pack that will make your life a lot easier leading up to your trip. With our picks, you won’t even feel like you’re missing some of your most coveted styles. For the fashionista who needs to pack a little lighter, here’s your checklist:
Two pairs of neutral shoes
Shoes are the bulkiest items, creating a lot of dead space in your suitcase. Comfort is key when it comes to traveling, so if you want to bring heels, consider wedges. The other important thing to note is color—try to stay neutral in your shoe choice so that they can match many outfits. Celebrity stylist Anita Patrickson is quoted in the LA Times as saying, “Bring shoes that are neutral basics like a leather sandal and heel that goes with jeans as well as a dress, and begin building around that.”
Daytime blouses and nighttime tops
You know which of your tops are specifically reserved for day and night. Bring a couple of each depending on the length of your trip, keeping in mind any specific activities already planned. Tops are generally small and light compared to jeans and puffy jackets, so switching out your tops will be the easiest way to feel like you’ve got a varied wardrobe, even if you’re wearing them with the same pair of pants.
A chic scarf
This little accessory can instantly up your fashion game while traveling. Huffington Post fashion editor Desiree Caira swears by the scarf for creating “instant chic.” Any creases come out in minutes after draping over a bathroom rail, and it’s incredibly compact. Use it as a head wrap for greasy hair or tie it around your neck for a stylish traveler look—it’s a smart move for fun color and effortless fashion.
To keep from overpacking, bring just a couple pairs of pants that will match with anything you bring. A pair of skinny jeans can be re-worn many times and look totally different when you switch out tops, shoes, accessories, and beauty looks. If you need new ways to envision old outfits, Lyst is chock full of fashion editorials that think outside the box and inspire mixing and matching.
Your go-to sweater
You can never really account for changes in weather, no matter how much you check the forecast. Always be prepared for a chilly night or a rainy day and bring your favorite sweater! It’s something you feel comfortable in, so you won’t feel out of your element if you have to throw it on.