No matter where you are heading this season, your trip should be as stress-free and straightforward as possible – and that includes the packing process. Because there is nothing worse than lugging a big bag around the airport, only to find at the end of the vacation that you have less than half the clothes in your suitcase.
One way to simplify the packing process is to create a capsule cabinet for your travel wardrobe. The idea is quite simple: instead of throwing every item you own in one bag, you strategically choose 10-12 quality items that can be mixed and matched to be dressy or casual.
“When creating a capsule wardrobe for travel, select pieces that are interchangeable and can work in multiple contexts”, fashion stylist stacee michelle noted. “Pay attention to the weather and planned activities, and select layering elements that can be added or removed throughout the day. “
Try to keep all of your items in a color scheme, for easy styling, extra styling expert Melissa Chataigne.
With that in mind, we asked the two fashion experts to share their picks for the essential pieces that should make up your vacation wardrobe, with options for hot and cold destinations. Here, everything you need to stay stylish and stress-free, from departure to return.
Capsule wardrobe essentials for all destinations
Lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve 2.0
While this Lululemon long sleeve shirt is technically designed for workouts, Chataigne said it can be a great casual option for travel. “Pair it with shorts, jeans or leggings for an everyday look that will always keep you cool,” she said. “The fabric is a soft nylon blend and has four-way stretch which wicks away sweat.”
Chestnut loves Numi’s stylish tops that feature a gusset that wicks moisture away under the armpits and are made with a thermoregulating TENCEL material. You can choose from a variety of styles, from t-shirts to bodysuits and crop tops, but you can’t go wrong with the brand’s best-selling Signature Shirt. It is available in five neutral colors and can be worn under a jumpsuit or with shorts or pants.
Editor’s note: the choice of Chataigne, the Classic Cultures Travelers de Chico, is low in stock, so we found a similar pair in the collection.
Chico Traveler Collection offers a range of raised fashion staples that you can wear for almost any activity. These pants are made from a wrinkle-resistant fabric to keep them looking their best throughout your trip.
White sneakers are like the little black dress of shoes, they’re versatile and easy to wear, and this pair from Dr. Scholl’s gets the Chataigne seal of approval. The padded footbed provides comfort and support and the leather and knit accents make it a fashionable choice.
“A denim jacket is arguably the most versatile layer in your wardrobe,” Michelle said. You can wear it over a t-shirt, turtleneck, or as a button down diaper under a coat for extra warmth. “Save space in your suitcase by carrying it on the plane and using it as a pillow,” she suggested.
Cold weather clothing and accessories
A lightweight turtleneck is another great layering piece and Michelle loves this one from J. Crew. It is available in over 15 colors and is available in sizes XX-small to 3X to fit a range of body types.
“You want comfortable jeans while emphasizing your curves and keeping their shape,” Chataigne said. She likes darker pairs, like these, because they hide dirt or stains so you can wear them down a bit more before washing them. One way to keep them fresh? Turning them over and smoking in the shower with essential oils, she said.
Madden Girl Dafni Bootie
No cold-weather wardrobe is complete without a pair of ankle boots. And Michelle specifically recommends a black or brunette pair like these. They will easily integrate with other pieces in your wardrobe and the subtle heel makes them suitable for more dressy occasions.
A trench coat is one of the most versatile pieces you can own, said Chataigne. This one from Banana Republic is made from vegan suede and can elevate your look on travel days or can be layered over sweaters and dresses for formal dinners and outings.
When you want to feel cozy and comfortable on your trip, go for a half zip sweater like this one. This style of sweater can easily go with you from day to night, said Chataigne.
Naadam The Essential $ 75 Cashmere Sweater
Cashmere might be more expensive than your typical sweater, but it’s worth the higher price. “Cashmere is a breathable fabric, which means it will forgive the warmer fall days, but also keep you warm when layered over your favorite long-sleeved buttonhole when the temperatures drop.” Michelle said. She loves Naadam’s $ 75 cashmere sweater, which is one of the more affordable options and comes in 14 colors.
Hot weather clothing and accessories
“This jewel-toned one-piece swimsuit is a must-have for easily switching between the sand and the city,” Michelle said. “Wear it to the beach, then quickly switch to a city look by teaming it with denim shorts or a flowy skirt.” You can save 30% on the swimsuit when you use the code BUY NOW at the register.
If your vacation plans include a lot of hikes or runs, you’ll want to have a good, comfortable pair of shorts in your suitcase. Chestnut loves those, who she says, “tick all the boxes”. It’s made from a quick-drying fabric to keep you cool and has pockets on the inner shorts so you can keep your phone and hotel key with you at all times.
A jumpsuit can be worn for any occasion, Michelle said, and she loves this Old Navy choice. Made from a soft, breathable and moisture-wicking fabric, it’s designed to move with you no matter what you’ve got planned for the day. “Dress it up with trendy heels and earrings for a night out or keep it casual by layering it with a denim jacket with sandals,” she said.
These comfortable shoes can take you from city streets to the beach and just about anywhere in between. “These are the perfect walking and travel sandals, with a contoured footbed that mimics the shape of your foot and provides great support,” said Chataigne.
Amuse Society Bolero Too Hat
Style and stay cool with this straw hat. “Hats are a great way to accessorize while protecting yourself from the sun,” Michelle said. “This flat-edged style will add just a subtle touch of style to any outfit.”
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