WHAT TO PACK…
The efficiency of packing a carry on when traveling goes far beyond the freedom and ease at the airport. I like the challenge of putting a weeks worth of clothing in one bag. It makes me question every single item that I think I need. The forceful edit exposes all sorts of combinations of clothing that I don’t always consider when I have access to a full closet at home. The ease in making decisions on what to wear is amplified when I have less to choose from. Plus, once the selected items are finalized, the packing and unpacking is a breeze.
In my previous packing post, with cold weather gear, a few friends asked about toiletries and work out gear, which I did not show in the photo. I always include a pair of sneakers and something to work out in. They take up so little space. And if I’m really crunched for space, I’ll wear my sneakers. I keep my toiletries in a separate tote (as my second carry on) with all other flight essentials. The one thing I usually plan on buying at my destination is body sunscreen since size limitations for a carry on wouldn’t get me very far.
To make the packing focused , I start with the essentials I’ll need for the destination. That includes comfy travel clothes that I can work into my wardrobe for the week. That means a pair of jeans, a tee (I’m loving the linen blends from Madewell earlier this spring), some kind of jacket and closed toe shoes. This season, I am finding my Robert Clergerie lace-up platform indispensable. The raffia color and texture adds something to every look, so this was an easy choice. I actually have this shoe in two other color ways…black and grey suede…it’s that comfortable.
In warmer climates, I love to wear dresses, so my next edit is selecting several that would go from daytime to dinners with a simple change up of jewelry and shoes. I’ll keep the colors basic…black, white, cream and in this case a faded denim. Most of the fabrics are soft enough to roll and are forgiving to wrinkles when hung out. The high-side-slit embroidered maxi from Sea has been a go-to dress this season. It looks good day or night. I have a frayed denim shift from last year, similar to this Marc Jacobs, and a gauzy tiered white linen similar to the above by Acne that fit the bill. The round up of shoes, both flats and mid-heel, all work with any of the dresses.
Then, I throw in a couple of looks with pants that would look good for dinner with or without the jacket I brought. A pair of black slim cropped, like these from Theory, and MiH white long flares do the trick. Two solid tanks (Theory and Tibi) and one floral similar to the above by Erdem, give me more options than I need. I love my Dries Van Noten lace up sandals from a few seasons back and have taken them with me on many trips. They take up no space in the suitcase, have enough polish for evening and the lace ups accommodate swollen feet from traveling. I would buy a second pair if I could. A Chanel WOC has also served me well for traveling for at least a decade.
The rest of the packing centers around super casual looks…a pair of J. Crew shorts and some tees/tanks. I get so much more use from a dress than shorts that I don’t usually take more than one pair.
Beach gear is minimal…usually 1-2 suits and 2 coverups. I keep the colors in my swimsuit pretty classic…a black Melissa Odabash, and a white Heidi Klein. A hat is a must as is a flat folding straw bag. And I always keep a light weight LemLem scarf in my beach bag as a pareo or to keep the sun off my chest. Casual flip flops, like the studded leather from Rebecca Minkoff, are perfect poolside or around town.
With all that, I still have space for a couple of purchases along the way too!