When the chic girl travels, there are two necessities she keeps in mind: pieces that are stylish and clothing that's basic, fashionable and comfortable. Depending on when you're traveling, you need to pack according to the seasons. But one thing will stay the same: you will always want to look stylish.
That means not only bringing your most-loved jeans but also your most stylish makeup pouch. And because you don't want to be hauling heavy luggage, you need to make hard choices on what you bring to keep your bags light. That means clothing has to do double duty. The key is to use pieces at least twice or three times in different ways. For example, we recommend bringing only one dress: the little black dress. It goes with everything and can be used in two ways. Use it for what it's intended, for a nice dinner out or a cocktail party. Then, if you wear some costume jewelry and a floppy hat, you can wear it during the day and look informal.
What that also means is that you should pick a color scheme so that everything coordinates. You may well bring a floral blouse, but can it go with everything? No. Stick to the basics, which is black, because that color goes with everything. That means not just the little dress, but also leggings, carry-on bags, purses and accessories like sunglasses. But remember that you're trying to look super stylish, not headed to a funeral.
Before you lock that suitcase, make sure to look at each and every piece of clothing you are bringing with you. Ask yourself three questions. Is it comfortable, is it layer-able and is it versatile? If something doesn't fit all three categories, toss it out. What you end up bringing will be essential fashion pieces that a girl like you needs while traveling. We've even given you 25 of our own ideas.
25 Long-Sleeve Clothing
When heading out on your vacay in the summer, every place blasts the A/C. The airport is cold, the plane is cold and your hotel room is cold (because you can't figure out how to turn down the A/C). And every place you go, especially if it's in the tropics, some overhead fan is always on, like at a restaurant. But because you are going somewhere hot, we often forget to pack a long-sleeve shirt, a sweater or a hoodie. Don't forget! Have you ever had goosebumps during the summer because the air conditioning is on full blast? You can thank us now.
24 Passport Case
If you're a really stylish girl, you make sure that every piece you travel with is sophisticated, fun, or made by your favorite designer. The one above is a Do-It-Yourself, but Bottega Veneta, one of the most esteemed fashion houses, has made a must-have passport case that you will love to keep taking out for all the security steps you have to get through to get on your plane. That's because the Italian leather bi-fold case, available in black, pink and blue, is a beauty to look at. The slender case has two interior pockets to hold your passport and your flight documents, so finally you can keep all your documents together while traveling. (Source: TravelAndLeisure)
23 Essential Clothing For Traveling To Somewhere Hot
If you're going somewhere that's hot and has plenty of beaches, you should always pack at least two bathing suits. The stylish should stuff away a swim cover-up, underwear, and bras, And then add in two large and comfy T-shirts, one to use at the beach when it gets a little cool and one to sleep in. You should also bring along a lightweight sweater or some fleece jacket if you are staying somewhere hot but gets cold at night. Especially if you're at a hotel that blasts the A/C.
22 The Essential Wardrobe No Matter How You Travel
The stylish girl shouldn't bring so much--all that carrying of suitcases and shopping totes will weigh you down. For clothes, we suggest you take a nice pair of your favorite jeans, a sarong if you're going somewhere hot, and a casual navy blazer (look who's wearing it!) as well as a lightweight blouse to pair with the jeans for a classic American look. If you have a formal evening or event planned during your trip, don't bring bulky dresses. Bring what you should have: the little black dress. It can go anywhere; with the right accessories, such as a floppy hat and costume jewelry, you can use it in the day as an informal outfit. For night, pair the dress with a string of costume pearls and you'll look like a million bucks. The key is to use pieces at least twice or three times during your trip to minimize having to carry heavy luggage.
21 Three Shoes Only
The stylish girl should bring three stylish shoes. That's it. Any more, and that's excess. For walking around in the daytime, bring either a nice pair of sandals or sneakers. For evenings, you can bring heeled sandals or black high heels--black goes with everything, especially with your little black dress. If you're headed to the beach, a pair of flip-flops won't take up much space in your luggage, but only bring them if you really think you need them.
20 The Necessary Outfit While Traveling By Plane
It's always been said that you should dress comfortably if you're headed out to your destination via plane. But what does the stylish girl wear to be both comfortable and chic? Well, it's sweats, particularly a hoodie and sweatpants or leggings. If you think you'll look like a slob, try the fun sweatpants at Pink, which come in two-tone colors like pink matched with black. You won't look sloppy, as the cozy sweats have a slim, tapered look. Or you can wear leggings made of stretchy cotton. Leggings, especially in black, go with everything. And it does double duty like the rest of your wardrobe as you can wear them to bed. Wear a T-shirt under the classic gym staple, the hoodie. We found a reasonably priced one at J.Crew that's tailor-made for women, with a cropped fit and a slim profile. (Source: VictoriasSecret)
19 The Toiletry Kit
If you're traveling by car, plane or train, you'll always want to be close to your toiletry kit. If you're flying, it's especially important that you carry on the toiletry kit in case you want to brush your teeth or take off your contacts. But first make sure you get the airplane sanctioned travel toiletries to carry on, which is a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes. You can get travel-size toiletries at Amazon, including such brands as Bausch & Lomb, Pantene, Tresemme, Dove, Crest, Tampax and more. Placing these items in one place, a small toiletry kit, will help speed up the screening process. Flight 001 sells some toiletry kits, but if you really want to be fashionable, a small leather half-moon bag from Kate Spade that's designed as a clutch can store your essentials. Then, after arrival, the bag will do double-duty, as you then can use the bag for its intended purpose. (Source: TravelFashionGirl)
18 The Beauty Bag
In addition to a toiletry kit, you also need a beauty or makeup kit that will include your soap or body wash, your face wash, your face cream and your makeup, among others. We found some at Pottery Barn that are very reasonably priced and which look fun and stylish. We know, Pottery Barn sells furniture. But they also sell some self-care products. Here's one you can monogram, here's another with a fresh floral print, and here's another again that comes in a fun red gingham pattern. (Source: PotteryBarn)
17 Packing Rules
We know you want to be stylish while traveling, but there are two packing rules you must follow. First, only pack clothes that you love. If you bring along pieces that you don't really like or never wear, you're just wasting room in your luggage. Two, stick to classic basics, like the navy blazer we mentioned. While we're at it, make sure you pick a color scheme so that everything you pack matches. Black is the best way to go because, as suggested above, black goes with everything. That means the little black dress, but also the black leggings and maybe a black bag or black shopping tote. Just copy Kendall Jenner!
16 Comfort Carry-Ons While Flying
If you are flying, you don't just want to look stylish. You also want to be swathed in comfort. A travel pillow will go a long way, and the saliva you're drooling while sleeping will only be seen by you. A neck pillow is nice to bring because then your head is stabilized and you won't be falling asleep on a stranger's shoulder. A lightweight cotton blanket will make you feel toasty, but remember to bring a throw, something smallish that is easily stashable. Earplugs are a must, and eye masks can make you forget you're confined on a plane and will give you shut-eye.
15 The Right Luggage
For the styling girl, the right luggage will make you feel secure that you are sending out signals that you are very fashion-forward. Forget Louis Vuitton luggage; everyone has one. The T-Anthony Hardsided Packing Case is more for the refined, and has become an icon of American design. The company launched in 1946, and ever since then, it has been the luggage that British royalty and Hollywood celebs use. Hardwood frame luggage is now gaining popularity now. It makes a smart stylish statement while perfectly organizing your must needed travel items. (Source: TAnthony)
14 Tech Case
The Mark & Graham Leather Charger Roll Up is perhaps the most essential and stylish piece that every girl should have when traveling. When you unravel the roll up, you will find three separate pockets to keep all your cables and charges in one place. Then, when you roll up the bag, it's like a pencil case, which is perfect because you want something small to carry with you. And since this is M&G, you can monogram the bag with your initials for free and you can choose from an array of bright colors. (Source: MarkAndGraham)
13 The Laptop Bag
If you're carrying your laptop while traveling, you definitely need a bag to protect it. There are so many choices and so many designs out there that it's hard to decide what you want. But we found the perfect bag. The Varsity Stripe Nylon Universal Laptop Sleeve by Kate Spade is perfect for the traveling and stylish girl, as its bright navy hue accented with also a bright color, red, adds a touch of preppy vividness to your travel items. (Source: KateSpade)
12 Books and Magazines
If you're traveling to another country or to some location that's at a considerable distance, you'll want to stock up on some books and magazines so you won't get bored. For the fashionista, bring Vogue, Elle, W Magazine, Women's Health, Vanity Fair and Town and Country. If you're into house and homes, Veranda and Elle Decor will have some pictures of interiors you might want to drool over. We know we said keep it light, but for books, you should bring at least three. That way, if you don't like one, you have two back-ups. But don't bring hardcovers as they are large in size and too cumbersome to lug around. Bring paperbacks.
11 Only Carry One Jacket
We know what you're saying. Only one coat? And if you're going to the tropics, you may also ask why you should even pack a jacket. Well, it gets cold at night even in hot and humid places and if you're traveling during fall or winter, the jacket will be a necessity. There is only one stylish jacket you should buy and bring. It's the Barbour Beadnell coat. It's lightweight enough to carry yet also super warm and even stain resistant. Made of waxed cotton, the jacket is weatherproof for a lived-in look. The popularity of the Barbour jacket is that it's now iconic, with a distinctive style and a classic look. Even Kate Middleton wears one! (Source: Bloomingdales)
10 Four Bath Essentials
Whether it's the Mandarin Hotel in New York or the Super 8 in Maine, no matter what, you should always bring four bath essentials: soap, shampoo, conditioner and a face wash. Single-serve shampoos and shower gels at hotels are puny and paltry. Soap bars are like a thin piece of chocolate. You're not an elf. If you want your bath routine to be stylish, head to Kiehl's, which has travel-size products that will actually last during your trip. Buy your shampoo and conditioner there. And if you want to feel decadent in the bath, we recommend Chanel. The bath soap (which is only $26) smells like the fashion house's iconic fragrance, Chanel No5, and will leave your skin soft and perfumed. Chanel's face wash, The La Mousse Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream-To-Foam, will refresh your skin, remove all makeup and sunscreen and leave your visage hydrated and refreshed. (Source: Barneys)
9 The Dirty Laundry Bag
This is something we always forget while traveling: a dirty laundry bag. Sure, you can just bring along with you a large Ziploc bag or a grocery store bag, but if you're stylin', you won't want to store either in your expensive and iconic T. Anthony luggage. We found the perfect bag for fashionable women. Made by The Laundress, which specializes in bespoke detergents, fabric care and home cleaning products, The Hotel Laundry Bag in classic white with the Laundress logo is definitely worthy of your sullied clothes. The bag was inspired by classic laundry bags in Europe, and you can even personalize it with monogramming! (Source: TheLaundress)
8 The Umbrella
The umbrella is always the thing you forget to pack. Even if you check the weather to the place you're going, you still forget the umbrella. But it's essential that you bring one. Smart travelers always bring umbrellas, and stylish girls should too. What are you going to do if it rains where you are staying? Do you really want to buy a thirty-dollar umbrella at the airport or concession stand when you have a perfectly good one at home? Shed Rain is probably the best umbrella maker in the states, and an all-black one will coordinate your mostly black outfit. Here's one.
7 The Black Slip Dress
Bring a slip dress to use as lingerie. But a smart slip dress goes beyond its original function. As usual, we urge you to bring clothes that do double duty, and the slip dress is the answer. Buy one in black and you can use it not just for sleep but also as a beach coverup or an evening dress. We like the Araks Cadel Slip in black. It has fine pintucking detail for added shape through the waist. And it perfectly falls at the knee. (Source: Araks)
The stylish girl always brings a hat for vacation. A hat serves two purposes. One, you can wear one on bad hair days. We recommend a fedora straw hat, a newsboy cap or a military cap. Two, a hat can drastically change your look while out and about. A straw hat is the best to bring because it can make a white T-shirt and jeans or any ensemble look effortlessly chic. If you want to look sporty at the beach, wear a visor or borrow your boyfriend's baseball cap. For the winter, always bring a wool or cashmere watch cap.
Just like the straw hat, a scarf will also radically change your outfit. The T-shirt and jeans combo will work well with the scarf. For hot summers, wear a lightweight cotton/rayon scarf. You can also wear it when its chilly at night, especially if you're near the beach. Just make sure the scarf is an infinity scarf or measures around 30 x 80 so it can be layered or worn in different styles. For winter a cashmere scarf is the only scarf that will do if you want to look stylish.
4 Manicured Nails
Especially if you're traveling to a place where you'll stay over a week, the stylish girl will always get a mani and a pedi if she can find a nail salon. Tropical places outside the US make it hard to find one, but if you're traveling within the states, you'll always find one. But on the occasion that you can't find a nail salon, our suggestion is always to bring with you a small nail kit that includes nail cutters, a file and maybe nail polish if you want to change up your look. Remember that your hands are always on display, so you don't want your nails looking ugly.
3 The First Aid Kit
There's nothing fashionable as a first-aid kit, but you need to bring one. It's the one thing most people forget to pack. You can buy first aid kits stocked with the essentials, but it's better to bring with you items you've hand-picked and stashed in a first-aid kit bag (0r any small bag will do, such as a makeup kit holder) so you're not wasting precious space in your luggage. When was the last time you needed an array of many different Band-Aids? You just need a few. Here are some essentials: rubbing alcohol, Neosporin or Cortizone for itch or pain relief, safety pins, Advil or Tylenol or any other pain reliever, stain remover, shower cap, mending kit, antacid, clear nail polish, purse-size facial tissue and bobby pins, among others.
Sunglasses are a must. They won't take up space in your traveling gear. They will keep the sun out of your eyes at the beach. But they are also worn just for style, so this is really an essential fashion piece that every girl needs while she travels. But which ones should you buy? Since we're always looking for iconic brands, go for Le Specs, which blew up in the eighties and still uses their original molds. Check out the "Enchantress." It's classic AND a best seller. (Source: Revolve)
1 The Shopping Bag Handbag
For a carry-on, choose a handbag with long straps and a lot of room so you can stow all the important things you need in case your luggage gets lost. You also want a shopping bag with a wide opening so you can easily find what you need. Zippers are optional. If you want to look really stylish and you have some money, there's only one bag you should consider: the Chanel Grand Shopping Tote. Get one in black so it matches everything. Made of the finest leather in Italy, the shopping tote says you've arrived. The exterior has the iconic quilted design Chanel is famous for, as well as the CC logo.