Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pack Like a Pro for Your Summer Vacations

I love summer, beach vacations and exploring new places, but I always seem to dread the packing process. The errands, the list making, the over-analyzing of which outfits to take haunts me until I am packed and on the plane. Even then, I inevitably still feel a twinge of fear that I forgot to pack something important. We all need fool proof ways to pack so that our minds can be a bit more carefree going into our vacations. After all, vacations are all about clearing our minds and relaxing, aren't they?

Here’s some tips dressing like a queen, while packing like a pauper:
• Select one guiding tone, either brown or black. Plan all your outfits to match the tone you choose. This will eliminate the need for both a brown and black pair of shoes, belt and bag and immediately lessen your load.
• Pack three pairs of shoe--at most! All you really need for a trip are a pair of flats, a heel (or wedge) and a pair of tennis shoes. A metallic colored shoe serves as a stylish neutral that will complement any color scheme.
• Stick with neutral, basic "bottoms." Consider taking just a pair of denim jeans, white pants/jeans or khakis and a skirt. Then add twice the amount of shirts in the colors of your choice, which will serve to mix and match with your selected bottom pieces.
• Pack one dress that will take you from day into night. It’s ideal to take a simple cotton dress (or a currently stylish long maxi-dress). Such a dress weighs virtually nothing, won't wrinkle and looks great with either flats or heels. Play up your accessories and shoes for the evening.
• Take one layering piece. No matter where you travel this summer, make sure you pack something to keep you warm on unexpectedly cool nights or on a chilly airplane. A denim jacket or a neutral cardigan will go over anything and pairs well with pants or a skirt/dress.
• Don't forget a wrap. Nothing looks more effortlessly stylish than a scarf. Scarves are the perfect travel companions since they are weightless and add a punch of pizzazz and color to any outfit. Pack one or two cheerful-colored scarves, perhaps one solid and one patterned. These will add a new dimension to your solid basics.
• Opt for just one purse and carry it with you on the plane. If you are planning for some dressier nights, pack a soft, compressible clutch in your luggage.
Simplify your jewelry. Silver or gold go with pretty much everything, so select one metal tone for your trip and pack these five pieces: a stud earring (pearl or diamond), a hoop earring, bangle bracelets, a long chain necklace and a short necklace. Each of these pieces can mix and match and be dressed up or down.
• Most importantly, think “mix and match” as you pack. We all know part of the excitement on vacation can be (and should be!) getting dressed each day! The downside of packing light can seem to be not having a plentiful selection to choose from each day. But if you pack a good selection of basics and solid colors that all integrate with one another, you will feel that your vacation wardrobe is larger than it actually is.
Now if I can just follow my own advice…

“The more you know, the less you need.” Aboriginal Saying

(Article written by Lauren Lefevre for June 2009 issue of Northside Woman magazine.)


  1. GREAT article! I'm printing this out and using it when I pack for our trip to Portland next week!

  2. Oooh these are great tips!!! I need to direct my boss here, she's going to Santorini soon.

  3. I love your site, Lauren! And, this article will be really helpful - hope you are well!

    Jennie (Wells) Brewer