After a long traveling hiatus, some of us are preparing to pack our bags again to visit friends, family and new destinations. The thought of packing can feel daunting, and as an avid traveler for work and pleasure, I’m a little rusty myself. So to help me get back into the groove, I pulled out my travel bag and began organizing a few interchangeable outfits, accessories and toiletries. I’d rather not check a bag, so I try to pack as light as possible without compromising on style by mixing and matching tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes and accessories. Here are my tips for creating travel-ready looks that are both versatile and cohesive.
I also like to pack a look to wear on days that I’m traveling in the car, plane or any place I'm going to be sitting for long stretches of time. My go-to is something comfortable that also feels luxe and pulled together. One of my favorite designers, Lauren Manoogian really does have it all when it comes to checking the chic comfort box. I paired her Base Pants with the Short Sleeve Crewneck and layered the Wide Button Cardigan on top, all in the jute color. I styled the look with the Anna Slide and the Leon L tote since I will want a bigger bag for traveling days. I can easily pop my wallet and sunglasses inside, plus a few other wellness travel essentials, like the Coconut + Lemon Hand Sanitizer, Susanne Kaufmann Hand Cream, the Vital Proteins Hydration + Collagen stick packs, and this notebook.
When it comes to packing clothes, I opt for a less is more approach and include a handful of tops and bottoms that I can mix and match depending on the weather and the occasion. At the core of my travel style is comfortable and clean wash denim that can easily take me from day to night. The Jolene High Rise Straight Leg from Citizens of Humanity are a favorite style and the white wash is perfect for spring. I’m pairing them with the Esme Printed Flutter Sleeve Top and the Aeyde Anna Slides for a daytime look that is casual, yet elevated. Instead of lugging around a purse or bag, the Porte Mobile L is my go-to for holding just the essentials – my phone, credit cards and any bits and bobs in the zipper compartment. And if the weather is a bit cooler, I can wrap this cashmere scarf from Jane Carr over my shoulders.
As a second outfit option, I’m styling the same white denim jeans with the Oval Shell from Lauren Manoogian. Made from a textured pima cotton, this sleeveless turtleneck has a relaxed, boxy fit that’s perfect for layering. To complete the look, the Superstar Sneakers from Golden Goose are a travel favorite that keep my feet comfortable and looking chic, and the Swarovski crystals add a little extra style. If cool weather hits, the Monogram Check Cotton Parka is lightweight, breathable and fit with a hood for unexpected rain.
If it's a warm, sunny day, you can swap out the parka for the Coleridge Sunglasses from Oliver Peoples and add some casual jewelry. My favorites are these two gold plated brass bracelets from Soko – the Capsule Link Bracelet and the Bahari Statement Cuff.
Classic blue denim makes a great base for building an outfit and travels well while staying wrinkle free. The Annina Trouser Jeans from Citizens of Humanity, a personal favorite of mine, marries denim fabric with a trouser style. I’m pairing them with this classic striped button down from Citizens of Humanity and the Anaa Cashmere Sweater from LouLou for layering on top. To complete the look, I’m bringing the larger Leon L canvas tote bag from Jerome Dreyfuss and wearing the Anna Slide again. This look is comfortable enough to wear out and about all day, but is still elevated and chic – think lunch date, museum or touring a new city. You can always swap the top out for a cozy sweater, like the wool cashmere blend Stintino Collar Sweater from LouLou.
If the weather is cool or there's a chance of rain, you can pair the same denim trousers and sweater together, but instead of a slide sandal, wear the Swarovski Crystal Superstar Sneakers. The cotton parka can also be layered on top too for added warmth.
I always pack a dress when traveling, no matter the season. The Bounty Maxi Dress from Chufy is a favorite for a few different reasons. Firstly, a cotton silk blend dress packs super well when traveling and really only needs a quick steam upon arrival. The style is also very flattering on many different body types and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion and with or without a belt. It can be worn with the Anna Slides, the Leon L tote and sunnies for a daytime look, or swap out the shoes and the bag for the Clarita 75 Heels from Alexandre Birman, a metallic clutch, and the two gold bracelets for an elevated evening look.
When packing my toiletry bag, I reach for what will keep me feeling and looking my best while traveling. Moon Juice’s Full Moon Sachets are essential for supporting mind and body stressors (hello jet lag). I take the Green Adaptogen and Yin Power daily so they're a must when traveling too. A few packets of the Vital Proteins Hydration + Collagen to pop in my bag when I need a little pick me up. And to soothe nerves and dry skin, the Calming Temple Balm is something I keep bedside and in my travel bag.
For skincare, the Haoma Body Cream is super hydrating without being greasy and my go-to Salt + Stone Sunscreen protects my skin without the toxic chemicals. Their Eucalyptus + Bergamot Deodorant and California Mint Lip Balm are also everyday favorites that I can’t leave home without. The Orgaid Sheet Mask nourishes dry skin and is great post-flight. I stow away my Safety Razor in the Razor Wrap, which tightly rolls up to protect the razor and my fingers. Founded by Jennifer Aniston, The Lolavie Glossing Detangler spray keeps my hair shiny and smooth. A spritz of Maison Louis Marie No. 9 Perfume Oil has become my signature scent and my favorite David’s Toothpaste comes everywhere with me.
Caring for my garments is also a part of traveling, so I like to pack the Meliora Stain Stick. It’s simple and works well – wet the fabric and rub the stick on the stained area, then wash. I love how the compact size fits perfectly in my toiletry bag. Deodorant streaks are inevitable, so these Gal Pal Garment Deodorant Remover sponges are essential. They instantly remove white streaks and are easy to pack and travel with.
When it comes to packing my toiletries and jewelry, I turn to the travel pouches from Anya Hindmarch. They have a luxe, charming appeal and the zippered categories keep my belongings safe and organized. I love the Jewelry Pouch for carrying earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets. And the Bits & Bobs Loose Pocket is great for essentials like chapstick, perfume and make up. The Vanity Kit is the large hold all that I have had for maybe 15 years now and it's still going strong (currently sold out but more coming soon).
Now that I have all my travel essentials organized, I'm a lot more relaxed about pulling out my travel bag and packing. By putting together a few interchangeable outfits and toiletry essentials, it shows that you don't need as much as you think while traveling – a few classic pieces can go a long way and lighten the burden of overpacking. And, if you forget anything, support a locally owned business where you're traveling, and find what you need - You'll make their day.