In an effort to keep our little family together, we are traveling with my husband for a month of military duty. We will be road tripping over 400 miles, and I am not worried one bit about packing for this trip, really! I'm a former pack rat turned quasi-minimalist, and my travels have taught me how to pack for long trips like a pro, while silencing the irrational fear that I will not survive without my entire closet. It also helps that we will have access to laundry (thank God).
I wanted to share with you my exact formula for packing so your next trip will be all-the-more organized and stress free. Because you never know when you'll want to up and leave for your dream trip! Mine involves Europe and no suitcase. More on that later...
PACKING A STYLISH WARDROBE
Think about your day to day of the trip. What will your self-imposed "uniform" be? My base layers start with jeans and a super soft tee. I packed 4 pairs of denim: boyfriend fit, skinny fit, and flares which will give my outfits variety in silhouette. 4 tees of neutral colors are also in my suitcase so I can match them with virtually any bottom. If you follow the 4+4 rule, you'll always have a neutral base layer with which to style your outfit, no matter if you're packing casual items or work attire.
CLASSIC BUTTON DOWNS
Button down shirts are my favorite way to make something utterly casual, like ripped denim, look more sophisticated. These shirts also look polished paired with a more formal skirt and heels. I've even tied them around my waist over a dress or workout outfit. They are the most versatile shirts in my wardrobe and I always make sure to travel with a few different colors.
I'm not a huge fan of shorts. I don't like how they ride up, bunch, shrink in the wash, and somehow always end up cutting off the circulation of my thigh every time I sit down. The short ones are too short, and the long ones are so unflattering on my shape. So, I've resorted to skirts. I wear them the same way I'd wear a pair of shorts: with a vintage tee, a button down, or a thin cardigan. These 4 get my bases covered for casual and date night approved outfits.
Starting from the left, the navy drawstring skirt is a thick cotton so it looks ladylike and a bit preppy with the bunchy drawstring tie. The white eyelet mini is comfortable, cool, and perfect for a hot day with flats as seen here. A denim skirt is like wearing jeans but less constricting, therefore it matches nearly everything, but looks especially modern paired with stark white as I wore it in this post. And finally, a silky black midi skirt makes almost anything look elegant ala Audrey Hepburn, making it a great piece to have on hand when a more intentional outfit is needed, like a last-minute party!
A FOOLPROOF DRESS
Every woman needs a foolproof dress in her wardrobe; one that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin and flatters you, a combination that will make anyone more confident instantly. When I put this dress on I never have to fuss with the neckline or the hem, and it can go from a backyard BBQ to a ritzy bar with a simple shoe swap. I found a similar match here, because a black, grey, and silver combo is so elegant and simple.
I'm not the biggest fitness buff, but I always feel energized after even a brisk walk in the midday sun. I packed a racerback tank, striped tee, and long sleeve top that can be worn all together or as separates. Some say spandex is a privilege, not a right. I like to think that whether I plan to break a sweat in these workout clothes, or simply wear them on laundry day is my prerogative (says the mama of a 2 year old!).
For me, the shoes make the outfit, and I didn't skimp in this department. I did say quasi-minimalist. All 8 pairs of these shoes will make my suitcase full of basics and neutrals have a bit more depth and flare, especially when paired with additional accessories seen below. Trusty flats and flat sandals are a must for exploring the local culture, and I always pack Converse for extended sightseeing. A variety of simple sandals like demi wedges, espadrilles, and kitten heels add detail and style to simple outfits. And, who am I kidding, crosstrainers and slides make for super comfy feet no matter the task at hand.
August in the Northeast can be super hot and humid, but there are usually a few muggy days where my two favorite jackets come into play. I rarely travel without my leather jacket because I love to wear it the same way I'd wear a blazer, but with a little more grit. A denim jacket is a great option because it's a bit lighter and goes really well with my other casual pieces.
Accessories are the finishing touches to every ensemble. I brought a variety of scarves and bags to switch up depending on the outing and the weather. Simple belts can add structure to a loose fitting shirt and carve a waist into a dress.
And it wouldn't be a travel post without my current Desert Island beauty picks: Ouai Wave Spray for summer hair, Kari Gran Lip Whip for hydrating dry lips, Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows to tint and hold my brows in place, and Make Up Forever HD Foundation Stick for touch ups and full-face makeup as needed.