Travel Packing Tips!

Wardrobe Stylist Elizabeth Teater joined us today with her tips on how we can look great on our next trip and still pack light.  Here are Elizabeth's tips, In her own words:

Va-va-voom vacation: How not to be a travel slob

By Elizabeth Teater, fashion stylist
For more information go to this website.

I enjoy a vacation more if I look stylish. Not fancy mind you, just put-together and expressive. I want to feel like an attractive part of the local scene – not watch from afar in jogging shoes, jeans and a sweatshirt.

With most airlines now charging for every checked bag, packing light is a priority. That’s alright, because you really don’t have to bring a lot to look good on vacation. Here are my tricks for packing:

1. Bold lipstick. A little tube of an interesting shade, like magenta, transforms my whole look. When I’m tired of that skirt I’ve worn twice, I add purplish lips and feel new again. Why not lipgloss, you ask? I walk a lot when I travel, and I find that airborne things – gnats, leaf particles, strands of my own hair – get caught in gloss. I consider lipgloss an indoor sport.

2. Color scheme. My small stash of clothing combines into multiple outfits since everything goes together. I pick three colors that I think will capture the feel of my destination, then I pull some clothes and accessories out of my closet in those colors. My criteria are that they:

  • have a flattering fit
  • are layerable
  • don’t wrinkle easily (or at least look good wrinkled)
  • can be washed by hand.

For a recent trip to Arizona my scheme was blue, brown and ivory. I love ivory when I travel – it’s elegant yet it hides stains well. I’m not strict; I’ll bring a couple items that aren’t in my color scheme if I know I'll wear them.

3. Two-way pieces. My favorites: a stretchy skirt that can be worn high at the empire waist (a bit formal) or low at the hip bone (sexy casual), a reversible shirt, and a convertible bra. I have my eye on a dress at this website; I’ve seen it in action and it can be converted quickly into countless gorgeous styles for almost any occasion. It’s comfortable, too.

4. Scarves. They’re small, and add so much style, warmth and sun protection. I bring one that’s big enough to be a headscarf; one that’s ribbon-sized for use as a belt, bracelet, you name it; and one neckerchief for that chic on-the-go look, and to dab sweat.

5. Gloves. Again, style, warmth and sun protection in a small package. They make carrying luggage much more comfortable. They protect me from germs. They add polish. And I get better customer service when I wear them.

6. Broad-brimmed hat. Most crushable “travel” styles look too utilitarian and high-tech for my taste. In the summer I bring an old straw hat. It looks better the more crushed and beat up it gets. 

7. Inexpensive hoop earrings. They’re all-occasion, freewheeling and gypsy-like, and I won’t be too sad if I lose one.

8. Plenty of shoes. I break with travel-light convention and don’t try to make one pair work for every situation. (I’ll pout if I have to wear sporty shoes to a nice restaurant.) Heels, ballet flats, sandals, flat boots, walking shoes, and flip-flops: I choose a minimum of three of these styles based on weather, planned activities and the destination. They should be comfortable, broken in (new shoes can cause blisters) and go with my color scheme.

9. Medium-sized handbag. It should be big enough to hold a camera and a pair of flats. It should have a zipper on top to deter pickpockets and prevent spills, a shoulder strap, and be one of my three colors.

10. Presentable pajamas. I pack something I won’t mind being seen in if: I wake up five minutes before they stop serving breakfast, I am staying at someone’s home and don’t want to leave the shower wearing a towel, or I want to lounge on the balcony.

Don’ts:

  • Logos. They’re tacky and hard to mix-and-match.
  • Sentimental accessories. Your memories of the trip shouldn’t include crying over a lost heirloom necklace or special watch.
  • White socks. They look dirty fast, and they call to mind exercise instead of adventure.

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