I used to be the worst vacation packer. My motto was "buy a bunch of new stuff, throw it into the suitcase", which ironically ended up in me spending more money and buying even MORE clothes once I got to my destination because I wasn't truly loving what I was purchasing and wasn't thinking my outfits through.
Over the last year I have changed my approach in an attempt to be a less wasteful, less thoughtless consumer of fashion. I like to begin by making a rough list of things I want/need to bring. I have started following a capsule wardrobe approach when preparing this list. Four tops, a light jacket, one dress, two shorts, 2 sandals etc. I try to make sure that each piece I pack can be worn at least two different ways with the exception of 1-2 special occasion pieces, depending on the destination. This approach maximizes utility of the clothing as well as minimizing the amount of crap I have to stuff in my suitcase. If I find any "blanks" on the list, I then carefully shop to fill the gap and try to pick pieces that aren't too trendy and that I can wear again.
For my recent Hawaii trip, for example, I needed new bathing suits. My old bathing suits were either no longer flattering on me, too skimpy for my evolving (read: granny) taste or they were just worn out. I did a little over-haul of my swimsuit collection and ordered two new swimsuits for the trip that I absolutely love.
I opted for a red one-piece from Marysia Swim and it was my most worn suit of the trip. The material is nice, it washed and wore well throughout the trip and the scalloped detail is so feminine. I love it. I even wore it as a "top" just with jean shorts and a hat when we headed out to a casual lunch. It's a style that I can wear again and again. The other swimsuit I splurged on is a high-waisted number by Kiini. The quality of the stitching is fantastic and I felt incredibly sexy in this swimsuit despite the fact that it covered more surface area than a conventional bikini. It comes in a few different colorways but there is just something about the black and gold combination that made it a little more luxe.
I am a huge fan of rompers. I pack one on every trip I go, whether it's a tropical or city destination. Although they're not the most practical thing when you have to go to the bathroom, they are so easy to style and they mix well with a plethora of accessories. My favourite place to buy casual rompers is Urban Outfitters. My go-to black romper is from there and it's almost 3 years old. I have worn it countless times, it doesn't wrinkle, and it goes with everything. I wear it as a bathing suit coverup and take it to the beach or you can add a cute jacket, wedges and a nice bag and wear it to dinner in the evening. My exact romper is no longer available but I have rounded up my favourites from the current collection below:
This off-the-shoulder number from For Love And Lemons makes me so happy every time I wear it. I have packed it on a few trips from Mexico to Toronto and I am not sick of it yet. It's super well-constructed and I also don't have to worry about it wrinkling in my suitcase. If you're planning a warm weather getaway, a bright off-the-shoulder dress is the perfect statement piece. I gravitate to bright reds because I like the way they look with my hair and skin tone.
Similar dresses that I love:
I had a pair of Chloe scalloped edge espadrille wedges in my shopping card for several weeks but I just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger. They were just too expensive and too tall, making them less versatile. Just as I started to give up hope, I browsed online for alternatives for a while and found these. They're by Castaner, a Spanish brand that specializes in espadrilles.
Needless to say, they are incredibly well made, they have the scalloped detail that I was looking for, they're black suede and they have a really cool (and manageable) platform heel. I loved the way they looked with every outfit I paired them with and can see myself wearing them through this summer and next.
YAY, ring the alarm, y'all, I finally found a hat that I don't feel awkward in. It's by Ale By Alessandra (on sale here) and it's glorious. I even wear it out and about on the weekends at home with jean shorts and a white Tee. A fun hat is the perfect companion for a sunny day, whether abroad or at home.
What are some of your vacation wardrobe essentials?