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From a few “mix and match” pieces to a convertible dress, this packing list will keep you stylish and your luggage light.

Packing for a trip is becoming a more daunting task each year, particularly for us ladies. From fluctuating airline luggage fees and weight restrictions to unpredictable climates around the world, it’s hard to know what should go and what should stay from your fabulous fashionista closet.

But don’t despair, you can still pack smart and stay stylish on the road. The first trick is to take “mix and match” items. The more your items work well together in color scheme and style, the less you’ll have to take. The second is to include pieces with “mileage” or versatility.

You should be thinking – How many ways can I wear that top?

Here are 10 items to pack to maintain your chic factor on the road:

1. Tank Top or Tees

A closet staple, tank tops help create several outfits in no time. They’re perfect for that “layered” look that is so essential for travel. A couple of black tanks and white ones are a must, as well as some in bright colors such as orange, red or blue. Whether spaghetti-strapped or tee-style, they can transition your casual day looks into night party looks.

BUY | American Apparel 2×1 Rib U-Neck Tank Top

2. Dresses

Dresses are a jet-setting lady’s best friend. They’re easy to slip on, dress up or down and frankly, save time. Jersey and satin fabrics are best, as creases disappear fast once hung in the closet. Pack an “all occasion” black jersey dress – one that works for any event from lunch to a night out. A convertible dress works even better, giving you multiple looks for multiple days! Add a couple of other dresses in solid colors for a wider selection.

BUY | Black Convertible Dress, Bamboo/Organic Cotton by Lara Miller

3. Tunics

Decades later, the tunic trend is still going strong. It’s really no surprise. Tunics are amazingly versatile pieces- they can work as a top over capris or pants, or as a dress. Some can even be lowered and worn as a skirt. Now that’s mileage! A couple tunics in solid colors is essential so you can mix and match with your bottoms. Remember to pick jersey and satin fabrics.

BUY | Juniors' Mossimo Supply Co. 2-Button Tunic - Black

4. Cardigans

Three-quarter sleeve or long-sleeve cropped cardigans will protect you from that blast of cold air in-flight, dreaded air conditioning at the movies or the surprise “cool” breeze on a night out. Plus you’ll look oh-so-European-chic.

BUY | Red Moon Women’s Cotton Long Sleeve Round Neck Cardigan Sweater

5. Black Pants

There are as many black pants as there are black dresses these days. But the key is to pick a pair that can work for all occasions. Whether a casual dinner or a night at the theater, a pair of chic, form fitting black pants can save the day. Throw on a silk or jersey tunic and you’re out the door!

BUY | GUESS Jenna Skinny Pant

6. Capris /Cropped Pants

These are flattering for most body types and work great for mixing and matching with your tops. Take along one or two pants in primary colors or throw in a denim capri piece for low maintenance mileage.

BUY | Gloria Vanderbilt Women’s Danae Capri

7. Black Trench Coat

It can carry you through spring, fall, and even early winter. It smartens you up in seconds and is perfect for those cool nights where a cardigan simply won’t do the trick.

BUY | Empire-Waist Short Trench

8. Swimsuit

You may not be headed to the tropics, but you never know when you’ll run into an indoor heated pool, spa, or sauna. Why risk not being prepared?

BUY | Monokini One Piece Solid Black Tie Side Swimsuit

9. Glorious Shoes

You need to pack three pairs of shoes: one pair of dressy flats, one pair of flip flops and one pair of heels.

Black leather flats will work with any outfit – shorts on a hot day or a black dress for a night on the town. Thong flats in particular can pull your look together fast. For cooler climates, opt for ballerinas.

A pair of solid colored flip flops are also a must – you can wear them at the beach or indoors at the hotel. They can even carry you through a day of shopping if you’re headed to a beach town. Pick a pair that’s casual without being too “beach-looking”.

To heel or not to heel? I say a pair of black heels is a must. Stilettos add spice to a night of dancing or a dinner with that hot guy you met on the road. After all, travel is supposed to be fun. Limit yourself to one pair of either black pumps or slides and stick to 3 inches or less.

BUY | Kenneth Cole REACTION Women’s All Four One Le Ballet Flat

10. Key Accessories

The three must-have accessories are a pair of cute affordable sunshades, a fabulous hobo bag small enough to make you look like a local yet big enough to fit your belongings and a versatile belt to add some “oomph” to your outfits.

BUY | ”Barcelona Hobo” Purse by Vitalio – Black, Brown, Red Wine or Off-White

For jewelry, stick to two pairs of fashion earrings, two bracelets and you’re good to go! If by some misfortune you’re headed toward miserably cold weather, add a black or cream three-quarter length wool coat, two to three sweaters and of course, your favorite pair of jeans.



About The Author

Lily Girma

Lebawit “Lily” Girma is a published travel and concert photographer and writer as well as Matador's newest Road Warrior in Belize. She has a weakness for the Caribbean and Jamaica where she spends the winter, and never goes anywhere without her Nikon. You can follow her photo-travel journey at her personal blog.

  • Francoise

    A couple of scarves or pashmina's can dress up and add colour to an otherwise plain travel outfit as well.

  • CollazoProjects

    I'm all about pashminas and rebozos, Francoise. And Lily-all these products are fabulous–especially the shoes! I've never seen those, but because the sole looks so solid, I think I just might have to invest in a pair!

  • Lily

    I agree Francoise – a pashmina-style scarf can also be a great substitute for a cardigan.

  • Sonia

    Great advice, Lily! And very timely, as I attempt to pack for a one-month trip that will span Bangkok and Malaysian Borneo. Versatility is the name of the game!

  • Lily

    Thank you Collazo Projects & Sonia!! Have a wonderful trip Sonia, look forward to reading about it! :) I'm working on setting up my blog right now, you can preview it in my link.

  • Marlene

    I recommend a short or long sleeve shirt/blouse that can also serve as a jacket. Combines with tanks, this also stretches your options. A fashionista who loves earrings like me could not select just 2–need at least 10 pairs to match your mood, the occasion, and your outfit. They don’t take up much space–yet can add maximum impact.
    Love reading about your adventures, I am in the DC area too, and just returned from Paris. 3rd time in a year.

  • Ruby

    you can also use one of those long bohemian skirts that, when pulled up to your chest and cinched with a belt, becomes a dress!

  • austinwagons

    Well, the ten are really looking impressive and exceptional thing for the women to keep staying fashionable. And according to me, the tunic tops are really the highest impressive thing. And this one is really looking capable to increase the personality of women. Thanks for sharing some best of thing about feminism.


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