You’ve already got a fun vacation planned for summer – perhaps somewhere that involves sightseeing, relaxing seaside as well as evenings out, that’s a lot of outfits!
Packing, especially if it’s for more than 2 weeks can be overwhelming!
Where to begin?
For today, I grabbed 2 key pieces and worked them into 14 different outfits; day or night ready. If I had the time I could make at least 6 more combinations, giving me 20 – no problem, just keep reworking the key pieces!
If you want to skip my packing tips, scroll straight down to the outfits below, otherwise – here ya go!
When I travel, I start with a simple color story – for me it’s black and white. I know, it doesn’t sound exciting, but I always start with basics. I choose black knit items as they wash and dry easily, can be rolled up in the suitcase to save room and don’t really wrinkle. Black not your thing? Start with grey, charcoal, navy or taupe neutrals.
10 items you would find in my suitcase are:
- Black dress maxi/midi or knee length
- Black or black and white stripe cardigan (easy to stuff into your backpack, purse or around your waist)
- Black knit convertible maxi or midi skirt
- A denim jacket
- Black swimsuit(s)
- Tanks and tees in black and white, maybe add some stripes or graphic tees for fun
- Kimono or caftan that can double as a layer piece with white denim or black bottoms
- A packable hat
- A comfortable walking sandal in black or metallic that can go day to night
- A comfortable wedge for evening or flat dressy sandal
I would add on items from here. Perhaps a pair of white jeans or shorts. Tunics double over swimsuits and can be worn with leggings or white denim at dinner. A few casual dresses are great for day to evening, work over a swimsuit, are perfect for hot weather and take up no room in your suitcase.
Stick with a color story that works with black so you can work your basics in with everything. Perhaps throw in a scarf to keep you warm on the airplane, and can double as a cover up or wrap in the evening.
Accessories? I like a packable cute backpack or cross body bag. Add a packable hat, like the Eric Javits Fedora (Nordstrom) – I stuff my swimsuits and undergarments into the top of the hat to protect the shape. A pair of silver or gold hoops or simple studs plus a few bangles or a cuff, sunglasses and hair ties! You’ll buy stuff there so don’t pack too much!
2 key items | 14 versatile outfits
Working with 2 key items; a convertible maxi skirt and maxi dress I pulled together 14 outfits.
I added 1 black tank, 1 graphic tee, 1 black swimsuit, a stripe cardigan, a jean jacket, a packable hat and 1 set of jewelry
These 10 items would fit in a carry-on with room for toiletries. I did not count the belt, jewelry and shoes – I figure you can always wear wear those items on the plane if can’t get them in our suitcase!
Want more options? Pop in a few more tees and a couple sundresses – ones that can be easily rolled either in knit or silk , that work back to black. Want a pant? Pop in a pair of white jeans.
Drumroll…14 outfits, vacation ready, day or night!
Old Navy Maxi Dress
3 Dot Convertible Maxi Skirt
So, stop fretting and get packing! Keep it simple and you’ll be stress free, able to focus on your fabulous vacation that lies ahead!
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cyndy thomas says
I am so excited cuz I have all of this in my closet !!! except the elusive white jeans and calftan ,so I am packing destroyed fitted boyfriends in blue wash….and adding flip flops…. going to land of flip flops otherwise known as San Diego. Great timing post for me ….love white in the summer…thanks for a practical and useful post !!!
I love this packing formula because I think we already have most of these pieces in our closet. I’ve had this skirt for years and kind of forgot about it till I started to play around with it! Destroyed jeans are the perfect swap out with flip flops- perfect plan for your trip to San Diego! XO
ChRisty monroe says
Just bought a convertible maxi at old navy online. Super cute and on sale! Can’t wait to try with your ideas.
Hi Christy! Ok, I’ll have to go online and check it out, I missed that one! There are some cute wide stripe ones over at the Gap as well. I wore my black one again out to dinner tonight with a belt. It’s up on my Instagram Slider if you want one more idea! XO
Katrina Watters says
This post was perfectly timed for me as we are leaving on Thursday for a quick vacation to San Diego, and then later on are off to Boston for a week! I’ll definitely be referring back to this as I pack for both trips. Thank you!
Hi Katrina! Keep the color story simple and you’ll be set! I just threw one more outfit onto Instagram tonight as I wore my skirt as a dress to The Grill this evening! Don’t forget your Kendra Scott Pendant, it’ll instantly dress up any outfit! Have a great trip, I love San Diego and Boston – have fun! XO
You totally have it all covered in packing for a trip and still looking fabulous the whole time. This is going to come in VERY handy for us all as we jet set this summer. Thanks so much for all the work you have put into this to make our lives easier and more fashionable xx http://www.yummomummo.blogspot.com
Hi Melissa! Thanks for taking a look! I am happy to hear this post may make the daunting task of packing a bit easier! I’ve made the mistake many of time to take my “favorite outfits” only to find when I get to my destination, I only wear what is “easy” to put together and what works together. Keep it simple is my new motto! Happy travels! XO
I love adding colors with smaller items over black, especially when I am traveling. Black can’t go wrong if you want to be prepared for an unexpected outing. I flew back to Japan recently. I packed several scarves including one in floral orange which is this year’s spring color (isn’t it?) ! If I want a twist, I always slip in the combination of light blue and brown in my suitcase. I haven’t got tired of sliver grey, though, which I got totally hooked since last year. I love your articles, Susanne! Look forward to the next installment!
Hi Masako! I totally agree! Sometimes the easy option is the best when traveling. When I keep things simple everything works together and less time is spent figuring out what to wear – more on having fun! I love that you pop some color in with easy to pack smaller items! Thanks for stopping by! XO
Carole Hockett says
Can you make packing recommendations for a week in Paris and a week in the French countryside in mid September.