Jet-Setting: How to Pack Light Without Sacrificing Style

Packing for a trip can be a complicated task for anyone, but it’s particularly difficult for a fashionista. How in the world is a girl supposed to fit all of her daily necessities into just one bag? I recently spent a semester in Italy, and was able to practice my packing skills almost every weekend as I hopped from country to country. Let me show you some tips and tricks that I picked up along the way so that when it’s your turn to jet set, you won’t have to sacrifice personal style for luggage space.

It all starts with the bag. You’ll want one that fits the standard carry-on luggage measurements for most European airlines, which you can check on any of their websites (carry-ons are free, so take advantage of this!). Your bag needs to be one that you can comfortably handle–firm shoulder or back straps are important because your bag will be heavy! Weekend bags are great for this purpose, and there are loads of styles, colors and patterns out there to choose from. Here are a few both fashionable and functional options:

Vera Bradley Weekender in Happy Snails, $94, Zappos.com

LeSportsac Large Weekender in Black Patent, $120, Zappos.com

Nixon: The Road Trip Weekender Bag in Plaid, $144, Karmaloop.com

When it’s time to raid your closet, make every garment a versatile piece. Being able to wear one item of clothing for multiple outfits is ultra important to the packing and planning process! Since it’s easy to get multiple wears out of denim, go ahead and throw in a pair of skinny jeans–you can wear them with just about anything. When choosing tops, you’ll need to pick garments that transfer well from day to night to avoid packing two outfits per day.

Follow my guide to achieve this look!

Pick a simple t-shirt or blouse to wear under a colorful cardigan. Then add a patterned scarf to complete your day look.

Once evening comes around, switch out the scarf for a long, dangling necklace, and add a shiny bangle. (You can also lose the cardigan, weather permitting.) Another space saver is to include one dress per weekend, since the outfit essentially requires just that one garment and can easily transfer from day to night with the appropriate accessories.

Floral Garden Scarf, $29.99, FrenchConnection.com – A.L.C. Snake Button Blouse, $155, Ssense.com – Mossimo Women’s Ultrasoft Cardigan Sweater in Egyptian Sand, $13.99, Target.com – 14k Gold Over Silver Long Gemstone Necklace, $49.99, Target.com – Sorrelli Clasp-Detailed Bracelet, $95, MaxandChloe.com

Then there’s everything else–you can’t leave your shoes, makeup, and hair products behind, but which to take? Flats are the easiest to pack, and also the most versatile. Gap’s Bow City Flats offer comfort for your tired tourist feet and are portable (compact bag included!). Pack these, and wear your boots on board. As for makeup, it might be a good idea to invest in a palette that includes multiple items in one, such as Lancome’s Tendre Voyage Makeup Palette. You’ll want to take only beauty essentials for a weekend trip, so having your eye shadow, blush and lip color all in one place will make it that much easier to pack.

When it comes to your hair, forget the hairdryer–even if you did have the space for one in your bag, there’s always the chance that it might not work due to voltage and plug variations. Instead, find a product created specifically for styling wet hair. Aquage offers an impressive assortment of such styling aids. If you can’t find a travel-sized bottle of your favorite product, then make one! DIY toiletry travel kits can be found in any drugstore–all you have to do is transfer the product into the airport-friendly containers. (P.s Absolutely can’t live without a straight do? Style your hair beforehand. Wear a disposable showercap and rock a dry shampoo like the one mentioned here.)

Have some packing tips of your own? Share them below!

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One thought on “Jet-Setting: How to Pack Light Without Sacrificing Style

  1. kkdispatch says:

    This is super helpful Tessa! My packing tip: roll your clothes, and use zip lock bags to hold undergarments. This helps save space for bathroom supplies and shoes. 🙂

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