We love to travel. And we love traveling with carry-ons. And we like wearing multiple pairs of shoes when we travel. So how do all these things co-exist? Travel wardrobes are tricky. You want to look nice, be comfortable, participate in multiple activities, and not wear the same thing daily. So, what’s best to pack for a summer or fall getaway? Does that magic pair of travel shoes exist? And is there really a jacket that can go from workout to dinner? We may not have all the answers, but here are our Fab5 summer wardrobe travel items.
I’m basing this wardrobe on a trip to a warm-weather vacation that would involve some city wandering and possibly some beach/pool time. I don’t dress up very much when traveling, as my choices below will reflect, and like things that will be versatile! These would be the top 5 clothing items on my packing list that other items in my suitcase would work around.
- Birkenstocks – I just wore my black Birkenstocks to a week trip in NYC and you can really walk and walk and walk in these. One day I did 14 miles and my feet felt great. Once they are worn in to your foot shape they just feel like an extension of your body! You can wear them to the beach as well as for city exploration, and even to dinner if you dare (I dare).
- Anthropologie Collette Pants These pants come in different colors, but I love the black pair I have as they are lightweight, look nicer than jeans, can be worn with pretty much any shoe, and are great for day or night.
- Anthropologie Somerset Dress Anthro makes this dress in a variety of materials and lengths so you can choose the material/length that’s best for your trip. Ideally, it is one that you can wear out all day and then head straight to dinner and that packs small.
- Versatile tee. I recently got this one from the Gap and it fits great (not too tight, not too baggy), washes well, and is a step up from just a plain tee. I got it in black, white and blue when they were on deep discount sale! I also just got a tee from Buck Mason that I really like – super lightweight material, a great fit and it comes in lots of color choices (I got beige). A button-down from AYR is also a great shirt choice.
- Jean Jacket. Jean jackets go with pretty much anything these days – from shorts to dresses – so are a good option when packing space is limited. I like a little stretch to it and big enough for a light sweater to fit underneath when you need to layer. Mine is old so I can’t link to it, but Madewell has lots of choices in color and length. If your budget allows for a more spendy version, this Me & Em version looks like a great travel jacket that checks all the boxes!
Should I have been able to list ten items 🙂 I would have also included a scarf, my new fave comfy SeaVee platform sneakers (fyi I order up a half size on these) or my trusty AllBirds, a light sweater or fleece, these Athleta pants that are so versatile that I wore to yoga and to the theatre on the same day last week in NYC, and a ‘going out’ shirt (check out our blouses section…).
I try and pack lightly but the less I take the harder it is! I typically start with a color scheme – black and blue OR blue and white and khaki – to make selections easier and to make sure everything coordinates. Lately, I’ve been in a blue and white mode, and here is what I’ve been packing for what I’ll call a “city” trip in a cooler fall-like climate. I’ll preface this by saying that I am extremely casual and don’t typically “dress up” to go out at night when traveling!
I wear blue ones on the plane and sometimes bring a white pair (summer) or off-white pair (winter) or even another darker shade of blue or black for nighttime. My go-to right now is the wider-leg Anessa style from Paige. I have these in dark blue and black washes. For more casual daytime wear, I like the Levi’s ribcage jeans. They can be customized in-store with different colored back pocket tags, buttons, or topstitching. I also like the Anthropologie Colette pants that come in a multitude of colors and fabrics, have a little stretch, and are a good comfortable non-jean option.
For daytime, I like either a blouse (summer) or a t-shirt and cashmere sweater for cooler weather. I always pack a few different scarves for a pop of color. For evening, I may upgrade to a fancier blouse by Isabel Marant Etoile or See by Chloe.
This is always tricky but I am on repeat with the following jackets:
- Moncler knit and puffer combo: part sweater and part puffer. It is great on the plane and great for a top layer.
- Herno puffer: another great topper and it packs up super small.
- Aspesi: this is my go-to raincoat. I like a coat with front patch pockets for maps and phones.
I’m so relieved everyone around the world is wearing tennis shoes! It’s about time! Lately, I’ve been wearing the resurrected New Balance sneakers that come in lots of fun colors or even all white. I always like to have a pair of Birkenstocks handy for walking around the hotel room and when it’s warm out I can walk all day in these! If I need to step out in a non-tennis shoe I throw in a pair of black ballet flats or loafers.
I rarely take dresses on a trip, but if I’m heading to Florida or someplace warmer I will throw in some easy-to-wear dresses like ones found seasonally at the Gap or J. Crew. For a casual yet dressier option, this one from Xirena has worked for me and it can be dressed up or down.