Travel

3 Practical Packing Tips for the Smart & Stylish Traveler

luggage

Travel with purpose.

As the holidays are approaching many of you are making plans to travel. Snowbirds will be flocking down to warmer weather. And for those of you in the deeper south you’ll be looking for holiday snowfall. Whether you’re getting away for just a weekend or week long stay, packing takes time and planning. With the Christmas rush and long list of to-do’s, things are likely to be forgotten. I want to share some simple packing tips I’ve learned from my travels, especially when it comes to packing light and keeping organized. These practical solutions will help you pack only the essentials and save you the stress, and possibly having to check in a bag.

PACKING TIP #1: How to coordinate your outfits.

Stick to a narrow color palette and build your outfits around that. You’ll be surprised with how much you can do with less. On my recent 10 day trip I planned 5 outfits (and  travel day outfit) focusing around the colors red and black. Trying to figure out what to wear takes thought and can be stressful. So many things go into planning an outfit: top, bottoms, shoes, jewelry and jackets! Narrowing down my color palette helped limit the number of clothes and shoes I had to pack, saving me luggage space for other essential items like my curling iron and hair straightener. I had actually forgotten a pair of pants and a top (not pictured below), and was still able to create additional outfits on my trip because everything I packed was versatile and easy to mix and match.

*Style Tip: Colder seasons are one of the hardest times to pack for. Everything is bulky and takes up space. Save room in your luggage by just wearing or carrying your coat to the airport. For comfort and warmth I wore a workout outfit that went well with my heavy jacket.

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PACKING TIP #2: How to pack delicate items (hats, shoes, accessories)

Shoes :

I find shoes to be pretty durable. But for my delicate or more expensive shoes I prefer to keep them in shoe bags for protection. I typically pack them in the netted pocket inside my luggage. This keeps my shoes organized in one place and makes pulling them out for outfits much easier.

*Style Tip – For weekend getaways I like to use my shoe bags to store my undergarments in or for my dirty laundry. 

Accessories:

  • Jewelry – Velvet jewelry pouches aren’t just pretty, they’re soft and gentler on your jewelry (this may be my personal preference). I’m embarrassed to admit I used to pack my jewelry in plastic ziplock bags. Eek! There are pockets and places inside your luggage you can place your accessories in but for those expensive pieces I suggest keeping them with you in your carry-on.

*Style Tip- Pack ONLY what you need – a couple of necklaces and earrings that easily go with each outfit.

  • Hats – You learn to get a little creative with packing hats. There are a couple of ways you can do it. The first way is the simplest, pack them in your carry-on tote. Or the second way…On my last trip to the islands I brought a sunhat. I laid my hat upside-down on the flat side of my luggage and packed socks inside so it didn’t cave in. You can also pack scarves or a couple of tops inside them too. If you plan to bring more than one delicate hat I recommend packing them inside one another by size. Then place everything else around the crown of your hat in your luggage.

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PACKING TIP #3: How to keep your essentials organized 

Give everything a home. Clear plastic pouches keep like items together and make them easy to find. I can’t tell you the number of times I left behind a phone charger or couldn’t find an item I needed because it was hiding somewhere under a pile of folded clothes. That’s the worst when you need something in a flash. For smaller accessories like nail polish, toiletries, makeup or sunglasses use smaller pouches. For things you need a quick access to like your phone charger, iPad, passport or credit cards use a larger pouch. I love the transparency of clear pouches. You can see what you need and they look chic.

*Style Tip- For higher quality and TSA approved pouch sets shop these favorites! 

Wit & Delight Travel Pouch

Clarity Clutch

clear pouches

In need of trusty carry-on bag? I’ve been very pleased with my classic Samantha Brown travel bag. I used to watch TLC’s “Passport to Travel” with host Samantha Brown. She has traveled around the world and knows a thing or two about travel essentials and luggage. You can imagine my excitement when I learned of her stylish travel collection. I got my bag as a Christmas gift about 4 years ago. It has stood the test of time and travel. This travel bag is versatile and also makes a great weekender bag. I use it all the time. When traveling durability and weight is important. This has both, and its exterior is water and stain resistant.

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These tips just go to show you don’t have to compromise style for being practical. You can purchase Samantha Brown’s travel 3-piece set online at HSN or for a discounted price at the HSN outlet store in Brandon, Florida.

Do you have other travel related questions or tips you’d like to share? Comment below.  I’ll be happy to cover them on the blog.

 

 

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Style

The Secret to a Healthier Wardrobe

 

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Psst…I’m gonna let you in on a little secret stylists have known for some time. It’s a remedy to your closet woes and clutter. One that will cure you of your overspending and lack of outfits.

Build a capsule wardrobe.

Some of you may be thinking…Huh? This “inside” buzzword in the world of styling, refers to your closet go-to’s. These are things you wear all the time that can easily be mixed and matched with other items. Building a capsule of these key pieces is a way of minimizing your wardrobe into a small collection of clothes you love and actually wear!

The term “capsule wardrobe” was first coined in the seventies by London boutique owner, Susie Faux. The goal is to simplify your closet and life. The less clutter you have and money you spend on the extra stuff the happier you’ll be. Less is more.

Care to give it a go?

The Key Ingredients: Back to Basics

Here are some general rules to follow:

  • Scale Down: About 30-40 items. Includes clothes, shoes and outerwear. Pajamas, accessories, fitness apparel and special-occasion outfits are not included.
  • Shop by season: The items should last you a season (about 3 months) until you’ll need to refresh.
  • Simplify: You want to minimize. Store or donate what you don’t need.

The Closet Cleanse: Discovering Your Personal Style

One of the exciting things about my own closet cleanse was what I learned about my wardrobe. The holes that needed filling in my closet (what I needed but didn’t have) and my personal style (the things I gravitate to).

Get down and strip down to the essentials. It’s important that you be honest with yourself when decluttering your closet. Remember, you want a working wardrobe and pieces you’re going to love yourself in.

First step, divide and conquer! Separate your clothes into three piles: Never wear, Sometimes wear, Often wear. Donate what you don’t wear. Are there items in your “sometimes” pile that don’t fit? Give them away. If you love an item from this pile it’s likely you don’t have anything to pair it with. Put it aside for now, this might actually go with something from your “often wear” pile. If not, make a note of what’s missing to grab on your next shopping trip.

Floral Romper
Pretty and polished. I mixed prints by layering this floral romper with a blue striped button up top. These ankle-strap heels add delicate sophistication. A simple chambray blue clutch keeps things light and easy.

Here comes the fun part, start pairing things together from the group of clothes you wear often. Sometimes it’s hard to visualize what you want and need for your closet. A stylist can help you ask the right questions and hone in on your personal style. They’ll show you what the holes are in your wardrobe and what fits you best. You’ll be surprised with how many outfits you come up with! And those outfits, madame, will make up your capsule wardrobe. And the best part is you won’t spend a dime! You can add to these key pieces as the seasons change.

Here’s a glimpse of some outfits I put together from the capsule wardrobe I built during my closet overhaul.

Chic Shorts Outfit
Feminine Chic. These black and white striped shorts pair lovely with these soft and sheer blouses. Mix old with new. There’s something vintage and elegant about those suede booties from Audley shoes. The scallop details are so feminine!
Chic Stripes Outfits
Coastal Chic. This outfit just goes to prove that key pieces can be paired with multiple items in your closet. This sheer black and white beach halter is a personal favorite with those striped shorts and Paul Green sandals.
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Trendy Traveler. I layered this olive jacket over a romper in a darker hue within the same color family. The leopard scarf helped break up the colors and add a fun contrast. The brown gladiator sandals are comfortable and casual without being boring. The reptile handbag plays on the “wild animal” print theme.
Fall Outfit
Fall of the Wild. Animal and reptile prints can be bold and loud. The same olive jacket from the previous outfit brings balance and tones down this snake print tank. Worn over another staple – these dark denim jeans, which I cuffed at the bottom, show off these rock’n suede booties. A great outfit for fall.

 

The Shopping Diet: Build Around Your Lifestyle and Budget

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prints

Having a better understanding of what you need and want will help curb your clothes spending and keep you from buying things that will sit in your closet and take up space. When shopping think about your lifestyle and ask yourself, what do I feel most comfortable in during the week and on the weekends? What fabrics are easiest for me to care for? Maybe it’s not in your budget to go shopping. That’s okay, just hold off until you start planning for the next season. Typically you should update with a few trendy pieces and seasonal items 2-3 times a year. Before you go shopping set a realistic budget for yourself and know exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t feel like you have to buy everything your first trip. Buy quality not quantity. Take your time finding what you really want. Seeking advice from someone who is knowledgeable to help guide you in the process of refining your wardrobe can pay off! Susie Faux explains in her blog, often “when people feel they’ve over-bought, it’s generally because they’ve gone shopping without a good plan and budget for what they need.” Your aim is to find clothes that showcase your true beauty and what you have to offer the world.

Cheers to a healthier wardrobe and a fabulous you!