What to Pack for Spring Break

travel chicSpring break is almost here – are you ready?  For some it may be the first getaway of the season, and knowing what to pack just puts you in a tailspin. You may be inclined to just pile all your current favorites into your bag and be done with it. But wait! With a little planning you can look fabulous without taking your entire closet (or laundry basket!) and feel ready for the adventure ahead!

Packing for travel doesn’t have to induce a headache. With a few simple strategies you’ll have plenty of clothing for a weekend – or a week – away and will feel great having streamlined your suitcase.

1/  Choose a color capsule – Throwing a hodge podge of clothing in different colors into a suitcase means that you’re probably packing outfits, but there is little mixing and matching.  Instead, choose 2 or 3 brights and 1 or 2 neutrals to focus your wardrobe around.

2/ Bottoms Up – Start with your bottoms first.   Choose several neutral bottoms that can go with multiple tops: white jeans or pants, khaki shorts, denim shorts or capris. Give yourself a dressy option and one or two that will work for sightseeing, playing with the kids or just relaxing.

3/ Top it Off – Next,  add several tops tops that will inject some color or pattern into your look. Include one basic tee that can be layered under a cardigan and a few chic tops that work on their own. These can be interchanged with any of the bottoms to create different looks.

4/ Accessorize –  Stick with neutral, but not boring, accessories.  Choose a metal and select several pieces that work together, but can be worn interchangeably to get more bang for your buck.  A couple of necklaces (short and long), several pairs of earrings and a few different bracelet styles will give you numerous options so that you’re not wearing the same thing every day but you have a cohesive look.  Consider your handbag when choosing accessories.  The more you relate, the better.

5/ Shoe In – If you’re driving, you can take more shoes, however if you’re flying, it’s better to pare down your shoe choices.  Aim for three pairs of shoes: a pair that are both chic and comfy for daytime, a dressier pair of sandals for an evening out (or a second pair of daytime shoes) and a pair of flip flops for the beach.  Opt for a metallic neutral and skip the black, which can be visually heavy and make your newly exposed legs look like ghosts.  Pewter, bronze or another option will go with everything and look on trend.

Add in a few other necessities – a great swimsuit, a hat that works both on the beach and off, a sarong that doubles as a skirt or a swimsuit cover-up, and a bag that goes from beach bag to city tote. A cardigan in a festive bright will work with all the tops if the weather goes chilly, and an anorak with short sleeves is great for an unexpected shower.  Layer these under the cardigan or jacket, or wear the sarong around your shoulders for evening. Tailor what exactly you bring to your activities each day. Don’t forget a fabulous pair of sunglasses and some sunscreen and you’re on your way to being a savvy – and fashionable – traveler. Bon Voyage!