Packing Tips From ABLE's Fashion + Design Director
Hi! Whitney, ABLE’s Fashion + Design Director here! I, like many of you, am getting ready for a long awaited trip this summer. I am heading to France for 10 days with my husband and exploring several regions during our time there. We are taking trains in between cities, so packing lightly is essential. I take packing very seriously – it's like a sport to me!
I am sharing a few of my favorite packing tips with you, including a “formula” to create the perfect travel capsule wardrobe. So, whether you find yourself taking a trip across the world, preparing for a last minute weekend away, or even a staycation in town, these helpful tips will give you endless styling opportunities.
You are destined to overpack if you wait until the last minute! Take the time to think through your itinerary and what you actually need to bring.
Shop your closet first!
I always start by pulling pieces from my existing wardrobe first before shopping for anything new. I also find myself naturally creating a color palette when I do this, which helps me narrow down what pieces to bring.
Keep it Neutral!
I love color, but when I start building my travel capsule, I always start with key neutrals first (white, cream, black, khaki, olive). I try to select my more versatile pieces in these colors before layering in color. You can get away with repeating a neutral piece without wearing the same look twice. Remember that changing out a shoe, adding a scarf, or switching out your jewelry can completely change your look!
Limit the number of heavy pieces!
Unless I am traveling in the dead of winter somewhere cold, I only bring 1 jacket and 1 pair of jeans. Otherwise, you will lose half of your suitcase to really bulky items. I also try to wear my bulkiest items on the plane to allow for more in my carry-on.
2 Wears Rule!
Here is the hard part. If I do not plan on wearing an item 2 or more times – it doesn’t go! My only exception is if I have a special occasion like a wedding or fancy event where the dress can’t be worn in a more casual way.
20 Items For The Perfect Summer Vacation Capsule
White Button Down: A perfect summer layer with limitless styling opportunities! I love the Jordan Button Down. It looks great tied, tucked or worn open over a bathing suit or tank.
Printed Dress: Prints are having a moment right now so this was a tough choice. But, nothing feels more “French” to me than a simple polka dot and the Simone Dress is such a flattering style and is so easy to dress up or down.
Neutral Dress: The Brandi Asymmetrical Dress is coming soon! This style is so simple but is giving “cool French girl vibes” all day long. I also love this dress layered over a long sleeve for cooler temperatures.
Midi/Maxi Skirt: This one is vintage, but because the background is black, it pairs back to so many pieces in my travel capsule. I am a big fan of pairing sneakers with a skirt, so this is a perfect piece for a lot of walking.
Neutral Short: Okay, these shorts go with EVERYTHING and the fabric is so lightweight which is perfect for summer travel. I love the high waist with the subtle paper bag detail to pair with crop tops or to wear with a top tucked in. The Janis Paperbag also comes in olive.
Statement Short: Here is where I had some fun. These are another vintage piece that actually go with a lot. They are a little bit more of a statement, but are easy to style with neutral tops and I can’t help but feel cute when I wear them.
Easy Pant/Jogger: (From ABLE, coming soon!) These are what I lovingly call my “train pants.” They feel like you are wearing sweatpants, yet you look very put together as soon as you step off the train platform. And isn't that the ultimate goal?
White Tee: Regardless of where you are going, a white tee should be a staple in any capsule wardrobe. I particularly love the Mae Drapey Tee because it travels well and doesn’t wrinkle. It is so soft, and feels more elevated than a basic cotton tee.
Tank: The 90’s are back! And the Lise Tank is such a simple ribbed tank that pairs well with many things in my capsule. The high neckline feels a little edgy and I really like it tied in a knot for a subtle sexy look.
Jacket: Nothing is more classic than a denim jacket! I am wearing the Joan Shacket as I love the slightly longer proportion, but truly any denim jacket would be a great addition to your capsule wardrobe. I also love the Bailey or Merly depending on your personal style.
Woven Top: There are limitless options for this item. But, I went with the Bryce Swing Tank this summer. Gingham is one of those patterns that scream “SUMMER IS HERE!” and this neutral pattern is a perfect way to mix and match throughout the season.
Sneaker: Needless to say, I plan on walking A LOT. So a comfortable, white sneaker has to be in my suitcase. I love the Rachel Sneaker – seriously, the most comfortable sneaker ever!
Comfort Sandal: Sport sandals are trending right now. Which is awesome for travel. The Macys are our best selling sandals and they go with everything – including summer dresses!
Heel: I only plan on packing 1 heel for this trip for nicer dinners. These are from a past season, but the Jayce comes in the same beautiful raffia texture and has a very walkable heel! The texture of the material feels special and is neutral enough to go with everything!
1 crossbody with zipper: Zippers are a MUST when traveling. I want my passport and money to be secure. I like the Olivia Crossbody because of all the pockets and the beach color is so pretty for summer!
1 large tote: I only use this for the airport + commuting when abroad. I keep items that I might need during the flight in there such as toiletries, change of clothes, my ipad, or a book. We love a good tote at ABLE so there are many options available, but I love the Solome because it's so versatile and is very chic!
1 belt bag: This is what I wear in the airport to hold my phone/boarding pass/passport. A belt bag is great for busy attractions and pro tip: You can wear the belt as a belt or the bag as a clutch. So, it's a 3 in 1! The Karla or Deliah are great options.
Foldable tote is always something I include for souvenirs, market trips, or an impromptu picnic in the park. It takes up minimal space and is a game changer when traveling.
Scarf: The perfect layering item – wear it on your bag, in your hair, or around your neck. I am bringing a vintage favorite, but our Emerson Scarf is another go-to for me.
Accessories: This is my favorite way to update my outfit and to get creative with my looks! Never underestimate the power of a statement earring, layered necklaces, or bold sunglasses when styling an outfit!
**Bonus: If I have extra room I like to include another fun bag – no french ensemble would be complete without an iconic straw bag.
I hope you find these tips helpful! What trips do you have planned this summer? We hope that wherever you find yourself this summer, you remember you are #ABLEasyouare!