Commandeer your call-of-the-wild with a less-is-better suitcase situation.
Pack your bags. Travel is back in a big way in 2023. Whether you’re jumping on the ecotourism trend or planning to celebrate Disney’s 100th anniversary, a great big trip doesn’t have to mean a great big, bulky bag to carry those Instagram-worthy outfits.
Personal stylist Paige Epsky of Same Paige Styling says pioneering your closet should be the first step in starting your travel adventures. “Suitcase-smart planning not only results in lighter luggage and fewer baggage fees, but saves you time, so your adventure is focused on vacationing rather than what not to wear,” says the Deephaven resident.
Eliminate packing too many heavy items, such as multiple jean shorts, heavy wedges, etc. Mix and match between tops, and add accessories to diversify from day to day.
Capsule wardrobes are ideal for travel, according to fashion designers like Donna Karan, whose Seven Easy Pieces collection in 1985 struck a chord with shoppers and travelers alike. The easy, on-to-go concept has continued to evolve for adventure warriors, as well as classic-style-about-towners, with a road-tested closet of timeless, versatile pieces to mix and match. The concept is the Garanimal approach for adult dressing that combines elegance with a vacation-ready or day-to-day fashion sense.
Let’s get organized. “Before you start to pack, there are some important things to think about, including themes, agendas and the goals of your trip,” Epsky says. Is it a bachelorette party in Nashville, Tennessee, or an over-the-pond visit to the grass courts of Wimbledon?
Next, Epsky says it’s important to break down any trip to consider ways to maximize a wardrobe and reduce extra, unnecessary items in luggage. She suggests a quick and easy prepacking plan. “Lay out the clothes you think you’ll need, and create outfits. Consider how one skirt might work with a casual T-shirt one day and under a breezy sweater and jacket for a more formal event later that night,” she says.
Don’t be afraid to mix colors (color blocking) and/or prints for more versatility.
“Then, take a picture of each outfit on your cell phone to make dressing easier and quicker when you’re settled into your glamping tent or luxury hotel room,” Epsky says. Once outfits are documented, return extra items to the closet, she advises, to resist the urge to overpack. (Traveling light also leaves room in your luggage for that must-have memento or gifts for family and friends.)
There are tricks to the trade when it comes to culling travel wear for whatever adventure awaits. To start, Epsky recommends using an oversized duffle bag, rather than a hard-sided suitcase. A duffle can make it easier to add in extra items and compress into an airplane’s overhead bin.
- Travel light with a capsule wardrobe, including a great white shirt, a couple of pairs of shorts (linen or jean), a skirt/dress to pair with a jean jacket. (Wear the heavier items, like a jacket, on the plane or in the car to reduce the extra space required in your travel pack.)
- Remember that neutrals, like black, white and khaki colors, are interchangeable. Add accessories, which can take a basic black skirt from unnoticeable to a true reflection of your unique style. Think: a cute, floppy sun hat or a big pair of gold hoops.
- Opt for a cute pair of sneakers rather than heels and cheap, sole-crushing, flip-flops.
- For a cold-climate getaway, opt for a hybrid boot (Sorel). Make sure they’re waterproof, comfortable and functional. Pair them with flattering leggings and a turtleneck, layered under a jacket for an ideal outfit on the plane or elsewhere.
- Bring a comfy loungewear set for in between the pool and the next event or after dinner/before bed.
- Pick one crossbody bag, and stick with it.
- To save packing space, call ahead to see what items will be provided by your accommodations (hairdryer, robe or slippers).
- Pack an empty pillowcase for items you’ve worn on your trip and don’t intend to use again during the trip. (This makes unpacking in the laundry room even easier when you get home.)
Road to Style
In a busy world, a classic style can take you from brunch to power lunch to a swanky, late-night jazz club simply with the shift of a scarf or a quick change of shoes. But first, you need a classic style. Cue Epsky, who’s shifted her career into high gear since the pandemic began to slow down. “It’s been so much fun,” she says of helping people create their own personal wardrobe styles.
“Preparing for an event or recognizing how our bodies change can make the right look feel a lot harder than it is,” Epsky says about creating a style that matches who you are. It goes without saying, most of us have changed since the pandemic started, both physically and mentally.
Epsky says helping someone create a “capsule wardrobe,” a collection of timeless, must-have basics, is her goal. “For me, it’s taking out the guesswork for a client, more than anything. It’s all about helping people feel their best.”