I am a lucky girl. This is now the second winter in a row that I jaunted off to Miami for an “extended stay”. How you might ask? It is simple, my boss is awesome. And stylish and amazing and cool…. If you haven’t figured it out by now, my boss is me:) During this time I had visitors almost every weekend who all asked the same question, “what do I pack?” I realized this is a universal epidemic and as opposed to helping each individual friend, I would write a blog post and direct all of them (and you) to it. Simple instructions that will take the anxiety out of packing, teach you what to bring, how to actually assemble it in your suitcase and leave you not only wearing everything you brought, but feeling stylish and carefree. Folks, this is how you pack for a hot getaway.
The art of packing is to understand that you do not need to bring the kitchen sink. Overpacking is actually what is causing your anxiety and your anxiety is causing you to overpack, it is a vicious cycle. We can stop it together. Let’s bring it back to the basics, literally. Every good outfit is based on foundation pieces, utilize this concept specifically when you are packing. If you make sure to include neutral basics, you can build an outfit differently every time using the same items. Examples of this for a warm trip are white jeans, a white blazer and a jean jacket. There is more on this at the end, don’t worry, I’ll give you the cheat sheet. As for preparing, lay everything you are thinking of taking out on a flat surface, a bed or the floor works. This way you can see everything and visually mix and match items. The goal is to be able to utilize most pieces in multiple ways. If most of your items do not have the ability to do this, remove them. Of course you can have a few stand out pieces that “make” each outfit and cannot be repeated, but not more then 25% of what is being packed.
The next key factor to packing is getting a lot in a little space. Roll, roll, roll. There is no better way to get a ton into your suitcase and NOT have it get wrinkled. You may need to steam out a few things, but in general, this is the best method to keep things looking good. Additionally, if you know a certain piece has the propensity to get wrinkled easily, leave it at home. You will most likely not feel like dealing with it and then you will be a crinkled mess, not a good look. Vacation is suppose to be easy, don’t add a household chore like ironing or steaming to every outfit you bring. Use your underwear and bathing suits for tight spaces like corners, to shove into shoes or keep a hat from getting squished. Put them not only in the hat, but around it as padding.
Here is when we throw caution to wind and break the rules. When it comes to jewelry, you can pack as much as you like AS LONG as it will all fit in your travel jewelry organizer. Since you have been smart and packed all of the proper basics, your jewelry is not only your opportunity to make your look shine, but it can instantly change up that white T-shirt and jeans into 5 different outfits. Genius. And, the most brilliant part is that it really doesn’t take up any room in your suitcase. Make sure to include pieces that have lots of color and show off your fabulous personality. Don’t think too much about it, just pack what you love.
Once you arrive I would definitely unpack if you can. It doesn’t take that much time and just like at home if you have an organized closet, you will able to see everything you brought and easily style new and fun ensembles. You do not need to pack specific outfits for each day (heck, things can change at the last second), but you should have an idea of general looks. If you have packed correctly (which you have because you followed my directions), you will have plenty of options for last minute changes. These are just a few easy and stylish looks I put together while I was in Miami. Above anything, you need to know your itinerary and the weather. For example, Miami is cold (think 60-80 degrees) in January and my friends all had their sundresses and sandals ready to go. They would have froze their cute, little tushes off. I helped them to actually believe what Google weather was saying and re-pack based on the reality of this.
All of these outfits show the temperature range I was faced with, but also that you can look ”hot” even when it is chilly. This requires more clothing, but lighter colors and fabrics. Don’t drape yourself in ALL super summer colors, you will look like a tourist. Remember when you are traveling some place warm in the winter (at least in the US), it is their winter too. Meaning, they are pulling out their fur, leather and anything black as well. They are not necessarily wearing as many layers as those of us in actual cold places, but they have their own version of seasons too and this is their time to rock that part of their closet.
For daytime it is going to be much warmer, the sun is shining and the world is a warm weather wonderland. A few key basics to bring on your getaway include a fabulous coverup, flip flops (I prefer fancy gold ones to casual boring ones) and an amazing hat. Let’s be real people, a sunburn is so 1999 and if a stylish item can not only make me look like a fashion model but also protect my money maker, I’m in. SPF 30 not included. Don’t forget to also bring a few day dresses, they double as a great shopping look or as a cover up substitute.
For nighttime, there might be a chill in the air so make sure to bring layers. Remember, the key to packing is to bring 75% neutrals and no more then 25% stand out items. I always make sure to have a white blazer when I travel to a warm place. It is so easy to style with everything from a great jumper to a cute dress to boyfriend jeans. It creates instant sophistication. You will also need a neutral (yet fun) smaller bag and a scarf. I love this particular bag because it will either add color to any neutral look or pick up the color from something you already have on. The scarf can do the same AND it doubles as your blanket on the plane. Yes, you read that right. I use my scarf as part of my outfit when I travel (because it keeps me warm and looking cute) then I wrap myself up in it once I am on the plane and take a nap. Wake me up when we hit the runway….. You are now officially ready for take off, please follow the exit signs to your next, fabulously stylish journey…..