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How to Pack for a Warm Getaway

Now is about the time when I have fully lost my mind over the cold weather. As a New Yorker, it has been some form of cold for about 5 months. This is when the sentence, “Why do I live here???” starts to go on repeat in my head. What is the short and sweet conclusion to solving the cold weather blues? Vacation baby.

There is nothing like a quick warm weather getaway to brighten your smile and give you the dose of vitamin D your body is desperately craving. Choosing to leave your stresses behind does not mean you should now begin stressing about what to pack. The easiest way to calm your styling nerves is to remember, less is more, literally. The joys of a quick jaunt to a beach weekend with above 80 degree temperatures is that the less you layer, the better. You should EASILY be able to pack 4-5 outfits, plus swimsuit options, in a carry-on bag. If you start to think about checking something, you have gone too far. YOU DO NOT NEED 10 “MAYBE” OUTFITS CRAZY. You need 4-5 awesome looks and you should pack with that in mind.

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I was lucky enough to attend my friend’s wedding in Cabo this winter making it the perfect warm getaway I was looking for. Full disclosure, the looks you are about to see are “Mexico” inspired, but it’s the concept of how I packed for this short trip that matters. You should never pack items to be styled later, the key to great packing is all about creating the looks PRIOR to going.  Yes, you will obviously throw in a few extra items for the “just in case” moments of the trip, but overall, you should have styled looks for all the “events ” ready to go. The events could be as simple as: 4 days on the beach, 2 days in town shopping and 4 dinners out. You most likely will have some idea of what you are doing even if it isn’t formally scheduled.

 

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Don’t jump ahead of yourself and become overwhelmed by making the perfect outfit for every moment of the trip, take a step back. Start by asking yourself the below questions:

*Are there any pieces you love and definitely want to bring?

*Do you have favorite items that always seem to work, even if you are having a styling melt down?

*What is the temperature there both in the day and in the night?

*What activities do you plan on doing? Is this a drinking trip or will active adventure be mixed in??

*Who will you be traveling with and what is appropriate?

*What basic items do I need no matter what? Think hat, bathing suit, sunglasses, underwear……

These questions are meant to make your life easier so when you begin to think about what to bring, you will already have guidelines.

 

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Next up, start pulling out the items that fit the guidelines you have already set out for yourself. You should start thinking about the questions in advance of doing this and keep a note in your phone that lists the items. That makes your packing time that much easier! After you pull out those items, start to think about pieces that could easily mix in with any of the chosen pieces. This would be something like a jean jacket to layer, a gold pair of sandals, jean shorts or a neutral colored swimsuit cover up. You MUST include items that can be re-styled with multiple outfits to save room in your very tiny carry-on (thank you annoying airlines).

 PACKING LIST

 

Above is a great example of a typical packing list for a 5 day warm weather getaway. Obviously you should put your own spin on it by including specific items from your own wardrobe, but this is a good baseline list. You most likely WILL NOT use everything on this list, but pulling all of it out and seeing where the styling fairy (you) takes it is a good place to start. What you do not style, you should put back in your closet. I reiterate, YOU DO NOT NEED TO BRING THE KITCHEN SINK!! If you do not style it at home, you do not need to bring it. Be hard on yourself by truly following this rule. You will finally NOT over pack and you will avoid becoming overwhelmed upon arrival because all of your looks are already styled.

 

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Now comes the fun part, actual styling!!! Remember, you have already done the hardest part so styling is going to be a breeze….. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you CAN do this and that you are not going to rip your hair out. Lay out all of the items on your list either on the floor or on your bed. Keep the pieces to be styled multiple ways on one side and your more fun, singular options on the other. This is defined by neutrals that can easily blend in without being fully recognized and loud, individual pieces that are showstoppers. For example, the outfit above has a white tank (neutral, lots of styling options) and crazy pants (fully recognized and loud). Don’t shoot yourself if you can’t figure out the difference, just go with your gut. This makes it way easier to mix and match things knowing that you are only re-using the “to be styled multiple ways” items well, multiple ways.

 

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I only have one main warning to clients and followers, limit your shoes and bags!!!! This is the fastest way to overpack and weigh down your suitcase. You do not need a different pair of shoes and bag for EVERY look. You need neutral yet fabulous options that can realistically go with multiple looks. This typically means the bag or shoes should be metallic or nude in color, these options give optimal styling potential! As for bags, a great beach bag, a daytime casual bag for roaming around and one evening option are all that is needed. FOLLOW THE LIST. Stop the madness, you are overwhelming yourself even more by brining TOO MUCH stuff. The only pass you get is on accessories. I’m all about switching up a look by choosing different accessories and they don’t take up any room. Lots O scarves, tons of jewelry and sassy sunglasses are always easy to stuff into your bag so bring it on.

 

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The final step is styling some bomb outfits for your dope upcoming trip. This is your time to shine. Mix pieces from the loud side and pieces from the neutral side to create some fabulous options. The easiest rule to follow is this:

NEUTRAL + NEUTRAL= AWESOME

NEUTRAL + LOUD= AWESOME

LOUD + LOUD= POSSIBLY CRAY UNLESS YOU ARE A SUPER FASHIONABLE GAL

Stick to only what you have pulled based on your list and it will make your life so much easier. You can worry about jewelry later if it is too overwhelming now, you should have enough with you to make the final touches once you arrive at your destination. The most important thing is to follow your itinerary and style realistic outfits for what you will be doing. Do not style more outfits than you need, you are only making your own life more miserable. Remember, the entire point of following this system is to make you not explode! Finally, TAKE PICTURES, it will make your life so much easier once you get there and have to remember what the hell you did at home. All of the looks you see above were done following this system. Long before they were put on my body in Mexico they were styled on the floor at home in my apartment. I confidently went to Cabo knowing I would be fab, you can do the same sans the blood, sweat and tears. Go forth and pack confidently!

 

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Crop Top, Cover Up, Blue Earrings, Ring, Palazzo Pants