Friday, July 11, 2008

Vacation Essentials

Nothing beats summer vacation; wherever you go, whatever you do, there's a sense of freedom and adventure that you just can't replicate in the middle of winter. I used to pack every article of clothing in my closet, every shoe, every lipgloss "just in case." I did that until I lost my luggage and decided that I'd never check a bag again. Since then I've become a pro at packing only the essentials, even managing a weeklong vacation in Jamaica with one carry- on bag. Here's what I don't leave home without:
A transitionable black dress is a no-brainer - pick one that you can toss on over your swimsuit on the beach, and then add heels and some jewelry to for dinner at night. I like this cotton scoop-neck sundress from Lane Bryant. Another great fabric to choose is jersey - it can take a beating and look like new after a quick rinse in the bathroom sink.
When I can't bring multiple pairs of jeans and cropped pants, I pack straight-leg jeans. If it gets chilly at night, you can wear them long. For warmer days, roll up the pants for a cute 1950's-esque pair of home-made cropped pants. This pair is by Svoboda, and comes in regular and tall lengths up to size 24. Pack a selection of tanks and tops that you can mix, match and layer over one another. This ruched henley tank from Old Navy would look great paired with jeans and flats for sight-seeing, or with a pair of black pants for going out. I also rely on a couple sets of solid colored ribbed tanks - they can be rolled up in a suitcase and paired with a cardigan and a variety of accessories for maximum mileage. When it comes to packing shoes, I typically wear a pair of skimmers en-route, and pack a pair of sandals. I think metallics are a good choice because they'll go with black, brown, navy, etc. and add a pop of sophistication to any outfit. The Steve Madden Shicago sandal (yes, that's the way it's spelled) is a fun choice.

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