When you’re away, having an outfit for every occasion that’s easy to put together and leaves you feeling relaxed and fabulous is a travel gem. Problem is your travel bag provides much less room than your wardrobe! And you don’t want to go wasting valuable bag space with things that will come home unworn.
Selecting the right outfits for travel and what to pack for your weekend away might not be the determining factors when it comes to enjoying a breather from the commotion of daily life, but they do rank highly! You want to relish your trip in every way possible - it might be a while between respites!
The best formula when choosing the clothes for your holiday is selecting interchangeable pieces, clothes and accessories that work together, are easy to style and will suit a variety of settings. As travel blogger Valerie, from Valerie and Valise advises, ‘Pack light and pack layers’.
So keep scrolling to see the packing list we’ve put together to help you decide what to pack for your next weekend away.
When you plan time away your main aim is to have the chance to completely relax with those you love. No alarms set for early mornings,
no appointments or meetings, no running the kids around and helping with homework. Calm, slow, enjoyable days.
And you want to make the most of every aspect of your trip, including your travel wardrobe.
To do so, and to make sure you don’t miss anything, it’s valuable to use a packing list when planning for a holiday. And for more reasons than just your wardrobe - it sucks to realise you’ve forgotten essentials like your phone charger or underwear (hands up those who've done this!).
Plus, pre-planning the outfits you’ll enjoy while you’re away can be a preview to the good stuff that’s to come: like foreplay to the great days ahead.
And you can save and reuse your packing list for future trips, updating it whenever you need to.
The place to start when planning what to pack for a weekend away is outlining your itinerary (here's an itinerary planner to help you out).
Think about where you’re going, how many days and nights you’ll be there, the weather to expect, what you’ll be doing, are there beaches, will you be taking walks, and will you be heading anywhere that warrants a dressier look?
Once you’ve outlined the plans for your trip, you can personalise your packing list or create your own noting things like how many t-shirts you’ll need, what to take for unforecast weather, the variety of shoes you’ll want, and whether you need to pack a dressy outfit as well as smart-casual?
Next, it’s time to move to your wardrobe with your packing list, and decide on the interchangeable pieces that will work for your plans.
It's best to start with with the items you’ll find easiest to pick - which of course will be different for everyone. While shoes, bags and accessories are best left until last, once you’ve got your outfits sorted and can see what shoes you’ll need to cover all bases.
And it’s a good idea to try things on so you know you’re picking a combination of items that work well together and that you’re going to enjoy (and wear!).
I also find it helpful to arrange the outfits I’ve selected for a day on my bed, working one day at a time, and ticking that day off the list when it’s covered. That way you won’t miss any days or plans.
As mentioned before, interchangeable pieces are what you’re looking for - items that will work together to make the most of your holiday wardrobe. Here are some great ideas for what to pack for your next weekend away.
A slip dress is a great ingredient when you want to mix-and-match. You can pair this one with just about anything: heels for a dressy dinner out, chunky sandals or sneakers for a casual look, cardigan or pullover, a button-up shirt worn loose or tied at the waist, layered with a t-shirt, or with a blazer or trench for cooler weather.
This one might not earn as many stars in terms of its ability to mix-and-match, but if it’s warm where you’re headed a resort dress is key. They take you from the beach to lunch out, for a casual stroll around the local boutiques, and even to dinner. Plus, they’re so comfy for warm weather!
This one is so handy because it’s an outfit you don’t need to spend a moment thinking about - it’s all ready to go. And of course both items can be paired with many other things you’re packing.
Singlet tops are a fixed wardrobe staple but more recently the knit singlet has become an essential that can be styled with almost anything. Try a casual look paired with your jeans or dress it up with tailored pants and heels.
The classic white shirt is another champion when it comes to functional staples. And you can play with its styling as well: roll the sleeves up, wear over your dress, tie at the waist, layer under your blazer or trench, and pair with heels or casual shoes. You could also try wearing this one ‘strapless’ - pulled down off your shoulders - for a unique look.
Amazing how much affection one simple piece like this can accrue. Use it to dress-down some tailored pants, wear it under or over your slip dress, try it with jeans and a blazer, roll the sleeves up a little or leave them down, tuck it in or wear it loose, tie a knot or let it drape.
Perfect for layering with your blazer or trench on cooler days, or on it’s own with jeans, pants or a skirt. And a cardigan is also a great one to carry with you for those days when the weather cools while you’re out.
Another favourite and all-round wardrobe star, the chunky knit looks great with just about anything, whether it's your jeans or pants, or over your simple slip dress. And of course great for layering.
Jeans of course are an essential and these babies work extra hard for you when you’re away. Whether it’s cold or warm, you're heading to dinner or the shops, wearing heels or flats - there’s barely a situation where jeans can’t deliver.
These might not seem like a staple when packing for your weekend away, but they are fabulous and you should enjoy them whenever possible! Try them with your classic white shirt, a t-shirt or knit, heels for flats, or with your blazer or trench.
Tailored pants have expanded their repertoire in the last few years and are certainly no longer confined to the office or boardroom. Make it casual with a t-shirt or loose knit paired with sandals or loafers or dress them up with some heels.
These two are both travel-wardrobe magic, again working with just about everything including jeans, tailored pants, over your dress, with heels or flats, and just as great for a chilled casual look as a more formal one. If you’ve got room you could pack both, but if not take whichever you know you’ll make the most of.
Made a prized possession by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen label, The Row, these babies have been a staple for quite some time now and clearly they’re here for the long haul. They’re great with jeans, tailored pants, dresses and skirts, with your knit, trench or blazer. Plus, pair them with more formal pieces to dress down your look.
Although you might not need heels much while you're away, a simple heeled sandal, particularly one with a lower heel, can be a great addition to your travel wardrobe. You could dress up a t-shirt and jeans, try with a knit singlet and tailored pants, or pair with a dress for dinner out.
You’re after a simple, comfortable shoe that can go with an array of the items you’ve packed, both for warm weather and cooler days. One of my favourites is the LoQ Paz Ballet slip on, but the ballet flat and espadrille are also handy.
Before you finish up, make sure you run through one last check of your packing list to ensure you’ve got everything, packing things into your suitcase and checking off your list as you go.
Of course you might not need all of the items we’ve mentioned, but hopefully they give you some great ideas for next time you're planning what to pack for your weekend away or when working on a packing list for a longer holiday.
And make sure you check out our other stores (especially the ones listed under Resort!), to find everything you need to complete your holiday wardrobe.
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