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Ask Avery: Packing for a weekend getaway

Photo courtesy of Flickr / Perfecto Insecto

blog by Avery Hartmans  • 

Dear Avery,
I’m going on long weekend trip and I’m stumped on what to pack. I have to pack light but I need enough clothes and shoes to last me the whole trip (about four days). What are some things I can pack that will be versatile enough to be worn a few different ways?

When you say “long weekend trip,” I envision you driving in an old convertible from the 50s with a scarf around your neck and a handsome man at the wheel. If this isn’t your plan for the weekend, don’t even tell me. I’ll be really disappointed.

OK, apparently even my day-dreams are unrealistically glamorous. I’m sure you’ll actually be in yoga pants in a mid-size SUV with the AC blasting, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still pack a weekend bag worthy of Brigitte Bardot.

To start, you’ll need the perfect carryall. High school-style backpacks and canvas totes are out, along with Vera Bradley duffle bags. I don’t know if I’ve made my feelings about Vera Bradley clear enough, but I pretty much consider the brand a crime against humanity. I know, I know: Western New York women go wild over mass-produced paisley, but the stuff’s atrocious. There, I said it.

So hide your pink paisley duffle bag somewhere will no one will ever see it (Or just burn it. That works too), and find a better option. I’m a fan of a bright leather tote or a chic update on the classic backpack. There’s no need to get super fancy, but you don’t want to look like you’re packing for summer camp.

Your next step is filling your classy new bag with the necessary items. In terms of clothes, you’ll need five very important pieces: a versatile dress (I’d choose a silk shift), a pair of shorts that can be dressed up or dressed down, the perfect casual tee, one dressy tank and either black or white cropped jeans. Once you have those items packed, you can add in a few more pieces of your own choosing. Depending on your weekend plans, you might want to toss in a dressy skirt or shorts — anything sparkly or silky — or your favorite pair of cutoffs.

What’s great about all the above “essentials” is that they can be worn multiple ways. Try the dress tucked into the shorts and belted, or the cotton tee with a sparkly skirt for daytime and a silk top for night time. The dress could be worn for sightseeing during the day with sandals and undone hair, then dressed-up for dinner with a loose up-do, heels and statement earrings. You don’t need to pack your whole wardrobe in order to have enough outfits, just get creative.

Your next thought is probably, “Gosh, what shoes am I going to bring?” But don’t worry, I’ve already made that decision for you: neutrals, neutrals, neutrals. Neutral shoes are the ultimate space saver, because they go with literally anything. If you bring one pair of neutral wedges and one pair of neutral flats or sandals, you won’t have to worry about your footwear at all. If I were going on a romantic weekend getaway, I would pack my favorite pair of nude wedges and a pair of metallic sandals. But that’s just me.

Last, but actually quite important, is accessories. It’s usually really hard for me to envision an entire outfit plus jewelry/belts/hats/scarves, so I tend to overpack when it comes to accessories. To make things simpler, pick your favorite accessory, either a hat, belt or scarf, and rock it the whole weekend, incorporating it into different outfits. In the jewelry department, choose one necklace, one bracelet, one ring, etc., that will match any clothes you packed. You don’t have to — and shouldn’t — wear them all together, but I’m just trying to provide you with some options here. You’ll thank me later.

Photo courtesy of Flickr / Perfecto Insecto

TAGGED: ask avery, packing, roadtrip, vacation, weekend, weekend getaway

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