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Packing Tips From A NYC Stylist

Oct 21, 2021

Are you planning a fall trip? What about a holiday vacation? Finally we get to hit the road (or the skies) again! I pack women for travel-work and vacation- as part of my job as a New York City Wardrobe Stylist, so it makes sense to share some of the tips I give my styling clients on the subject of how to pack efficiently and smartly- packing the least amount of clothes possible is wise, UNLESS you get to your destination and realize you don’t have enough to wear!

As a rule, I think it makes sense to choose a limited color palette to work with, this helps with accessories, shoes, etc. Just as I speak about building a core wardrobe for your everyday life, I feel strongly about having a core travel wardrobe as well. 

When asked about building a basic wardrobe around 3 colors, Vanessa Friedman, fashion editor for The New York Times said this, “Some people, for example, apply it to wardrobe building or packing, essentially adhering to the idea that if you work with the same three colors, you can mix and match them more efficiently and effectively. This is true; I do it for fashion week travel.”

Choose items to include that are VERSATILE- a scarf that goes well with your chosen palette (think navy, black and white, or red, black and white, camel, ivory and black, etc.) that can be worn with pants, a top, a cardigan or a trench during the day, and then thrown over your shoulders with a simple dress for dinner.

Darker colors are better travel partners than light for obvious reasons. When I pack women, we bring in a rolling rack and hang all our options on it. Shoes, bags, scarf, jewelry, coat, etc. are next. We put together multiple looks using these same options in different combinations. No one will ever guess you packed a very limited wardrobe, although you are wearing the same clothes several times during the trip!

As to packing tips, here are a few:

  • An extension cord (there are never enough plugs for all our hair tools, phone, laptop, etc.)
  • Portable charger for cell phone
  • Pack travel size toiletries, and put together a mini makeup kit in a cosmetics bag in your purse to freshen up (when traveling many times you go from morning to night without ever returning to your room until bedtime)
  • Dry shampoo, hair perfume, blotting papers, hand cream, primer, setting spray for makeup-anything that helps you get ready quickly and do touch ups on the go
  • Pack a travel sized umbrella 
  • Cash for tipping
  • Gather all medicines you will need a week before the trip, in case you need to refill any prescription ahead of time
  • Stain stick, fabric fresheners, etc-strategic planning ahead of time will make for a much easier trip!

    What about sleep away from home? Do you need a silk pillow case? Melatonin? Eye mask? My daughter has a sound machine app on her phone that helps block out noise….whatever it takes! Sleep is even more important on a trip, you want to be energetic and enthusiastic (and patient with others….), so think about how to create the best sleep atmosphere possible on the road. 

    Note: if you dread packing for trips, and have one coming up, no problem! We can set up an in-person (depending on your location) or virtual appointment and pack together (email alison@thestylethatbindsus.com for more information). In no time, you’ll be good to go!

Travel Wardrobe & Products We Recommend:

Alison Bruhn


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