How to Curate a Perfect Travel Wardrobe That Works in Any Destination, According to a Fashion Expert
Packing for a single-destination trip is challenging enough, but what if your itinerary sees you taking flight to Rome for meetings, before swinging over to Brazil to watch your sister tie the knot, and then hightailing it to the Bay Area for a class reunion?
Sure, you can stuff the entire contents of your closet into multiple suitcases and pay extra to haul trunks around the globe, or you can pack thoughtfully and efficiently like a pro. We spoke to Libby Page, senior market editor at Net-A-Porter and a seasoned traveler — who jet sets for months at a time — for her tips on curating a classic wardrobe that transcends destination.
"When packing, start by laying out your wardrobe foundations — shirts, t-shirts, denim, and wide-leg pants in neutral colors that will work with everything,'' says Page. Once the foundation is set, Page builds looks out depending on what occasions she's dressing for and what the temperature is looking like. Throw on a necklace and bold lip for a dinner out, or wrap on a scarf for a day of sightseeing. Another important piece of advice: "Try and wear everything twice, but in a different way to save on space," says Page.
Ahead, she tells us her must-haves to always look chic on the road. So whether you're in Tokyo one day or Copenhagen the next, here are the items to pack in order to feel and look put together.
Classic White Shirt
You can never go wrong with a white shirt, and the staple works for all seasons. "It can be layered over a tank or a turtleneck, and even worn as a cover up on the beach — it's a truly versatile piece," says Page. "For spring, we are seeing shirts styled over bikini tops, paired back with tailored pants, a look which I will definitely be trying for my next vacation."
To buy: $990, net-a-porter.com
Light Knit Sweater
Even tropical destinations can get chilly in the evenings, so it's important to stow items that can be layered "to ensure you are prepared for a drop in temperature," says Page. She loves styling a cozy sweater with chino shorts and sneakers.
To buy: $650, net-a-porter.com
Chic Black Blazer
This wardrobe classic can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. "I'd style this with a white t-shirt and denim shorts for a summer city escape or with black skinny jeans and over-the-knee boots for a fashion forward look in London," says Page. This season she's loving Saint Laurent's tailored version with satin lapels and striking gold buttons.
To buy: $3,290, net-a-porter.com
A good pair of jeans is a must to throw on and go, no matter where in the world you are. This season, Page loves styling her favorite pair over a swimsuit in the day and then letting the swimsuit act as a bodysuit for evenings.
To buy: $204, net-a-porter.com
As much as you want to, you can't take every handbag in your closet. Invest in one that will work for multiple outfits and occasions. "Savette's Symmetry 19 shoulder bag is the perfect size for all daily essentials," says Page. "The strap is adjustable and removable so it can be worn as a crossbody, small shoulder bag, or alternatively carried by the short handle. Three bags in one!"
To buy: $1,750, net-a-porter.com
Sensible yet Stylish Shoes
Sure, sneakers are our go-to, but when you want to feel a little more polished, slip on some comfy yet stylish loafers, says Page. Plus, "they are easy to pack and small enough to save space in my luggage," she says. For an alternative footwear option for dinners and drinks the style expert says to pack a pair of timeless mules.
To buy: $690, net-a-porter.com
For Page, a good piece of luggage is as essential as the contents inside. "I love RIMOWA's signature aluminum cabin suitcase, which is a new addition to my traveling wardrobe," she says. The lightweight and roomy aluminum bag can withstand being thrown in and out of cars and baggage belts, as well as whizzing through airports while looking effortlessly chic.
To buy: $1460, net-a-porter.com