How to Travel Light and Still Be a Fashionista

Holidays are all about sun and sand, fun and frolic, making new discoveries and looking gorgeous all the while of course! Every woman wants to look over the photographs later and sigh with pleasure at the perfect look captured against the perfect setting. Naturally one has to dress right and carry the right clothes and accessories for this effect. All this seems to point suspiciously towards over-packed luggage, stuffed-to-bursting bags and groaning husbands or boyfriends. Think again! It is possible to look beautifully turned out without lugging around enormous boxes on a holiday.

“He who would travel happily must travel light”. Travelling light is not only easy on the nerves but also saves unnecessary expense and minimizes luggage woes at the airport. With a little planning and organisation it is possible to take a few chosen items which can be manipulated to create various looks, all chic and stylish.


It is helpful to first make a list of items which you cannot do without, then build on it. A list gives you clarity and helps you plan better. Once a list is made, stick to it so you can avoid unnecessary temptations to increase your luggage.

Colour Coordinated Clothes

Using a largely coordinated colour scheme for all your clothes makes it wonderfully easy to ‘mix n match’ and create a variety of different looks from a few main pieces. For e.g. a black top can be worn to good effect with a jeans, skirt or jacket. The keynote here is to take items which can be worn in different combinations and more than once. Teamed up with a different hairstyle and accessory, they will give you a new look every time.

Must Haves

Tank Top and Tees – Throw in a few basic-coloured tank tops and tees and you are ready to take on the world. A basic tee is perfect for travelling, sunny weather and shopping. Team it up with a jacket or cardigan and you can beat the cold with a different look. Add a stylish scarf and it’s a new dress once more. You can accessorise and transform it into a party wear as well!

Dresses – They are eternal favourites, being versatile and lending themselves to any occasion, casual or formal. They look feminine and are comfortable and easy to carry. Floral ones are great for looking pretty.

Cardigans – A cardigan is perfect for unexpected chilly times or places. It can be teamed with any basic clothing for a stylish look.

Slim Fit Jeans – Well-fitting jeans in the right cut flatter a woman’s shape and if it is in the versatile black colour (not a must though), you can pair it with almost anything – tees, short tunics or tank tops. It can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion and you are good to go.

Capris or Shorts – They look good on most people and are versatile. They can be worn with tees, tops and cardigans. A couple of capris in basic colours will take care of a lot of outings. Shorts are perfect for sunny weather, a trip to the beach or just a casual outing.

Swimsuit – This one does not take up much place but is perfect for showing off your figure on the beach or even in an indoor pool.

Sunglasses – No matter where you are headed, stylish shades can make you look glamorous in seconds. Also, they are easy to pack and complement almost any dress.

Footwear – Three basic pairs should be adequate for the well-groomed look at all times. Carry flip flops for walking around easily, good looking flats to team up with a nice outfit and a pair of heels for partying.

Accessories – A good bag is a must. Keep one in a colour that complements most of your wardrobe and is big enough to hold the essentials. Also put in a clutch for evenings. A great looking belt can also add a dash to your wardrobe. Scarves top the must-haves list being multi-functional, easy to carry and great look. A wrap or a shrug is also a great option for layering.

Jewellery – It is really best to leave expensive jewellery at home and carry a few fashion earrings which will complement most of your clothes; the same goes for bracelets, chains or other accessories.

Toiletries – Carrying solid instead of liquid toiletries is a good idea to overcome the liquid carrying amount restrictions. Make-up remover wipes can replace cleansers and toners and carry multi-purpose items like a sunscreen-cum-moisturizer, a shampoo-cum-conditioner to save on extra stuff. Carrying mini-sized toiletries are also great space saving ideas.

Suitable Fabrics

The best fabrics for travel are those that can take a little rough handling without wrinkling instantly. Ones which dry fast and take little space are ideal for a trip. Though cotton and linen are comfort fabrics, they wrinkles easily so synthetic materials like nylon or polyester are preferable for travel. Cotton-synthetic blends are also a great idea for combining comfort and utility.

Handy Tips

  • Check weight limit of luggage before packing or you will end up paying through your nose for the extra luggage.
  • Get stylish and functional luggage (one you can easily identify on the carousel is a good idea).
  • Roll up clothes while packing to save on space.
  • Bring less and wash more.
  • Pack important or smaller items in packing cubes; that way you won’t have to rummage the whole suitcase for an item.
  • Carry Ziplocs for storing dirty clothes.
  • Wear the heavy clothes, shoes, coats etc. while travelling to take-off weight from the suitcase.
  • Pack clothing pieces which are most suitable for ‘layering’.

A Sample Wardrobe

  • 4 shirts (long and short sleeves)
  • 1 cardigan
  • 2 skinny fit pants
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 skirt (preferably dark coloured)
  • 5 pairs of underwear and socks
  • 1 light jacket
  • 1 nice purse
  • A good pair of shoes
  • A scarf/pashmina

Not all these ideas may work for everyone. Feel free to adapt, to suit your individual needs and tastes. The keynote here is ‘less is more’. You will be pleasantly surprised to find that you had everything essential, travelled light and still managed to keep the compliments coming!

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