Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jetsetting: Packing Pretty

Since I've been singing the I-need-a-vacation blues for a while now, I spontaneously decided to just bite the bullet already and buy a ticket- to Ithaca, NY- for a long weekend.  I'm leaving tomorrow morning bright and early, and I'm pretty dang excited about it.

My sister has been in Ithaca all summer for an internship at Cornell, and since I've really missed her, I just moved last week, I start a new job next week, and I haven't taken a vacation in a while, I thought what the heck, let's go.

As far as I'm concerned, I don't travel nearly often enough (though I hope one day in my life I will be able to much more often). Nothing presses the reset button and allows you some peace of mind like a getaway- especially to somewhere remote, natural, and beautiful.  

Another thing I love about going away?  Packing.  Yep, unlike many travelers, I love the process of packing.  It's sort of like a personal creative challenge to see how little I can bring and how much I can make it all work together.  So I thought I'd share some tips on packing- and how to make it quick, easy, and fun.
I'll be gone for three full days, and this is all I'm bringing.  And wearing it all in an infinite many combinations.  A quick look reveals a few important staples, the most important of which is dresses.  I think everyone should have at least three go-to dresses that work for everyday wear- I'm bringing two with me.  Dresses have become my new favorite thing this summer: you put 'em on and, if they're cute enough, they're all you need.  I've used Anthropologie's Geo Abaco Dress for weddings, rehearsal dinners, work, and doing nothing on a hot summer day.
It is easily worn with a tied button down shirt (also a staple) for a cute everyday look that's perfect for lunching out or shopping in town.
The same goes for this dress, also from Anthropologie and perfectly adorable for summer time.  As easily as you can throw on a dress, you can throw a button down shirt over it- or just about anything else.  Don't be afraid of color- a bright orange hue like this one (Anthropologie's Muted Shade Buttondown) goes with virtually anything.
I used to think button down shirts were formal or unwearable, but now I have probably about six that I use regularly.  A white button down is a classic with straight-leg black pants, un-tucked with jean shorts, tucked into a pencil skirt.  And colored ones make adorable summer jackets- light, breezy, and easy to carry around.
Another closet staple that should definitely go on any trip? A white blazer.  With jeans, jean shorts or colored crops; over a simple tank or over multiple layers; with a dress or with a formal blouse, the white blazer is a classic must-have that never goes out of style.  I plan on using mine over Anthropologie's Parted Paisley Tank with jeans for a classic, J. Crew-esque look... and over a light, summery dress...
And over a (buttoned-up) button down with minty green cropped denim.
Outfitting should always be an expression of your style and creativity- what you like in colors, styles, looks, overall aesthetics, and composition.  Mixing and matching is always a good thing: take pieces from each of the above outfits- the minty green crops and the Parted Paisley top, for example, and use them together and with other pieces (a bold blue cardigan, perhaps)...
Or a funky blouse...
Which you can also pair with basic jean shorts for a put-together yet casual look.
Another thing I think is perfect for summer vacations: a long skirt.  Maxi or flowy, you can make them either elegant or casual- and paired with a fitted top and light cotton cardigan, they make the perfect bottom any day of summer.
And that's the plan... off to bed now because I have to be on a plane in just a few hours.

See you in Ithaca!


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