Rate & Reveal: Best Fabrics and Pieces for Packing

Studio 5 Contributor Holly Stone helps us fill the suitcases with all of the must-pack essentials.

Here are some ways to simplify your vacation wardrobe to maximize relaxation time. Start by asking yourself these three, basic questions:

• What will I be doing?

• What will the weather be like?

• Are there any special events I need to be prepared for? (i.e. a formal dinner or theatre show)

You should have a general idea of what you will be doing on your journey. Long days lounging at the beach? Hiking through forests to visit Mayan ruins? Pounding the pavement as you venture from one cathedral to another? If you will be doing special activities or athletics, do your homework on Google. With a few searches you can easily find pictures of other travelers who have enjoyed the same travels you are about to embark on. You’ll find travel boards suggesting appropriate gear and attire. These excursions are not about fashion, but function. Just keep in mind that if you do need to wear all neutral shades on your safari, that does not mean you must wear ugly, ill-fitting garments. It is possible to find sturdy, appropriate yet flattering garments. Never shop in haste, and then you will be less likely to make the mistake of taking clothing you dislike. With a few key pieces and a streamlined strategy, you can look chic, comfy and appropriate.

Before packing, lay out your proposed warbrobe on the bed and see how many outfits you can mix and match. As a general rule, take more tops than bottoms. You can get a lot more use out of a pair of jeans as you can a top. Dark tops are a great option as well in case you spill on it throughout the day.


• White cotton blend shirt

• Jeans

• Microfiber Calf-length, A-line Skirt

• Dark Colored Tee Shirt

• Scarf or Pashmina

• Cardigan

• Comfortable shoes

• Your favorite accessory

For the casual, warm-weather destinations, here is an easy system to follow:


1. Comfort is the key.

When traveling, look for fabrics that stretch like microfiber (poly/viscose/lycra), cotton knits or blends (nylon/lycra/spandex) These items pack better and come out wrinkle-free. Microfiber is the most ideal of travel fabrics. Pants in this fabric will have elastic/stretch in the waistband for those few extra pounds you may pick up along the way. The lycra component of the pants gives the fabric a wrinkle-free component so you can be seated in a plane for hours and still look fresh when you get off.

2. Colors should be basic; separates should mix and match.

Black, white, khaki and denim are ideal, but don’t be afraid of punchy colors like red or orange for summer.

3. Take at least one sarong.

This is a lifesaver, because you can wear it to and from the beach and pool, or pair it with a tank top for brunch or cocktail hour.

4. Pack in Layers

Shorts and tops or skirts and tanks or v-neck tees make an easy daytime uniform. Take a few extra tank tops to layer or to wear on their own. Lightweight knit cardigans in basic black or white can be tossed around the shoulders, layered over a Tshirt or tank dress, or worn alone with dressy pants for dinner.

5. Bring the Basic Black.

Dresses for night, either long or short, make looking pulled together a snap. A great black dress will take you anywhere.

6. Buy accessories there.

Leave your expensive jewelry at home and buy local treasures. If you are in the islands, add a recently purchased coral necklace or straw bangle bracelets.

7. Two Shoe Minimum.

Two pair of shoes are the bare minimum: casual sandals and dressy sandals. Two optional additions: thongs for the pool or sneaker/athletic shoes.

8. Dress like yourself.

Vacations might seem ideal for trying a new look (it’s not like you’re ever going to see those people again) but don’t be tempted to vary too far from your style. Not only will you feel uncomfortable, you’ll waste lots of space and time with clothes you won’t like wearing.

9. Take a hat.

A summer vacation is one of the few places a large-brimmed straw hat is not going to look ridiculous. Take advantage!

All of the packing pieces recommended can be found at Valley Fair Mall. Start receiving store coupons and event updates on your cell phone. Text “VFM” to 91011 today!

Visit www.shopvalleyfairmall.com for more details.