A Note on Style: The Pieces I Never Travel Without

Hello LDV readers. It’s Karima from A Note on Style with a new post in my monthly series. With summer vacation on a lot of people’s radar, I wanted to share a packing tip I use for almost all of my trips. As a frequent traveler, I’ve got it down to a science.

I create a versatile wardrobe from a simple color palette that with a few adjustments that translate well for day or night. Within the formula, there are several key items that always make the cut. They’re the pieces I use as a starting point to anchor the rest of my selection. Both functional and stylish, they’re guaranteed to have a place in my suitcase. Essentially, I’d regret leaving home without them.

Birkenstocks, Prada bag, Madewell Hat, Vince Blouse, The Row blazer, Toteme black jeans, Vince cardigan, The Range black tank


Walking Shoes

My preferred mode of transportation to explore a city is on foot. There’s just so much you miss by jumping in a car when the distance is within walking distance. I plan ahead and make sure I have at least one pair of shoes that I can comfortably tour around in for miles. Currently, Birkenstocks have proved to be lifesavers, especially with all of the chic styles available. I’ve also found some traditional “walking sandals” with cushioned soles and soft leather that do the trick. Comfort is key for a happy day strolling cobblestone streets and it starts with the right shoe.

Crossbody Bag

I carry a nylon Prada messenger bag whenever I travel. It weighs virtually nothing so I don’t struggle with a backache at the end of the day. Occasionally, I’ll wear a small crossbody bag when I need only a few essentials for the day. But most days, I want a roomy messenger to accommodate my camera and lens. I have a padded insert that easily slides in protecting the gear.


Foldable Hat

I collect soft bucket hats in a variety of colors and prints. I like to have an assortment at my disposal. They’re essential for keeping the sun off my face or controlling untamed hair. They fold or roll into the messenger bag until needed. I’ve never regretted stowing a few away in my suitcase. They take up minimal space and don’t add any additional weight. Having multiple options keeps my outfits looking fresh. This printed one feels very Prada or Marni like.


Printed Blouses

By far a silk blouse is the easiest piece to pack. I just fold them over then roll snugly. They take up minimal space. Prints travel well, hiding wrinkles or an unfortunate spill. A blouse offers the slightest edge of polish, often all that is needed to take a look from day to night.



Another perfect piece to have on hand to complete almost any look or make it feel evening appropriate. I stick to black and white for the most mileage. Worn casually with shorts or jeans, a blazer looks equally impressive as a topper over a slip dress. For summer, I stick to linens and cotton fabrications.


Slim Tank Top

Really, a tank is the ultimate layering piece. In the right fit, it can serve multiple purposes. With a matching pant, you’ve got a streamlined elegant look that’s simply classic. For extra warmth, slip one on under a dress or blouse. A tank also acts as the perfect no-fuss piece to wear under a blazer or cardigan without adding bulk.


Black (and White) Jeans

I usually bring both colors and even a pair in blue. I look for styles that don’t read “jeans” and have characteristics that feel more pant-like. Current favorites are high-waisted and cropped. The silhouette lends itself to endless shoe options and offers a bit more flare than a classic straight leg.


Lightweight Sweater

A summer staple must to keep me comfortable going in and out of airconditioned spaces. A deep v-neck cardigan has proved to be incredibly useful. With nothing but a foundation piece beneath, I’ll wear mine simply buttoned up for an evening look. Also, a cardigan works just as well as a blazer worn over a slip dress. I pack one in black and add another in a fresh color that satisfies my current mood. A lightweight, soft cashmere travels very well and easily releases wrinkles.

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