We are obsessed with those flat lay photos that are all over social media. You know, the beautiful shots people post from above, showcasing the contents of their purse or suitcase. Not only are these pictures stunning visually, but planning for them also serves a very functional purpose.
It helps if you lay everything out on a flat surface to get a quick visual of everything you will be wearing – and if you get an Instagram picture out of it in the process, even better. But what should you actually lay out for your photo? Whether you are a veteran traveler or have never even left your home state, it is always helpful to plan ahead and research items you might need for your destination.
No matter where you go, you can easily create the perfect capsule wardrobe that consists of just a few pieces. Of course, if you are going backpacking throughout Europe, this list might not be that practical, but this is for those of us who are just going on a basic vacation for a couple of weeks.
Pick Versatile Tops
Basic tops are some of the best things you can pack on any trip. Collect four of your favorites (the ones you wear the most often) and ask yourself how many outfits you could put together with them. Can you wear them with shorts, jeans and skirts?
Bonus points if you can also slip one over or under a dress for a complete look. You could take a tank top, and lightweight button down, a basic solid t-shirt, and maybe a fun printed one (like a castle tee – what better to wear when touring an actual castle?).
Find Versatile Bottoms
Just like you did with your tops, find four bottoms that you can pair up with any of the above tops. We recommend one pair of jeans, one pair of shorts and two skirts for maximum versatility and practicality. After all, bottoms tend to take up the most space in a bag and the worst offender is jeans, so packing just one pair is the best option.
Besides, you never really need to wash jeans as much as other clothing items, so you can get away with wearing one pair several times on a trip. Find a quality pair of denim jeans from Madewell and make an investment in bottoms you can rock for years to come.
Don’t Forget That Versatile Dress
You probably do not need more than one dress – unless dresses are literally all you wear and you are going to a tropical island – so go through your wardrobe and find one that is the most comfortable to wear. Since you never really know what sorts of shenanigans you will get up to while on vacation, you will want something that you can easily wear out sightseeing one day and wear out to dinner the next day.
We recommend going with a style that is light, summery, and falls to at least your knee. You might even want to take a pair of spandex shorts with you to slip on for extra protection. You can also get away with pairing one of your tops with the dress—as long as the styles go together.
For instance, if you took a strappy dress, you might be able to wear it over and form-fitting top. Or if you took a dress that is tight in the bust and waist, and flares out at the hips, you might be able to slip on one of your cute tops over it.
Even if you are going somewhere warm, it is always a good idea to pack some type of jacket, whether it is thin or heavy. Classic trench-style coats are very traveler chic for every season and outfit, while denim jackets will give you an effortlessly cool rocker chick vibe. No matter what you pick, make sure you like how it looks with your other items of clothing. And if you are out of room in your bag, wear it on the plane, easypeasy.