5 Clothing Essentials You Always Need to Travel With

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What I’m wearing: Jacket: J. Crew, Tank: Madewell (currently 20% off!), Jeans: Gap, Shoes: Sole Society. Click on any of the links to check them out for yourself!

Ah, vacation season is upon us! Two years ago I was planning a trip to Florida, where I ended up basking in the sun drinking daiquiris by the pitcher. Last year, my girlfriends and I booked flights to Dallas for a bachelorette party and mainly spent our time dining heavily and drinking moderately (welcome to your late 20s). This year….well, this year doesn’t have anything on the books just yet, but that’s not stopping me from prepping for a vacation.

I read You Are a Badass last year and one of the things it tells you to do if there’s something you want is act like that thing is definitely going to happen. Want to get a dog? Buy a leash and some squeaky toys. Want a boyfriend? Go out and buy the hottest date night outfit you can dream up. Want to go on vacation? Pack ya bags. And that’s exactly what I’m doing! Whether this ends up working or not, I’ve made up a list of the top 5 things you need in your travel bag for your next vacation. Read on!



If you’re anything like me, you’re cold approximately 90% of the time, and airports bump that up to about 100%. It’s never a bad idea to keep a light layer with you for those chilly treks to the gate. Cardigans are great, but I prefer jean jackets because they’re a little heavier and can take a beating if you stuff them into your bag. I love this one from J. Crew because it has a shrunken fit that’s perfect for shorter girls!


What on earth is easier to mix and match than a tee? Pack a few different bottoms and you have outfits for days (read: no laundry to do on vacation!). You can wear one knotted at the waist with a midi skirt, or tuck one into a pair of high-rise shorts. You can even dress them up for evening with loose pants and strappy sandals. I’ve been wearing this one from Madewell nonstop because it’s super lightweight, not too long, and that v-neck helps me appear a little taller.


Skinny jeans are the neutrals tees of your bottom half. I suggest bringing along a dark pair with no details and a lighter pair with some rippage. (Is that a word? No? Who cares?) Swap out tops to make all kinds of cool outfit combos.


When I’m traveling, I love a pair of shoes that I can just slip on and off. In the fall, that means Chelsea boots (and usually those are the only shoes I bring!). In the spring and summer, loafers, mules, and slides are so easy but so freaking cool! I’ve been wearing these Sole Society loafers a lot lately because they’re pretty comfortable, but unfortunately the “pearls” popped off! If I get a new pair I really like, I’ll let you know.


The thing I love about dresses is that they seem so dressed-up, yet sometimes all they require is throwing it over your head and calling it a day. Get yourself a mini dress in a wrinkle-resistant fabric (so not cotton or, God forbid, linen) and take it with you. I suggest a black t-shirt dress because they’re practically a blank canvas!

Now, I’m not saying these are the only things you should pack (don’t forget your undies!!), but these are some of those tried-and-true pieces that form a solid foundation for your suitcase.

Going anywhere soon? Let me know in the comments!

What I’m wearing: Jacket: J. Crew, Tank: Madewell (currently 20% off!), Jeans: Gap, Shoes: Sole Society. Click on any of the links to check them out for yourself!

Photos by Hannah Schweiss Photography.

Author: Devinne Stevens