Getting ready to head home from Palm Springs and I am on the verge of a tantrum over leaving this beautiful desert weather in favor of the overcast Northwest. Earlier today, one of my homegirls from Twitter asked if I would write an ask on “how to airport chic,” as well as what I typically brought in my carry on. Packing light and traveling well is a learned skill of mine – I’m always down for an adventure, so I always need to be ready to go.
ask scb: what’s in your carry on?
There’s nothing worse than making it all the way through security and onto your flight and then realizing you forgot a critical item – like headphones, or chap/lipstick. I think the biggest buzzkill of any trip is being unpreprared… So, I tend to bring a big bag (like what I brought on this trip) that I’ll pack pretty full and stuff in the overhead, and second, my purse. I’ll place my laptop/book/headphones at my seat and purse under once I’m on the plane. Here are my basic must haves that will always go in my bag: scarf, headphones – I love mine from VMODA, phone charging cords, eye drops, and a book. I always bring a scarf, worn or to put on during the flight, as well as a makeup bag with eye drops, extra pair of contacts, cream blush, chap/lipstick and some face powder. I always have my Kindle or iPad, but I love the uninterrupted time to dig into a book I’ve been waiting to read. I love flying because it gives me the chance to read or write with zero distractions. If you haven’t done it before, find something you’re really excited to read (or hear!) and wait until you’re taking off to start it – the flight will fly by. I’ve done this en route to Chicago and New York and have seriously enjoyed the air time.
PRO TIP: If you’re an avid music listener like me, Spotify allows you to download playlists, and you can listen to Soundcloud sets as long as they load before you turn airplane mode on. Nothing better than that and a new book. Half of my fun on adventures is this time I have for myself – give me a good set, good read and I’m a happy girl at mile high.
how to: dress like a jetsetter.
I have a general airporting style I tend to adhere to, mostly because it’s ALWAYS so cold on airplanes. If I’m going somewhere warm – like Hawaii, as we go every Christmas – I pack a pair of shorts or dress in a big carry on bag. I think higher waisted, stretchier pants are more comfortable and flattering after sitting for a while, or drinking copious amounts due to turbulence, whatever. I usually pair dark pants or leggings with boots or flats with a basic top and “statement” sweater/scarf combo… Depending on why I’m going where I’m going. Just think about being able to reimagine and recycle your looks with the least effort and the most variety and versatility! It starts with this outfit. Wear your biggest, heaviest items on – you don’t need them weighing down your bag. Anything you wear should have flexibility because you’re going to be sitting, so think flowier tops and fitted, stretchy bottoms with accented details and comfy shoes. I love a good fedora or headband to cover up air hair… Or a beanie to pull over my face if I’m taking a red eye.
pro tip: packing depends on the situation, not the destination.
In my opinion, packing is all about why you’re going somewhere. Is it a work trip? Are you going to a wedding? Festival? The purpose of your trip will dictate the parts of your wardrobe you bring along. Example: I’ve gone to two festivals wearing the exact same top in two different seasons. It’s inside, or it’s hot, it’s similar in style so pack the same regardless of weather. The difference between what I bring on a trip that’s to a festival vs. a business trip or potential interview for work trip, is major. In general, I try to group pieces and decide which I want to bring staples of, and which I want to bring a variety of to be the focus and highlights of my fits for the trip. I generally think in: shoes, tops, outwerwear, or jewelry/accessories when packing. Pants may be the one weather-dependent factor… I stick with dark skinny jeans, black leggings (for boots – not as real pants, sorry) or shorts/skirts/dresses as weather permits. For a trip where you’re packing for your professional chic side, I like to keep pants and tops basic (white/black/gray) in any variety of styles. I like the choice of scarves, jewelry and shoes to speak for me (and don’t forget lipstick!) when I’m doing that kind of work. For a more casual trip, I’ve been found many a time in a loud graphic tee and printed scarf, and a pair of my staple shoes with plain pants.
I think it’s critical to have one pair of jeans and one pair of black pants of some kind, on any trip. If you can be casual on the flight home, rock those leggings as pants, girlfriend. And let’s be honest, packing any more than three pairs of pants for a trip where you are a real person is unnecessary. You know you rotate MAX three pairs of pants in any given week at home, don’t kid yourself. Tees are light – pack a bunch. White, gray, blue, black, and at least one in long sleeve – if not just to travel in, because remember how cold airplanes get. I like to travel in a leather jacket or some kind of substantial sweater to safeguard against crazy weather if it’s nice, and if it’s in the winter months, I always pack something waterproof. Honestly, I try to pack as basic as possible when I travel… If I’m particularly inclined to bring something special, I will – because I know I’ll be inclined to find some way to wear it. I will ALWAYS, always overpack if I try to plan specific outfits for days on a work trip, but I find I pack much better for a social trip if I plan event outfits before actually packing my bag in the safety of my bedroom.
I also love this travel essentials post from my main man Justin on Scout Sixteen. If men are reading this, I highly suggest you stalk him. Ladies, pass along to your boyfriends to make traveling as a couple a breeze. Also, Derek Blasberg’s Classy has a great chapter on airporting. Wishing you chic and safe travels from Palm Springs!