It’s summer travel season and I thought I’d do a series on summer travel essentials starting off with footwear. The right pair of shoes can make or break your trip. You don’t want to be stuck dealing with blisters, sore feet and legs at the expense of that cute yet not comfortable pair of shoes you packed.

If your travel activities call for a lot of walking you want to look for a sandal with plenty of foot support. A flat rubber flip-flop or flat sandal (with no support) will not do for any significant amount of walking. On the flip side a killer pair of four inch wedges won’t work either. It can be difficult to find that happy medium of fashionable and comfortable but it’s worth the effort.

Use this visual as a guide to help you find your perfect travel sandal. Look for cushioning and arch support if you need that. Keep your travel activities, climate and destination in mind when choosing a travel shoe. If you’re traveling somewhere rainy include a waterproof sandal or shoe in your travel wardrobe. If you want to keep your luggage light, limit your shoes to three pairs. An example of that would be to pack a comfortable walking sandal, a dressier walkable wedge and a pair of stylish sneakers for a closed-toe footwear option.

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Row 1
Neutral sandals will complement many travel wardrobe color palettes. Look for a cushioned foot bed and whatever additional support your foot requires. Simple sandals like this match with jeans, shorts, skirts and dresses. Born Mahala, Born Rainey Sandal, Ahnu Saratoga Sandal.

Row 2
I strongly discourage you from wearing flimsy rubber flip-flops for travel. High quality, leather thong sandals can give you the same casual feel of flip-flops but with features like heel straps and molded foot beds your feet won’t be screaming at you by the end of a long travel day. They also just plain look nicer too.

The Birkenstock Gizeh does not have a heel strap however its foot bed molds to the shape of your foot and holds it securely. If you don’t believe me about flip-flops watch this Today Show Health segment about the dangers of flip-flops. Born Reta, Birkenstock Gizeh, Ahnu Serena.

Row 3
Flatforms give you a comfortable yet modern option for your travel outfits. Flatforms provide a little bit of height without sacrificing comfort. They go well with summer dresses and skirts a give a little edge to your outfits. Pair them with a culotte for a fun, breezy travel look. Gentle Souls Josie Platform Sandal, The Flexx Sun Tropez Platform Sandal, Ecco Damara Leather Sandal.

Row 4
Complement your summer travel outfits with a metallic sandal. They function as a neutral yet add an interesting element to neutral travel outfits. Ecco Flash Huarache Sandal, Born Mardel, Born Mardel, Ahnu Maia Sandals.

Row 5
It’s always a good idea to include a dressy pair of shoes in your travel wardrobe. A “walkable” wedge that isn’t too high can be a versatile option for day to night travel activities. I purchased the Clark’s Auriel Fin in Gold and I’ve found them to be comfortable and they’ve already served me well on a Girl’s weekend getaway. Kork-Ease Myrna 2.0 sandal, Naot Cymbal Sandal.

Row 6
If you want the look of a sandal without having your toes exposed you’ll want to look at a closed-toe sandal. A hybrid of a flat and a sandal the Ahnu Tullia would look darling with summer dresses, Spring Step Lizzie, Kork-Ease Meegan.

Row 7
If you’re travel activities involve outdoorsy activities or if you’re traveling to a casual, outdoorsy destination consider packing a sport sandal. A dark neutral color and thin staps keep the Jambu Lunar from looking too sporty and you can wear them with shorts, sporty skorts or maxi skirts. For light hiking activities look for a sport sandal with a closed toe like the Keen Rose to protect them from getting stubbed on rocks. Water activities require a waterproof shoe that will stay secure on your foot, Chaco Z Volv X.

Check out my Pinterest Board for ideas on how to style your travel sandals.

Packing Light Summer Checklist


Packing for a Spring trip presents a few challenges because the weather can go from cold to warm to rainy. When you are planning your spring travel outfits pack lightweight layers to help you get through the unpredictable weather. You can add or take away these layers as the weather changes.

In the Spring Travel Capsule I posted yesterday I offered several layering options with the 12 piece capsule: 1 Trench Coat, 1 raincoat, 1 open caridigan, 1 open knit pullover sweater, 1 draped jacket, 1 Long Sleeve Tee Shirt, 1 Short Sleeve Tee Shirt, 1 Long Sleeve Blouse, 1 Short Sleeve Blouse, 1 Jean, 1 Black Pant, 1 Dress. Here’s some ideas for just a few of the outfit combinations you can put together (clothing details can be found in yesterday’s post). The outfit possibilities extend beyond this I just wanted to visually show how many versatile outfits you can get out of a 12 piece travel capsule wardrobe.

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Happy Travels!

Grab my FREE Spring Carry-On Travel Checklist here!


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Spring travel requires versatile clothing that can help you adapt to quickly changing weather situations. Crisp mornings may warm up or stay cool depending on where you visit. Layers help keep you warm and give you lots of outfit options. This 12 piece capsule includes some dressy options. Just take these as suggestions to help you build your spring travel wardrobe. If you are visiting somewhere rainy, you may want to consider pair of waterproof booties like these in addition to a waterproof outer layer like the jacket shown in the capsule. You don’t want a little rain slowing you down.

The neutral palette makes it easy to add in splashes of color here and there. Adjust your palette to suit your taste and destination but I find it easier to mix and match with a base set of neutrals to work with. In order to pack light choose lightweight knits and synthetic fabrications. Refer to my How to Pack Light post for more packing light suggestions.

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I’ve gone in depth about my love affair with the trench so of course I thought I’d include it in this Spring Capsule. It’s the ultimate in versatility and light enough for warm spring weather. If a trench isn’t your thing an olive green parka is a modern classic, check out this one or this one. Classic cotton trench coat.

Wind/Rain Resistant Layer
The Marmot Precip Jacket shown above provides breathable protection from spring rains and windy days and can be layered over your lightweight layers. If your destination does not call for rain you can of course leave off this item but I generally pack a raincoat just in case.

Draped Jacket
Draped jackets offer a slightly less structured silhouette than a blazer yet still look dressed up. A draped jacket can dress up jeans and a tee shirt or add a finishing layer to blouses or dresses. Black Waterfall Structured Jacket.

Open Knit Sweater
An open knit sweater will keep you warm but with a slightly looser weave it won’t overheat you once the weather warms up. It can be layered over a tee and paired with the trench or draped jacket. Open Knit Sweater.

Open Cardigan
A cardigan adds to your layering and outfit options. Layer a cardi over a tee shirt with jeans and you’ve got a comfortable airplane outfit. Top it off with a trench and you add a bit of jet-set chic to your comfy traveling outfit. Dolman Sleeve Cardigan.

Long Sleeve Tee Shirt
Nothing beats a good tee shirt for layering. Look for fabrications like this top that are all synthetic so it won’t take up much room in your suitcase. Layer it under the cardigan or sweater as part of your airplane ensemble. Dolman Sleeve Tee shirt.

Short Sleeve Tee
A nice pop of color keeps your functional travel wardrobe from looking too dull. This tee pairs nicely with travel sneakers and layers easily under the trench. V-neck classic top.

Day to Night Dress
If you need to dress up during your travels you can choose a dress specifically for your event or try and find a multi-functional dress that can work during the day or evening. Striped Dress.

2 Scarves
Lightweight scarves can help add another warming light layer and give you another opportunity to accessorize. Bring along a scarf like the Black Crinkled Cashmere Wrap to keep you warm during a cold flight. On warm spring days go for a lightweight scarf like the Modal/Silk blend scarf shown above.

Short Sleeve Blouse
A short sleeve blouse gives you a nice option for warm spring days when you don’t have to hide under layers. Go for one that can transition from day to night if possible. Printed Tunic.

Long Sleeve Blouse
A long sleeve blouse will keep you looking dressy casual and comfortable if the temperatures haven’t warmed up yet. A neutral print can be worn with jeans or pants and worn with the Draped Jacket for a more dressed up look. Long Sleeve Blouse.

An all purpose tote can serve as your personal carry-on bag and your day bag during your travels. Make sure you get one with a zipper for a little added security. A small clutch takes up barely room in your suitcase and will help complete dressy and casual/dressy outfits. Tote, Clutch.

2 Pants
Dark wash jeans are versatile and can be dressed up or down and for this capsule can be combined with all 3 footwear options. This particular pair from Zara is cotton blended with modal so they will be more lightweight than typical jeans. If your activities call for a smart casual or dressed up look, pack a pair of black pants. Or you can always add in another dress or skirt for dressy outfits. If your travel activities are on the casual end, another pair of jeans can be packed instead.

3 Pairs of Shoes
As long as you’ve planned your travel wardrobe carefully you shouldn’t need more than 3 pairs of shoes. Depending on your destination and the type of trip you’re taking you will probably need a good pair of walking shoes. Luckily sneakers are having a “fashion moment” and can be incorporated into travel outfits without looking too touristy, check out my Pinterest Board for styling ideas. The sneakers shown are the Nike Internationalist from J. Crew. The Cut-out booties shown above have a transitional feel to them and they work well in warm or cooler spring weather and give you more of a dressy/casual look. If you’ve packed dressier looks, a shoe like the “Now” open toe bootie from Steve Madden provide a nice alternative to pumps.

Later this week I’ll provide ideas on different outfit options using this Spring Capsule. What are your biggest struggles in packing for Spring?

Here’s a free Spring Carry-On Travel Checklist to get you started!



A trench can go beyond basic travel outerwear to becoming a style statement with a few tips and tricks. Its classic shape and silhouette adapts itself to just about anything in your wardrobe. This makes it a great Travelista Essential and a good item to include in your travel wardrobe. If you haven’t already looked at my guide on the 6 Best Trench Coats for Travel check it out to find out which style works best for you.

A trench works best in Fall and Spring weather and in the in between transitional seasons. Look at the weather of your destination to make a final determination. A trench coat easily gets you through European travel or travel to large cities but may not work in more casual cultural climates or during rainy season travel (unless your trench is waterproof).

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General Styling Tips
* Popping the collar of your trench adds extra drama and it’s a good look for evening activities.
* Scrunch your sleeves for a casual, effortless look.
* On warmer days you can leave your trench coat open and tie it in the back.
* If you do wear the trench coat closed, tie the belt instead of buckling it.
* A scarf pairs well with a trench and can give you added warmth, tuck the scarf into the belt for a different look.
* If you wear it tied in front, leave a small gap to show off your outfit and add a casual vibe.

There’s certain clothing combinations that transcend age and time. These classic combinations should leave you feeling confident and pulled together no matter your travel situation. Combining a stripe top, jeans and leopard flats with your trench provides you a good starting point to planning a travel wardrobe. A nice white button down gives that same classic and pulled together feel. Personalize your look with a scarf and accessories. Striped Top, Jeans, Leopard Flats, White Shirt.

If your travel agenda involves activities that require being dressed up your trench can do double duty. Combine your trench with classics like a little black travel dress or a black trousers and a dressy top and look pulled together without having to pack an extra jacket. Black Dress, Wedge Heels, Black Top, Black Trousers.

Let’s say you want to be comfortable in transit without looking too sloppy. You can do that by just throwing on your trench coat. That’s the beauty of the trench coat, you can wear comfortable layers underneath yet still look like you put some effort into your outfit. If you like a comfortable and casual airplane outfit a trench will still keep you looking pulled together. Wearing your trench in transit also helps save suitcase room. Winning! Gray Tee, Boyfriend Jeans, Vans Slip-On Sneaker, Chambray (Lyocell) Top.

I’m always looking for travel outfits that can transition from day to evening activities. Skirts paired with your trench provide a nice dressy casual look that can get you through the day. You can go with a flattering A-line shape or a slimmer style, just make sure the length isn’t too short and you feel comfortable. Gingham Shirt, Skirt, Cut-out booties, Button Down Blouse, Skirt, Cut-out Booties.

It may not seem to be a likely pairing but your bohemian looks can work with your trench coat. The trench provides a nice style counterpoint to your rocker tees, distressed denim and boho blouses. Tee, Black Jeans, Cut-out booties, Blouse, Cut-offs, Birks.

If you want even more styling ideas check out my Pinterest Board on Trench Coat Travel Style. I also found lots of trench street style pics on the Burberry Site, Art of the Trench. Happy Packing!

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Do you want to look chic and pulled together on your next trip? Of course you do! Here’s the secret – pack a trench coat. The Trench Coat, I could write a whole book about it and it is most definitely a Travelista Essential. You could throw it over any outfit and look pulled together and effortlessly chic. If you don’t want to concern yourself too much about your travel outfits just make sure you wear your trench and a scarf and you’ll be set.

A trench coat works wonderfully for Spring or Fall weather travel. A trench coat will also get you through the tricky transitional time in between seasons. Being smart with your travel layers helps you get the most out of your trench. In cooler weather layer your trench over long sleeves or a sweater. In warmer weather layer over tees, short sleeve tops, blouses and even sleeveless tops. Remember to wear your coat on travel days to minimize bulk in your suitcase and you will look oh so jet-setty going through the airport.

While the trench coat works in many travel situations it won’t work for all of them. For instance I wouldn’t pack it for rainy season travel (you will need truly waterproof outerwear) or in countries where the cultural climate requires a more casual style like some South Asian countries. However, it is perfect for travel to large or cosmopolitan cities and European travel.

The kind of trench you select is all based on your style. I’ve shown several different takes on the classic and you can select one based on your own taste and what works best with your travel needs and wardrobe. The beauty of this style is that you can find affordable versions of the trench at stores like Target or Old Navy and of course the price points go up from there to the luxury classic Burberry.

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Classic Camel Trench
When you think of a trench coat you think of this coat – double breasted, belted in a camel or khaki color. This versatile shape can be styled a multitude of ways. One style note is to never buckle the belt, tie it closed instead. Classic cotton trench coat

Modern Trench Coat
This season I’ve noticed retailers offering a softer more modern approach to the Trench Coat. The version shown above has a zippered closure instead of buttons for a more streamlined look yet the cut is somewhat drapey for a more casual feel. Modern Zip Trench.

Waterproof Trench Coat
If you’re traveling to a rainy destination a waterproof Trench Coat will keep you comfortable and dry. A hood offers a little extra rain protection as well. Keep an option like this in mind if you are traveling in multiple climates. Columbia Pardon My Trench Rain Jacket.

Dark Trench Coat
No need to stick to a light colored Trench coat, there are plenty of dark colors or even bright colors to choose from. A dark trench may be more practical since it’s less likely to show dirt. My camel trench has a few stubborn spots that I’ve been unable to remove because it’s gotten a lot of wear over the years. For travel I would stick to darker neutral tones like black, navy or olive. The Trench Coat shown above from Madewell features a synthetic blend of poly/viscose and spandex (as opposed to heavy cotton) so it’s easily packable. Madewell Travel Trench Coat.

Flowy Trench Coat
A soft and drapey silhouette for the Classic Trench appears to be becoming more popular. This version of the Trench definitely gives off that effortless vibe. Refer to my Pinterest Board on Trench Coats for ideas on how to style a flowy trench coat. Flowy trench.

Cropped Trench Coat
A modern take on the Trench the crop Trench is perfect for spring. This is an easy to throw on layer that’s best suited for wearing over pants or jeans. Short Cotton Rain Coat.

You can find trench coats just about everywhere right now. As I mentioned above Target and Old Navy have affordable versions. Other places to look are Gap, Banana Republic, H&M, Asos, Forever 21, Nordstrom, Macy’s, ShopBop and REI and for more technical versions of a trench coat. You can also check out your local consignment stores or ebay for some good deals.

Tomorrow I’ll offer tons of styling ideas for wearing your trench during travel, ok maybe not tons but 16 ways to style your trench. Please take a look at my Pinterest board for trench coat travel style inspiration.

I’m no fashion blogger type model by any means but here’s a photo of me and my trench coat in action in Barcelona. The trench served me well during a spring trip with temperatures in the 50’s in the morning and warming up slightly through the day.

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Cold Weather Travel Series : A series of posts about the particular challenges of traveling during cold weather and how to address them while still packing light and looking fabulous.

This recent bout of cold weather has inspired me to put together a cold weather travel packing capsule. The Travelista goal is always to pack light and look fabulous, which means a smart capsule wardrobe that fits in a carry-on bag or travel backpack. Packing for cold weather doesn’t have to mean big bulky layers which hog up suitcase space. Understanding the techniques and principles of functional layering you will learn how to keep warm without the bulk. Check out my Guide to Cold Weather Layering for a super long explanation of layering.


Weatherproof Outer Layer
Your outerwear provides you the most protection against the elements and is your most visible layer so consider making an investment in outer wear that you love and is suitable for your travel needs.

Your outer layer can be a classic or fashion forward coat or you can go the functional route with a lightweight technical jacket that can repel water and wind and insulate you against cold weather. The choice is up to you depending on your travel needs and destination. My feeling is that outerwear should be determined first by the weather of your destination and secondly the style of your destination.

Those traveling through multiple climates or long-term travelers may want to consider going the functional route, check out my guide to Cold Weather Layering for more detailed recommendations.

Shown above the LL Bean Classic Lambswool 3/4 coat provides plenty of warmth for cold weather, urban excursions in big cities where stylish dressing is the norm. If classic is not your thing, go for something edgier just make sure it will keep you warm. The disadvantage of wool coats is that they are bulky and will not protect you from all the elements. If you are only expecting cold weather and doing short term travel then a wool coat should suit your needs.

The Marmot Precip Jacket shown above provides breathable protection from rain and wind and can be layered over insulating, mid or even base layers. Another outdoor technical jacket (shown above) that also serves as great weatherproof outer layer or insulating layer is the Patagonia Nano Puff. Its ability to withstand getting wet combined with its lightweight compressibility make it a versatile option for those needing to pack light. The fit is also flatteringly cut close to the body while still allowing lightweight layers underneath. With technical outerwear stick with dark neutrals to downplay their sporty vibe. If you value function over fashion, a technical outer layer is the way to go. Travel backpackers and long term travelers will also benefit from the lightweight functionality of outdoor technical outerwear.

Insulating Layers
Insulating layers are your next level of protection against cold weather. Breathable materials like wool provide the most lightweight possible insulating layer. With proper layering you are layering light, thin knits over each other as opposed to bulky thick layers. In extreme cold weather you could add an additional insulating layer like the Patagonia Nano Puff jacket for further warmth. The J.Crew Relaxed Merino Sweater provides a versatile, lightweight merino wool layer that goes from day to night in a timeless style. For a casual, comfortable travel look the Athleta Merino Soma sweater can comfortably take you from the plane directly to casually chic sightseeing.

Mid and Base Layers
Your mid-layers as far as travel is concerned will be will be tees, tops, blouses or buttondowns that are layered over your base layers. If you’re trying to get the most effectiveness out of your layers it’s best to stay away from cotton materials and go with breathable synthetic materials instead. The air released from your mid layer is captured by your insulating layer. Shown above is a long sleeve H&M blouse that is 100% rayon which is breathable and can be part of a day to night travel outfit. A more casual top option is the Zara Striped Boat neck top. A dress like the Athleta Solitude Sweater Dress gives you a nice option if need to look a little more dressed up during travel, the merino wool material will provide a cozy warm layer. When planning mid-layers a casual and a dressed up option give you plenty of travel outfit combinations especially considering you are adding sweaters and coats to the mix.

The final and most hardest working layer will be your base layer. It will be your first layer and it’s job is to help regulate your body temperature by keeping your skin dry. The type of base layer I recommend is a lightweight wool base layer. Refer to my Guide to Cold Weather Layering for more on the different types of base layers. Shown above are the Icebreaker Siren Sweetheart Top and the Icebreaker Everyday Leggings.

Choose footwear that not only looks good but that can withstand winter elements like getting wet. Shoes like the Sorel Toronto Lace look great with jeans with a wedge heel that is comfortable yet can easily take you from day to night. They have the added benefit of being waterproof so you’ll be prepared for whatever the weather brings. The Merrel Captiva Boots shown above are waterproof and look great tucked into skinny jeans or worn with leggings and a dress. I really like a sneaker for travel and these simple Nikes provide a sporty chic option for cold weather outfits.

A simple black tote that can carry your daily necessities and an Ipad will serve your travel needs. The SmartWool Copper Basin Slouch hat made of merino wool will help you retain heat in cold weather. If you’re not wanting to give yourself hat head to keep warm, try some ear warmers like these. The Brixton Dakota Scarf and the Athleta Boucle Scarf add texture and warmth to your cold weather travel ensemble. In cold weather I like gloves that are tech compatible and these SmartWool Stella Ridge gloves fit the bill. Just as with your base layer, you want wicking materials for your socks and SmartWool socks keep your tootsies warm.

What’s your favorite way to stay warm and still look good?