Travel Series: A Hers Guide to Shopping for a Trip

Hi all…Margaret here with a new series we’re trying out.

Partially by choice and partially by necessity, trip planning tends to be a multi-step and multi-week or multi-month process. Given our love of travel and my love of planning trips (some may call it obsessive), we’ve decided to introduce a new, recurring series dedicated to planning for trips big and small.

We decided to start with a two-part post this month about shopping for a trip. For half of us, this topic is a source of great joy and excitement. For the other half, this topic is an unnecessary burden. Either way, it is worth a little thought in advance of a trip.

Hear me out on this one, as there are multiple reasons you may want to pick up a few new additions to your wardrobe before venturing out on your travels. My primary reason is that travel is my opportunity to express myself sartorially. Working in a traditional profession, my Monday to Friday wardrobe consists of traditional silhouettes, traditional necklines, and predictable color schemes. While I appreciate classics, I also love bright colors, pretty patterns, and feminine cuts. That’s the version of me I get to express on trips.

My favorite skirt worn in Musee Rodin gardens, Paris
The coziest sweater, cashmere cape, and OTK boots at Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado

There are plenty of other reasons too: having great pictures to hang on walls (or post to your blog), dressing in a culturally appropriate manner, not sticking out as a tourist (particularly in pickpocket heavy cities), not overpacking, being comfortable, or having clothes that travel well.

As we’re planning our big trip to Italy this summer, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a few special pieces to take with me. So…how to decide what to get?

Research where you’re going, and think about what colors will bounce against your background.

The location of your trip can be a great inspiration for what you wear. For Italy, we’re starting in Florence, heading north to lake country, and finishing in the Tuscan countryside. Each of these locations features different color palettes. For example, I know our hotel at the lake is a beautiful white building surrounded by flowering bushes in pinks, purples, and blues, which makes me lean more towards crisp whites and blushes, like this white shirtdress, or floral patterns like this pretty maxi.

And I know in Tuscany we’ll be visiting mostly medieval towns known for their tans, browns, and ochres that will be wonderful backgrounds for ivories, oranges, and yellows like this dreamy Spell and the Gypsy Collective dress.

Pick pieces that are appropriate for the activities you’ve planned.

In Florence, we’ll be visiting a lot of museums and churches and doing a bit of shopping. Because of the activities we have planned, I’ve been drawn to more structured pieces, like this great matching set and patterned dress. I’m also mindful that most churches require that visitors cover their shoulders and knees, so I’m trying to pick respectful pieces that won’t require me to put on one of the community shawls.

Invest in classics that fit in with the rest of your closet.

I’ve purchased (and re-sold at a significantly reduced price) enough trendy and improperly fitting pieces to know that it’s just not worth the money or the effort. Preparing for a trip is, oftentimes, when we take a moment to evaluate whether we have enough of something or the right something in our closet. Although in those moments, I sometimes find myself drawn to a sleeveless maxi dress or super feminine twirl-worthy dress, I usually stop myself from hitting the “Buy” button, knowing that a classic shirtdress or three-quarter sleeve midi dress will also find its way into my at-home or on the road rotation. For example, I could see myself wearing this sweet dress equally as much on a day trip to San Gimignano as to a weekend brunch in Denver.

Buy fabrics that travel well…not just fabrics that won’t wrinkle.

Buying fabrics that travel well means buying clothes that pack well, unpack well, and don’t take up too much space in your suitcase. It also means buying clothes that will keep you warm if you’re going somewhere cold, or fabrics that will keep you cool if you’re going somewhere warm.

In researching the areas of Italy where we’re going, I know the average temperatures are in the low to mid 80s for our time of year. While that is a perfectly wonderful temperature if you’re sitting by a beach or at a pool, it may get a little warm walking around busy city streets and tourist filled towns. I want natural fabrics (aka not polyester) to keep me comfortable along the journey. Yes, natural fabrics (cotton, silk, linen) often come at a slightly higher price point, but they’re also more comfortable and more wearable. (As a side note, natural fabrics also tend to stay cleaner (read – less smelly) than non-natural fabrics, meaning you can get multiple wears out of them before washing/dry cleaning).

Some of my favorite Italy approved, travel well items – this silk and cotton floral mini dress (I know the price tag invokes the wide eye emoji, but everything else invokes the double heart eye emoji) or this linen belted button-front dress.

Next up, I’ll tackle some favorites for men’s travel style. Also, I know not everyone loves fashion and clothes as much as I do, so if there are any other topics on which you’d like me to share the things I learned from my mistakes (trust me…I have made a LOT of travel mistakes), feel free to leave suggestions in the comments section. And thanks, as always, for stopping by!

20 thoughts on “Travel Series: A Hers Guide to Shopping for a Trip

  1. I love you do this…. I pull the same linen dress and Tory Burch sandals for every trip!! And then end up wearing hiking boots, T-shirtโ€™s and flips. Iโ€™m not quite there planning a full on culinary or cultural trip. Iโ€™ll get there at some point ๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The planning process always gets me so excited for the actual trip. Plus…always fun to find something new and shiny to wear!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely photos! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All these dresses are so lovely! I still can’t bring myself to wearing dresses on the trips ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a unique decision. I live in dresses and skirts at home and traveling, so it’s the most comfortable option for me. The amazing thing with fashion is it’s all about what you love!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That is such an informative post. Thank you for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice dresses in a beauty woman

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this! I donโ€™t pack the same things for every trip as I try to get in to what I think the vibe may be for where we go. I may be cliche, but it works for me! I dress in more earthy colours in the Grand Canyon and in Santorini I tend to dress in blues and whites. When in the Carolinas I wear more florals! Itโ€™s fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to know I am not the only one! Those all sound like perfect combinations!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I simply love your favourite skirt. It makes you look beautiful. ๐Ÿ‘Œ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s still one of my favorite things in my closet!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So Margaret, you know what could be super fun??? To make something for your trip!! A cape is really easy (it was the first travel piece I ever made…… its versatile, you can wear it on the plane and it is and easy to pack) or a skirt or easy sundress (Italy gets sooooo hot!). It takes your travel wardrobe to a whole new level!!!!.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great suggestion! It would be so fun to style something I made myself!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you so much for sharing the handy tips for the packing. This is so informative. My type of packing is usually comfortable tees and trousers but with some variations. Amazing photos! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for the comment! We are so glad you found it helpful!


  10. Lovely tips. I also like to buy at least one item in the country I am visiting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It really can create a lasting memory!

      Liked by 1 person

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