For most women, traveling light is a challenge. Our rule: every piece must be able to multitask. Limit your color palette, opt for solids or simple prints, and choose items that can be layered. And always look for wrinkle-free fabrics. Stick to these strategies and you may never have to check a bag again.

By Travel + Leisure
May 12, 2009

1. A basic dress will work wonders

Choose a solid color that can transition easily from day to night and will coordinate with other items in your wardrobe.

2. Three pairs of pants is all you need

Denim can be dressed up or down—especially darker washes. Black pants are another travel staple. They go with almost everything, and they don't get as dirty as other colors. And why not take your yoga pants beyond the studio: when paired with a cardigan, knit top, and ballet flats, they can be worn during the day.

3. Top it off

Bring a stylish top—it’s a quick way to create a chic outfit. You can also layer it under a cardigan for a more casual daytime look.

4. Stock up on simple long- and short-sleeved T’s

They’re great basics that can be layered under almost anything or worn on their own.

5. You can’t go wrong with a white shirt

A simple button-down works anywhere—on a gallery visit or for a night on the town.

6. Accessorize

Have fun with your jewelry, which doesn’t take up much space, yet makes every outfit seem new. Also, don’t underestimate the value of a belt. Just as jewelry will spice up an outfit, it can create a new look.

7. Limit yourself to three pairs of shoes

That’s it: a pair of flats, sensible heels to go out at night, and athletic shoes for exercise and pounding the pavement.

8. Embrace a cardigan

It can help transform an outfit. Lightweight knit cashmere travels best. A shawl will work, too. You can wear it on the plane, and it can be used as an evening wrap or accent piece.

9. And lastly, don't let your suitcase weigh you down

Make sure your bag is light enough to lift into the overhead.

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