12 Must-pack Travel Style Staples for Men and Women
Fashion trends are fun, but when it comes to traveling, you may want to think twice about taking that pale pink tulle tutu skirt that, let’s be honest, you may not even wear. And gents, it’s the same for you — unless you want to spend the extra dollars on overweight luggage, maybe reconsider those five pairs of sneakers you just put in your suitcase.
The truth is, if you want to travel light, you’ll need to pack light, and this is where wardrobe staples come in. We are talking about those timeless pieces of clothing and accessories that some might consider boring and cliché, but we’d rather call them lifesavers, especially when you’re on the road.
You may normally not think much of a simple white V-neck T-shirt, but pair it with a black skirt and wedges and you have a perfectly appropriate dinner outfit. Or wear it with a pair of well-worn jeans and sneakers and we can guarantee you’ll be comfortable during a long flight.
After all, pieces such as the Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress or Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer sunglasses have stood the test of time for a reason — they are versatile, look good, and transcend seasonal trends. They are classics.
We rounded up the must-have essentials for both men and women that will make every traveler’s life much easier, without sacrificing style, of course.
A Plain T-shirt
Everlane The Cotton V T-shirt (Right)
A simple, high-quality white T-shirt is one of the most basic yet versatile fashion items you could invest in, and at Everlane, transparent pricing won’t require you to invest much at all. Wear it with a skirt for a night out or with jeans while in transit.
To buy: everlane.com, $18
Saturdays NYC Cotton Jersey T-Shirt (Left)
The classic black T-shirt is just as important in a man's wardrobe as the LBD is for women — it’s a timeless piece that can be worn on countless occasions.
To buy: mrporter.com, $40
A Long-sleeve Shirt or Button-up
Club Room Estate Wrinkle-resistant Shirt (Left)
Gentlemen, a crisp wrinkle-resistant shirt is quite simply a lifesaver when you’re on the go.
To buy: macys.com, $60
Vince Striped Cotton Top (Right)
A classic top inspired by the iconic marinière shirt can take you from daytime to evening with ease.
To buy: niemanmarcus.com, $95
Levi’s 514 Straight Fit Men's Jeans (Left)
A pair of indigo-hued jeans can look both casual and more formal depending on the shirt you wear it with, so it’s a winner in our book.
To buy: kohls.com, $60
Levi’s 501 Women's Jeans (Right)
If you are bringing just one pair of jeans on your trip, make it the iconic 501 style — it’s functional, comfortable, and durable.
To buy: amazon.com, from $25
A Sweatshirt or Sweater
Polo Ralph Lauren Sweater (Left)
There are endless ways to wear a classic navy crew-neck sweater, which makes it the ultimate travel essential.
To buy: mrporter.com, $140
Eileen Fisher V-Neck Sweater (Right)
Made from a breathable and eco-friendly blend of organic linen and cotton, this sweater looks so elegant and modern with its V-neck cut and uneven hemline.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $168
A Wear-anywhere Dress
Diane von Furstenberg Wrap Dress
This dress is iconic for a reason — it’s flattering, easy to wear, and versatile depending on the accessories you style it with.
To buy: shopbop.com, $368
Adidas Superstar Foundation Sneaker
My Adidas Superstars have carried me through a snowy and cold Swedish winter, as well as multi-mile hikes on dusty roads in Portugal. There is no other sneaker that’s so comfortable, cool-looking (on both men and women), and high-quality.
A Packable Rain Jacket
Uniqlo Men's Reversible Parka (Left)
Who doesn’t love getting two things for the price of one? This hooded parka can be worn two ways — as a waterproof jacket or as a casual sweatshirt. It’s an absolute must for any adventure-seeking traveler.
To buy: uniqlo.com, $50
Uniqlo Women's Block Tech Coat (Right)
You can count on this weatherproof jacket to shelter you from the elements and to keep you comfy.
To buy: uniqlo.com, $80
Geox U Federico 8 Shoes (Left)
For frequent business travelers, having a comfortable, stylish, and durable pair of shoes is a must. This classic leather pair by Geox is a winner in all three categories.
To buy: zappos.com, $145
Marc Fisher LTD Anisy Pumps (Right)
These suede pumps have a timeless silhouette and are so feminine thanks to the ankle strap. The 2 ¾-inch block heel is easy on the feet, which makes them the perfect shoe for every formal occasion.
To buy: zappos.com, $170
A Travel Wrap or Scarf
Justy Cashmere Airport Wrap in Salt and Pepper
Never board a plane without a cozy wrap or scarf like this extra-long cashmere wrap — it will keep you warm whenever the cabin temperature drops.
To buy: clubmonaco.com, $297
O’Neill Hyperfreak Vista Shorts (Left)
These super stretchy board shorts have two side pockets and one on the back so you can store some of your belongings while soaking up the sun on the beach. The vibrant blue color is flattering for virtually any skin tone.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $60
J.Crew Ruched Halter One-Piece Swimsuit (Right)
An elegant one-piece swimsuit is a truly versatile piece of clothing that you can take to the beach and then pair with wide-legged pants or a skirt for a lunch-appropriate outfit.
To buy: jcrew.com, $110
A Baseball Cap
A.P.C. Louis Embroidered Cotton-piqué Baseball Cap (Left)
To keep things neutral on the road (sports team-wise), opt for this classic six-paneled cap in a solid color.
To buy: mrporter.com, $125
Madewell Baseball Cap (Right)
This cool railroad-striped cap looks chic and will shield your face from the sun.
To buy: madewell.com, $27