How to Build a Stylish Yet Functional Travel Wardrobe

Including layerable sweaters, wrinkle-resistant pants, comfy shoes, and more.

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Sweater, tote, slip on shoes
Photo: Courtesy of Retailers as Credited

When you're traveling, whether that's on a multi-state road trip or a transatlantic flight, comfort is an obvious must, although feeling cozy doesn't mean you have to compromise on style. With the right combination of basics and statement pieces, you can easily build a travel wardrobe that will take you from the tarmac to your destination's hottest cocktail bar, no outfit change required.

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The key to a good travel wardrobe is versatility. Opt for layerable tops and sweaters, staple jackets that you can dress up or down, stylish yet comfortable shoes you can walk in for hours, and scarves you can wear multiple ways. As far as fabrics go, you can never go wrong with cotton, cashmere, and other breathable blends, as well as performance fabrics, such as the Warpstreme material from Lululemon, which offers a sleek look and resists wrinkles.

Keep reading for some of our favorite comfy, functional pieces to add to your travel wardrobe.

Versatile Travel Wrap: Quince Mongolian Cashmere Wrap

Quince Mongolian Cashmere Wrap in Black
Courtesy of Quince

Whether you use it as a blanket on the plane or a scarf once you've reached your destination, you won't regret adding a soft cashmere travel wrap to your travel wardrobe. We love this pick from Quince, which measures 86 inches by 25.5 inches and can be worn multiple ways.

To buy: onequince.com, $100

Wrinkle-resistant Pants: Lululemon Warpstreme High-rise Joggers

Lululemon Warpstreme High-Rise Jogger 7/8 Length
Courtesy of Lululemon

If you're looking for a pair of pants that are as comfortable as your favorite sweatpants while still offering a polished look, these joggers from Lululemon are the way to go. They're made from the brand's Warpstreme fabric, which is stretchy, quick-drying, breathable, wrinkle-resistant, and retains its shape after all-day wear.

To buy: lululemon.com, from $79 (originally $128)

Layerable Top: Everlane Pima Micro-rib Turtleneck

Everlane The Pima Micro-Rib Turtleneck
Courtesy of Everlane

No matter the time of year, layering is key to staying comfortable while traveling, whether you're boarding a long flight or going in and out of air-conditioned museums all day. Everlane offers a variety of soft cotton t-shirts, tanks, and other tops that you can wear with just about anything, including this ribbed turtleneck that comes in seven colors.

To buy: everlane.com, $40

Statement-making Sweater: La Ligne Stripe Half Zip Merino Wool Sweater

Nordstrom Stripe Half Zip Merino Wool Sweater LA LIGNE
Courtesy of Nordstrom

A bold sweater is another year-round essential since you can throw it on over any outfit to add a little warmth. In the winter, opt for cashmere or merino wool, like this half-zip option from La Ligne. For the warmer months, go for cotton or a lightweight cashmere knit that will offer just enough coverage while remaining easily packable.

To buy: nordstrom.com, $295

Wardrobe Staple Jacket: Marc New York Elongated Leather Jacket

Nordstrom Elongated Leather Moto Jacket MARC NEW YORK
Courtesy of Nordstrom

A leather jacket is a timeless piece that you can wear with just about anything, so it's a must-have for both travel and everyday wear. This pick from Marc New York has a bit of a longer cut, so it's easy to layer with, allowing you to build endless outfit combinations.

To buy: nordstrom.com, $300 (originally $425)

Airport-friendly Slip-on Shoes: Birdies The Starling Flats

Birdies The Starling Latte Suede
Courtesy of Birdies

Slip-on shoes will help you navigate the airport with ease, especially when they provide plenty of cushioned support like this pair from Birdies. These flats are available in 17 colors and patterns, so you'll be sure to find at least one that fits your travel style.

To buy: birdies.com, $130

Walkable, Weather-resistant Boots: Blondo Hallie Booties

Nordstrom Hallie Bootie BLONDO
Courtesy of Nordstrom

If you're headed to a cold-weather destination, opt for a pair of slip-on, weather-resistant boots. This pair from Blondo can easily be dressed up or down since they're made from sleek black leather, while a fabric panel makes the boots comfortable to take on and off.

To buy: nordstrom.com, $150

Carry-all Tote: Away The Longitude Tote

Away The Longitude Tote in Navy Leather
Courtesy of Away

A stylish and also functional carry-on bag can be hard to find, although this tote from Away does it all. It's made from supple leather and comes with a 13-inch laptop pocket, a detachable zippered pouch, and a removable luggage strap that allows you to secure the bag on top of a rolling suitcase.

To buy: awaytravel.com, $195

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