The fine art of packing elegantly


In old Hollywood movies of 20th century, travelers would hop on ships and trains accompanied by steamer trunks. These trunks were not only large enough to carry extensive wardrobes, they were big enough to carry a full human.

The trunks allowed travelers to change up their look at whim.

These days, however, the size of permitted carry-on luggage is getting smaller and smaller. Forget about fitting an entire human in this luggage, many of today’s carry on bags barely carry a couple of loaves of bread.

And with most airlines charging extra for carry-ons as well as checked luggage (and weight overages), wardrobe whim is but a memory.

The key when you travel on your vacation is to pack small and smart.

So when you go shopping for your holiday, rather than anticipating about covering every possibility, think versatility when gathering your wardrobe. Think switch and shift. Bring separates that you can mix and match to change up your appearance. Consider dresses that with some creative use of accessories can be transformed from casual daywear to dressy club gear. And shop for clothes that you might be able to launder at the hotel, or wear for a second day (skirts and slacks work best for this). For footwear, keep it simple and versatile. For day, sandals will go with anything. For night, consider a pair of nude colored pumps since they will match anything (if you plan accordingly). And for comfort, it just makes sense to wear your athletic shoes on the plane (they’re easier to remove in the security line).

Also, given the restrictions on luggage size, consider packing pieces that are no muss and no fuss. To save space in the suitcase, roll up your garments tightly rather than lying them flat. This opens up considerable space. However, to do this, consider durable fabrics that won’t wrinkle. Denims, cotton with poly blends, and jersey should all survive this style of packing.

If you really need some additions to the wardrobe, remember, you can always go shopping and fill in the gaps. And when it comes time to return home, you can always ship the dirty laundry back home via your favorite parcel carrier, pack your new purchases, and still live within the limits of airline luggage restrictions.


Here model Maddy Wooding wears some fashionable vacation worthy outfits from Simply Vera Vera Wang and Princess Vera Vera Wang. (Available at all Kohl’s stores or

Makeup by Brittany Monico Martin of Forever Flawless Artistry.

Location: Bristol, Conn.

Photography: Mike Chaiken