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packing guide

Travel

How To Pack For A Beach Vacation: 5-4-3-2-1 Method

Over the past few years, I’ve done my fare share of packing guides and lists. They’re a ton of work to put together, but oh, so worth it.

Personally, I’ve always found a visual guide helpful when I’m putting together my own suitcase — no matter what the destination. When I can see the pieces all laid out on my desktop (vs. scattered across my bed, or scrawled on a notepad) it clearly becomes evident that I really don’t need all the stuff I originally thought I did. Combinations come together effortlessly and before I know it, I have 7 days worth of outfits at the ready.

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10 Packing Essentials For A Weekend Getaway

10-packing-essentials-for-a-weekend-getaway

You know I take my packing seriously —  especially so when I’m packing for another time zone and country.

This Irish weekend getaway came together unexpectedly and rather last minute, but my packing list is assuredly solid. So while I’m off exploring Dublin and the Irish countryside, I thought I would leave you with my 10 packing essentials for a weekend getaway that will keep you organized and well dressed wherever you may be heading!

10 weekend getaway packing essentials

1. Black Blazer

This is an effortlessly chic staple to have on hand at all times regardless of where you’re going and what time of year! A black blazer can serve as an extra layer to keep you warm(er) during the day exploring, or as an easy way to dress up a basic tee or blouse. Not to mention that it’s flattering, works with virtually all of your pieces and holds up well to wrinkles.

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2. Jeans

One weekend requires one pair of jeans. Select a comfortable pair, as this is what you’re most likely to wear during the day or while actually traveling to and from your destination. The cut is up to you, but keep in mind that darker washes and more fitted silhouettes are easier to dress up at night than a baggier, distressed, boyfriend style.

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3. Versatile Pumps

Hello?! Have you invested in a quality pair of black leather/suede pumps yet?! What are you waiting for?! Before you throw any old pair of shoes into your bag, keep in mind that a trip to a new city or foreign destination is NOT the time you want to be worrying about blisters or painful footwear. If you’re selective about your shoe choices, you’ll be more likely to make the most of your time away and focus less on being uncomfortable.

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4. Comfortable Booties

I always like to have a non-sneaker casual option on hand when traveling. While athleisure and sneakers are definitely more acceptable to wear out and about all over the world, I still feel like an actual bootie is a step up in terms of style. Again, comfort is key, so select a bootie that you’ll know will keep up with your busy itinerary!

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5. Oversized Scarf

Summer, winter… it doesn’t matter. I absolutely believe in the power of an oversized scarf. The pop of pattern, texture and color is great for elevating any basic wardrobe staple and making it a stand out. Plus… I’m always cold so it’s nice to have something to get wrapped up in.

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6. Black Pants

My personal favorite choice of black pants is leather. I love having a well-fitting pair of black pants for getting dressed up at night. Although, I’ve found that I’ve been wearing my leather pants during daytime activities as well (you can find out more HERE!). Leather doesn’t wrinkle or stain easily and a good pair can be worn multiple times without stretching or sagging.

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7. Cross Body Bag

While I recommend a large tote for your actual travel day, I also suggest slipping a small cross body bag into your suitcase or tote. You’ll want to have this smaller style for days you want to be hands free, or nights when the large tote is just too bulky. I like mine in a punchy color (like my favorite pink Chloe FAYE) to add some zip to my neutrals.

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8. Fitted Dress

I am not generally a dress person, but I can’t recommend a dress enough for travel. It’s an easy 1 piece outfit option on its own, or can become a base layer for many different outfits with a bit of creative styling. I recommend a fitted or biased cut dress in a stretchy, jersey, or ribbed fabric in order to provide you with the most versatile layering piece. In addition, this type of style (jersey, ribbed, stretchy, etc.) is less likely to wrinkle when stowed in a suitcase. Double bonus.

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9. White Blouse

I’m sure you’re probably sick of me talking about this singular piece. I can’t help it… it’s that good. You can see for yourself HERE. I love my basic silk blouse for all seasons and for this trip, I’m going to be using it as a base layer to wear under sweaters and with my all time favorite DENIM JUMPER. Again.

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10. Cozy Sweater

Even during summer’s hottest months I never travel without a sweater. I generally wear mine on travel days (those airplane cabins get cold!), but I also like to have a sweater for lounging in my hotel room. A cozy sweater for the colder months is much more obvious, yet still important. I look for soft knit, slightly oversized shapes and avoid anything too fitted, or too bulky — you don’t want that sweater to take up important real estate inside your suitcase!

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We’ve covered the what of packing essentials, now here’s the HOW when it comes to getting them into your suitcase!

  • My A#1 most important rule of all — stick to a color palate. All of your items should mix and match effortlessly.
  • I start packing my bag by laying my shoes (stored in their protective dust covers) along the bottom of my bag — fill in any gaps with small items like socks, belts, underwear, etc.
  • Tightly roll your soft knits (t-shirts, sweaters, leggings, etc.) and fold your more structured pieces (blazers, jackets, pants, jeans). The rolled items should be placed on top of the shoes, with the folded items placed on top. Not only does this method ensure less wrinkles, but it also creates more space!
  • The last items that should be placed in your bag are your most delicate — blouses, dresses or anything else more likely to get wrinkled in transit.
  • I like to cover the top layer of my clothing with a clear plastic bag or dry cleaning garment bag and make sure to tuck in the edges. Not only does this keep everything secure and in place, but it also prevents any clothes from getting accidentally snagged by the suitcase zipper. You can then use that plastic bag on the return trip to store all of your dirty laundry!

(In case you were wondering, here’s my go-to airport travel outfit… #50shadesofgrey #forREAL)

10 packing essentials for a weekend getaway

What are your favorite travel tips to share?

Speaking of sharing, make sure to follow along on INSTAGRAM and TWITTER where I’ll be sharing my favorite Ireland sights, tastes (all of the Guinness, please) and style!

XOXO-signature

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Vegas, Baby: How To Pack For A Las Vegas Weekend

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I’m suffering from a serious case of #FOMO (fear of missing out).

All the ladies in the family are heading to Las Vegas this weekend to celebrate a 50th, a 40th, a 30th, AND a double 21st (twins, y’all!) birthday. For a multitude of reasons, I had to sit this one out and as expected, I’m now kicking myself for not booking the trip.

You’ll just have to pour one out for me this weekend, girls… but enough of my whining!

I’ve got a very important memo to share: How to pack for a Las Vegas weekend getaway.

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#Project333: Week #3 Recap

start packing #project333 The Heart's Delight Stella CompisenoI’m just going to lay it out… I’m tired. As much as it’s great to leave your cares behind and jet away on vacation, getting back into your normal routine is not enjoyable. Not even a little. As is the case with most regional time differences and the resultant jet lag, sleep is also not optimal at least for a few days. Basically, a pretty crappy scenario… but SOOOOO worth it! Napa Valley and San Francisco were such amazing destinations- great food, great wine, great company and great weather as a bonus. Did I mention great wine!? I’ve developed a newfound love of California Cabernets and picked up some great tricks and tips to pairing them… but that’s another post to be shared later!

As far as fashion goes, #Project333 followed me all the way to the West Coast and was an unabashed success! I was able to fit 6 days/nights of clothing in a CARRY ON. A small carry on, people. Each day getting dressed was a matter of mixing and matching all of my favorite pieces that I knew worked well together. As for the outfits, here they are in all of their glory… go ahead, admire.

#Project333- #OOTD Day #12-15

DAY #12: BCBG DRAPED TANK // Helmut Lang SWEATSHIRT // J BRAND SKINNY JEANS // Kenneth Cole SLIP ONS // Balenciaga BAG

DAY #13: ASOS MOTO JACKET (no longer available, SIMILAR)// James Perse T-SHIRT // 7 For All Mankind BOYFRIEND JEANS // Topshop CHELSEA BOOTS // ZARA SCARF // Marc Jacobs BAG (no longer available, SIMILAR)

DAY #14: Free People SWEATER (currently ON SALE!)// Helmut Lang PANTS // Topshop CHELSEA BOOTS // Halston Heritage BAG (no longer available, SIMILAR – and ON SALE!)

DAY #15: Rails LA SHIRT // 7 For All Mankind BOYFRIEND JEANS // Kenneth Cole SLIP ONS // Halston Heritage BAG (no longer available, SIMILAR– and ON SALE!)

#Project333 - #OOTD Day #16-18

DAY #16: T by Alexander Wang SHIRT // H&M DRESS // ASOS MOTO JACKET (no longer available, SIMILAR) // Kenneth Cole SLIP ONS // Halston Heritage BAG (no longer available, SIMILAR– and ON SALE!)

DAY #17: Zoe Karssen T-SHIRT // JOA Los Angeles SWEATER // 7 For All Mankind BOYFRIEND JEANS // Kenneth Cole SLIP ONS // Halston Heritage BAG (no longer available, SIMILAR– and ON SALE!)

DAY #18: T by Alexander Wang SHIRT // ASOS MOTO JACKET (no longer available, SIMILAR) // Helmut Lang PANTS // Topshop CHELSEA BOOTS // Marc Jacobs BAG (no longer available, SIMILAR)

While this recap includes my daily outfits, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to check out my more dressy dinner/cocktail looks… and a few other goodies! As for MY future… I predict a VERY early bedtime.

XOXO signature

 

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Oui, Oui, Paris! :: What to Pack for a 5-Day European Getaway

Oui, Oui, Paris! Header

Ok, I’m a total self-admitted Francophile.  I love to eat, wear, see, smell or hear anything French.  I even posted about my love for the French HERE.  So when a friend asked me to help create a Paris packing list for her upcoming June getaway with her husband, I obviously jumped on it.  In addition to my French obsession, I’m the queen of packing.  No, really.  Don’t challenge me.  I’ll take you down.

When putting this list together, there were a few factors I had to keep in mind:

1) Ideally, all of these clothes should fit in a carry-on.  I don’t do checked bags.

2) I need to plan enough outfits for 5 days, including at least 1 day trip to Versailles and 1 dressy romantic dinner.

3) The clothes needed to be suitable for typical June weather in Paris: a mid-60’s avg high temperature, with cooler nights.

Oui, Oui, Paris!

Pants:  J.Crew pixie pants / Gap sexy boyfriend jeans

Tops:  J Crew striped shirt / J Crew t shirt / Uniqlo draped blouse / Topshop striped sleeveless shell

Skirt:  Topshop scuba pleated skirt

Dress:  Topshop striped dress

Jackets:  French Connection tweed jacket / Nasty Gal anorak /American Eagle Outfitters hooded zip sweatshirt

Bags:  Clare Vivier calf hair clutch / Coach crossbody handbag

Shoes:  Zara pink pumps / Aerosoles smoking flats / Converse sneakers

Necklaces:  BaubleBar gemstone pendant / BaubleBar multi-chain statement necklace

Now, here is the fun part- mixing and matching!  Since all of the pieces in your suitcase share a color palate, coordinating is a snap.

Oui, Oui, Paris! Outfits #1-6

Oui, Oui, Paris! Outfits #7-12

Take me with you, PLEASE?!

So, tell me, what packing tips/trips do YOU have up your sleeve?

XOXO,

Stella

Style

Weekend Wanderlust

Weekend Wanderlust Header

OMG, it’s Wednesday.  Halfway done.  This week totally feels like it’s whizzing past.  In a matter of days, my hubby and I are making a “grownups-only” trip to New York for a weekend getaway.  My mom is celebrating her birthday (age not to be disclosed for fear of parental disownment!) and that’s all the excuse we needed to arrange for grandparents (THANK YOU Grandma & Poppa) to watch our brood at home, while mom and dad enjoy 72 hours sans kids.

As much as I hate the cattle herd feel of air travel these days, I am actually quite pleased to board a plane without two kids and a gigantic bag of toys, snacks and potential crisis/tantrum diversions.  Instead, I’ll be toting my growing unread stack of fashion, gossip and design magazines and of course, my trusty weekend carry-on.  There is no such thing as “checked bag” in my vocabulary.  I’ve mastered weekend packing and have it down to a science, beginning with a color theme.  In this case, black, white, grey with a few bright pops of color will do.  It’s New York City, after all.  New Yorkers love them some black.

City Weekend Packing List

Outerwear:  TIBI coat / ASOS leather motorcycle jacket

Jeans: Current/Elliott distressed boyfriend jeans

Loungewear: J.Crew skinny sweatpants / Madewell legging / Victoria’s Secret baseball shirt / Brashy Couture tee 

Dresses: Current/Elliott shirt dress / AllSaints long dress / Kirna Zabete for Target jacquard dress (no longer available)

Sweaters: Iris Ink cashmere sweater / Uniqlo merino wool turtleneck

Accessories:  Merona grey opaque tight & black ribbed tight / Adia Kibur gold chainlink necklace / Rebecca Minkoff crossbody handbag / Beanie / Love Quotes scarf

Shoes: Stuart Weitzman ‘Hitied’ heels / Ash black wedge sneakers / Alice + Olivia ‘Dina’ leather pump

City Weekend Outfits (#1-3)

City Weekend Outfits (#4-6)

The combinations are endless… and very cute! Since you can’t see, I’m actually patting myself on the back right now for a packing job well done.

How do you pack for a weekend away?  I would love to hear your tricks, tips and best practices!

XOXO,

Stella