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What To Pack When Flying For The Holidays

Megan Dacus |
December 7, 2012 | 9:38 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

(Accessories liven up any outfit and don't take up space- twitpic)
(Accessories liven up any outfit and don't take up space- twitpic)

If you’re planning on only taking a carry-on, which is my current situation, I recommend wearing layers on the plane. That way, your suitcase won’t be too full and you’ll be able to carry more. Also, unless you are a master at mixing colors, try and leave your clothes to a similar color palette with a few pops of gold or red for the holidays, so you can mix and match all your pieces.


A great trick to packing light is accessories, so when packing do not leave out statement jewelry, scarves, hats, gloves, or belts because those can completely change an outfit with small tweaks and be very useful when not able to bring many individual pieces. Remember to pack your undershirts, but besides that basic there are some key items that must be brought…

Winter Coat: No matter where you are headed, it's safe to assume that the winter season has brought about some chilly weather, so make sure you pack that winter coat. Trench coats and pea coats are always good options when looking to stay warm and fashionable over the holidays, but it gets hard to fit them into a suitcase. Make sure you wear this to the airport, so when you get to your destination you have more than just one outfit and a coat stuffed into your bag.


Leather jacket: The timeless leather jacket is a must-have over the winter and you can typically have one in any color, so bring the jacket that will compliment the other pieces you plan on bringing. Black or brown are always safe options depending on which hues you tend to dress in, but recently oxblood jackets have become a huge trend and really add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral outfit.


(ugly sweater parties are all the rage!-twitpic)
(ugly sweater parties are all the rage!-twitpic)
Sweaters: The winter staple. Sweaters are great because they can be worn with jackets, with layered shirts, with statement jewelry, or simply just plain. If you pack a couple of these in neutral colors and another in perhaps a metallic or pop of color, then you’ll be able to mix and match these sweaters with all your other items, so if nothing else definitely pack your knits!


Chambray shirt: This classic shirt can be jean or chambray; I tend to lean toward chambray especially in this situation, since the thinner material makes it easier to layer and alter. This shirt can be worn under sweaters, with statement jewelry, tucked in, or just plain and it seems to always make a fashion statement. This isn’t necessary, even though I recommend every woman own one, but you can use this one or our next option.


Collared blouse: The white collared blouse is something every woman should own, but for this holiday season when bringing blouses, try a different approach to have an easier time with layering and altering. You can fake a statement collar with a necklace, but I always find that in the winter I would rather layer and be warmer than just fake it with jewelry. In this case, I recommend bringing shirts with statement collars that can be worn on their own or worn underneath sweaters to make a major statement. Also, I would bring a colored or printed blouse as more of a neutral piece that can be paired with many bottoms.


Little black dress: The song sung again and again is the importance of the little black dress. If there is no other dress you plan on bringing I would say to take the LBD as an easily transformed piece. This can be dressed up or down, and is completely versatile to be worn with basically anything. Again if you cannot pack any other dress, choose the LBD. An alternative for the fashion risk takers is an oxblood dress. This color screams holiday while keeping you chic.


Printed frock: This option I realize is not for everyone, but having a casual dress that can just be thrown on with a versatile print is perfect for those days when you want to look fashionable, but just had too much holiday cheer the night before. A printed frock is a stand-alone piece, but can also be worn in many different ways, so you’ll be sure to get a lot of use out of this over your vacation.


(Maxi dress-twitpic)
(Maxi dress-twitpic)
Maxi: A piece for the more fashion forward would be the maxi dress. Now, I know maxi dresses don’t always compliment every body type, but before totally giving up on this fashion statement, try out the high-low trend and the sheer or lace maxi. Both give certain illusions that can elongate the legs and create a beautiful silhouette on any girl. I would recommend a sheer skirt for this season in a cranberry color or black hue, but also a plain jersey maxi is extremely versatile to be worn alone or mixed with many other pieces. The maxi will keep you warm and also be a great addition to anybody’s wardrobe this season.


Circle skirt: One skirt every woman should own is the feminine circle skirt. Honestly, for this one you have free reign. This skirt can be printed, colored, neutral, whatever fits your personal style, and it still adds a flirty pop to any outfit.


Colored jeans: An easy way to transform a simple, plain tee and jeans is by adding a colored statement. The color of this season is oxblood, if you have not noticed already, which is a cranberry hue that is very complimentary to the neutrals that winter tends to bring out of everybody’s closets. There are many other colors to choose from, so bring your favorite pair, just try and keep them in your color palette or at least complimentary to the other pieces you have already chosen. A great alternative for this is the jegging, its compact and comfy, so you can stay cozy this holiday season.


Scarves: One of the most fun pieces to have is a scarf. Infinity scarves, tassel scarves, square scarves, there are just so many options and each one can keep you warm, while transforming the look of an outfit. A little trick I like to do is wear a statement necklace underneath my scarf, so if you do get inside by the fire and the scarf is just too warm for you, then you’ll still have an amazing outfit even without your transformative scarf. As an extra bonus this accessory is small, so definitely pack these to change outfits without having much to pack.


Tights: One printed and one colored pair should complete your wardrobe. These can be worn to stay warm in colder areas, even under a maxi dress or jeans, but having a print, color, and plain black pair will easily make new outfits out of old skirts and dresses, so you’ll never been seen wearing the same thing. These pieces also have the added bonus of being compact, so if you really are low on space, definitely consider packing lots of these and maybe leaving those bulky jeans at home.


Heels: Just choose your favorite pair. Honestly on those days when you just need to transform an outfit into something fancy, you can throw these on. I would recommend keep the heel simple, so when wanting to add a bit of edge or elegance to a casual outfit, you can also reach into your closet and grab these heels.


Loafers: This shoe option is comfy and matches many outfits, while still being so chic. This would be my go-to shoe for the holiday season, especially since my pair is gold, but really any color or style of the loafer is fashionable and can keep a simple outfit unique and still comfy. For the less brave you can stick to ballet flats, the feminine version of the loafer, that is easy to mix and match.


Boots: Whether your boots are over-the-knee or mid-calf booties, I would recommend wearing these on the plane. No matter where you go for the holidays you should bring a pair of boots; it is a winter staple and can match with basically anything. Riding boots are still huge this season and in neutral colors can keep a plain outfit really on trend. Definitely wear these as your plane shoes; even though people may say it’s a hassle to take on and off at the airport, your suitcase will be much emptier and you’ll be thanking yourself later.


Another tip when mixing a matching your wardrobe, don’t be afraid to wear a dress tucked in as a shirt into jeans or other skirts, its an easy way to transform the look of your dress and create a whole new look. Planes tend to get cold and winter also tends to be cold, so wear all your bulky items on the plane, so you can stay warm and leave room in your suitcase for other holiday apparel. Wear your boots, with jeans, a collared blouse layered under a chunky sweater, all underneath your winter coat, because you can always take layers off that that takes bulkier items out of your suitcase to leave room for more options. Ultimately when you’re headed home for the holidays just remember to bring the pieces that you wear most and feel the most comfortable in, but don’t forget the ever so important Ugly Christmas Sweater and Sparkly New Years Dress as you’re planning our what to wear for the holidays. 


Contact reporter Megan Dacus here



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