This blog post was updated on August 5, 2021.

Many packing lists tend to sacrifice fashion in the name of efficiency and practicality, praising those clunky hiking boots and convertible pant-short options. They urge the traveler to toss fashion out the window so that space is used effectively. All that advice is solid, but you still want to look cute in all those travel photos you’ll be taking! You don’t have to wear a potato sack around the world if you want to pack well while traveling. Even if you want to travel light, you can still be fashionable too. Here’s how to pack like a traveling fashionista, without even having to check your luggage!

Select Fabrics That Like To Travel

Woman wondering how to pack so she doesn't have to iron clothing

Perhaps nothing is more unfashionable than sightseeing and looking like you just fell out of a suitcase. Wrinkled clothing doesn’t convey a refined look, but when there’s no hotel iron to be found, sometimes it’s your only option. For a more put-together look, fabric selection is key. By selecting the right fabrics for travel, you ensure that you won’t look like an unmade bed after (or during!) your cheap round trip flights, or worse, never wear half the clothes you brought because they are too wrinkled. Some fabrics like to travel more than others such as polyesters, nylon, Lycra, and knits.

Base Your Packing List Around Classic Pieces

Woman who knows how to pack with closet basics

To travel fashionably yet smartly, classic pieces should make their way into your bag. You won’t scream tourist if you stick to tried and tested looks. A white t-shirt, trench coat, black knit pants, and a crisp blouse are classics that don’t go out of style and will enhance your look no matter what you put with them. If you’re concerned about blending in at your destination, learning how to pack classic pieces will make it easier to avoid the tourist label.

Only Pack Items That You Can Wear More Than Once

Traveler who knows how to pack using versatile clothing

To travel in style, it’s essential to pack items that you can wear in different ways and more than once. You don’t have to lug your whole closet around the world to pull this off! Packing multipurpose items is easy to achieve if you set a few colors for your trip and mix in neutrals to round out your look. This step creates more outfit combinations without actually packing so many separate pieces!


How to accessorize

Many travelers make the mistake of packing too much clothing in an attempt to be fashionable, but really, you can save on space but still be stylish by carefully selecting the right accessories to bring. For example, a statement necklace can turn a plain black t-shirt from day to night in an instant, without having to take up a lot of space in your bag. A colorful scarf can make an otherwise humdrum sightseeing look a bit more polished. By carefully selecting your accessories, you can create different outfits without having to bring more clothing. Not only will you save valuable space in your luggage if you wear the jewelry, but you’ll also avoid the messy tangling that can happen when your jewelry pieces get jostled around in your luggage. Wearing your jewelry on the plane can also prevent you from losing it. At the end of the day, it’s simply safer to keep your jewelry with you as you travel.

Related: How to Tame Your Inner Hot Mess and Be a More Organized Traveler

Foldable Flats For the Win

How to wear flats on vacation

More and more companies make foldable flats. As shoes can be one of the biggest space hoarders, foldable flats can save a great deal of space in your suitcase. At the same time, you don’t have to sacrifice your fashion sense when you bring them. Travel fashionistas can pack a simple black or nude-colored pair to go with every sort of outfit. Foldable flats also make it possible to bring more than one pair. You can always bring a pair in a pop of color to jazz up an otherwise boring outfit!

Put a Layer of Tissue Paper Between Your Clothes

Tissue paper can be an invaluable addition to your suitcase. This material works great if you’re looking to keep your clothes free of static and wrinkles. Start by lining the bottom of the suitcase with a layer of tissue paper. You can then put a sheet in between all of the clothing essentials. Not only will the paper keep static at bay, but it will help to prevent wrinkling. You’ll be relieved to arrive at your destination knowing that you don’t have to iron all of your clothes. You can also wrap the tissue around your shoes if you worry that they’ll get your other clothes dirty. Also, tissue paper will keep jewelry and other small accessories from damaging your clothing.

Pick a Neutral or Monochrome Theme

How to pack a monochrome outfit for

You will have an easier time packing and looking your best on your trip if you choose a neutral or monochrome color theme for the wardrobe that you bring along. Rather than bringing a hodgepodge of colors that might not match each other, choosing a neutral color palette will ensure that you’re able to mix and match separate pieces more easily. If you don’t want to go neutral, consider a monochrome theme to give your wardrobe pairings more versatility. For example, choosing a gray color theme will give you the flexibility to add in shades of blue, yellow, and more. A monochrome theme will also allow you to make sure everything matches without it being overly similar.

Use a Suitcase with Internal Flattening Straps and a Compression Pad

Your choice of luggage will have a significant impact on how well your wardrobe travels. To prevent wrinkling and to maximize space, we recommend using a suitcase with internal flattening straps paired with a compression pad. This will keep your clothing flat and compressed so that you can fit more items into your suitcase. A compression pad is particularly useful if you frequently pack bulky clothing items. As a bonus, it will keep your clothing from shifting and wrinkling during travel. Additionally, the pad will aid in your efforts to keep your luggage organized.

What other fashion-friendly packing tips would you add to the list? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!

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About The Author

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at