If I was going on a weeklong sightseeing trip to a large city—say, New York, Paris or Vancouver—here are the clothes and accessories I would pack. Unless you’re a toiletry fiend, you should be able to fit all of them in a small suitcase and a carry-on tote.
Packing list: Clothing
1. 1 blazer
2. 1 dress (not too formal but can still be worn to a nice dinner)
3. 1 pair of dark-wash jeans (no rips)
4. 1 pencil skirt
5. 1 pair of long shorts, Bermuda shorts or capri pants
6. 1 light denim or leather jacket (if you’re visiting a somewhat unpredictable climate)
7. 3 T-shirts
8. 1 long-sleeved shirt
In terms of colour palette, I would choose neutral hues (a mix of white, black, tan and denim). I would then add one accent colour; for these outfits, I chose red, which you can see in the striped T-shirt and the cross-body bag below. A neutral palette with only one accent colour means every single piece below goes with every other piece.
Clockwise from top left: Talula Kent blazer, $85, aritzia.com. Striped T-shirt, $12, joefresh.com. Collared top, $40, zara.com. Pencil skirt, $60, winners.ca. Shadow Bloom mono dress, $98, canada.frenchconnection.com. Lambskin biker jacket, $499, danier.com. Denim shirt, $29, joefresh.com. 424 Fifth blouse, $79, thebay.com. Shorts with side frill, $46, zara.com. Levi Strauss & Co. skinny jeans, $88, aritzia.com.
When choosing accessories, you’ll need no more than two bags (one small and one large) and two pairs of shoes. Add pizzazz with a few other pieces, such as a statement necklace or a belt to cinch your blazer or a fuller top.
Packing list: Accessories
1. 1 tote bag (use as your carry-on)
2. 1 small cross-body bag
3. 1 pair of comfortable flat sandals or sneakers
4. 1 pair of dressy oxford shoes with a low heel
5. 1 belt
6. 1 pair of sunglasses
7. 1 fedora
8. 2 or 3 pieces of jewellery
Clockwise from top left: Tote, $40, aldoshoes.com. Fedora, $62, bananarepublic.ca. Shoes, $175, rudsak.com. Yves Saint Laurent sunglasses, $160, clearlycontacts.ca. Ear jackets, $28, oliveandpiper.com. Belt, $62, bananarepublic.ca. Bag, $160, bananarepublic.ca. Leather-inlay hinge bangle, $58, anntaylor.com. Necklace, $124, bananarepublic.ca. Jess Pascale sandals, $50, sears.ca.
I styled eight outfits with these clothes and accessories, but you could probably throw together 10 to 12 ensembles without wearing any one piece of clothing more than three times.
There’s an outfit for everything: the plane ride, a fancy dinner, a day at the park and shopping and gallery-hopping. There are also options for hot afternoons and chilly evenings. You don’t need to own these exact pieces to make it work; just follow the basic guidelines above, choosing items by colour palette.
Cut down on suitcase space with these multiuse beauty products
How to find the best blazer for your body type