We all get a little huffy when our husbands and boyfriends either grumble or laugh, respectively, at our packing jobs. We also get frustrated at ourselves for showing up to the vacation of a lifetime only to find we weren’t fully prepared. The Luxe Travel Team has put together a guide to the essentials for luxury vacation attire so you can feel as fabulous as your surroundings and ready for whatever adventure is in store, simply stress free.
To maintain the zen we’re trying to help you achieve, we’ve organized the guide into Day Wear and Evening Wear, with selected essentials for different activities and the proper complementary footwear, hair and makeup.
Essential Outfit (Qty.) Activities Footwear Hair and Makeup Why?
The Classic Cotton Dress (2) Breakfast, brunch, lunch, shopping, low-impact sightseeing, travel to/from destination and resort lounging. Think classy casual: gladiator sandals, cloth slip-on shoes or ballet flats for comfort Try a braid for longer styles or one-side clip for short styles; dress up or down on the makeup depending on the occasion and photo-opps Easiest way to make it look like you've made an effort without actually doing it. Cotton allows your skin to breathe and will be light in your luggage.
Cotton tank or tee with tan, black or white shorts (2:1) All of the above. The above or some casual tennis shoes; navy is a good color option. Low side ponytail for casual meets functional meets glamorous. Allows greater mobility than a sundress but still looks nice if the shorts are a tasteful length; avoid tanks/tees that look like thin undershirts - go for substance and color.
Sports bra, sport top, running shorts; quick dry material (2) From tennis to running to hiking to free-style canyoning. A light pair of athletic shoes that can multi-task. Try Merrell brand. Minimalist: A braid or ponytail. Sunblock is essential, but if you want more go with a light touch of concealer, eyeliner and bronzer. Curl your lashes but avoid mascara! Sporty is the new sexy, plus quick clean and dry. Plenty of flattering styles and colors, but make sure you match! Versatile for active travelers and gives an adventurous edge.
Boat neck shirt and linen or cotton trousers, kakhi or white (1) Resort lounging and socializing. Boat shoes, cloth slip-ons or stylish sandals. Half-up or clipped back hairstyles; minimal makeup such as concealer, blush and mascara. Casual country club style goes over well in any luxury setting and will put you at ease. Effortless luxe is the envy of any lady vacationer.
Swimsuit and coverup (2-3) Beach, pool, hot tub, Jacuzzi, water sports, waterfalls, or water parks. Solid color flip flops in simple styles. Nothing clunky. Let loose with your locks! Sunblock and bronzer - bask in your au naturale glory. Well you need them! Even non-seaside trips most likely involve a pool or hot tub, indoor or outdoor, so you should always be prepared.
Essential Outfit (Qty.) Activities Footwear Hair and Makeup Why?
Evening dress, simple styles but no cotton-like fabric (1 long, 1 short) Dinner at the resort or out on the town. Metallic sandals or simple heels; go for comfort over beauty, so don't take heels over 4 inches, 5 inches maximum with a small platform. Curls, loose waves or low bun. Makeup more dramatic than the daytime but avoid clown status. Shadow, liner and mascara for the eyes, concealer and bronzer+blush. Ensures you won't be underdressed but wont be over-the-top. Understated beauty that's easily upward-adjustable with simple adornments (pearls, earrings, etc.)
Off-the-shoulder blouse, loose or fitted, with a skirt and/or linen pants (1) Drinks, night-time sight-seeing or beach walks. Dressier flats, ballet flats or simple wedges that aren't a wobbly height; sandals for the beach. Side styles for effortless glamour. Concealer, bronzer, liner or shadow and mascara for more drama than day-wear, but not as dramatic as formal wear. A classic luxurious style that's always eye-catching yet never predictable. White or soft colors are ideal.
Cardigan and/or Blazer Any. Any. Any. A necessity in case you run into a chill. Works for both day and night, but take a separate athletic jacket or sweater for over your activewear if you expect cool temperatures.
Silk Robe and Night Shift Lounging around the suite or villa. Barefoot and beautiful. Admire that pedicure you got the afternoon before your flight out. Loose hair. Keep on your evening makeup as long as you care to play pin-up girl, then wash it away and apply night creams to meet the next day with fresh and rejuvenated skin. This combo gets you in a mood for pampering. Excellent complement to a hot bath, strawberries and champagne. How else would one end a luxurious evening?
Ahem, Under Wear
Prioritize it. Pack a lot, enough for twice as many days as your trip. However, only take your favorites; even what people can’t see gives you confidence that will make you feel great no matter the time or place. If it embarrasses you, leave it in your drawer at home, safely hidden.
Crocs. Scrunchies. False eyelashes.
Cool Weather Wear
Many of these outfits are adaptable to autumn weather if you add a blazer and boots, as well as leggings or tights when necessary. A classy and easy winter outfit is a quarter-sleeve tunic shirt with fitted pants or even jeans and tall boots with a pea coat, belted trench coat or leather jacket.
Foldable sun hat; scarf; sunglasses that serve for both sport and leisure; wristwatch; pearl earrings for day, large stone or dangle earrings for the evening; one set of pearls; small bag that doubles for both evening and day or a small bag for each – avoid clunky so you can have hands-free fun, or use a bigger bag as your carry-on.
As you, of course, are more familiar with your exact itinerary, pick and choose from these selections based on your length of stay and specific planned activities. Taking all of these items would be appropriate for a one to two week luxury vacation. If you’re going for just a weekend, opt for more versatile and interchangeable evening/day dresses and just two other casual outfits.
Some easy classic brands for your luxury vacation wear are Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, but you can branch out with Nine West, Gap, Banana Republic, French Connection and Lacoste. If you want to go top of the top, Chanel is the number one favorite luxury brand for women, followed by Louis Vuitton, Hermés, Gucci, Cartier, Prada, Versace, Jimmy Choo, and Manolo Blahnik. For sporty gear, try Nike, Adidas or Under Armour.
The truth is, being a lady is difficult; we have our own expectations and standards by which we live whilst still being subject to societal scrutiny. While “being your own person” will make you “happiest,” we find that it’s often rather a balance that keeps you in both internal and external harmony. You want to be able to enjoy your experience in complete freedom while still respecting the decorum, culture, courtesy and general norms of your destination or setting so as to minimize discord.
If you would like some more specific recommendations based on your particular travel plans or style preferences, email us with your inquiries for some more tailored advice on your luxury wear needs.