The Style Guru: How to pack like a pro for vacation

Get ready to jet-set on your way to style success

Here’s the scenario: You lug out your luggage; you stare at it. “What should I bring?!” I am sure that many of you have an endless amount of possibilities of what you could tag along for a stylish adventure.

Here are some helpful tips on packing from Real Simple so you can maximize your space–and come home with something a little extra!

packing suitcaseImage via Modern Mom

1. Gather your clothes

Gather all the garments you might need on your trip, then edit down your choices to avoid overpacking. Put back at least half of the items you think you need.

Tip: Pack double-duty garments, like yoga pants that moonlight as pajamas.

2. Roll your clothes

Tightly roll softer, wrinkle-resistant garments, like T-shirts and cotton pants, and place them along the base of the bag. Jeans should be rolled, too.

3. Place folded items on top

Next, fold stiffer and/or wrinkle-prone garments like starched cotton shirts and blazers. Layer these folded items over the rolled clothes.

4. Drape longer pieces like pants and skirts

Fold longer items in half, filling the length of the bag with them, alternating waists with hems at the ends.

Tip: Pick bulkier items to wear on the plane or in the car so they don’t take up precious luggage space.

5. Add smaller items

Look for nooks and crannies to fill with smaller items, like bras and socks.

Tip: Stuff the cups of your bras with rolled-up socks to maintain bra shape.

6. Line suitcase with belts

Snake belts around the perimeter of the bag. Then cover the whole pile with a dry-cleaning bag.

7. Choose shoes wisely (think about multitasking)

Pick three pairs of shoes, like a casual sandal or loafer, sneakers, and an evening shoe –go for styles that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Wear the heaviest pair en route and pack the others along the sides of your suitcase in resealable bags.

8. Pack your jewelry

Stow inexpensive jewelry in a seven-day plastic pillbox or a 35-millimeter film canister. Wear any fine jewelry en route to ensure it won’t get lost or stolen. Another sneaky tip I like to use is to place breakables in my socks and stuff them in my tennis shoes for protection.

Simple and Easy!

As for the luggage itself, Kansas City is spoiled with great shopping options for suitcases and carryalls. Try Tumi on the Plaza–their “Vapor” roller was voted Best Luggage in 2011 by Travel + Leisure. Cinda B also has a super cute line of quilted, fun luggage, from curling iron covers to garment bags, available at Bag & Baggage.  

Enjoy your excursion, and bring me back a souvenir!

xoxo, Your Style Guru


 Katherine Brown is the owner of Chanari, a personal-styling and life-coaching company. She received her professional degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Her style inspirations include the spunk of Audrey Hepburn, the classic chicness of Jackie O., and the flair to be daring of Sarah Jessica Parker. She lets KC Magazine readers shop her wisdom in the exclusive “Style Guru” blog.