inexpensive summer travel staples

1. a small crossbody bag - vintage 1970s Coach
2. denim shorts - Levis
3. comfortable sandals - Worishofer

dressing for travel has its unique challenges.

space limitations and pragmatic concerns make it more like a game of resource maximization. i generally only bring low-key, under-the-radar accessories so as not to stand out or be a target for pickpocketers. i hate to pack heavy bags when i'm traveling, and over the years, i've realized that there are just a few key items that are indispensable. these are also all very inexpensive yet excellent quality - each item above is under $50 (with the slight exception of the watch, but you can find it on sale online quite easily). the Worishofer sandals in particular are like walking on pillows - there is a fantastic padded insole with a cushion for arch support, and the mini wedge is perfectly walkable. i think it's important to go back to the old-school source whenever possible; you could find a much more expensive version of the denim shorts or bag or sandals at an APC, but other than the heftier price difference, the originals are by far the best.

club monaco silk tank, levis cutoffs, worishofer sandals, vintage Coach saddlebag, Skagen watch, kleen kanteen water bottle

what are your staples for summer travel?


  1. I was just thinking of doing a travel-related post, because I'm inspired by all the travelling my friends have been doing (but not me, alas). I agree about inexpensive accessories - especially watches and wallets.

    I've also turned into my mother and started travelling with paper fans (like Karl Lagerfeld at one point) if I'm going somewhere hot - creating your own breeze can make or break your day.

  2. Huh. Those sandals look great.

  3. Depending on where I'm traveling, I try to do a bit of research on what the locals wear and do not wear. It helps to blend in a bit, when possible. I completely agree with packing inexpensive items. One never knows if something will get lost, destroyed, or even stolen. Easily replacable items are key. I also pack a plain black jersey-ish material dress that won't wrinkle. Its a great and versatile piece that easily transitions from day to night. Your small bag is perfect - its discreet and functional, perfect for travel.

  4. lin and Pret a Porter P: a paper fan is such a great idea! i'll have to pack one next time.

    LPC: the Worishofers have made a huge comeback in the past few years as indie actresses like Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst have been rocking them all over NYC...but trend or no trend, they're remarkably well designed sandals and a perennial classic in my book.

    Eva: my Coach bag is definitely irreplaceable as it's one of a kind vintage from the 1970s, so fingers crossed that i don't lose it! the black dress is a key piece too. i always pack one as well :)

    Pret a Porter P: that tip makes total sense - fall and winter will always be the splurge-worthy seasons for me. spending a lot on sandals or a dress is pretty hard to justify for me.

    who makes your jersey harem pants? they would be perfect for an airport outfit.

  5. such an easy outfit. i really love your vintage bag. agreed with you on inexpensive accessories! and keeping any expensive jewelry at home. where are you traveling to? we are taking a week long driving trip along the coast (i'm too chicken to take my son on a plane), but i haven't put thought into what i'll be packing yet. probably cropped pants, linen tees, and some kind of flat sandal.

  6. I couldn't agree more - the more you travel the better you understand that you need very few but comfortable things. Simple sandals, well worn saddle bag, scarf to cover up and that's it. And I agree with lin and pret - fan is a necessity! Even living up north I use it all the time.

  7. I have to start thinking about what I want to bring to Paris this Monday. I'll pretty much wear what you're wearing in the photo, and I also plan to bring a few skirts and a maxi dress. I need to do a bit of planning, I think - I'm scared of looking raggedy amongst the chic Parisians!

  8. I also recommend a fan. I always carry one, and it's usefulness cannot be overrated.

    That's a lovely, lovely bag--old school Coach is forever beautiful. As far as travel, I tend to simply pack the same clothes and accessories I wear in daily life. Over the past years of travel, I've lost enough to just not worry about it anymore. For instance, a scarf--even an expensive one--is ultimately okay to lose. In other words, I wouldn't go anywhere without bringing my best--well, except camping (which I wouldn't do anyway). :)

  9. That's a great outfit for travel! We won't be travelling this summer, but I usually pack something similair - shorts, cotton and linen tanks and tops, cropped pants and flat sandals. I love those Worishofer, I haven't been able to find them around here.

  10. I'm actually going to be travelling soon so definitely appreciate your post. For me it's chic comfy shoes and airy loose singlets. I tend to wear light skirts or denim shorts with them. I am a total dork and made a list of what I'm taking and then how I can co-ordinate each piece together to maximise what I'll have. lol

  11. I loathe spending money on my summer wardrobe! A pair of comfortable gladiator sandals I can wear with demin shorts or jeans are my must. And Evian spray!


  12. Pret a Porter P: i'll have to check these out! sometimes H&M or Topshop is a good place to find these kinds of items...

    S: i try to still wear what i'd like but make sure that everything is understated. there are a few destinations (ie: Paris) where i'd bring my Hermes bag, but for the most part a less treasured bag will have to do.

    Ginta: it's funny how that works! :)

    Maja: ooh have a wonderful time in Paris! i'd love to go back sometime soon...

    Aesthetic Alterations: ah, i hear you, but unfortunately some destinations (ie: a developing country) just makes an everyday Hermes bag a bit too out of context. i wish i could bring whatever i want wherever, but i'm too freaked out by possibly losing things that are once-in-a-lifetime purchases!

    Garderoben: you can order the Worishofers online, they're still made in the same German factory. they're great!

    jamie-lee: no shame in list-making. it keeps everything together! :)

  13. Alexandra: do you really find that evian spray works? i'm always curious about these misting sprays that supposedly refresh your skin. i hate that icky feeling my skin gets after a long flight.

  14. That's a great travel combination! I usually like to keep things simple. I bring some clothes I'm not afraid to get dirty, and light pieces that can take me from day to night. I've also found that Salt-Water sandals are indispensable. They're comfortable and can stand up to anything. My tan pair are a summer staple for both traveling and at home.

  15. This is such an easy yet chic travel outfit. And you pull it off so effortlessly. :-)

  16. Are you packing for your Chinese trip? I think my travel essentials depend on the length and nature of the stay. I just got back from China (after over 24 hours on the road with lay overs...ah...horizontal sleeping, how I love thee!), and the retrospective was that my breton shirts were absolutely essential during the trip. I did very little sightseeing, and I know I would not have depended on my breton shirts if I had. They are just way too hot for hours upon hours under the sun--but they are perfect working in air conditioned environments and walking during the morning and evenings. A few simple skirts to go with the breton shirts and a black dress were my other staples.

    For more leisure-oriented trips, shorts + sandals + basic tops are the way to go. Most of my trips to China before this were like month-long marathon sight-seeing expeditions (think: getting on a plane every day to go somewhere new), so I usually bought shoes especially for the trip and would chuck the shoes after the trip since they'd be worn beyond recognition afterwards.

    Bags with top zippers are a must for me: so no open-top totes. Everyone in China is terrified of pick pocketers (though, to be fair, everyone I've ever met has only been pick-pocketed once at most, which is very reasonable considering they've lived their entire lives in a major city with a population of some countries), so I humored my relatives' fears by sticking to bags that could zip up. I also avoided clutch bags.

  17. I find the comments about the Woerrishofener Sandals very funny... I am from Germany and in my home country only very old Ladies would be found wearing these

  18. I will add those to my travel essential brands. Those are good finds and helps for the budget conscious traveler.


feel free to join in on the conversation! :-) FYI, comment moderation is ON, so it may take a little while before yours appears. house rules: comments that are spam, rude, or otherwise unrelated to the post will be deleted.