Suitcase Diaries: Tips for Packing Light

The cold weather makes many New Yorkers head down South this time of year. But with vacation season, comes the dreaded preparation. “Packing is many people’s least favorite and most overwhelming part of their vacations,” said Erin Field, owner of Rags Boutique in Jericho. And packing light tends to be one of the biggest struggles. To help customers out, Field guides them to “easy and comfortable pieces” that can be worn multiple times throughout a trip. Haesther Shnay, a NYC-based fashion stylist, echoed Field’s philosophy: “I find that the more I pack, the less I end up wearing. I always come back to a few key items.” These picks from the two stylish pros will help streamline packing and leave more room for souvenirs.

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Bet on the blues

"I am loving this pair of cropped flares from the brand Hidden," said Erin Field, owner of Rags Boutique in Jericho. The jeans are available at her store.

“I am loving this pair of cropped flares from the brand Hidden,” said Erin Field, owner of Rags Boutique in Jericho. The jeans are available at her store.

Denim deserves to be at the top of packing lists. Field adores white jeans because “they always look fresh, pulled together and can be dressed up or down.” Shnay won’t go anywhere without a denim jacket. “It is a must-have layer. Pair it with an oversized scarf for the plane and throw it over dresses for cool nights on the beach,” she said. You can’t go wrong with a classic style like a light wash one from J.Crew.

Tees please

Shnay is also a huge fan of Hanes plain white tees, which are more versatile than they look. “I bring piles of them,” she said. “They look just as perfect with cut off jean shorts as they do with something dressier like a silky midi skirt.”

Do-it-all dresses

Dress by Parker NY

Dress by Parker NY, available at Rags of Jericho

“An effortless dress that can go from the beach to a day of sightseeing to dinner is a must,” advised Field. She suggested a silk one from MISA or a floaty silhouette with a nice print from Parker NY. “Just change from a flat sandal to a wedge and you’re good to go.” Another great option is a cotton gauze mini dress from Anjuna.

Add a few extras

Accessories are the easiest and most packable way to change up your vacation look. “A bright bag, layers of necklaces and fun shoes help you get more mileage out of your basics,” said Shnay. She recommended a Hermes colorful printed silk bag. “I love its tropical motif and would pair it with head-to-toe white.” She also counts on delicate jewelry by Fayt like the turquoise 14k gold Noir Dove Necklace and 14k gold Wave Ring. They work with swimsuits and sundresses. As for shoes, Shnay pointed to Carina canvas wedge espadrilles by Spanish brand Castañer for their comfy fit and beachy vibe.

rachel belkin

Rachel Belkin is a native Long Islander who recently moved back to Woodbury with her husband and two young sons. Rachel has been working as a fashion copywriter for over 10 years and has collaborated with many brands including J.McLaughlin, Judith Leiber, Talbots and Armani. When she is not working, Rachel is watching sports with her boys, shopping online or spinning on her Peloton.