Making the Most Out of Your Carry-On

So you’ve booked a cheap ticket and only have a few hundred dollars to your name. Some would call this impulsive. I call it my summer vacation. This June I spent a week in Paris with a few friends and a carry-on (checked bags are exclusively for families going to Disney and you can’t change my mind) with the goal to make my outfits as stylish and non-touristy as possible.

A very important question remained: How does one fit a week-or-so’s worth of instagrammable outfits into a singular TSA-approved suitcase?

To document my time, I took a plethora of OOTD’s, all constructed out of the clothes in my humble carry-on, to prove that big statements can come from the smallest of places.

Day 1: Layer on the Plane

On the plane, it’s important to layer, so you have more clothes to wear later in the week. For instance: the jacket protecting you from the dry and freezing tundra of American Airlines can wrap around your waist the next day as a flattering accessory.

The first image documents my airplane clothes – which are the bulkiest of the trip, to save room in my bag – and I wear them until I put on something more breezy. I swap my comfy mom jeans from Pacsun and secondhand baseball tee for a vintage romper.

Day 2: Accessorize and Layer a Latte

Today proves that even the worst of wardrobe malfunctions can come out looking cute, thanks to accessories. The first image was me early in the day, right before I spilled half a cup of steaming hot latte all over my outfit. My oversized button-down suffered the worst blow – I had styled it around my shoulders and tied it to form a loose crop. After removing it, a simple nude crop-top from Charlotte Russe remained, flipping the focal point from clothing to accessories. Miraculously this look was saved, special thanks to the $10 sunglasses and bandana from Salvation Army.

Day 3: Dress Clothes are the Best Clothes

This one isn’t hard – whatever vacation you’re going on, I recommend bringing at least one dress and one skirt that can be dressed up or down. In this look I paired the two together by tucking the lining under the translucent layer into a miniskirt. This was one of my favorite ensembles of the trip because I felt super creative, plus, the pieces came in handy later in the week. The dress is from Zara and the skirt is from Topshop.

Day 4: Rompers for the Win

Rompers are !amazing! for vacation. They’re some of the most creative garments out there and the variations never end. This one I made myself and paired with a jean jacket and the Guess purse you see in every other picture (never bring more than one bag, it’s a waste of space.)

Day 5: Reduce Reuse Recycle

Today I learned a lot about taking what I had worn earlier (or what I hadn’t) and transforming it into something else. For my day look, I wore a Red Valentino dress that I had not worn earlier in the week. In hindsight, I wish I had worn my pleated blue number again, rather than wasting space for this white dress that wasn’t super comfortable or exciting to wear. However, for my night look, I reused pieces from earlier in the week to create the ultimate discotheque lewk. Yes, that is the latte-spill button-down (washed, of course) and skirt from yesterday.

Day 6: Best For Last

On the final day in Paris, I opted for something fun and bright. I donned a pair of polka dot crop trousers (I had worn them in day 5 for a short time, but had to take them off due to heat) and an off-the-shoulder top. Both items from Zara, #SponsorMe. This was also a main contender for fave look of the week, because of the prints and fit.

Overall, packing is no easy feat. It can be hard to avoid over/underpacking while still keeping ensembles cute and exciting. I hope you part this webpage with at least a better idea on how to pack, and at most a cheap ticket somewhere exciting. After all, the sky is the ultimate limit, sartorially and beyond. Good luck and happy travels!

For more details on some of the items shown, or to view more outfit inspiration, check out these OOTD’s.

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