Something about crisp weather makes me want to hit the road – usually for an away football game. It's the season for girls' trips (wine tasting, anyone?), and I start feeling a magnetic pull back toward home for Thanksgiving. The problem that comes with this cooler season? Cozy layers are a lot bulkier in my carry-on bag. What's a girl who needs outfit options to do? Here's my tried-and-true strategy:
Kristina Adams PhotographyMain Event Outfit
Wedding, Gameday, music festival — whatever your reason to travel — pick this outfit first. You'll build the rest of your weekend wardrobe in whatever space you have left.
Lay out all the layers and accessories you need for this outfit. Don't forget a clutch if you're heading to a party!
Pick one item you'll wear again during the weekend. For example, chic up your cocktail dress with a leather jacket; then wear that jacket over a white tee and jeans for a smooth Sunday brunch. Maximizing every piece will minimize the number of things you need to pack. How about that packing mantra?
Lisa Dolan PhotographyFoundation Pieces
Pick two pieces you can wear with multiple outfits to be the "foundation" of your packing list. I recommend a pair of pants and a versatile outer layer.
Jeans are the anchor for fall dressing. They go with everything, and you can (and should) wear them multiple times before washing. Pack your favorite pair to wear with a cozy sweater during the day and a feminine silk button down for the evening. Bonus points if you can wear them to your main event!
A leather jacket is your best friend on this packing guide. It transitions with everything in your suitcase. Little black dress? Graphic tee? Velvet tank? Yes.
A House in the HillsItem Options
Now pull individual items to wear with your foundation pieces. Think: sweaters, plaid button downs, and light layers you can pair with jeans. Add an easy dress to go with a leather or bomber jacket.
Picking a few mix-and-match items will give you outfit options without compromising your carry-on bag.
Wear your bulkiest boot and any easy-to-smash accessory – like a fedora – on the plane. Packing a few coordinating accessories will give you even more outfits to choose from.
You should only need two (max three, if you need heels for a night out) pairs of shoes. For example, riding boots, athleisure kicks for exploring, and maybe a heeled boot or stilettos for your main event. They take the most room in your suitcase, so choose wisely.
Colorful scarves and baseball caps are easy to pack and on trend for a casual brunch with friends (or traveling home). For instance, elevate a concert tee with a blanket scarf – or edge it up with a ball cap and bomber jacket.
Torrey FoxPack it up and head on out!
Approaching your packing with a strategy is the best (and maybe only) way to fit your fabulous fall wardrobe into a small carry-on suitcase. I like to lay everything out on my bed first, so I can see how all the pieces fit together. Then I put my least favorite options back in the closet. Every outfit needs to be photo ready!
Style Me Pretty Contributor - Madeline Littrell is a corporate PR strategist and freelance writer. Born and raised in the South, she loves big hair, country music, and chicken fingers. Madeline lives in Dallas with her Sheltie puppy, Tennessee.