You’ve postmarked your seasonal greeting cards, wrapped up all your holiday shopping and have even managed to map out your somewhat hectic travel itinerary for the season. Now what? Ah, of course, you’ve still got to pack and plan out what you’ll be wearing en route to your final destination. ‘Cause, LBH — no one wants to be that girl bummin’ it at the airport in her frumpiest sweats and retired Juicy track jackets from the early ‘00s. The occasional tacky holiday sweater, sure (especially if you’re flying out on Christmas Eve), but that’s where we draw the line. Whether you’re traveling to a fancy locale or heading home for the holidays, we’ve compiled 21 stylish travel essentials that would rank high on anyone’s list. Between winding airport queues, red-eye flights and potential delays, the key here is to seek out pieces that strike the perfect balance between comfort and style.
1. J.Crew Excursion Vest in Tartan ($138): We don’t typically like to play favorites, but we can see why J.Crew’s excursion vest is a best-seller season after season. (Sue us; we’re #basic.) Not only is the festive tartan print perfect for holiday travels, but the quilted design is guaranteed to keep nippy temps at bay. Layer it over a chambray shirt or toss it over a seafaring fisherman sweater and riding boots for a double-tap-worthy look even the non-preppy crowd will love.
2. Bando Odd Pears Mertl Socks ($18): So easy to overlook, yet an absolute game changer, a snuggly pair of socks can make all the difference between a miserable flight (cue the shrieking children seated in the row behind you) and one that’s filled with peaceful bliss. Pro tip: Allow these quirky mix ‘n’ match socks to peek out just a smidge from your boyfriend jeans and old-school Chuck Taylors for a retro look that’s eccentric at its best.
3. Madewell Arrowhead Lodge Funnelneck Sweatshirt ($75): A last-minute getaway, you say? Whether you’re heading up to Vermont for an extended weekend at the ski lodge or reuniting with the fam, we recommend this rugged funnel neck sweatshirt that’s just as lounge-worthy as it looks. Pair with a messy top knot, black jeans and duck boots for an upstate-New-York vibe.
4. Reformation Mod Trench ($198): We like the way Reformation thinks. When it comes to shopping for outerwear, there’s something to be said for a timeless navy trench that can be tossed over anything/everything at a moment’s notice, regardless of the impending weather forecast. Juxtapose the borrowed-from-the-boys silhouette with Parisian stripes, wear-everywhere denim and mid-heel ankle booties FTW.
5. The Atelier Shop Boy Bucket Bag in Noir ($225): Looking chic 24/7 has never been so easy. Stow away your passport (for an overseas flight, natch), smartphone, emergency kit — you name it — in this streamlined noir bucket bag that’s functional and fashion girl-approved. Oh, and it even doubles as a backpack, leaving you free to text and sip Starbucks as you wait to board your delayed flight.
6. Tularosa Dakota Poncho ($189): The next best thing to cozying up to your favorite blanket scarf is snuggling up in a big ol’ plaid knit poncho, amirite? And it gets better. Not only is this bad boy as foolproof of a layering piece as any, but it’s guaranteed to ah-maze with a silk blouse, black kick flares and throwback clogs. We don’t hate it.
7. Madewell Silk Pajama Shirt ($118): We might’ve spoken too soon. This lazy girl-approved silk pajama shirt just may be the exception to the “no wearing PJs in public” rule. Team this menswear-inspired top with white jeans, a trend-right coatigan and cognac loafers for a street-MVP look that doesn’t forfeit style.
8. YSTR Jagger Pant ($178): Once again, leisure reigns supreme for the girl who spends many an afternoon binge-watching Gilmore Girls from the luxury of her own couch. Proof that comfort doesn’t have to mean sloppy, we’ve uncovered the slim-fitting printed drawstring pants that will be working overtime to ensure you’re killin’ it on the outfit front. A pared-down anorak and suede ankle booties may be required.
9. Madewell the Julie Flat in Velvet ($138): You had us at blush velvet. These strappy ballerinas are downright dreamy (and practical for the girl on the go) if we do say so ourselves. Imagine them teamed with a cream-colored mock-neck sweater, a swishy accordion-pleat skirt and a cocoon coat for a swoon-inducing look worthy of a stop at Lincoln Center.
10. French Connection Norway Knit High Neck Jumper ($148): Is it just us, or does this funnel neck fair isle sweater (read: NOT a Christmas jumper) conjure images of home sweet home and multiple cups of hot cocoa by the fire? We digress. Make the most of your upcoming travels, even amid back-to-back-to-back delays, by styling it with leather pants or a velvet pinafore dress and tights.
11. Loeffler Randall Logan Sneaker ($350): Pared down and snoozy won’t be cutting it for the girl who plays by her own set of rules. These paint-splattered tassel sneakers don’t mess around when it comes to lending artsy flair to your off-the-clock uniform. Rolled-up boyfriend jeans, an army green parka and a slouchy beanie are non-negotiable add-ons.
12. Free People Gotta Be Bodysuit ($68): Obsessed would be the understatement of the century. We’re partial to this sultry black and white striped bodysuit featuring a scoop back that requires — wait for it — ZERO effort. Better than an everyday basic but just as versatile, this long-sleeved stunner can be teamed with leather joggers, streamlined culottes or even a button-front midi skirt for hassle-free travels.
13. Free People Cozy Sweater Jacket ($498): Cozy is most definitely right. We can’t decide what we love more: the fuzzy texture, the extra-long silhouette or the snow-white hue. Because it’s always better to dress in layers (and proceed to ditch them later) than to freeze your butt off while waiting for the airport shuttle, it would behoove you to add this toasty topper to your winter wardrobe STAT. Day or night, work or play, it’ll easily pay for itself.
14. Sincerely Jules Kaia Sweatshirt ($95): You heard it here first: This blogger-approved lace-up sweatshirt is what you turn to when you’ve got no time to spare, but still want to put forth the effort. Infinitely more stylish than your run-of-the-mill hoodie that’s seen far better days, this hero piece can be thrown on alongside a delicate necklace, ripped black jeans and d’Orsay flats for a dialed-down look that means business.
15. Glamorous Neat As a Pin Leather Moto Jacket ($148): The secret to pulling off a glam-AF getup even when you’re strapped for time and running low on sleep? We thought you’d never ask. It goes without saying that you’ll straight-up slay in this embellished leather moto jacket that calls for a signature cat eye and tough-girl ‘tude. Just you wait: The decorative pins won’t make it past airport security without racking up compliments from fellow travelers.
16. Stylenanda Extreme Oversized Deconstructed Checked Shirt ($91): We know what you’re thinking — that looks like the oversized lumberjack flannel you stole from my S.O. two weeks ago. Well, here’s yet another ’90s babe-approved checked shirt to layer over a vintage tee or effortlessly tie around your waist while hanging out near baggage claim. A deconstructed denim jacket and Docs hopefully won’t be too far behind.
17. Everlane The Cashmere V-Neck Midi Dress ($155): You had us at throw-on-and-go. Leave it up to the folks over at Everlane to design a cashmere sweater dress with this much off-radar appeal. It’s ceaselessly chic, luxuriously soft and unbelievably effortless — AKA, you’ll never want to take it off. Round out your airport-bound getup with a longline puffa, a leather bucket bag and some Stan Smiths.
18. Zara Lined Leather Mules ($70): Run, don’t walk, to snatch up a pair of these It girl-approved leather mules that will put your beloved sheepskin Uggs to shame. (Sorry, not sorry, but they’ve got to go.) The faux fur interior will lend just the right amount of cool-girl swagger to some raw-hemmed cropped denim flares and a longline coat. Sign us up, please.
19. Sézane Smith Jumpsuit ($185): You’ve got how many minutes until departure? Girl, you best be bookin’ it. Slip into this one-piece wonder with French-girl influence that will have you looking flawless like Beyoncé. The belted waist and button-up design give you permission to dial it way down — yes, that means leopard calf-hair slip-on sneaks will be in order.
20. Wildfox Delphine Sweater ($258): You’ve hit the snooze button one too many times and need to be at the airport in an hour (welp!). While it may be tempting to roll out in a snuggie and shearling-lined slippers, here’s our advice: DON’T. This sleepyhead-approved hooded knit sweater is just the thing to reach for when you’re crunched for time and seeking maximum comfort. Toss it on alongside a thermal crew, some flea market flares and backless mules for a getup that’s anything but frumpy.
21. The Love Club Athletic Bomber Jacket ($45): More love, less hate: Take style cues from the west coast with this sporty bomber that will look hella cool no matter how you wear it. Providing just the right amount of slouch and boss-lady appeal, it’ll serve as the perfect topper to patchwork mom jeans, a baseball cap and some Adidas Superstars (what else?!).
What are your go-to style essentials when traveling? Follow us on Pinterest for more colorful style inspo!
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