Gal Meets Glam creator Julia Engel knows what’s up when it comes to throwing together to-die-for ensembles on the go. Be it a glamping adventure in Montana or a stroll through Paris’s historic streets, you can rest assured there will be plenty of must-have pieces in tow — It-girl-approved bags, chic steppers and all. Fall is prime time for travel, with cheaper rates and smaller crowds providing the perfect conditions for a bit of exploring. And let’s be real — with cooler temps and dwindling daylight becoming a thing, a weekend getaway is well deserved (or at least that’s what we’re telling ourselves). The one question remaining: What to pack? We decided to consult the stylish globetrotter herself for a definitive list of must-have travel style essentials, pulling on-the-go inspo straight from her enviable Insta feed. What we found was a wealth of foolproof pieces that make travel both effortless and incredibly stylish. We put them all in one easy-to-find place, and even pulled a few picks that you can shop right now. Happy travels!
There’s a time and a place for over-the-top heels, but a weekend getaway isn’t one of them — or at least not by day, when there’s adventuring and exploring on the agenda. Take along a chic pair of sneakers instead for a casually cool look that strikes the ultimate balance between form and function.
1. New Balance for J.Crew 620 Sneakers ($80): Iconic design, luxe suede and gold leather? We’re so down. Style these classic kicks with raw edge denim, a snuggly sweater and wide-brim hat — camera at the ready — for an afternoon of sightseeing and pavement pounding.
Classic White Button-Down
Wear-anywhere essential or impromptu pool coverup — this essential does it all. An oversized button-down can easily be dressed up or down, taking you from morning coffee in the cabin to an intimate candlelit dinner in two seconds flat.
2. H&M Long Cotton Shirt ($30): Effortless style looks a lot like this. Whether you layer it over leather-look leggings or tuck it into a pair of boyfriend jeans, a classic button-down will never steer you wrong.
Rain or shine, a trench proves itself as a versatile outer layer every single time. Perfectly polished and sophisticated, it looks just as ah-mazing with an LBD as it does with your favorite pair of lived-in jeans.
3. Warehouse Clean Belted Trench Coat ($158): Unpredictable autumnal weather calls for a topper that can work anytime, and a classic trench is more than ready to rise to the challenge. The timeless style is sturdy enough to battle unexpected showers and strong gusts of wind, but lightweight enough to roll up and toss into your bag. #winning
Fall is synonymous with cable knit pullovers and cozy turtlenecks, so don’t even think about doing a little leaf peeping without at least one snuggly option in tow.
4. Wilfred Free Lin Sweater ($195): An afternoon of light hiking followed by hot cider by the fire calls for a cable-knit sweater in soft Italian merino wool (because why not?). Bonus points for shearling-lined slippers and an oversized scarf — styled up poncho style, of course.
Even if an exotic destination isn’t in the cards, a chic pair of shades is non-negotiable. That is just travel style 101.
5. Komono Dreyfuss Tortoise Demi ($120): Between the Italian acetate and cool brow bar, these tortoise glasses are straight-up stunning. Take ’em along on a stroll through town or throw shade as you cruise along the coast.
Is there such a place where classic Breton stripes aren’t appropriate? Teamed with distressed jeans and a cozy cardigan or tucked into a pencil skirt paired with pumps, this trusty topper will never steer you wrong.
6. Whistles Stripe Tie Cuff T-Shirt ($95): Does a getaway sans Breton stripes even count? Featuring playful bow sleeves, this classic style is a step above the rest. Take it along for the ride and proceed to pair with everything from everyday denim to button-front skirts — the styling options are endless.
Roomy Convertible Sac
The ultimate finishing touch on a killer on-the-go ensemble isn’t what you’d think: It’s a chic structured sac that’s just as practical as it is stunning.
7. Zac Posen Eartha Convertible Backpack ($395): By day, this pretty pewter bag is the perfect place to stash extra layers and souvenirs, letting you indulge in your wanderlust totally hands-free. Ditch the straps for after-hours shenanigans, pairing the sophisticated two-in-one piece with a classic LBD and trench.
Vacay is the time to unwind, so say sayonara to stuffy duds and leave them behind in favor of off-duty essentials that strike the perfect balance of laid-back cool and understated chic. A prime example? Distressed denim that makes the transition from day to night totally seamless.
8. Madewell Slim Boyjean in Brinville Wash: Rip and Repair Edition ($135): Could anything be more ideal for a low-key escape than a tried-and-true pair of jeans? The perfect partner to woodland wandering or urban adventuring, these distressed boy jeans never disappoint.
Whether you’re grabbing the next flight out of town or loading up the car, taking a less-is-more approach to packing is essential — bogged down isn’t exactly how you envisioned your mini vacation, after all. Double-duty pieces, like an oversized scarf, allow you to lighten up without having to worry about going without.
9. Fort Greene General Store Cranberry Plaid Blanket Scarf ($24): Snuggle up in style with this plaid blanket scarf that can double as a poncho on the fly. Ideal for lazy mornings and chilly nights, this hero piece in disguise is one of those items that rightly earns the title of closet workhorse.
Gearing up for your next great escape? Don’t even think of setting foot outdoors without a pair of amped-up flats in your weekend bag. Not only will they add some extra oomph to a basic ensemble, but they’re a seriously stylish alternative to tried-and-true sneakers.
10. Zara Embossed Lace-Up Ballet Flats ($30): With a sleek set of flats like this on standby, a few #shoefies are obligatory. The only thing these red-hot lace-ups are missing? A chic tiled backdrop and conversation-starting earrings.
Time and time again, Julia Engel proves that the best accessory is a pair of perfectly painted lips. The best part? A tube of bright rouge can easily slip right into your purse, leaving that precious suitcase space for an extra pair of shoes.
11. Bite Beauty Multistick in Mochi ($24): Paring down isn’t a strategy solely reserved for sartorial matters — it applies to your vacay beauty routine too. Who has time to be bogged down by a ton of palettes, brushes and bottles? Stick to the basics and opt for double-duty products, like this bright multi-stick, that allow you to achieve the look you want without all the baggage.
Statement baubles might be your jam, but minimalist accessories allow you to jazz up every ensemble in your getaway wardrobe with ease.
12. Mango Hoop Earrings ($10): Put on the glitz without adding bulk to your travel bag with sleek gold hoops that slay both day and night. Pop ’em on with an oversized button-down, high-waisted jeans and a suede jacket for an early morning walking tour, or team them with a slinky slip dress and block heels for a romantic dinner at a swanky restaurant.
For those times when you need a little extra somethin’ somethin’ but don’t quite need a full-on coat, a classic cardigan is an ideal option.
13. Forever 21 Ribbed V-Neck Sweater Cardigan ($23): When you’re not living it up in the jacuzzi, Champagne in hand (a girl can dream, right?), kick back in this comfy ribbed cardi, a pair of leather-look leggings and a chic silk scarf. You might be on vacay, but those impeccable style sensibilities are not.
Come fall, your go-to straw hat takes a back seat to dramatically hued felt and wool options. Beyond offering a little extra warmth and protection from the sun, it does big things for your style too.
14. Brixton Buckley Hat ($88): Invest in this fab felt had that would feel right at home styled alongside a romantic floral dress and ankle boots. Between boutique hopping and long lunches out on the terrace, we can think of a few ways this chic wide-brim stunner could come in handy.
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(Featured photo via Julia Engel)