If your summer plans include a good ol’ fashioned road trip across the Fifty Nifty United States – whether it’s to visit grandparents, tour the Grand Canyon or accompany the kids along the amusement park circuit – let your inner road warrior merge with your fashion goddess senses.
Gauzy blouses, loose maxi dresses and this season’s fancy sweats (yup, those two words are co-existing next to each other in a sentence) are coming together for a comfy-chic blend. (This is a good thing for anybody who has ever untagged themselves from “road trip” albums on Facebook because of bedhead plus wrinkled clothes plus the are-we-there-yet face.)
And, when you head out for your girls-only getaway, mancation, couples adventure or family vacation, there’s a perfect formula for packing for a road trip so that you’re both comfy and looking good along your stops.
This summer’s women’s trends work really well for traveling, says style icon Jaimie Hilfiger (www.jaimiehilfiger.com). For example, mesh pieces pair well with a nude camisole underneath – or, if you’re more daring, a neon hue.
“This breathable fabric is perfect for venturing out to warm locations,” Hilfiger said. “Florals are also still popular and there are so many pieces from tops to bottoms that have pretty, feminine patterns. Try a sheer blouse with a floral print or be daring and choose floral pants. You will be on trend.”
Hilfiger’s perfect road-trip ensemble: A comfy, loose-fitting pair of slightly ripped jeans that are perfect for movement and a sheer, gauzy blouse with a camisole underneath. She has a jacket on hand in case it’s chilly along the way and a basic pair of flats. Keep some sneakers nearby, in case you’ve got to climb through some rocky terrain to capture a picture.
Hilfiger’s go-to packing strategy is to pack early and separate items like shoes, jewelry, lingerie, tops and bottoms into separate and appropriately-sized bags.
“This helps when you are looking through your suitcases for something in particular,” she said.
Celeb stylist Anthony Henderson (www.twitter.com/ahfstylist) says comfort is first and foremost in his mind when he’s packing. He sizes up from his normal fit and says that he’s finding fashion-forward sweatsuits (check out Alexander Wang) with zipper pockets this season that are perfect for traveling.
A travel trick he’s loving this season for men: Multicolor statement socks (which hit right below the knee) with shorts. (Find them at www.footlocker.com). It’s sporty, and also keeps you comfy in an air-conditioned car without needing to wear heavy fabrics like khakis or jeans.
For summer trips, he packs some basic bottoms like blue, khaki or white shorts – and switches out the tops more frequently.
Henderson says another packing trick (because who wants to iron while on vacation?) is to spray starch your clothes before you neatly pack them in your suitcase. When you unpack them, shake them out for a wrinkle-free wardrobe.
Instead of packing hats (because they tend to get smashed in bags and lose their shape), Henderson is on board with the hooded T-shirt trend as it’s lightweight – and he finds they’re a great travel staple for his young son.
Here are some road trip-ready looks we love for the whole family:
If you’re hitting the road early in the morning, let your little ones wear their comfiest pajamas and change when you hit the first rest stop. (When they’re sleeping, they can’t be chirping “Are we there yet?”)
Dress them in layers for any temperature changes and pair soft tops with knit shorts. Find fun travel-themed PJs, T-shirts and tanks at Gap Kids (www.gapkids.com). For boys: A “Motorcycle Short Sleep Set” for toddlers, a “Ready for Adventure” tank; and “Slub Embroidered Graphic Tee” shirts with animals are all apropos for an adventure in the car. Our fave is the toucan printed T-shirt that says, “Toucan Do It Man!” For girls, the “Slub graphic tee” and the “Graphic Tank” collections are perfect for road trips, especially with screen-printed expressions like “Explore More.”
A chic alternative to a jeans-and-T-shirt look is a loose-fitting comfy dress. Floor-length maxi dresses are an easy look and can be layered with a denim jacket or a soft cardigan when it cools down. For a bohemian-chic look, try the Xhilaration Junior’s Latern Maxi Dresses at Target (www.target.com) that are under $30 apiece.
The stylists at Forever 21 say a casual and cute dress can make long car rides comfortable and keep you camera-ready. They suggest pairing a dress with some biker shorts for mobility. Find Cut Out Gym Shorts for $11.80 at the retailer (www.forever21.com).
Tanks and T-shirts with shorts are an easy, winning combination. Find twill shorts in a range of colors at Old Navy (www.oldnavy.com) that range from $20 to $25. Travel-themed T-shirts at (www.oldnavy.com) set the tone. Check out the “Men’s Gold Gate Photo Tees” for a retro look; the “Men’s Surf Malibu Tees” for a coastal-cool vibe or the MLB Team Tees for a sporty ensemble.