Packing for the holidays always seems easy – until you’re staring at your empty suitcase and wondering what prompted you to go anywhere in the first place. You know what’s nice around the holidays? Your apartment. But it’s too late now. So you need warm layers, something cute for the holiday party where your ex-boyfriend may be lurking behind the punch bowl, and plenty of room for presents.
Once you’ve laid everything out, ditch half of it. Now, look at what’s left. Ditch half of that too. There. You’re now in the zip code of What You Might Actually Wear. Because you never need as much as you think you do. A few beloved basics plus fresh socks and underwear for each day you’re gone and you’re set. For Hannukah, Christmas, for that winter solstice sage-waving ritual your sister keeps threatening.
Five Pieces To Pack For The Holidays
1) Favorite Pair of Jeans
Wear them on the plane. Wear them with heels and an off-the-shoulder silk top for a party. Wear them with boots and a sweater for everything else. Jeans are easy, attractive, and they resist the temptation to betray you for the spaghetti sauce splatterer you are.
2) Coat That Goes Casual Or Party
You really don’t want to drag multiple jackets across the country. Plan to bring a trench coat that will work for brunch with your brother and New Year’s with the cheerleading squad. Sure, you ran track but the cheerleaders still know how to party. Just hide your coat so no one hurls on it.
3) Chameleon Dress
Bring a dress that you can wear casually with a sweater and boots or with sultry makeup and sparkly jewelry. (Sparkles don’t take up much room in the suitcase, so pile them on.) This polka-dot dress can be dressed up with red heels or down with a white top. You could wear it three separate times with no one the wiser – except maybe your judgey Aunt Martha. Don't worry, no one listens to her.
You want something super soft and comfy for slouching around the house. It’s the holidays and there will be some fire and hot cocoa time. You don’t want to be stuck wearing your jeans when everyone else is in scarlet plaid flannel. Wear these lounging pants instead.
5) Light Sweater
Bring a light sweater – cashmere, if possible, because cashmere makes life better – to wear when slouching, when drinking, when present unwrapping, and under that coat, in case the temperature drops.