How To Pack For A Respectable Spring Break

The blogs are full of skimpy bikinis and ethereal sarongs — but fantasy vacations aside, what's the minimum wardrobe you can get away with for a warm-weather getaway?

Let me say right now that for me this is academic. I never go anywhere and resent people who do. (I kid.) But I've polled my globetrotter friends and drawn on my imagination and memory, and it's become clear that the following things are true:

Think Comfort. Not only do knits and blends pack small and roll easily, they'll be comfortable in transit.

Do Coordinated Colors. Basic colors like black and white are no-brainers, but whatever you choose, make sure they go together and can mix and match.


Have a System.
One "bottom" to three tops is a good rule of thumb.

Accessories Are Your Friend. A scarf, a necklace, a couple of belts — these are what will allow you to get away with minimal clothing.

Bring Enough Underwear.

Carry Multiple Shoes. Something walkable and something that can double-duty for evening should do it, but you may also want flip-flops and sneakers.

Bring an Extra Bag for the stuff you'll buy there.

Pack Things That Do Double-Duty. A dress that can be dressed up with a necklace, a shawl and a pair of heels; a top that can double as a cover-up with your swimsuit.

Oh, and Check the Weather Report. You may need rain gear, sweaters, jeans...never assume!

A Basic Minimal Wardrobe For A Warm-Weather Weekend (without shirts and undies and PJ's, which I assume you'd assume.) Remember, this is just a suggestion: swap light pants for shorts or skirts if you prefer, or another bathing suit if you swim a lot. Obviously if you're hiking or anything specific, you know, pack for that.

What are your surefire "spring-break" packing strategies? Where are you going? Triumphant packing stories? Dramatic failures? Inquiring minds want to know!

For all of our handy Dress Code guides, go here.