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Nothing is harder than trying to mix travel and style. You’re either sweaty and stressed out from hauling your enormous suitcase up a million stairs to your cosy hotel in Santorini, or you’re stuck in an outfit that screams “tourist” and none of the cute locals even lift as much as an eyebrow in your direction.
Travelling in Europe and Asia as a fashion designer has taught me a thing or two about creating a stylish capsule wardrobe for your suitcase, and here are my best tips:
Limit yourself to just a few colors.
If you look like you just stepped off a delayed 14-hour flight you might be wearing too many different colors in one outfit. You’ve got a much better shot at being mistaken for a chic European if you stick to maximum 2-3 colors at the time. The way to achieve a great traveller’s look is to plan the colors in your wardrobe in advance, and I urge you to begin with something surprising:
Start with shoes.
Don’t pack your suitcase based on your favorite dress but instead based on those practical items that can easily ruin your day and your style. I’m talking about shoes of course. Nothing spoils your trip like a pretty & painful pair of shoes, and nothing spoils your outfit like a pair of practical & ugly ones. The trick is to find those shoes that are both comfy & chic, and always have another backup pair at hand.
My favorites are dressy tennis shoes, bouncy wedges, platform sandals, and flat, sleek boots.
Pick one color for your accessories.
Stick to one color for all your shoes and accessories so you can easily mix and match according to your plans and the weather.
On my last trip to Madrid I chose gold/beige for my dressy shoes, tennis shoes, flip flops, hat, belt, sunglasses, small bag for valuables, and big tote for everything else. At the end of a long day I would ditch my dressy shoes and slip on the flip flops I kept in my matching bag and still look stylish.
Black, brown, beige, gray, white, or metallics are great neutrals that look wonderful with all kinds of colored clothes.
Don’t forget your practical clothes – in a base color.
I have a nominee for the world’s worst garment: The tourist rain poncho. Still, I have to admit to wearing one on river boat Natchez in New Orleans last week. Who knew it could rain that much!
I’d done the smart thing by bringing a cardigan and basic pants in a base color, but I forgot to bring a chic raincoat like I do when travelling in Europe. These weather necessities are often guilty of making you look like a bag lady if they come in a rainbow of colors, so keep them neutral. Personally, I love to wear white in the summer and black in the winter. The base color for your practical clothes can be the same as the base color for your accessories, but you can also bring in another neutral.
Black, brown, beige, grey, white are great colors for basics clothes that ensures your outfit doesn’t look too messy.
Limit your jewelry.
Stick to one necklace, one pair of earrings, and one bracelet in the same neutral color that works with all the clothes in your suitcase. People don’t notice it if you wear the same jewellery all weekend, but they will notice if you only bring one shirt.
Black, white, gold, and silver are simple but beautiful.
Pick gorgeous colors for your star pieces.
Your capsule wardrobe needs those special and fashionable pieces that make you look like a celebrity travel blogger such as tops, dresses, and skirts. The best way to stand out is to wear a stunning color, and it will definitely get you noticed by those gorgeous Italians too. Pick several colors so your star pieces don’t look too similar, and you’ll wow your fellow travellers by showing up for your morning café au lait in a new, refreshed look.
Wear colors that make you glow.
Travelling the world sure opens your eyes to how different we all look and how we love to wear completely different colors. Scandinavians look great in icy blue and Indians look stunning in fuchsia. Make sure you wear colors that look absolutely wonderful with your hair and your complexion. This way you’ll be more beautiful than ever before, and you can leave most of your cosmetics at home. To quickly find out which colors look amazing on you, check out Hilde’s Color Snap Technique. It’s an ingenious little trick where you find you best colors in only one minute with the help of your smartphone. You can check it out right here.
She’s the Godmother of Style and totally saves the day by helping women nail their style so they can WOW their clients, husbands, and Italian admirers.
She’s a terrible cook but has been busy in the kitchen boiling down 5 years of design school and 20 years in fashion to create a strikingly simple but ingenious system so women can go deep inside to discover who they truly are. Then she helps them find the clothes to express that on the outside.
Hilde’s on a mission to get women all over the world to fall head over heels in love with their bodies by showing them how to dress for their body type. Because the women of the world are just like you: Way more beautiful than you know, exactly the way you are – right now.