Currently sitting poolside, I’m wrapping up my family vacation in Charleston, SC. It’s been a very enjoyable #liangfamilyminivacation and although it was a short trip, we packed a lot in. We took the ferry to Fort Sumter, toured historic downtown Charleston via Old South Carriage Company, shopped the Charleston Farmers Market, hit the beach on Sullivan’s Island (where I became a sandy human churro), and got a taste of the nightlife at Stars Rooftop & Grill Room and 492. Per Danielle’s recommendation in her Charleston Weekend Getaway, we had dinner at Five Loaves Cafe and had one too many Moscow Mules at The Rarebit‘s stellar happy hour.
I hate looking like a tourist but when you are one it’s hard to find the balance between style and practical. While we were here temperatures clocked in around 95 degrees while the sun was out. This made for a lot of sweating profusely and trying desperately to maintain some semblance of looking put together. I used to be a big outfit planner but when I arrived at my destination I would realize I had over packed and didn’t need half of the things I had brought. This time around, I had packed lightweight pieces that could be paired together and layered as the sun went down (or if the restaurant was chilly). We were only here for four days but it would have been easy to rotate through the clothing to generate unique looks for every day of the week.
What to Pack:
Oversized muscle tank
Half cami or cute bra you don’t mind showing off
Gauzy button up maxi dress
Sunglasses and a couple of layering necklaces (should be the same metal or metals that mix well together)
Travel days call for loose fitting clothing. A soft graphic tank and loose harem pants is the perfect outfit for a long car ride/flight/bus trip/etc. It’s basically pajamas pretending to be day wear and doing a damn good job at it.
Take those comfy pants, pair it with a white tee and grab your tourist-y back pack and take to sightseeing! This is a pretty simple look so feel free to layer on your necklaces or knot the side of the shirt to make things a little more interesting.
Dress up your white tee and denim shorts with a gauzy unbuttoned maxi dress as a duster. This makes for a dramatic look that can easily be worn into the evening.
A minimal short and half cami pairing is perfect for those really hot days. If you are like me and tend to quickly get too hot or too cold, bring along that maxi dress as a scarf or tie it around your waist for easy access.
Break up your monochromatic minimal look by throwing an oversized muscle tee on top. Give yourself a waist by tying a knot with some of the excess fabric (can you tell this is my favorite styling trick?).
Layer, layer, layer. This is the easiest way to keep your outfits feeling fresh as you recycle your pieces throughout the week. The maxi dress is a duster again and worn over shorts, the half cami and oversized muscle tank.
By the last day of vacation, I’m usually at my laziest point. Trying to be fashionable is the last thing on my mind as I’m trying to cram as much vacation into those final hours. Throw that maxi dress over a swim suit and call it a day.
All of these pieces can be rotated for a few more days. The graphic tank can be paired with both the shorts. The tee and tanks can be layered over the maxi dress and tied at the waist to give the impression of a maxi skirt. If your vacation is longer than a week, throw a few more items in your bag and add to the rotation. For a more casual look, a long jersey dress can be layered with tees and tanks, and then worn solo to dinner. A short slip dress would also be good to throw in your bag. Layer it over tees for sightseeing and wear it alone or with the maxi dress duster for a night out. Remember that the key to making this work is to pick a color scheme and make sure your individual pieces will all pair well with one another. If you need help with packing light you can read my guide here. Happy vacationing!