12 Travel Fashion Staples You Need for Every Trip

November 6, 2019

Packing for a trip can be seriously soul-destroying.

I mean, whether you’re going away for a week or a month, it can be so difficult to decide what exactly you’re going to need and how to make a limited amount of pieces last for the entire duration. Right?

That’s where travel fashion staples come in.

Much like wardrobe staples, these are the wondrous pieces that you can mix and match with others to create timelessly stylish looks on holiday.

And a bonus? You can wear them as many times as you like and they will never lose their lustre. Winning.

Want more details? No worries – I’ve got you covered. Read on for the 12 travel fashion staples you need for every trip.

12 Travel Fashion Staples You Need for Every Trip

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1. The Basic White T-Shirt

Travel fashion staples 101: the basic white tee. You know, the 100% cotton, high-quality type that you can nab for cheap from the likes of M&S or H&M.

This piece is perfect for pairing with practically any outfit colour palette. It can stand alone on a particularly warm sunny day with denim and flats, or be layered underneath a cover-up in cooler temperatures. And because it’s soft, you can even wear it to travel in with equally-as-comfy-bottoms.

Put it this way: the versatility of a basic white t-shirt is endless!

2. The Comfy Trainers

One of my must-have travel fashion staples is a shoe that you can wear for long days of walking, hiking and exploring a new city that’s especially hilly.

Enter: comfy trainers.

Personally, my Nike black and white lace-up beauties always win, but some other travelistas find that Converse or Vans can also do the trick quite nicely!

3. The Mom Jeans

A great clothing partner for your classic white tee and agreeable trainers is blue denim jeans.

What kind of jeans, you ask?

Well, I always find that relaxed-fit American-style mom jeans work best when you’re on the move or sat down experiencing the local cuisine. However, some fashionistas may prefer the skinny-fit variety, and that can be completely fine too.

Either way, just make sure that yours are comfy and fit well. Jeans that dig in while you’re trying to soak up the culture of a new place aren’t the one. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Casual Travel Fashion Staples

4. The Printed Backpack

Every gal needs a trusty backpack whether she’s heading to a different destination via a plane, train, bus or car.

This is one of the travel fashion staples that needs to be secure enough to hold all of your belongings, but also aesthetically-pleasing with the ability to coordinate with all your travel outfits.

Personally, I like the neutral options, such as black, white, nude, grey, beige or navy. And I also love a good print, like this Animal version.

Why? Well, even if you opt for dressed-down, solid-coloured clothing, you can easily inject some personality into your look with this fun patterned accessory. It just goes to show: even if you have a plain front, you can still have a party on your back, people.

5. The Rain Jacket

A functional rain jacket is another one of my essential travel fashion staples. After all, you just never know when there might be an unexpected downpour.

Personally, I prefer a neutral, high-quality wind and rain jacket 2-in-1 combo, like this grey version from The North Face. This is just because I’ve had bad experiences with cheaper rain jackets where they’ve not done their job properly and I’ve been left exploring a city looking like I belong in the nearest pond.

Quack-quack, not cool.

6. The Black Blazer

Next up, a black blazer or faux leather jacket is instrumental for trips where you plan to go OUT out on an evening, whether it’s for dinner or to experience the local clubbing scene.

Every travelling fashionista needs a dressy jacket option, therefore, one of these guys is ideal.

If it’s the heart of summer, you can always swap a black jacket hue for white. Similarly, if it’s freezing cold in a certain city, you might want to take your warmest, woolliest coat.

Either way, be sure to stay snug while you’re having fun, folks.

Travel Wardrobe

7. The Dressy Shoe

If you’re all set with a dressy cover-up as part of your travel fashion staples, then you’re also going to need a dressy shoe. Naturally.

I mean, trainers don’t exactly scream smart-casual chic for a night out on the town. Am I right?

Try a black ankle boot with buckles for autumn/winter or a metallic strappy sandal for spring/summer.

Then there’s the whole matter of the heel height – do you go high heel, low heel or mid-heel?

Personally, I like to go for a slight heel, but I am five foot 11 inches and I always end up walking everywhere when I’m travelling to save money. You just do you, hun.

8. The Lightweight Leggings

One of my travel fashion staples for the actual travelling part is lightweight leggings. Needless to say, they work especially well for long plane journeys or overnight train rides.

My Adidas Originals Three Stripes never fail me, but you might prefer jeggings or even jogging bottoms. Just make sure that they’re comfortable for long periods of sitting and you’re golden.

9. The Neutral Jumper

Another favourite trip buddy of mine is a neutral hoody, chunky knit or something snugly I can wear to wander around in.

Are you heading somewhere chilly? Perfect – this everyday piece can be layered up with winter woollies to help you feel cosy while looking fashion-forward in colder temperatures.

You can also wear it with leggings and trainers for those lazy travel days. Either way, the neutral jumper is a surefire winner.

Travel Outfit

10. The Cute Crossbody Bag

Ladies, let’s face it – you can’t wear your heavy backpack at all times on your trip. It’s just not going to be feasible for those long days out and about where you need to take minimal belongings, or the nights where you’re wearing something a little dressier.

Know what I’m saying?

Instead, be sure to pack a cute crossbody bag that you can take from day to night in a fashion heartbeat. Pro tip: I usually opt for black or white depending on the season.

11. The Classic Sunglasses

Another must-have in terms of travel fashion staples? Classic-shaped sunglasses. I’m talking about aviator, wayfarer-inspired or cat-eye frames.

Regardless, choose an ageless design that compliments your face shape to take everywhere that you go. It also helps if the hue is never-changing, like black, tan, silver or gold.

And obviously, if you wear glasses on a daily basis, you’re going to need to include those on your packing list too. Do you have multiple pairs? No problem – just pick the style that will go with the maximum amount of outfits, like these fabulous Moschino black frames. You’ve got this.

12. The Strong Hair Tie

Finally, the holy mother of travel fashion staples for women is the strong hair tie. Ideally, it’s neutral in nature, unwavering and can endure multiple plane rides, travel days and weather changes.

The invisibobble is particularly handy as it’s waterproof, crystal clear and can be used over and over again. You can also wear it on your wrist as a quirky fashion accessory when you don’t need it in your hair. Fact.

Know the type? Have one? Good – get it in your day bag (or on your wrist) fast. You won’t regret it.

Dressy Travel Fashion Staples

Shuffling Between Your Travel Fashion Staples

Whether you’re new to this whole travelling thing or you’re still left scratching your head and staring at your wardrobe every time that you’re about to go away (guilty as charged), it’s a good idea to invest in travel fashion staples.

After all, in addition to helping to create in-the-moment looks that make fellow fashionistas green with envy, you can keep on wearing these pieces for many years (and trips) to come.

What are your favourite travel fashion staples? Do you own all of these 12? Let me know in the comments!

Katie Davies is the Yorkshire-based freelance writer who founded The Trendy Tourist. In the last three years, she has written for over 100 companies on a range of subjects, from fashion to marketing. When she’s not producing content, you can find her shopping, exploring a new place or sitting somewhere having a cup of builder’s tea.

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