pacific coast highway road trip

I left on a road trip to SoCal a few days ago (note: I didn't actually pack today, this was written beforehand)! Specifically LA and San Diego. Here is what I'm thinking of bringing - because let's be honest, I'm always going to throw in a few "last minute" items - as well as how I would suggest packing

Grab everything that you're thinking of bringing and loosely arrange them in categories - tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear. You can adapt to your needs and travel situation. We're driving, so I was able to bring more, but I definitely would not suggest this much if you're traveling abroad as you'll probably shop and bring back even more. 

white lace top - Billabong, striped bandeau top - Roxy, both bottoms - Hollister
Since LA and San Diego are basically beaches, I brought two swim bottoms, and two swim tops. The reason I have two basic black ones are because the one on the left is cheeky, and the one on the right isn't as much. I haven't actually worn either in public before though.

I'm a fan of simpler tops, so I have a triangle white lace one, and a striped bandeau, depending on whether I'll actually be swimming, or just tanning.

black pompom shorts - Ecote, black skirt - F21, black highwaisted shorts - Hollister, dark highwaisted shorts - AE, jeans - AE, patterned pants - Zara
As you can see, I definitely lean towards darker colors. They're typically more slimming, but they also show stains less (aka I can be lazy and wash them less).

I really love the pompom details on the shorts, because it makes them so easy to dress up or down! The black skirt actually has a bit of herringbone detail, and it matches with basically any top.

I've had my printed pants for ages, and I've only really found one top that matches with it. Needless to say, I don't really get many chances to wear them out, but I thought I'd bring them along in the hopes of finally figuring out what to wear with them. They also double as sweatpants because they're so comfy!

striped long sleeve - BP, black chiffon top - Lush, grey v neck - BP, plaid top - zara, striped corset top - frenchi
All my tops wouldn't fit in one photo (overpacking? nahh), so I divided them into neutrals and color. You can definitely tell my love for stripes - I tried to put them far from each other so as to not blind all of you.

The great thing about neutrals is they match with more or less everything! They're also great for accessorizing and adding bright colors.

magenta silk top - chelsea28, burgundy top - A&F, orange baseball raglan - Free People
purple v neck - BP, peter pan collared top - Topshop, mint crop top - O'Neill, love crop top - F21
Since SoCal has a reputation for being laidback and surfer chic, I brought a few really casual pieces. I didn't want to look like a clueless tourist in case we went to fancier restaurants though, so I included a gorgeous magenta silk crop top I've yet to take the tags off of, and a light green peter pan collared top.

Side note of my love for deals - I got the Free People raglan for $1. With the same amount of money I bought a pack of Skittles with, I bought an amazingly soft and comfy We The Free top. Obviously, that was a good day. (p.s. you can have a great clothing day too with these ways to get clothes for super cheap!)

burgundy cardigan - Roxy, grey cardigan - Brandy Melville, creme cardigan - Mossimo, tan raincoat - Uniqlo
Once, we went on an overnight trip to Big Sur, and I didn't bring a jacket, because my mind goes something like this: warm now = warmer at Big Sur because there are beaches = no possible way it will get colder at night. I was very wrong, and even wearing 3 shirts at a time isn't as good as a jacket or cardigan.

I'm making sure I won't freeze during our road trip, and bringing a variety of cardigans to match every outfit. I'm even bringing a rain coat, because you never know!
black half zip - VS Pink, purple sweatshirt - Wildfox
Okay first, can we please take a moment to admire my Wildfox sweater? I got it slightly used on this app, Poshmark, and I love it to death. I've been looking for the "Shopping Is My Cardio" saying for ages, and I love the pastel colors of it. Also, IT WAS ONLY $30.

Also from Poshmark, a black half zip, which I've also been looking for for a few years (no joke - they just never have colors I like in store). It set me back $14.

Sensing a trend here? Poshmark is a lifesaver. I'm thinking of writing a post about the ins and outs, as well as how to sell on there, so let me know if that's something you'd like to see!

red printed dress - Zara, floral dress - Kimchi Blue
white dress - A&F, black t shirt dress - F21
I love wearing dresses because you only really have to pick the shoes and the dress. Also, no pants, and no pants is always a bonus. Speaking of bonuses, pockets in dresses! Seriously debating on whether I should spend this summer sewing pockets into all of my dresses.

As you may have noticed, I like to pick neutrals (black + white), and then a few colorful options. I think it's a great way to be prepared for every situation. Make sure you also have options for different levels of formalness.

My packing tips in a nutshell:

Pick items that can do double duty - a tube dress that folds down into a skirt, flowy pants that can be worn as pajamas, or a maxi skirt that can turn into a strapless dress will save you space in your suitcase! This also goes for shoes and accessories.

Know what events to dress for - If you already know you'll be attending dinner at a posh restaurant, make sure you have something that you could wear there. Even if you don't have plans, bring a dress just in case, it'll save you money if you have to go shopping again! Or I guess you can use it as an excuse to shop more.

Pick neutral outerwear - This way, you won't be stuck with a hot pink cardigan that only matches one top in your closet. I like picking black, white, and one color that's easy to match, usually navy or burgundy.

Take 2 things out before you leave - I'm an over-packer, so I always have things that I think I'll wear, and then never do. Force yourself to surrender two things, and you probably won't even notice they're gone. I'd go with whatever you wear the least in your normal, day-to-day closet.

Let me know if these tips were helpful! What's your favorite thing to bring on road trips? Do you have any tips for traveling smart?



p.s. As this is being posted, I'm already in SoCal! I will be reading comments, and possibly responding, but at a much slower rate. I will definitely get back on when I'm home though!

Should you need to contact me quickly, please don't hesitate to email. 


No comments