The flights are booked, the hotel rooms have been selected, your out-of-office message is on— now all that’s left to do is pack!
Packing for vacation can make you wish for a crystal ball to predict everything you might need in your unpredictable destination. You might even be tempted to throw everything from your closet into your suitcase. (You might need that sweater you haven’t worn for two years on your tropical getaway. Who knows!)
If you’re feeling frazzled at the thought of figuring out what to wear when you get away, have no fear— read on for our guide to vacation outfit ideas that’ll leave you feeling as easy and breezy as the waves crashing on the shore.
Outfit Ideas for Beach Vacations
The sand under your toes, the sound of the surf—heading to the beach for a tropical vacation is one of the best ways to unwind, relax, and catch a healthy dose of sunshine. Whether you’re headed to a tropical escape or a long weekend by the shore, there’s an ocean of outfit ideas to choose from.
For beach vacations, you’ll want light and easy-to-slip-on outfits that don’t constrict your movement. (Leave those tight pants and high heels at home!)
You want your vacation wardrobe to be:
Wondering what this looks like in reality? Here are a few of our favorite beach vacation outfits to throw in your suitcase.
#1 Shorts And A Classic Tee
The most crucial beach vacation outfits are the ones you’ll actually wear to the beach! These outfits should be lightweight and keep you cool under the sun, while also being easy to slip off for swimming or sunbathing.
Start with a classic striped tee shirt for a nautically-inspired look perfect for the shore, like the jersey knit Twist Front Top, which features a stylish twisted detail at the waist. Neutrals more your style? Swap out the stripes for a short-sleeved or long-sleeved tee in a solid color.
Shorts make for the perfect pick for a balmy summer’s day. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can pack a few pairs to mix and match depending on your look for that day.
Here are a few favorite shorts to wear when heading to the beach:
- These Drawstring Shorts in blue and white stripes stick with the nautical theme, offering an easy elastic waistband and a drawstring tie for comfort and polish.
- The Bermuda Shorts are classic and match with just about anything. Crafted from double-stretch twill fabric, they’re your beachside BFF.
- The High-Waist Pleated Shorts present an option for a more sophisticated beach look. These structured shorts feature a flattering high waist and crisp pleats with a touch of stretch for comfort.
#2 Flowy Pants and a Lightweight Blouse
Looking for a tropical vacation outfit for strolling along the boardwalk? Breathable, wide-legged pants are perfect for keeping cool while also looking hot. You’ll love the Cropped Pants for their lightweight linen blend and natural, earthy color. Plus, their stylish straight-leg shape flatters any figure.
Try dressing up these pants with a billowy, chic blouse like the Peasant Top for a boho-inspired look perfect for sipping a glass of white wine on the deck or for long evening walks along the waves. The flowy shape and the bold pattern effortlessly complement your neutral-toned linens.1
Tie the whole look together with a pair of flat sandals and a Straw Panama Hat. The wide brim on this straw hat will be perfect for protecting you from the sun’s rays as you hunt for sea glass or flip through that steamy romance novel.
#3 A Breezy Dress and a Wrap
Be sure to pack a few dressier options for dinners or cocktails out on your trip. There’s no easier beach-vacation look than a comfortable and cute dress. You’ll look put-together after spending no time at all in front of the mirror.
Explore these options for your dressed-up look:
- The Cuffed Sleeve Dress features a cinched waist and a flirty front slit hem for a pretty and polished dinner dress. A tie belt with tiger’s eye beads ties this look together beautifully.
- The Stripe Shirtdress is feminine, chic-casual, and easy to slip on for a quick coffee run or mid-day brunch. Paired with the right tote and sun hat, you’ll look effortlessly fashionable.
- The Fringe Pashmina Shawl is ideal if your destination sees more chilly nights than balmy ones. Drape it over your shoulders as you stroll in the moonlight.
Outfit Ideas for Ski Vacations
If your ideal vacation is hitting a few black-diamond runs in the morning and cozying up by the fireside at night, your vacation style will look a little different from a beachy or summer vacation. After you’ve packed your snow pants, puffer jacket outfit, and ski poles, leave a little room in your suitcase for these winter wardrobe essentials perfect for an alpine getaway.
#1 A Cozy Sweater and Classic Blue Jeans
The number one style goal of any mountain vacation is staying warm and looking chic doing it. A sweater and a comfortable pair of jeans will keep you toasty as you’re curled up by the fireplace sipping an apres-ski cocktail or browsing antique shops in a quaint mountain town.
Whether you prefer a pair of classic straight-leg jeans or if you’re a skinny jeans aficionado, jeans make for the perfect staple to pack for a cold-weather vacation since they go with just about everything.
Try pairing your favorite denim with a few of these cozy sweaters:
- Our Turtleneck Sweater offers a timeless shape in dark striped oatmeal or neutral black. Effortlessly elegant, this iconic sweater makes for a great layering piece for chillier days (but it stuns on its own, too).2
- Our Colorblock Sweater lets you play with patterns made with a plush knit. Extra chilly day? Top it off with the Sherpa Fur Jacket in taupe for a cozy, all-over-neutral style.
- The Jacquard Sweater sports a Fair Isle sweater-inspired print in black and cream. It’s perfect for a retro ski-wear look. Wear it solo or layer it with a thin cotton turtleneck underneath for a little extra warmth.
#2 A Sweater Dress and Tall Boots
For those nights when you’ll be having an apres-ski dinner, you’ll want a dressier option that will look stylish but still well-insulated. On the nights when ski pants and a heavy sweater won’t cut it, opt for a sweater dress to bundle you up.
Cozy yet chic, a sweater dress makes for the perfect pick for a slopeside dinner. Whether you go for a creamy neutral oatmeal option or a drape neck sweater dress with a classic A-line cut, you’ll love how effortlessly elegant this wintery piece feels.
Pair your cute dress with your favorite tall boots, a pair of black tights, and a long pendant-style necklace to balance the shape. Now, you’re ready for a night of fondue and a hot toddy (or two) in the ski lodge.
Outfit Ideas for Road Trips
We wholeheartedly support you if you plan to venture on a road trip vacation. On the road, a little bit of everything is only a turn away: sights, nature, food, and adventure galore.
So what do you pack for a trip that takes you anywhere and everywhere?
The answer is easier than you might think. With road trips, you’ll want clothes that are easy to mix and match so you’ll have options no matter where you’re headed. Another key word here is comfort—because nobody wants to drive in stiff, restrictive clothing.
#1 Leggings and a Chic Sweatshirt
For longer road trips and airport attire, opt for stretchy leggings in a rayon and spandex blend for ultimate comfort as you’re cruising. Leggings will be your style's secret weapon for your road trip, with their easy-to-match neutrality and easy-to-wear elastic waistband.
Elevate the quintessential hoodie-and-legging combo by pairing your leggings with a stylish, updated twist on the sweatshirt with one of these chic options:
- Go geometric with the Asymmetric Hem Hoodie for style, flair, and softness
- Play with textures with the silky Contrast Hem Hoodie, featuring a satin hem detail
- Get cozy with the plush yarn Sweater Hoodie, crafted from sustainable recycled plastic
#2 A Black Maxi Dress and a Tote Bag
On the days when you’re out and about exploring a new city, you may want something you can feel adorable in (but still comfortable).
How about a dress that casts you as the main character wherever you go?
The V-Neck Maxi Dress in Black is your dress for when wanderlust leads the way. You’ll love its stretchy material and versatility to dress up or down. Seriously—you can wear it with flat sandals or sporty sneakers!
No matter where you’re flaunting your dress, make sure to pair it with a roomy tote bag like the Cowhide Tote or the boho-inspired Macrame Crossbody Bag to have plenty of room to carry all the treasures you find along your journey.
Get Away In Style with Karen Kane
Whether you’re hitting the slopes or hitting the road, vacation style doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. By sticking to a mix of easy-to-match, reliable staples and a few of your favorite statement pieces, you can build a vacation wardrobe that’ll let you kick back while your style does all the work.
For vacation styles and fashion for everywhere else, turn to Karen Kane. From roll-sleeve tie-front tops to chic cargo jackets, we design styles that you’ll love, and that’ll love you right back. We’re all about creating beautiful, thoughtfully made pieces for women to make you feel chic and confident, no matter where life takes you.
Build your next vacation wardrobe and find your next closet staples in our collection today.
- Glam. 15 Tips For Styling Wide Leg Pants. https://www.glam.com/904141/tips-styling-wide-leg-pants/
- Vogue. The Statement Turtleneck Is Already Taking Over This Fall. https://www.vogue.com/slideshow/statement-turtlenecks