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The Overpacker’s Guide to Travel Style: Guest Blogger

For June, our theme is wanderlust and we could think of no better person to wax poetic on foreign adventures than Kate Thorman, a professional travel writer. Kate’s impressive credentials include being an editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as the host/producer of the web-based travel and food program The Innocents Abroad. (In fact, she’s actually the cofounder of the show’s production company Abbott & West.) If you think you had the itch to explore before, we can guarantee that you’ll be ready to pull the trigger and book your next plane ticket after reading her travel-savvy posts this week. 


After too many trips lugging a 50-pound bag from bus to subway to walking across a city, I realized I had to pare down my packing. I certainly don’t abide by the ‘leave half of what you want to take’ rule, but I do have a few pieces that I use as a base for each trip. Sometimes, on a quick trip, I might even just stick to these basics:

Boots or booties, zip-up

Unless I’m going somewhere I’ll have absolutely no use for them, these are my go-to flying shoes. They’re usually the biggest thing I’m bringing, so I save the packing space, plus the zipper makes them easy to take on and off at security. And they make even the sloppiest outfit look put-together.

Shift or sweater dress

Comfy, loose and stylish, a shift dress is the answer to all your travel prayers. In winter, I wear my go-to sweater dress over leggings; the rest of the year, it’s a rotating cast of cute, non-restrictive frocks that can easily be layered with sweaters if need be.

Large scarf

Scarves have come to my rescue in nearly every situation. I’ve used them as blankets, pillows, to cover pillows in questionable hostels, skirts, shirts, head-coverings in religious places, and, of course, as a stylish addition to any outfit.


You can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take California out of the girl. My boots may be stylish, but a comfortable pair of flip-flops is my go-to for longer walks, as well as long-distance car and bus trips.

T-shirt and skinny jeans

Versatile and stylish, a well-cut T-shirt (currently loving all things Everlane) and perfect-fit skinny jeans (Madewell and Nudie are my favorites) make the ideal travel outfit. Go straight from a day of museum-hopping to dinner and drinks at a sceney restaurant with only a change of scarf.

Get more fantastic travel tips from this month’s magazine! 

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