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What to pack for a weekend getaway

© iStockphoto / Thinkstock © iStockphoto / Thinkstock

By Angela Gaimari

From Bright Smile Beautiful You 

Whether you're headed off to the beach, into the mountains or over to the big city, let our handy cheat sheet help you pack for any weekend getaway.

By the Sea

Soaking up a little mood-boosting sunshine and going for long walks along the shore? Bring these essentials.

Canvas tote. A sturdy bag can hold magazines, snacks, sunscreen and a towel. Post-trip, repurpose your beach bag into a chic shopper for trips to the farmers market.

Strappy sandals. These haute soles are great for the beach, boardwalk and the bars. An embellished, metallic pair easily goes from day-to-night.

Sun-shielding hat. Channel bathing beauties of yore and save your skin from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat. Colored hair will benefit from this coverage too.

Swimsuit. Invest in a swimsuit that's well-made and will last longer than one season. Look for tight stitching and sturdy material (it should contain at least 15 percent spandex). If you have a larger chest, thick straps will offer you the most support and comfort. Seek out bikini tops sized like bras and feature molded cups for better support. Smaller women can try halter and bandeau tops.

Oversized dress. Get an easy-breezy look with a flowy caftan or maxi-dress you can throw on over your suit for dinner on the deck. Bring a simple solid (think classic navy, tan-enhancing taupe or deep rose pink) in lightweight jersey. Then, pick one in ethnic prints and breezy cottons at the beachside shops.

Into the Woods

Nothing like fresh, clean air and the serenity of the forest to recharge your mind and reinvigorate your senses. Be prepared, so roughing it won't be rough at all.

Backpack. This grade school essential is back in style; utilitarian-cool backpacks have been all over the runways. Choose one that will hold your necessities but is of a manageable size so you can use it when you get back to civilization. Look for water-resistant, coated nylon fabrics in unexpected neutrals, like burgundy and deep green.

Long-sleeve shirt. The foot of the mountain may be hot, but the peak can be surprisingly chilly. Pack a light long-sleeved waffle tee for layering so you're comfortable at any altitude.

Water bottle. A stainless steel water bottle will not only help the environment, it will also help your wallet. Choose one in your favorite color and up your hydration quotient every day to stay healthy and keep your skin smooth. 

Digital watch. Keep track of when the sun goes down with a sporty chic watch that's as functional as it is fashionable. Pick a timepiece with a compass feature to keep you on the right path.

Sunscreen. The sun is still strong, even in the shade. Reapply a broad-spectrum sunblock every few hours. A sweat-resistant formula won't clog pores as you traverse the trails.

Hot in the City

Big cities glitter even more when the sun is shining. Explore new shops and museums on this urban adventure that'll leave you fully inspired.

Jeans. These days, you can get away with wearing nice jeans in places where you never could before, like fancy restaurants and cocktail parties. Trouser styles in deep washes are always acceptable, or opt for a slim-fitting straight-leg style. Lightweight denim will be more comfortable in the city heat. 

LBD. A little black dress always looks chic. Belt it for an afternoon of shopping, and add sky-high heels and statement jewelry at night. Cottons are cool, jersey dresses are easy to pack, and wrap styles are universally flattering.

Lightweight wrap. Bright cottons and summer-weight cashmere wraps add oomph to any outfit and protect your shoulders from arctic air-conditioning.

Go-everywhere handbag. A sleek, midsize bag can easily go from day to night. Make sure it's lightweight and has a thick strap for all-day carrying comfort. Look for one that closes well and has an outside pocket so you can easily reach for your phone, camera and map.

Oversized glasses. While city dwellers seem to be decked in head-to-toe designer duds, a pair of upscale shades will give instant cred to your look at a fraction of the cost. Try an ultra-glam Jackie O style.


Angela Gaimari is a Brooklyn-based blogger, copywriter and editor. Her work has been featured in T: The New York Times Style Magazine, New York Magazine, Style.com and Bloomingdale's, among others. She also blogs at NewYorkAvore.com about cooking and eating in New York City.

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