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Packing with Purpose

Jill Alexander

Summer seems to be the time where everyone is doing traveling of one type or another.  Whether it’s the family summer vacation, an extended business trip, or a romantic getaway for two, packing for travel has become increasingly difficult with the luggage limitations issued by the travel industry. 

One of our specialties at JAD is helping you to compile components that will work together, be incredibly versatile, and keep your baggage to a minimum.  I thought I’d share some of our hard and fast rules to packing for success.

  1. Choose one color palette.  Start with your favorite print, and then pull solid colors from there.  This keeps shoe options to a minimum and creates all mix and match looks.


  1. Bring double the amount of tops to bottoms. Technically speaking, clothes made for the bottom half of the body are generally made from a heavier, more durable fabric, (known as “bottom weight”).  Traditionally, these pieces will be able to be worn more than one time as opposed to a light weight top that is more vulnerable to the elements, soil, and sweat.


  1. Pack convertibly. Choose pieces that can be used for more than one purpose.  For example, a button up blouse can double as a casual jacket worn open and layered over another lightweight top.  Our convertible maxi dress can be an elegant maxi for evening, a short sundress for the beach, a long maxi skirt for sightseeing, and a shorter flirty skirt for dancing the night away.  The 5-way Wrap Jacket goes from a bathing suit cover up, to a chic, flowy evening wrap in a couple of twists.  (You can also wash it in your hotel sink if you need to and it will dry in minutes).


  1. If you are over size 14, you know how challenging it can be to buy something you’ve forgotten while traveling. The limited shopping options for plus size women are mind boggling.  Starting with a list of excursions and activities before you pack will help you to organize what you will wear to each event so that nothing gets left behind.


  1. Jewelry is one of the best ways to change the mood of an outfit. Bermuda shorts and a cowl top easily go from day to evening with a chunky statement piece, hoop earrings and a kitten heel.


  1. Pack a small sized handbag with your wallet, phone and other necessities, and keep it inside a larger handbag so that on day excursions, you have room to add souvenirs, but, at night you can pop out the smaller handbag with your “must-haves”.


All in all, editing your choices will be your best bet.  Sometimes that’s the biggest challenge to those of us who consider the pieces in our wardrobe, “friends”.  If you need unbiased suggestions for which things need to stay home, drop in to either our Scotts Valley, CA or Los Gatos, CA stores for some advice, or feel free to email us with your travel packing dilemmas to: and one of our on staff stylists will be happy to answer your questions!


Take care, be safe and have fun!

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