One bag challenge: How to mix and match your vacation wardrobe

August 3, 2013

Hi friends! While I'm off today packing boxes showing my parents the city, I have the wonderful Aimee from Shop At Home to talk about how to mix and match your vacation wardrobe. Because let's face it, we all just want to be able to throw everything into one bag and jump on a spontaneous flight to visit Brooks. ShopAtHome did an awesome feature of The Unreal Life a few weeks ago, and if you ever get a chance to collaborate with these women I highly suggest it! Seriously. They truly are very sweet, creative women (and they actually read your blog hollaaaaah). 

By Aimee Heckel,

My friend just left for a month-long trip to Africa with only one carry-on bag.

One bag. For a month.

I tote more junk than that to work every day. Heck, I need more than that to just walk upstairs. So, the revelation that my friend -- who is super fashionable, by the way -- could accomplish such a glorious feat has left me in a bit of a soul-searching mode. As I rev up for my much-needed beach vacation next month, I’m doing some strategic planning. The goal: one small duffel bag. My strategy: outfits that are easy to mix and match.

I decided to start with the color blue, because there are so many gorgeous blues out right now, and because blue is my idea of a neutral, but more energetic than brown and less emo than black. Also, white mixed with blue just feels so sailor and beachy. Everything I pack should be interchangeable with everything else, allowing me ultimate flexibility, depending on my mood and the day’s activities.

Here’s the breakdown of my favorite items -- and how to save money using the fab deals available at -- when putting together your own perfect travel package of fashionable goodness.

1. Blue Merona women’s double weave pencil skirt, $23 at
A classic pencil skirt with a swirly pattern paired with pearls and a blazer or button-up is stunning for a night out, but also looks awesome when you just throw on a white T-shirt and wear it to the ice cream parlor. Darn straight that’s on my agenda. Save big on Target clothes by using one of the many Target coupons and pairing it with 3 percent Cash Back from

2. White pearls, $30 at
Do I really need to explain the beauty of this necklace? Pearls are tiny little angels curled into balls and should be incorporated into every outfit wherever possible. Plus, they’re pretty durable for travel and they really do go with everything, forever.

3. A red open front blazer, $30 at Forever 21.
Add a pop of color with an accent jacket or blazer. If you’re hitting the beach, don’t waste space with a full jacket; a lightweight style should do. Push up the sleeves to make it look more casual. Plus, red jackets go with everything. Find free shipping codes, coupons and Cash Back offers at your favorite clothing stores here.  

4. White cut-out sandals, $23 at Charlotte Russe.
Pack a pair of sandals that you can wear both to the beach and out for dinner. Wedges are comfortable to walk in, but the height makes them feel dressy, when needed. These cutouts are breathable, yet delicate and fancy. Check out 26 different Charlotte Russe coupons online here, and take advantage of the 3.5 percent Cash Back offer.

Other must-haves:

5. A white strappy top, $38 at H&M.
Don’t forget the H&M coupons here.

6. An Oasis striped Riri dress, $53 at

7. A John Lewis Bossa vintage-inspired, bandeau-style swimming suit, $53 at

8. Vintage American flag denim shorts, $25 at
Get 2 percent Cash Back and Delia’s coupons here.

9. Iron Fist Lamby red and white polka dot ballet flats, $50 at
OK, I couldn’t just stick with one pair of shoes. But these are compactible. Bonus: Find coupons and Cash Back here. You’re welcome. Send me a postcard.

Aimee Heckel writes about travel and family for the Online Shopping Report at
Photo: Created using Polyvore

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