How to pack for a week abroad

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

Introducing "Ask a Stylist," a new occasional feature on Ellevated where we we'll be answering your fashion and style questions. Have a question you'd like us to answer? Leave it in the comments below or email us:

The first question is from Laura P.: "I'm going with my family to Madrid for spring break and I'm totally overwhelmed by the idea of packing. I need outfits for walking around the city during the day, going to museums and sight-seeing. I also need outfits for dressier nights out. And the weather in spring can be unpredictable. Can you help?"

Absolutely. Jen's philosophy of packing for a trip is to pick pieces that work together in numerous ways. Stay away from bringing items that will only be worn once. Stick with a relatively neutral palette so it's that much easier to make multiple outfits. And, above all, focus on comfort, in addition to style, so you can relax and enjoy your vacation, whether you're sightseeing or sitting on a beach.

For this trip to Madrid, we've picked 15 interchangeable items plus four pairs of shoes that can be packed easily and will take you through a week's sightseeing in style (see below). Check out the two videos that follow in which Jen describes how to put the pieces together for day and for evening.

The 15 Pieces to pack (plus 4 pairs of shoes)

Row One: 1. Rag & Bone olive blazer. 2. Frank and Eileen shirt; 3. Rag & Bone black blazer; 4. Rag & Bone silk PJ top; 5. Vince navy v-neck sweater.

Row Two: 1. Rag & Bone dress; 2. Vince black v-neck sweater; 3. J. Crew denim shirt;

4. Vince striped sweater; 5. Majestic Filatures black tee.

Row Three: 1. Mother black jeans; 2. Rag & Bone blue jeans; 3. Vince side-zip pants;

4. Theory belted pants.

Row Four: 1. Herno coat with detachable sleeves; *2. Herno vest.

Row Five: 1. Jimmy Choo boot; 2. Vince sneaker; 3. Rag & Bone boot; 4. Vince boot.

*The navy hooded Herno vest shown in the video/outfits below is no longer available; however, you can find it here in black. The vest linked and pictured above is similar in navy but without the hood.

Check out our videos below where Jen will demonstrate how to use the 15 pieces efficiently. The first video shows how to pull together casual daytime looks and the second one shows evening outfits and outerwear. Photos of outfit ideas follow.

Video 1: Daytime

Daytime looks

Video 2: Evening and outerwear

Evening looks

Thank you to Neiman Marcus Tyson's Galleria for enabling us to film at their beautiful store. If you live in the area and want to try on some of the pieces featured in today's post, we encourage you to start there and ask for Maryam. You can contact her directly at 571.533.5071 if you need any assistance.