How to Shop for Vacation Outfits | 7 Simple Tips

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Hi, I'm Chelsey

Happy first day of summer! With the high temperatures we’ve had all month, it’s hard to believe today is truly the first day of the season! Staying in line with this week’s vacation theme, today’s post is all about getting your vacation style together!

Vacation season is upon us! I was actually talking to a friend of mine earlier this week about how we truly need like 3 weeks for vacation: one week to prep and get everything checked off the list, one week for the actual vacation, and one week to recover and rest.

Even though I have a few weeks to go, I feel like time is going to start flying by pretty soon! I’m trying to check off as much as I can before the final hour, and one of the things at the top of my list is finalizing what I’m going to wear. I’ve already started pulling inspiration from my vacation destination, and I even spent the weekend looking around a few stores. Shopping for a vacation can get a little overwhelming, so I’m sharing a few quick tips with you today that will hopefully help you find the perfect vacation outfits!

How to Shop for a Vacation

Tips for Shopping for Vacation Outfits

  1. Finalize your itinerary!

    How can you possibly decide what to wear when you don’t even know what you’re doing? Plan, plan, plan! I’m not saying you need to have an hour by hour timeline, but you do want to have a general idea of the types of things you’ll be doing.

    Heading to a nice dinner? Perfect! Now you know you’ll need a formal outfit. Going to the beach? Add a swimsuit to the list. Run through all of the places you plan on seeing while on vacation and write down the style of clothing appropriate for the setting.

  2. Create a mood board.

    A mood board, though cliche, really does set the mood! You don’t have to go old school with magazine clippings and a poster board, but you do want to create a space that has all of your vacation inspiration. The easiest way to achieve this is through a Pinterest board. You can make it private if preferred, but the idea is to save images of the city or country you’re visiting.

    Pin places, food, the weather, and a few outfits here and there to create an overall aesthetic. This, along with the next tip, will help you identify the vibe you’re wanting.

  3. Save inspiration on social media.

    Have you created collections on Instagram yet? I love using this feature! I usually save locations to visit or food to try, but it’s also useful during vacation planning! Search a few of the fashion blogger or style hashtags and save photos of outfits you like. While out shopping, pull up the collection as a style guide!

  4. Make a list.

    Just like grocery shopping, shopping for clothes can quickly get out of hand if you aren’t focused. With vacation outfits specifically, it’s important to keep your purchases down to a reasonable amount. You don’t want to buy 20 new outfits when you’re only traveling for a few days and can comfortably pack 4-7 looks.

    Keep the list simple and write down the type of clothing you need along with the style from tip number one. For example, let’s say you’re planning on going to a formal dinner and a casual brunch. Instead of just writing down “dinner look” or “dress”, write down “formal dress” or “daytime casual tee”.

  5. Shop for versatile pieces.

    I have to admit, I need to work on this tip myself when it comes to vacation outfits. Your life will become so much easier if you shop for vacation outfits in the same way you’d shop for your everyday looks. Pick items that are versatile so that you can mix and match just in case you don’t feel like wearing what you planned.

    Sometimes what you pack doesn’t fit your mood (or the weather), so it’s good to have at least two things that can be mixed together to create alternative options without taking up extra space in your suitcase.
    California Summer Shopping Tips

  6. Pull from the locals.

    Sometimes, the best way to plan your vacation style is to take a peek at what the locals are wearing. Social media is also great for this because you can search geotags or location hashtags and scroll through photos. What are people wearing in the city you’re visiting? You may think you have it all figured out by glancing at the weather, but checking out the local style bloggers can really give you a full picture.

    I experienced this last year when I went to California for the first time. Everyone talks about the perfect warm weather, but everyone’s idea of perfect weather is different. As a Texan, California summers are a bit chilly, especially in the evening. Had I pulled from the locals, I would have known packing a jacket was more of a necessity than an optional style choice.

  7. Shop in three waves: Closet, In-Store, and Online.

    Personally, I would even add a fourth wave if time allows. To prevent overspending before you even get to your destination, start looking for vacation outfits by shopping your own closet! I like to deep clean my apartment before a trip so everything is in tip-top shape when I get back, so that includes completing a closet clean out. While cleaning, I shop my closet and put all of the vacation options off to the side.

    Once you know what you already have, you can either shop online first or shop in store first. I recommend shopping in store first because you can actually try things on and know they fit before purchasing. Shop your local mall and see what’s in stock. Buy as much as you can in store so you don’t have to worry too much about online items not fitting. You can check out my newest vlog here where I take you along as I shop for my vacation!

    If you didn’t have any luck in store, the next step is expanding your options by shopping online. Ideally, it’s best to stick with stores you know. If you haven’t ordered something from an online store before, keep in mind that their shipping could be delayed or their quality may not be what you expect. Because you never know how something fits until it arrives, I would visit your local stores as the fourth step if you have time.

What tips do you have when it comes to shopping for a vacation?

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