By: Ginni Tyson Jones
If you’re like me, you spend more of your summer in your car than in one place. Between working in Chapel Hill and trying to enjoy my last summer before I am an officially unemployed college graduate, I am always on the go. Just a week ago, I traveled from Chapel Hill to my hometown on Friday night, from my hometown to the beach on Saturday, from the beach to my hometown on Sunday morning, from my hometown to Chapel Hill on Sunday night, and to Greensboro to see an old friend on Monday. “Living” out of my car was tough at the start of the summer because I had to pack a suitcase almost daily. I soon decided that there was an easier way; there are 10 essential items that you should have with you at all times if you’re always on the go.
- A dress
I keep a dress hanging in the back of my car, and I switch it out every time I come back to my real closet. You can’t go wrong with a dress. Wouldn’t you rather be overdressed than underdressed? If you don’t have an idea for what event you’ll wear your dress to, save it for a day when you just feel like getting pretty. It won’t fail you.
2. A jacket
If you’re a blazer girl, keep your trusty blazer with you. I prefer my dark denim jacket. It’s not too hot to wear on cool summer nights without getting icky. It also goes well with everything (except dark denim pants) including whatever dress I’ve packed for the week. Lots of activities during the summer get chilly. Don’t get caught without something to keep you from shivering (unless you’re planning on getting a guy for that!)
If there’s only one thing that you need during the summer, it is a pair of heels. Heels dress anything up. Put them with shorts, put them with pants, put them with a skirt or a dress. They will never lead you astray. When space for packing is an issue, I just choose my nude leather wedges. There is not an outfit that they won’t spice up.
4. A travel case of jewelry
I have a ton of jewelry in my room, but it just isn’t practical to pick out jewelry for each individual outfit. Instead, I have a travel case that I use to keep the jewelry that wears well and that goes with most things. Here are the pieces of jewelry that I always have with me: my white MK watch, my cheap silver watch, a silver necklace, a gold necklace, small earrings that are silver, small earrings that are gold, pearl earrings, a silver Jenni K bracelet, a gold bracelet from VS, my UNC class ring, one other silver ring, and one pair of colored or large earrings that I have in mind for one specific outfit. It sounds like a lot – and it is! But it all fits in a little box that fits in a little bag. It’s a definite space saver.
5. Your Favorite Shoes
These shoes should be shoes that can be put with your shorts or jeans to keep them casual, your dress to dress it down, or your yogas. I have two pairs of these that I always bring along. I have a pair of rubber Pali sandals that I bought for $7 at the beach last summer. They are polarizing… you’ll ever die for them or die before you wear them. They can get wet and they are comfortable, so they are perfect for all things summer. I also always bring my Jack Rogers along. They’re worn in and comfy, and they’re a perfect mix between my cheap shoes and my heels. They are less than dressy but more than bumming.
6. Solid Colored shorts
If I had to choose, I would pick my plain white shorts over any others. White is just such a classic color for the summer. It shows off tans and pops with any top you’d put with it. Denim shorts are my second favorite. They’re timeless for summer, whether they’re cut-offs or high-wasted. If your bag is big enough, pack them both!
7. Three Tops
Something sleeveless, something short-sleeved, and something breathtaking. Be sure to pack tops that go with any of your bottoms so that you can mix-and-match if the weather is funny.
8. Colored Pants
I usually bring jeans in case the weather gets cool enough for them but I don’t want to waste my colored pants. Linen pants are the best way to go for nights that aren’t so cool. They let you feel a breeze and it doesn’t get classier. My favorites are white Ryan fits from Banana Republic. Be sure to iron them befor you wear them out!
9. Yogas/Workout or Comfy Bottoms
Let’s be real…you are not going to feel like getting dressed every day. Don’t forget to pack running shorts or yoga pants to relax in. Don’t worry, you don’t actually HAVE to workout in them. If you choose to, you’ll have them. And if you choose not to, you’ll be comfy
10. A Baggy Tshirt
Everyone has a favorite shirt, and I be that when you read #10 you already had a shirt in mind. It can be put with your shorts and your casual shoes, your pants or your yogas. Plus, it’s comforting to have something comfortable and familiar when you’re living out of a bag.
Thank you for reading
xoxo, Oby Grace