I can’t believe we’re leaving for St. Tropez in just a few days! Adam and I have been planning this trip for ages — ever since realizing that my 30th birthday and our 5 year wedding anniversary fall within a week of each other, and deciding that was something worth celebrating with a destination we’ve always wanted to visit! I was so excited when ASOS wanted to collaborate on a fun series about packing for a beach vacation, and today, we’re kicking it off as I pack my bags for St. Tropez! Keep reading for the details on what’s going in my suitcase, as well as my best tips for keeping a vacation packing list streamlined (but still bringing along a few little luxuries!)

*above: striped sweater dress with star patch, footloose leather flat sandals, oversized straw floppy hat

Packing Tip #1: Write it all down. I always start by making a list of all the outfits I’m going to need so I don’t panic and overpack. It looks something like, “Monday day: pink shorts / ivory blouse / flat woven sandals / beach tote. Monday night: navy gingham dress / linen wedges / leather clutch / chandelier earrings.” Then I look at where I can double up and wear a piece twice; maybe I pair my pink shorts with flats for a sightseeing trip, then later in the trip wear them with heels and a dressy blouse for a night on the town. It may sound hyper organized, but I love the feeling of packing just enough for a trip and knowing that I have a week’s worth of perfectly planned outfits!

*above: sleeveless midi dress in check, leather flat sandals, oversized straw floppy hat

Packing Tip #2: Gather your inspiration. Before a trip, I always spend some time trolling Pinterest for outfit inspiration to help me narrow down my options and hone in on what look I want to channel while I’m in my destination. For St. Tropez, I pulled images of European screen sirens like Brigitte Bardot and glamorous resort photos from the 50’s to help me settle on a French-nautical color palette and feminine, timeless silhouettes in my outfit choices.

Packing Tip #3: Pick a palette. I’ve found that it’s much easier to pack light when I choose an overall color palette that I’m going to be wearing on the trip. First, I choose my neutral shades — for this trip, I’m wearing more whites and beiges, which means I don’t need to bring any black shoes (and we all know that shoes are usually to blame for taking up the most precious cargo space!) I choose a few main pops of color to incorporate which lets me wear some of the same accessories with multiple looks. Making these decisions helps guide my outfit choices and majorly streamlines what goes into my suitcase.

*above: sleeveless top with frill trim collar, tailored shorts in nude, straw fedora hat with skinny band, footloose leather flat sandals

Packing Tip #4: Choose either gold or silver jewelry. In the same vein as the “pick a palette” rule, I usually wear either gold or silver throughout an entire trip so I can mix and match pieces, stack bracelets and layer necklaces without having to bring every piece of jewelry I own. Usually, if I’m packing a lot of black clothes in my suitcase (if I’m headed to a big city or have more formal events to attend), I’ll pack more of my silver pieces, and if I’m headed to a beachy location where I’ll be wearing more linen and white tones, I’ll take along my gold jewelry.

*above: gold aviator sunglasses

Packing Tip #5: Dresses & flat sandals are your best friend. It might sound crazy, but I almost always take just a carry-on suitcase and a roomy tote, no matter where I’m going and no matter how long I’m staying. When you have to whittle down your packing list to the essentials, you’re forced to get creative and plan outfits with pieces that can multitask. For a beach vacation, lightweight dresses (that can go from day-to-night) are crucial, and they hardly take up any room in your suitcase. Ditto with embellished flat sandals, which are necessary for a chic swimsuit look on the beach, and then look just as great dressed up for a dinner look.

*above: swing dress with embroidery

Packing Tip #6: Try it on. A few days before your trip, get in front of a full-length mirror and try everything on. We’ve all had those times when we’ve tossed on a dress while traveling only to realize that we didn’t bring the right undergarments to go under it, or the accessories we’d envisioned wearing didn’t quite “work” with the overall look. Once you’ve tried on all the bits and pieces you’ll need to complete an outfit, make note of it so you can make sure that everything is clean and ready to go.

*above: boyfriend t-shirt with roll sleeve in stripe, shorts in linen with scallop hem, gold aviator sunglasses

Packing Tip #7: Stock up on travel-sized. There’s something about filling my shopping cart with cute little travel-sized toiletries that makes me giddy for an upcoming trip. And the selection is so much better now that it used to be — you can get almost anything in mini version! My travel essentials include Alterna Cleanse Extend Dry Shampoo (I never wash my hair on every day of vacation!), Living Proof Hold Firm Hairspray, Compagnie de Provence hand cream, Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess sunscreen, Marc Jacobs lip balm, and Jo Malone sample-sized fragrances. And I never leave home without my iPad, fully loaded up with the latest issues of favorite mags and a few great books.

And a few dresses that’ll be on constant rotation during this trip! black t-shirt dress with v neck, structured skater dress with v neck in coral, clean shift dress with zip sides in cream, gold aviator sunglasses

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