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

  1. 1
    Heath - Southland Avenue | May 29, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Great tips. The biggest one for me is trying everything on. If I try everything on I somehow eliminate the extra packing and getting dressed is simple. I love how it minimized my time spent getting dressed, which isn’t what I care to spend my time on when travelling. Love your black duffel do you mind sharing who makes it?

    • Anna | June 3, 2014 at 9:18 am

      I too love that black duffel. Where can I get one?? 🙂

  2. 2
    Amy | May 29, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Have so much fun Camille and happy 30th birthday! Hope y”all enjoy celebrating your anniversary in St. Tropez too.

  3. 3
    Amelie | May 29, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Happy birthday and wishing you an oh-so-French anniversary celebration. Cheers!

  4. 4
    Jessi Afshin | May 29, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Loving everything about this post, especially those packing tips! Happy Birthday Camille!!


  5. 5
    littlebearsinoxford | May 29, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Hey Camille, what a gorgeous selection of clothing, especially the swing dress with embroidery! Have a great trip.

  6. 6
    Erin G | May 29, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Perfect timing as we leave for Italy in a few weeks. I’ll definitely be referring back to this post when I start packing. Love the black carry-on bag (do you have a source for that?).

  7. 7
    Ellie | May 29, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I write out my outfits by day too!!! I thought I was the only one. I feel better now 🙂

    I even do that for busy weeks when I have a lot of social plans and am bouncing between my apartment and my boyfriend’s.

  8. 8
    Lily | May 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Love, love, love all your picks — have a blast!

    x Lily

  9. 9
    Gap | May 29, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I like those shoots!!
    xox, Gap.

  10. 10
    Daniella | May 29, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Great packing tips Camille! How do you just take carry-on toiletries though? Do you fit all your hair/make-up/facewash in one small ziploc baggie like the ask for?

  11. 11
    Kiri | May 29, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    perfect picks! i particularly love the swing dress with embroidery. have a great time on your trip


  12. 12
    Mary Keller at Southland Avenue | May 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Love this Camille! It feels so much better when you travel to not overpack. Quick question, any good tips for how your husband keeps his suitcase to a carry on?? I think it’s easy to pack in a carry on for girls – dresses and cute sandles, but I think guys clothes are harder to cram in a carry on!

    • Camille Styles | May 30, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      Ha – I should have my husband weigh in as a guys’ contributor… he is really the “carry-on only” evangelist in the family! I think that he’s really good at packing stuff he can wear during the day and at night. His travel uniform is slim-fitting jeans or pants, lightweight button-downs (with sweaters for layering if it’s chilly), a pair of Tod’s loafers that get really flat in the suitcase, and a pair of sneakers that can be worn with casual daytime looks as well as working out. He’ll re-wear the same pair of pants a couple times, and takes the exact number of shirts that he’ll need for each day. And for a beach vacation, he’ll probably take the same pair of swim shorts and wear them every day of the trip!

  13. 13
    debra @dustjacket | May 30, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Loved these tips .. maybe this will help me pack light in future 😉

  14. 14
    Ana Anais | May 31, 2014 at 9:15 am

    When planning out my outfits, instead of writing out a list, I doodle every piece on one sheet of paper. I’m no artist, but my doodles work for me—they’re a quick and easy visual reference.

  15. 15
    Nicole | May 31, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Reading this post gave me the same excitement I feel packing for a trip! Love it!

  16. 16
    Cassandra | June 4, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Loving the tip to try everything on.. Wish I’d thought of that after many times of not quite having my outfits sorted.


  17. 17
    Kenneth Jaworski | July 14, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Lovely styling… So you’ve decided to take a Sony RX1. It’s a lovely little camera. I am curious as to how that worked out and would love to see some of the photos you made with it. 🙂

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