The Only Weekend-Vacay Packing Guide You Need

Photographed by Collins Nai.
It’s a tired joke at this point that the only things that sustain New Yorkers are weekend escapes out of New York. My spot of choice is Miami, for many reasons — not least of which is the bounty of frozen, poolside cocktails. I love that it’s just three hours away by plane, feels like an entirely different part of the world, and has everything I might ever feel like doing, from being lazy around the pool at the The Delano Hotel in South Beach to going out dancing with friends in Flamingo-Lummus to indulging in a bit of air-conditioned shopping in Bal Harbour.
But, all of these choices also make it difficult to pack. With so many options for adventuring, it’s hard not to feel like you have to pack your entire closet. But on a short excursion, every second I waste at the baggage carousel can feel like a lifetime. So, I challenged myself to stick to one backpack only — yep, one fashion editor, one weekend trip, one backpack. Here’s how I did it.
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Special thanks: Delano South Beach.
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Photographed by Collins Nai.
Here's everything I brought. All my clothes fit into that backpack, and I was able to carry my toiletries, work materials (including my laptop!), and accessories in the tote carry-ons.

And here's the secret to a truly versatile, beach-to-bar-to-brunch schedule: dresses. I only needed three for the trip.

Tumi Calais Backpack, $345, available at Tumi; Truss FWRD Exclusive Crossbody Bag, $160, available at Fwrd; Loup Charmant Slip & Bloomer Gift Set, $225, available at Loup Charmant;
Araks Emeline One Piece Royal Ink Midnight, $325, available at Araks; Eres Delicious Swimsuit, $344, available at Eres;
Maiyet dress; Maryam Nassir Zadeh dress; Lem Lem Bett Dress, $375, available at Lem Lem; Ancient Greek Sandals x Peter Pilotto Thais in Print Colorful Sandals. $195, available at Ancient Greek Sandals; Àlvaro Alberta Sandals, $500, available at Barneys; Of Rare Origin Aviary Classic in Ruby/White, $1,450, available at Of Rare Origin; Dinosaur Designs Louise Olsen Love Dot Hoop Earrings, $210, available at Dinosaur Designs; Gucci Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $311, available at Gucci.
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
But first, these are the bags I carried onto the plane. This woven Truss bag stays upright below the seat in front of me, and the backpack is deceptively roomy!

Tumi Calais Backpack, $345, available at Tumi; Truss FWRD Exclusive Crossbody Bag, $160, available at Fwrd; Ancient Greek Sandals x Peter Pilotto Thais in Print Colorful Sandals. $195, available at Ancient Greek Sandals.
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
I selected my dresses carefully and thought about the activities (or lack thereof) I had planned. With limited items, I wanted to make sure I could easily mix and match everything, so I chose easy pieces that all felt multifunctional. Each dress could transition from day to night, or beach to lunch. This MNZ dress' length made it feel fancy, but since it was jersey cotton, it could be dressed down, too.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh dress; Gucci Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $311, available at Gucci; Ancient Greek Sandals x Peter Pilotto Thais in Print Colorful Sandals. $195, available at Ancient Greek Sandals.
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
This Lemlem dress is equal parts beach cover-up and dancing machine.

Lem Lem Bett Dress, $375, available at Lem Lem;Ancient Greek Sandals x Peter Pilotto Thais in Print Colorful Sandals. $195, available at Ancient Greek Sandals; Gucci Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $311, available at Gucci.
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
I also thought about the extreme heat and chose light dresses that had built-in ventilation (i.e. lots of holes). The best part about textured dresses like this are that they're wrinkle-proof, which came in handy, since these dresses were rolled up into their smallest selves for the trip south in my backpack. If I could own this Maiyet dress in 10 colors, I would. It’s the easiest and most flattering piece currently in my closet.

Maiyet dress; Gucci Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $311, available at Gucci.
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
Accessories are where all the extra magic happens. My advice: Channel the city you’re headed to. Travel is a time to experiment and go a little outside of your comfort zone. I’m not typically a statement-earring lady, but these vintage-inspired birdcage earrings from Of Rare Origin really spoke to me — and felt perfect for the tropical vibes of Miami.

I’ve also had my eye on these super-retro Gucci cat-eye sunglasses (I treated myself as an early birthday present), and they didn’t leave my face for the entirety of my trip.

Of Rare Origin Aviary Classic in Ruby/White, $1,450, available at Of Rare Origin; Gucci Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $311, available at Gucci.
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
Here's proof.

Gucci Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $311, available at Gucci; Lem Lem Bett Dress, $375, available at Lem Lem; Dinosaur Designs Louise Olsen Love Dot Hoop Earrings, $210, available at Dinosaur Designs;
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
Also, a classic gold hoop is the most versatile earring I know that still makes a statement. I wore these all weekend, too.

Dinosaur Designs Louise Olsen Love Dot Hoop Earrings, $210, available at Dinosaur Designs;
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
I’m clearly a sucker for a retro vibe, and these psychedelic print sandals were the perfect addition to the more neutral dresses I chose. I wore these on the plane and straight to the beach when I touched down in Miami.

Ancient Greek Sandals x Peter Pilotto Thais in Print Colorful Sandals. $195, available at Ancient Greek Sandals.
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
For me, comfort trumps all else, so I chose a short, block heel. These Alvaro sandals were perfect for dinner and drinks.

Àlvaro Alberta Sandals, $500, available at Barneys.
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
The only other items I brought, besides my three dresses, were a couple of bathing suits and a pair of PJs. I’ve been really into one-piece bathing suits these days, and so many designers are making really great ones.

Araks has an eye for color, and I’ve found her suits to be extremely flattering.

Araks Emeline One Piece Royal Ink Midnight, $325, available at Araks; Gucci Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $311, available at Gucci.
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
I’ve recently discovered Eres’ suit line and find it the ultimate in sophistication and timelessness. While this white one is pricey, I prefer to invest in pieces I love and know I’ll have for a long time. I can see myself wearing this one well into the future.

Eres Delicious Swimsuit, $344, available at Eres.
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
Here's a secret: I always bring fancy PJs when I travel. They make trips feel downright luxurious, even if you're staying in a Motel 6. These Loup Charmant PJs are the lightest set I’ve ever felt. They're hands-down the best sleepwear to bring to travel; they're a little bit sexy and a little bit practical. And, they roll up to the size of your fist.

Loup Charmant Slip & Bloomer Gift Set, $225, available at Loup Charmant.
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Photographed by Toby Kaufmann.
Looking back on that trip, I never felt like I’d forgotten something, nor did I experience the panic of trying on 10 different options before dinner out. I was able to be my most relaxed and fun vacation self. #backpacksforever!

Araks Emeline One Piece Royal Ink Midnight, $325, available at Araks; Gucci Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $311, available at Gucci.
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