Packing light is an art form. How many times have you gone on a trip and realized you didn't wear half the items you brought with you? It's totally normal, and we feel you. To get the most out of your suitcase and wardrobe, we put together a guide on how to pack lightly like a pro. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Figure out what you really need: Be smart. You probably don't need a pair of jeans for each day that you're away. Instead of hauling, say, five pairs of denim, downsize that number to two and alternate between them.
Be practical, reasonable and honest with yourself. Also keep in mind that the more things you bring along, the more chance you might lose it. (No need to bring two designer bags.)
Take a moment to plan your outfits: Putting the time and effort into planning your outfits beforehand is the key to packing light. Choose tops that can be worn with casual denim and sneakers, or coupled with leather pants or a structured skirt and some sleek lace-up flats.
Shirt dresses that can do double duty as layering pieces are awesome, and we love the idea of wearing dresses over pants. Ensure the majority of the clothing that you bring can be worn multiple times, which, in turn, will make more room for a statement piece or two.
Utilize your packing space: My love for pouches and makeup bags knows no bounds (yes, I just professed my love for makeup bags). Consider these your BFF when packing a carry-on.
Packing cubes are awesome for saving space, however, they can be a little pricey. Save money by using spare makeup bags or pouches, which can double as makeshift packing cubes (we love life hacks). Instead of folding, roll your pieces up tightly in order to avoid wrinkles, and pack them away into the pouch.
As for beauty products: If you're traveling with a carry-on, a full-size can of Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray just isn't going to cut it. Let's be real here (also, who needs that much product anyway?).
Travel-sized products are your friends here, people. Now is the time to make use of those Sephora /department store samples you've been hoarding, whether it is sachets of shampoo and conditioner or those tiny vials of perfume.
We also love single-use products for their convenience. If you'd rather take along with your own products, Muji has an extensive array of travel-sized containers and jars, as well as portable hairbrushes and mini eyelash curlers.
If you're planning on staying somewhere for a longer period of time, you can always stock up on full-size toiletries once you arrive at your destination. There's no need to travel to and from with a boatload of products.
Bring multi-purpose products: Multi-purpose products are another major key here. A small jar of coconut oil can be used as an all-purpose moisturizer, a post-bedtime lip balm and a hair mask.
A potted lip and cheek tint can take the place of both a blush and lipstick (a tube of lipstick can also double as a cream blush). Use a stick for highlighting or providing a wash of color over your lids. See where I'm going with this? Those little plastic bags the airport provides can really contain all your liquids-and makeup.
Layer up: Wear your heaviest, bulkiest pieces on your way to your destination. You'd be surprised how much space a leather Perfecto takes up. Don't forget that scarves can serve as blankets on the plane, so bring your biggest pashmina and vary how you wear it: folded into a triangle, draped around your shoulders, or simply wrapped French-girl style.
The writer is an assistant editor at