Four Wardrobe Essentials To Make Packing For The Holidays A Breeze (Photos)

by Emily Arata

Holiday success boils down to what you're able to stuff into your suitcase.

For those of us who travel during December, the packing process is daunting.

You rarely know what pieces you’ll need to stay chic while impressing both parents and high school friends.

Instead of throwing all your clothes in an open suitcase the night before your flight, try the less-is-more approach.

Pick a color palette, add multipurpose clothing and liberally toss in a few glittery accessories; it's traveler’s packing at its best.

There are four staples that work for any happy hour or family party the holidays may throw at you: the entirely opaque legging, the stand-alone sweatshirt, the Audrey Hepburn-inspired blouse and, finally, an easy A-line or shift dress.

Take this down, ladies, because your suitcase is about to get a lot lighter.

The Entirely Opaque Legging

Finding the right pair of leggings is a godsend: a waistband high enough to cover any potential food babies, and enough spandex to show off those toned legs.

Leggings will take you straight from the airplane to your first family event without a hitch.

For a movie night at home, pair them with your stand-alone sweatshirt -- effortless, but trendy. Or, with a floaty, collared blouse, these leggings will also work for a dinner date. They'll even hide the evidence that you snuck extra cookies without sacrificing their shape.

Holiday Pick: Dear Kate’s Full-Length Yoga Pant, which boasts extra-thick fabric and seams built to eradicate embarrassing camel toe.

A Stand-alone Sweatshirt

Instead of wasting space on multiple, thin sweaters, try packing a statement sweatshirt with unexpected texture or embellishment.

Layer the sweatshirt over a shift dress (with a little built-in waist) for cool-girl vibes at any party, or just wear it with leggings while hanging at home.

Paired with an Audrey Hepburn-esque blouse, the sweatshirt can convince even your grandma you’re still the polite young lady she loves without sacrificing style.

Holiday Pick: Mango’s Embellishment Text Sweatshirts, the perfect combination of layer-able fabrics and cheeky French phrases.

Audrey Hepburn-inspired Blouse

I could write an ode to the ladylike buttoned collar, but let’s just say it adds class to any outfit.

For a day of shopping with friends, layer your blouse under a sweatshirt and over leggings. Ease of motion won’t be a problem, and no one will notice that you’re a little hungover.

When it comes time for a conservative religious service or fancy dinner with your partner’s parents, add that collared beauty under a patterned sheath. The collar adds a special element in place of heavy necklaces or earrings.

Holiday Pick: Everlane’s Silk Sleeveless Blouse, which pairs a commitment to ethical business standards with the perfect amount of effortless sexiness.

An Easy A-line Dress

A dress should cover both overeating and laziness (with the help of jewel tones and classic patterns). Whether you choose a straight shift or something with a little flare, know it'll feel like pajamas.

For a fancy Christmas party, wear the dress by itself or with a blouse underneath to add a hint of drama.

It also works on New Year's Day (if you're spending it with family), partially hidden under a sweatshirt. You're faking a skirt without adding a single ounce to your luggage.

Holiday Pick: ASOS’s Shift Dresses, which come in a rainbow of shades for tall, petite and plus-size women.