Australian fashion people share how they pack for a holiday


“Every piece I pack in my holiday bag always has to serve a critical functional purpose while being aesthetically pleasing.”

I’ve come to conclude there are two types of people in the world – those who relish packing for a holiday in all its list-making glory, and those who dread the task, preferring a chaotic grab for clothes an hour before their flight. 

I fall into the former category of packers, and with a trip to Europe in the works for later this year, I’m already hankering to plan out what clothes I’ll pack.

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Though I may be a planner, working out what clothes to actually pack with style – and my baggage limit – in mind has me stumped. Naturally, I turned to some Australian fashion creatives to pick their brains for packing tips. Selfish? Maybe. Helpful? Absolutely. 

Lucianne Tonti, fashion writer and editor and the author of Sundressed


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I always try to pack as light as possible, so planning is key. I consider it a failure if I pack something that I don’t end up wearing. I start by planning an outfit for each day I’ll be away and making sure some of the pieces will be worn more than once. I love having a shirt and shorts or pants twinsets with me, as they are perfect for this kind of dressing.

I also like to buy everything as big as possible, so the shirts can be worn on their own to the beach. I always have a silk shirt on hand as they are easy to steam by hanging in the bathroom after a hot shower and can be dressed up or down. I make sure I have at least one simple dress with me that can be worn during the day or at night.

I try to never take more than two pairs of shoes – so it’s either boots or brogues and sandals or sneakers. I also never miss a chance to get in the water, so my swimsuit comes everywhere with me (as does my yoga gear). Final tip! Wear a warm but thin knit on the plane (100 per cent merino or cashmere) and a versatile coat over the top like a medium-weight trench. 


Annie Carroll, fashion writer and founder of In-Prose


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I love the simplicity of packing for a holiday – something about the forced task of curating a mini capsule wardrobe scratches an itch for me like little else. It must be that iconic Joan Didion packing list that set it off, all equal parts creative thinking and strategic engineering. 

On a recent three-day work trip to Sydney, I was faced with building a mini wardrobe that would see me through from client meetings to playdates with my nieces and nephew. Joan was right: two pairs of shoes is all you need, specifically a pair of New Balance and a pair of heeled boots.

From there, a pair of vintage jeans, two singlets, a fine black skivvy, two shirts (one chocolate silk, one blue pinstripe cotton), a black wool blazer and a lightweight trench will do all the work you need. 

Spice it up with one thick gold chain necklace and an oversized scarf for unexpected southerly breezes and to dress up drab hotel rooms. Always leave room in the suitcase for one impulsive ‘holiday’ purchase, like a vintage tee or a bottle of bourbon. Joan would be proud, and isn’t that the point?


Carmen Azzopardi, content creator and freelance writer


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I’ve been travelling a lot lately and something I’ve been made aware of is that you absolutely cannot overstate the ease and freedom that comes with packing carry-on luggage only. I know what you’re thinking: ‘that couldn’t be me’. Only a few years ago I would’ve been right there with you, but trust me when I say there is something so freeing about hopping off your flight and heading straight to your destination without the hassle of wading through crowds to find your baggage collection carousel.

I’m a self-proclaimed panicked flyer (although constant domestic travel is really helping with my nerves!) so here are the things that help me most when packing and flying. Invest in a great carry-on suitcase. I recently purchased this Away suitcase and just the colour of it is enough to calm my nerves. Yesterday I flew home from three days in Melbourne with only this suitcase and my handbag – huge flex I know.

Try on your outfits before you pack, make sure you’re packing items that can be worn multiple times (pants that can be dressed up and down), one pair of comfy shoes, one pair of cute (but probably impractical shoes) and one pair of boots (for me it’s always either my platform docs or vintage calf-high heeled boots).

Something that helps me when I’m worried I haven’t packed enough is remembering you can usually always buy whatever it is you’ve forgotten when you get there. Check-in early on your phone and choose seats right at the front of the plane (don’t underestimate economy-x) so you can disembark first and skip all the waiting around.

If you’re doing some long-haul flights, invest in good noise-cancelling headphones, pack a hydrating sheet mask for the flight (I recommend this one) and sit on top of a neck pillow for lumbar support (I credit this move with my recent 12-hour sleep on a 14 hour Sydney to LA flight). If you wear a medical device and you can’t go through the security scanners, allow extra time when arriving in case you’re waiting up to half an hour for someone to manually pat you down (been there, done that!). 


Chloe Naughton, fashion consultant


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I am a last-minute manic packer. As much as I would love to say that I meticulously pack with a concrete tight plan of my attire and all the events and activities I will be going to and doing, I don’t. I can’t do anything prior to a deadline, in any aspect of my life. It’s my greatest strength and biggest downfall.

One thing I have to be thankful for is over the years I’ve naturally gravitated to a minimalist wardrobe for my everyday life, so when it comes down to the final hour, packing isn’t too stressful. Everyone I know is headed to Europe but work has us (my husband and I) headed to Tassie for a project on the West Coast. Warmer days are on the horizon though.

When packing, less is always more. My bag for two weeks in the Tasmanian winter includes the following: my thick woollen Esse Studios coat, a black sheep’s wool scarf (vintage from my grandma), a pair of black leather gloves, some thermals, a vintage cable knit woollen round neck jumper, Toteme straight leg jeans for daily wear and a pair of tailored woollen pants from Hyde & Stone for more formal evening activities.

I also have my black Esse Studios trench and a couple of round-neck T-shirts and heat thermal skivvies. My shoe game is a mix between my pair of black RM Williams boots and my Martiniano leather loafers. I am someone who can be easily overwhelmed by choice and that applies to my wardrobe too. Plus, I crave high-quality and extremely functional pieces.

So, every piece I pack in my holiday bag always has to serve a critical functional purpose while being aesthetically pleasing (to my choice of style). It’s never an ‘I might wear this’, because I think that’s how we overpack and don’t end up wearing everything. Another thing to remember is to always pack your favourite pieces. Pieces you know you love and you will reach for to create easy dressing every day. I have also packed so minimally that if I come past a beautiful winter jumper, which I am secretly hoping I do, there is room to enjoy something new too.


For more advice on holiday packing, try this.

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