Fall clothing

What to pack for a fall vacation this year

So you've decided that you'll take a fall vacation this year. Our first thought is: congrats, you've earned it. Our second thought is: what are you going to pack?

If you froze up at that last sentence, don't worry. We're here to help, and that's precisely our reason for sharing this list of what to pack for a fall vacation this year.

Our starting point is a pair of good old-fashioned blue jeans. Let's be honest: the last thing you really want to be worried about during vacation is what you're going to wear. If you start the day's outfit by selecting what may be the most versatile clothing article in existence you'll have a fine head start. Start by putting on your favorite jeans, and the rest of the outfit will soon follow.

One definite suggestion we'd make next is the humble flannel shirt. A flannel shirt has the advantage of being comfortable and casual—it's just the type of thing you can wear untucked without ever looking sloppy. Plus, there's just something autumnal about the weight and texture of a flannel shirt. Big bonus points if you select a plaid flannel shirt whose colors reflect the changing foliage of fall.

But that's enough poetic waxing on fall's better qualities. Our next item of clothing is much more practical, and meant to be worn during the kinds of fall weather we're not precisely looking forward to. We are of course referring to the rain jacket. You'll want to make sure that a reliable rain jacket is packed away in your travel kit. If not, the sight of darkened clouds will quickly make you regret the decision.

Fall is a time for layering, and you can't go wrong with a simple sweater. If your fall vacation is set to take place on the earlier side of the season, perhaps September or early-to-mid-August, you should be set with a cotton sweater among your packed things. But if the travel is concurrent with fall's colder months, consider packing away a warmer cashmere sweater to offset the chills that may accompany late October, November and early December.

Alternatively, you can also look to a fleece jacket to attain the warmth you need. This versatile piece can be worn over a flannel shirt during the earlier stretch of fall, or used to augment a cotton or cashmere sweater in its colder periods. You may also layer a fleece jacket under a rain jacket to keep yourself warm during a particularly low-temperature downpour.

One more piece to consider among the variety of layering options is the classic (if divisive) turtleneck. If you can add a turtleneck to your vacation rotation, you can count on it to be worn under a fleece jacket or rain jacket for better insulation, or even paired casually with yoga pants.

Speaking of casual, don't forget about what you'll wear during those periods when you can simply concentrate on what vacation should be all about—downtime. To ensure that your well-earned lazy hours are spent in the most comfortable manner possible, bring along an easy favorite like a pair of sweatpants and a loose-fitting tunic.

You'll want that same feeling of comfort to apply to your nocturnal hours (and lazy mornings), so don't neglect to find a place for pajamas on your packing list.

Speaking of packing, finding the right carry-on bag can be just as important as finding the right pair of clothes. Fortunately, we can help make this decision easy. Bring along a classic canvas tote, which is made roomy enough to stack reading materials, laptops, and any snacks you might find yourself craving mid-journey.

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