10 coat clips that belong in every traveller’s suitcase
When it comes to travel essentials, comfortable, versatile and timeless basics come first. These essential pieces help us become more efficient packers and build a more sustainable capsule wardrobe. The beauty of these types of staples is that they never go out of style and you will never run out of places to wear them. Whether it’s a solo trip to Iceland’s Golden Circle or museum hopping in Paris, every traveler needs dependable garments they can rely on to get the best out of their trip.
Read on for our list of essentials we never travel without, from linen button-downs and soft white tees to packable jackets and durable boots. Rather than packing a suitcase full of clothes to wear, invest in these simple pieces that can be layered on cold days, dressed up for a more sophisticated look, and worked into outfits for almost any occasion.
A pair of black leggings
Probably in every traveler’s luggage you will find a beloved pair of black leggings. Some of our favorite leggings come from brands like Girlfriend Collective, Lululemon and Zella and can be worn almost anywhere – on a plane, to a training class or on your next hike. The best leggings move with your body, give you just enough support without being too restrictive, and don’t ride up past your waist when you walk or run.
Girlfriend Collective high rise compression leggings
Lululemon Fast and Free high waist tights
Zella Studio Lite leggings with high waist and pockets
Aerie Offline crossover leggings with a high waist
A versatile button down
Next time you pack your suitcase, throw in a white button-down shirt. Whether you prefer linen, silk, oversized or slightly fitted – pack it. It can be dressed up with pants for a business lunch, worn casually with jeans for sightseeing during the day, or thrown over your bathing suit at the pool (so you don’t have to pack an extra disguise).
Aritzia Wilfred Free Boyfriend Linen Shirt
Everlane relaxed linen shirt
Uniqlo Oxford shirt with a slim fit and long sleeves
Casual oxford shirt by J.Crew
The perfect tee
It doesn’t get any more than that – the perfect t-shirt is a must-have for any trip, no matter where you travel or what time of year. Soft, simple t-shirts like these from Everlane, Vuori and Buck Mason will last in your closet for years and provide the cozy feel you love. When you’re at a loss as to what to wear or don’t know exactly what’s on your agenda, a simple t-shirt is a safe bet. Also, no one will notice if you put a t-shirt back on once (or twice) on a trip.
Everlane The box cut t-shirt made from organic cotton
Relaxed fit t-shirt from Carhartt
Buck Mason Field-Sec Heavyweight Cotton T-Shirt
A packable jacket
Packing for cold weather cities can be a bit of a challenge – you want to stay warm but don’t want a jacket taking up all the space in one of your bags. Carrying your heaviest coat is a good tip for avoiding packing, but you might still want a more packable jacket that you can also take with you. Made from recycled plastic bottles, the Packable Puffer Jacket from Girlfriend Collective is lightweight, wears well over sweaters and folds into an integrated pocket inside the inner pocket. If you want something a little more chic but still warm, this Ly Varey motorcycle jacket is a great alternative.
Patagonia and The North Face make quality jackets for both men and women, whether you need a lightweight down jacket for a snowy town or a waterproof coat for unpredictable weather days.
Packable puffer from Girlfriend Collective
Ly Varey Lin faux leather motorcycle jacket
Men’s Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket
Men’s Alta Vista jacket by The North Face
A pair of white sneakers
The ultimate must-pack shoe: a pair of white sneakers. Shoes take up a lot of space in your luggage and add weight. To limit the number of pairs you need, a white sneaker is essential, whether you’re wearing jeans, athletic wear or a casual dress. My favorite sneakers take me to the airport, to a light workout, and to a full day of walking. Brands like Everlane, Allbirds, Adidas and Nike make classic pairs that are as comfortable as they are stylish.
Allbirds runners made of natural white wool
Adidas Stan Smith sneakers
A warm turtleneck sweater
A turtleneck sweater is always chic and a great base for layering in winter. Dress up your favorite warm turtleneck with pants or a long skirt, or keep it casual with high-waisted jeans. Whether you’re heading for a winter ski trip or spending the day sightseeing, you’ll be perfectly equipped with a simple black or cream turtleneck from brands like J.Crew, Everlane, & Other Stories and Nordstrom.
Cashmere stroopwafel turtleneck sweater
& Other Stories Long-sleeved wool turtleneck sweater
Cashmere turtleneck sweater by J.Crew for men
Topman men’s cotton turtleneck sweater
A go-to boot
If you only bring one elevated shoe, a classic black boot is the right choice. I pack a pair of heeled ankle boots, like the pair below by Sam Edelman, for all my fall and winter travels. I prefer a bootie to a typical heel – it’s much more comfortable and still looks neat whether I’m wearing jeans or a sweater dress to dinner.
If you prefer a flat shoe, you can’t go wrong with a Chelsea boot. These are popular for a reason – they suit so many occasions, go well from day to night and come in so many different styles. Consider a leather pair from Woolrich or a non-leather option from Rothy’s – both are durable, versatile and will go with almost anything you want to wear on your next city break.
Sam Edelman Winnie Bootie
Frye Melissa Chelsea Booties
A trustworthy pair of denim
No packing list is complete without a trusty pair of jeans. A pair like this from J.Crew or Levi’s 501 Original Style are definitive wardrobe staples – wear them with your favorite tee, a turtleneck, or really anything that made it in your suitcase and you’re good to go . Both jeans have just enough stretch to keep you comfortable when a walk ends on your itinerary. need i say more
J.Crew Classic 90’s style straight jeans with a high waist
Levi’s 501 men’s original style jean
A silky slip
This past summer, I reluctantly packed the simplest dress I own for a beach vacation. What I learned: I will never travel without one again. A silky slip, like this one from Cuyana and The Drop, is lightweight and can be folded and stowed in the corner of your carry-on, taking up virtually no space. I’ve worn this “simple” dress with sneakers during the day, with a pair of heels at dinner, and even under a sweater as a long skirt. When in doubt, throw up the LBD. Pro tip: hang your silk dresses in your hotel or Airbnb bathroom while you take a hot shower to de-wrinkle in an emergency.
The silky midi slip dress from Drop Ana
An everyday tote bag
A tote bag carries all the essentials you need, whether you’re heading to the beach, the airport, or to work. Two of Traveler editors’ favorite totes, Cuyana’s Easy Tote and MZ Wallace’s Metro Tote are lightweight and allow you to toss everything you need and more, including your laptop, snacks and a reusable water bottle.