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August Packing for Leisure or College

Beach wear or moving-someone-into-a-dorm tips.

It’s hard to believe that we are already into August. If you’re like us, the summer is flying by at record speed. Hopefully, you have a getaway to look forward to before Labor Day, perhaps a beach vacation, or the college drop-off adventure.  Below we offer tips for both.

Beach vacation: If you’ve got the space (meaning you’re driving as opposed to flying), use it. We are not suggesting that you stuff your bags just to have extra clothes, but sometimes it’s easier to pack if you don’t have to worry about being efficient with space. That being said, we generally follow these guidelines:

1) For an eight-day beach vacation, four bottoms should be sufficient – two pairs of long shorts or fitted capris, one pair of jeans, and one maxi skirt or flowy linen pants for a night out.

2) Have two options on top for each bottom. Given that nights should be getting cooler toward the end of the month, a solid-colored cotton or cashmere cardigan will go with anything.  

3) Neutral colors work best, with a pop of color through accessories – jewelry and a wrap or scarf.  Sticking with neutral both fits summer mode and makes shoe-packing easy.

4) Three pairs of shoes are sufficient: Sandals/flip-flops; a neutral wedge heel; and running/boat shoes if you’re up for exercising on vacation. 

College Drop-off: For some of our friends making their first drop-off, we know that the box of Kleenex is the first item to hit the suitcase (understandably). Then it’s helpful to pay some extra attention to the outfits you bring, since first impressions do make a difference and feeling comfortable can help your child feel more comfortable, too. Our primary advice is to not try to look like a co-ed. Let your son/daughter stick with the on-campus style of T-shirts, jeans, shorts and print hobo bags, while you slightly over-dress for the occasion. (Not to mention that no one, particularly over the age of 18, should be wearing the tiny short-shorts that are in style these days). 

For orientation, a linen or flowy-print top with fitted Capri pants and wedge sandals will look sharp and keep you cool(ish). Similarly, a belted shirtdress with sandals looks crisp but casual. For move-in day when you’ll likely be doing some heavy lifting into an un-air-conditioned dorm, walking shorts and comfortable flats will work nicely.  

With both these trips, don’t forget your accessories. The best way to get the most wear out of one outfit is to accessorize. An arm of bangles and hoops on day one, a scarf and a large stone ring on day two, layered long necklaces on day three.

If you feel the need to fill in any wardrobe gaps, now is the time to take advantage of great bargains – from large department store sales (Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's are our favorites) to small boutiques – in Wayland and in Natick. All of the above are offering discounts, and the items we listed should still be in style next year.  

Enjoy the rest of summer!

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