In partnership with Mango

How to Double the Outfits in Your Suitcase (With Just Accessories)

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I am a habitually terrible packer, so much so that I have previously defended my overpacking tendencies because it’s a habit I’ll likely never break. Might as well embrace it.

That said, in looking forward to warm weather and therefore, vacation, I’ve started to think about how I could further maximize my outfit numbers in an overpacked (or not, I guess) suitcase. If I have 12 outfits that I’m excited to wear in the span of three days, why not make them 24 outfits, you know?

Because a vehicle — be it winged, wheeled, tracked or keeled — only has so much legroom, there is still some restriction when it comes to literal space. The answer to my overpacking math, then, is simple: up the accessories ante, switcharoo them as needed and get a little weird in the styling department.

The below shoot explores the boundaries of this equation. I took three look bases — think of them like the crucial components of a margarita — then switched up a few pieces, added new baubles (these are your limes, your salt rims, your spice-y additions), and did a little rejiggering to turn each outfit into two distinct flavors. Let’s walk through it together…just in case my suitcase turns out to be too heavy and I need you to carry a pair of shoes or three for me.

From the Beach Cabana to Beachside Cocktail Party

Hello and welcome to your hypothetical vacation! In the outfit on the left — modeled by the wonderful Alisha, pieces all by Mango — you’ve got your straw hat as a straw hat, a fish purse dangling from your wrist, slides on your feet and two juicy slices of watermelon in your lobes.

The swap for evening: change your earrings to big ol’ shoulder dusters (tie your hair back to show ’em off, if you’re so inclined), switch your tank for a blouse, turn your cropped pajama pants into bloomers (a safety pin behind the knee does the trick), add black strappy sandals, and the clincher: leave your fish at home for a nighttime swim, then turn your hat — you heard me! — into your evening purse. There’s a photo in the slideshow that explains how to do it.

From the City to the Summer State of Mind

Sometimes a human’s gotta put her casual Friday sneakers on, grab her pre-packed bag from under the work desk and run to the bus to get the hell outta dodge. Problem is, you arrive looking like a Monday.

Part one of the solution is prep: Wear a colorful tank top under a white tee, then layer gold mesh tank over the tee. Your blazer might hide it, but that’s fine. The point is to be half-dressed for the after by the time you’re well on your way.

And now for the summer swap: Take your blazer off, remove your tee (you might need to do so in a bathroom, depending on your arm-hole dexterity) then change out sneakers for sandals, add gold earrings like these Mango dangles, and throw on black shades for that I’m-so-cool-I-could-be-napping-zzzzzzz-WAIT-crap-did-I-miss-my-stop? look.

From Sandy Breakfast With Grandma Sandy to Sunshine-y Errands

Say you’re visiting your lovely beach-adjacent grandma, and the two of you have an al fresco date planned for that fancy pants early bird breakfast special. Make like her twin and match your blouse to your shoes (you know she’s going to), get your hair out of your face before she brings it up (am I projecting?), and hold your purse like a lunchbox in one hand, her hand in your other. Once you’ve had all the OJ you can drink and enough waffles to pad your dreams for days, head home for a quick change so that you can meet up with your pals, do a little walking, and be prepared for over-air-conditioning.

The super simple swap: Sneakers replace sandals, add a strap to your bag (this Mango one is detachable), let your hair down, and throw on a lightweight jacket that, should you be running errands outside, adds one more layer of sun protection. Don’t forget to pack sunglasses in your bag! You’re on hypothetical vacation, remember?

Maybe you don’t, you’re so relaxed. I know I already forgot how much my inbound luggage weighed.

Shop these outfits and more on!

Photos by Edith Young; Modeled by Alisha Bansal; Makeup by Regard Tang

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond is a writer, creative consultant, and Man Repeller alumnus living in New York City.

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