Fashionable Girl's Guide: Learning to shop when you're going on trips

July 30, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.

For the past two weeks, I have basically been traveling nonstop.

For business or pleasure, you ask?

Certainly not for pleasure. Although, if I am honest, all traveling is fairly unpleasant for me.

I am just not good at it. I'm a homebody and greatly prefer to sleep in my bed, cook dinner at my house and just generally be in my comfort zone.

Plus, having to be out of town for any length of time causes great anxiety.

Now, it doesn't help when the day before you are set to leave (Sunday), your trusty 2003 Galant broke down, and you have no way of getting it fixed before you are supposed to leave the next morning.

Thankfully, I have the greatest mom in the world, and she was kind enough to lend me her vehicle for the week.

Murphy's Law: That which can go wrong, will.

But as a wise woman often tells me, "Suck it up, buttercup."

The show must go on.

My other travel challenge tends to be that I consistently overpack.

Whether I am going to be gone one night or 10, I will usually pack like I am going away for at least a month. What can I say? I like options. You just never know.

Here are a few things I have learned when it comes to traveling:

1. Always keep your destination in mind. If you are traveling for work, then your wardrobe will probably be drastically different than it would be if you are headed to the beach.

2. Pick items that can be worn more than once. A great neutral color blazer can be worn multiple times with different looks. For example, wear it once with a pencil skirt and heels and again with a great pair of jeans and flats.

3. Anything that doesn't wrinkle is your friend. Granted, sometimes, wrinkling is unavoidable, which is why hotels have irons (or maid service). But I would definitely steer clear of anything made of linen or a high cotton blend. Think of it this way: Less clothing prep in the morning equals more time to sleep.

Even though these last few weeks have been business travel, I have rarely had to get dressed up. Thankfully, the dress code has been pretty casual. The biggest task I've faced is finding something to wear that will keep me warm in the sub-zero office while simultaneously not cause an instant meltdown when I step outside into the delightful 98-degree Texas heat. I didn't have much time to shop before I took off, but I did manage to find a few cute pieces to accompany me.

First, I hit Dillard's because I knew it was having a major sale. I found this adorable Antonio Melani dress at 65 percent off.

Even though it is fairly conservative, the ruffle detail across the top is unexpected and gives it a little personality.

Next, I hit T.J. Maxx, where I found these great flats and top. Though I am forever a heels girl, I also try to take one great pair of flats because you just never know. I was drawn to these because they are a great neural color but will add some flair to an otherwise boring look.

I also couldn't resist the peasant top. It is comfy yet flattering and can be worn with just about anything. It's professional without being too serious.

Lesson: Traveling can be stressful enough. Packing smart just makes your life that much easier. Well, that and having a properly functioning vehicle.

Allison Marek is an attorney by day, shopping and sale fanatic by night. You can reach her at or at



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