fallfashion3No matter how old you get, there’s always an air of Homecoming around Thanksgiving.  Besides the traditional dinner with your extended family, there’s the promise of reunions with old friends, flag football games with your cousins in a yard full of leaves, apple picking with your nieces and nephews, smirking at your old girlfriend’s new husband at your old St. Elmo’s Fire bar, and even braving the crowds on Black Friday, if that’s your thing.  Okay, maybe that’s all a little bit Norman Rockwell, no matter your plans, you’re going to need multiple outfits for an action packed 4-day weekend.  Don’t go overboard packing too much and lugging heavy check-on bags through crazy holiday crowds at the airport.  Pack smart, bring only a carry on, and breeze past the baggage carousel upon arrival.  You only need a few items to create multiple looks, and it all should fit in a duffel bag for no muss, no fuss travel.

For a casual, 4-day-weekend everything you pack should be in the same color family, or matchable (lots of greys, blues and blacks work well this time of year and can all be mixed and matched). You should be able to cover just about any event in perfect style with these basic items in your duffel bag:

• One pair of corduroys or cargos (yes you can still wear cargo pants), and one pair of nice jeans.

You can wear your jeans on the plane, and pack your other option, remember, anything you wear on the plane can be reworked into other looks during your trip.  For your family Thanksgiving dinner, either the corduroy or the cargo will work with a nice shirt.  J.Crew has a great vintage cord in dark slate, or try 7 for all Mankind’s gunmetal Cargo Chino.

• Two button down shirts.

It’s Fall, go for woodsy plaids.  Pack one nice cotton option for Thanksgiving dinner, and a flannel or wool option for casual, daytime fun, or just to keep the chill off laying around watching football.  Steven Alan’s blue plaid Classic Point Collar shirt would look great with the cords or the cargo for dinner, or with jeans for drinks with the boys.  Wings & Horns wool tartan button down will look great with any of the pant options, and keep you warm for outdoor activities.

• One sweater.

Pack an option that matches all the shirts and pants so you can wear it with anything when the need arises.  Not only is it warm, but a sweater adds a layer of style to any outfit.  Wear it with the plaid button down for shopping or dinner out with old friends, or even Black Friday shopping.  Band of Outsider’s Tip Crew Neck Sweater in navy wool will top off any of these outfits perfectly.

• One Jacket.

Depending on your social schedule for the 4-day weekend, you can get away with a cool, casual, lightweight option, like this lined corduroy jacket in graphite by Levi’s, which will look amazing over the Band of Outsiders sweater and a white t-shirt with jeans. A quick note, if one of your pant options is corduroy, skip the corduroy jacket, just like denim, you don’t want to wear corduroy pants with a corduroy jacket.  With the corduroy pants, try the same lined jacket in denim instead.

•  And The Rest

Fill up the rest of your duffel with these basic essentials:

• one long sleeved Henley shirt or thermal shirt

• two or three T-shirts

• a pair of boxer shorts for sleeping

• 4 pairs of socks and underwear

• one pair of shoes (Wear the shoes on the plane, easier to get through security, and you’ll just look nicer and more put together in an actual Travel Outfit.)

• one pair of sneakers.  These anthracite grey kicks from Gola will match everything above and won’t take up tons of room in your duffel bag.