With summer—and summer travel—just over the horizon, your packing skills will soon be stress-tested. Fortunately, we’ve enlisted the help of Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Bruce Pask, who shares his picks for destination-specific packing edits and his own personal packing tips below.
“There are a few pieces of clothing that I own (vintage Helmut Lang denim jacket) that I would be very disappointed to lose, so they always only ever go in my carry-on bag,” says Pask. “Belts and ties get rolled up and put inside shoes. I always bring one plain black slim necktie on every trip … one never knows when a dressy evening may unexpectedly arise. I always leave a bathing suit at the bottom of my carry-on bag … even in the dead of winter your hotel may have a pool that could be perfect for exercise. I always iron my shirts and trousers before packing and often pack in dry cleaning bags that help prevent wrinkling. Another great hack: If you travel regularly to one country, say Italy, purchase a small travel iron while there and your voltage issues with adaptors are over.”
However, good packing is as much about what to do as it is what not to do.
“Avoid overpacking as much as possible,” Pask says in regard to his packing no-nos. “It can be such a hassle to be carrying around clothing and items you won’t end up wearing. It’s best to map out each day and bring garments that are versatile and can be worn casually as well as dressy with an easy switch of an underpinning. Don’t overpack footwear; shoes are heavy and take up a lot of space.”
Let these words of wisdom soak in, and then consult the lists below for Pask’s personal selections, plus bonus picks pulled from the Neiman Marcus’s unmatched selection.
How to Pack for a Casual Destination Wedding
Casual-attire destination weddings are fun. Figuring out what to wear—and then pack—is less so. Luckily, we picked Pask’s brain for an edit of smart-casual, travel-friendly pieces.
Boglioli Men’s Solid Jersey Blazer
“This knit jersey jacket has a relaxed fit and offers great comfort and breathability; it’s great for dressing up or for a more casual look.”
Zegna Men’s Suede Slip-On Penny Loafers
“These soft, unconstructed loafers couldn’t be more comfortable, versatile or packable.”
Men’s Genova Cotton-Linen Micro Jacquard Sport Shirt Massimo Alba
“The texture of this cotton-linen white shirt helps minimize any wrinkling that may occur while packed. It’s part of the look.”
Creed 3.3 oz. Aventus
A spritz of Creed’s best-selling scent won’t cure your jet lag, but it will freshen you up with top notes of pineapple, bergamot and blackcurrant leaves on your way to the ceremony.
How to Pack for Urban Exploration
It’s a conundrum as old as travel itself: How can you pack efficiently and practically without sticking out as a tourist when you’ve arrived? Pask’s selections for a city adventure can solve it.
Brunello Cucinelli Men’s Water-Resistant Bomber Jacket
“This water-resistant lightweight bomber is great for all kinds of unexpected weather, and its chic simplicity helps it double as a relaxed jacket perfect for after hours on the town.”
Men’s Classic Baby Cashmere Mezzocollo Sweater
“A ¼-zip sweater is always a great, easy layer and works well over a casual tee as well as a dressier button front shirt.”
Loewe Men’s Puzzle Leather Belt Bag
“Lighten your load and keep it to the essentials: keys, wallet and phone. Wear this cross-body style and keep your hands free on a day of urban exploration.”
Burberry Men’s Sub Stretch Nylon & Rubber High-Top Sneakers
This high-top’s next-level design and stretchy textured fabric may turn heads, but most importantly for our purposes, it boasts a thick rubber outsole for all-day pavement pounding.
How to Pack for an Extended Spa Stay
When you’ve blocked off a week to destress at your favorite safe haven, the last thing you want to do is regret what you didn’t bring. Avoid that fate with Pask’s preferred spa staples.
Vince Men’s Lightweight Hemp Pants
“These are the perfect lounge-around pants.”
Tom Ford Men’s Fausto M T-Logo Square Flat-Top Sunglasses
“Rest those recently refreshed eyes behind these great new sun shields.”
Byredo 2.4 oz. Tree House Candle
“I like to bring a candle for my hotel room; it’s soothing and sets a nice mood.”
Salvatore Ferragamo Men’s Sion 3 Crisscross Gancini-Logo Leather Sandals
“Easy slip-on sandals for those walks from the pool to the massage table.”
Dolce & Gabbana Men’s Allover DG-Logo Print Silk Sport Shirt
This two-tone printed silk shirt from Dolce & Gabbana saves valuable packing space by doubling as in-room loungewear or something you might wear out to lunch paired with linen pants.