Packing for a trip often presents a number of challenges, but like everything else, with a bit of planning you’ll soon be packing like a pro!
The theme will vary a little bit depending on which city you’ll be visiting, so here are our recommendations for packing for New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco by city.
New York City Skyline – Photo: Arch_Sam / Flickr
East Coast—New York
Packing for NYC
One word describes New York City (NYC) style – BLACK. Whether it’s due to the fashion industry or it’s just the fall-back plan, we’re not sure. Whatever the case, you can’t go wrong with black.
Black pants are a must because they travel well, and you look finished and chic without much effort. It’s also easy to style casually by adding a white t-shirt and a cardigan.
As far as shoes go, we’re all about ballet flats… and because one of the newest and biggest trends right now is cute sport shoes, we’d wear sliders with this look, too. You can do your sneakers with your dress pants as well: very current and trendy. This means anything from Converse to sliders—the good-looking sport shoes ONLY. If we find out you put on your trainers to do this, we’ll haunt you from now until the end of time. (Even if Chanel did run trainers in their runway shows… Coco would have been mortified!)
A great look for NYC is black city shorts with a sport shoe or ballet flat, and a cardigan tied around your waist (just a short guy will do the trick). For the theater you can do black pants or a darling little black dress (LBD) with pumps—of course the 1 inch kitten heel with a pointy toe is a fabulous look. Add a black wrap with your LBD to complete the look. A sexy top with a narrow-leg black pant, strappy sandals and a small bag for evening is another fabulous look.
And one additional item you’re definitely going to want with you; your backpack. It’ll be out of your way, and is a safe and easy way for you to carry the things you’ll want/need with you all day, while you’re making the most of the city.
When it comes to a color palette for New York, stick with black, white, and grey and you’ll be good to go!
Dining in New York
We love to dine at Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar and enjoy American style with excellent cuisine. Of course, there’s also Le Bernadin with its unbelievably delicious tasting menu. And we couldn’t forget to share the 21 Club because we love steak and the best french fries ever.
Staying in New York
Of course we love the Ritz Carlton Central Park, who doesn’t love a beautiful hotel with views of the park. And if you need to be downtown, we love the Ritz Carlton Battery Park. The Four Seasons is a mainstay on our list. It’s well located in midtown and of course, the hospitality at any Four Seasons speaks to our soul.
Thought this would be fun and add dimension to your trip. Check out this article from InStyle.
The Venice Canals / Los Angeles – Photo: BIS Creative Director, Liz DeMarco
West Coast—Los Angeles and San Francisco
Packing for LA
LA is a completely different animal than New York; during the day, anything goes whether it be your jeans (skinny or flare), your sandals, a white t-shirt, or a great cardigan. There is often a cool breeze in California (even in the middle of the summer), so having a sweater or jacket, even for daytime, is helpful so you’re not uncomfortably cool. Flat sandals are always adorable and you can do those with shorts (keep in mind your age and your physical standing).
For night: jeans, a sexy top, and here is the rub—it’ll be freezing cold so you need a heavier cardigan and a wrap, because if you’re outside at all, you’ll be uncomfortably cold.
Because the West Coast is so casual, if you decide you want to do a little dress when going out to dinner, we wouldn’t do the LBD we suggest for New York—rather, we would do something summery and flirty. And if you know you’ll be outside for the night, definitely wear pants and have layering pieces with you.
Dining in LA
To see and be seen, head to the Ivy like the stars. Seeking sushi, head to Little Tokyo’s Sushi Gen and you won’t be disappointed. Great American fare is to be had at Cut where Wolfgang Puck entertains your palette.
Staying in LA
We adore a great hotel. Tucked away in Beverly Hills is the Hotel Bel-Air. A quiet retreat from the Hollywood life, experience the La Prairie spa and return to your place of quiet calm. For a beach front hotel, reserve a room at Shutters on the Beach. In the heart of Beverly Hills is the Montage, steps away from iconic Rodeo Drive and between downtown and the beaches of LA.
Packing for San Francisco
From L.A. we travel to San Francisco… which is a whole different look altogether. This is where you’ll don your yoga pants and pumas. There is a definitely a more “granola” type feel in and around the city, and especially when you get outside of the city. The look will be the same as SoCal for evening—a casual outfit of jeans and a top—and for sure bring along a jacket. Mark Twain once said “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” and it’s a very true statement. Because of the chill factor 24/7, boots are a great alternative and locals love to wear them 12 months a year. Fit in with the culture and be sure to take your designer bag to wear with all of your grubby clothes.
So good luck packing! Fit in with the locals, but stand out with your style. Stay cool or keep warm, and enjoy your city vacation!
Dining in San Francisco
Michael Mina is a guarantee for an excellent meal. Of course, Gary Danko is an excellent choice earning five stars over and over. Take a side trip to Berkeley to experience Chez Panisse and Alice Water’s will take your palette on a journey where cooking is based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients produced sustainably and locally. She is all that we love about fine dining.
Staying In San Francisco
Not far from Union Square, you’ll find the Four Seasons and enjoy all the benefits of a luxury hotel that is well located and easily accessible. We love the Ritz Carlton on Nob Hill, blocks from Union Square and the Ferry Building Marketplace, both favorite San Francisco places to visit. For a beautiful, oceanfront golf and spa resort, the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay is perched atop a rugged bluff overlooking miles of California coastline.