The run-up to the holidays can be a bit overwhelming for us fashion editors—there are early deadlines to hit, new-season trend forecasts to finish, and countless parties to mingle at (and slink home early from—did we mention deadlines?). Our notoriously ninja-like online shopping skills might mean we wrapped up our gift lists well before Black Friday, but that does leave one big task on our to-do lists right about now: making sure we’ve got everything we need for ourselves once we’re finally ready to brave airport security lines.
The main objective? Packing versatile essentials that’ll ensure we’re ready for all of the dress codes our plans consist of. Because while we’ll admit to lounging around in sweatpants post–holiday dinner food coma just like everyone else, we still want to look cool (read: a little extra) on New Year’s Eve, while we’re relaxing on some perfectly Instagram-worthy beach, or when we inevitably run into that high school
friend frenemy who always seems to pop up. Want to see what’ll be making the carry-on cut as we prepare ourselves for a little end-of-year R&R?
Our fashion editor holiday essentials are rounded up below, and we’re pretty sure you’ll get a lot of mileage out of our picks no matter what industry you’re in.
A Mini Brush to Tame Hair on the Go
Mason Pearson Pocket Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle Brush ($105)
Have processed hair that seems to tangle at the mere sight of a regular brush? We can relate. Luckily Mason Pearson’s brushes are anything but ordinary, and thanks to this travel-ready mini version, we literally never have to leave home without one.
A Belt Bag for Hands-Free Travel
Rachel Comey Daft Fanny Pack ($276)
We can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic over the return of fanny packs. (We know, we know—we’re calling them belt bags now.) Luckily the options on the market are a lot more chic now than they were when we went to summer camp circa 1995, and it really doesn’t get much more travel-friendly than this one.
A Travel Haircare Kit to Save Your Strands
Nexxus 3-Piece Trial Set ($10)
By this point, we’ve learned our lesson about relying on hotel shampoos while traveling, and our strands are still recovering from the horror. Which is where a good travel haircare kit comes in: This three-piece Nexxus lifesaver comes complete with shampoo, conditioner, and a comb-through finishing mist in TSA-approved sizes.
A Vinyl Jacket to Help You Look Cool and Stay Dry
Mango Belted Vinyl Trench ( $199 ) ($99)
Vinyl’s another throwback trend we’ve collectively decided to welcome back into the sartorial fold this season, and we really can’t get enough. We’ll be wearing this slick, shiny mod-inspired belted pick everywhere to keep our best cashmere nice and dry come the season’s inevitable inclement weather.
A Fashion Book for Gifting
Grace Coddington Grace: A Memoir ($23)
Conundrum: Do we buy this for ourselves for in-flight entertainment, or do we buy a few copies of this pretty hardcover to gift to our equally fashion-obsessed friends this holiday season? Forgive us for the trick question—we’re doing both, and we think The Cod would approve.
Comfortable Yet Chic Shoes for Wherever Your Travels Take You
Paloma Wool Pia Shoes ($170)
Found: chic mules comfortable enough for touristy on-foot adventures and a night of dancing come New Year’s Eve. It’s just a bonus that they come decked out in of-the-moment faux fur in a super-fun festive color.
Mini Perfume for Easy Touch-Ups
Maison Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning Rollerball ($28)
We love spending time with our family and friends, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still need a little moment of zen amid the chaos of the holidays. One spritz of this editor-favorite scent is sometimes all we need for a quick reset (and if that doesn’t work, maybe a good cup of chai to complete the Lazy Sunday Morning vibe).
Cute Socks to Keep Your Feet Warm
Hysteria Mia Socks ($20)
Because ankle-baring styles are currently encompassing 90% of our (admittedly massive) denim collections at the moment, we’ve been stocking up on socks in a bid to stay warm. But not just any socks—we’re loving colorful picks with unique textures and prints, and we already pulled the trigger on this dreamy abstract pink pair.
A Kimono-Style Jacket for Easy Layering
Who What Wear Silky Robe Coat ($45)
Hopping on a plane? Robe coat. Sitting in a car for a few hours? Robe coat. Heading out to grab one last-minute gift you’d almost forgotten about? Robe coat. We’re all about the rise of pajama dressing, and this Who What Wear collection third piece is about to be our constant companion.
A Jumpsuit That Can Be Dressed Up or Down
Diane von Furstenberg Printed Cotton and Silk-Blend Jumpsuit ( $250 ) ($175)
In our sartorial universe, there’s nothing more versatile than this starry, starry black jumpsuit. It’s perfectly party-ready with a pair of equally dazzling statement earrings and sky-high heels, but you can also easily dress it down a bit with a vintage-inspired denim jacket and your favorite black ankle boots.
Long-Wearing Lip Pigment for Extra-Long Days
Yves Saint Laurent Vinyl Cream Lip Stain ($36)
Because we’ve all experienced the unfortunate shock of looking in the mirror after a particularly long, busy day and being confronted with lipstick that’s all over the place. For bright, vivid color with serious staying power that’ll last you past that New Year’s Eve countdown, look no further than this dreamy matte rose.
A Scarf for a Quick Outfit Update
Clare V. Bandana ($55)
We’ll never say no to a fun nod to French-girl style, as you’ve probably definitely gathered by now. And a chic neck scarf is the easiest way to add interest to even the most minimalistic of outfits, in our humble opinion. No need to resist its many Parisian-inspired charms—just say oui.
Statement Earrings to Get the Party Started
Ellery Moonradish Chandelier Earrings ($895)
Statement earrings are undoubtedly A Thing this season, and we think we’ve found just the pair to ring in the New Year in. Entering 2018 with star-powered accessories seems like an omen of good things to come—pair with a sleek all-black outfit to really let these babies take center stage.
A Glossy Carry-On to Put It All In
Raden The A22 22-Inch Charging Wheeled Carry-On Suitcase ($295)
And once you’ve gathered up all of the essentials, you’ll need a stylish carry-on to contain it all. We’re partial to this purple patent pick that’s not only super durable but also super smart—check out the wireless charging situation it’s got going on. Also tucked inside: a sleep mask, a USB cord, and earplugs.
And if your overall toiletry selection is looking a bit sparse, shop more Nexxus must-haves our editors love.