I've Been Window-Shopping for a Nonexistent Fall Vacay—Here's What I'd Pack


(Image credit: @dualipa)

As we inch closer to the tail end of summer, I'm sad to report that I've gone vacationless all season. At the start of April, I had envisioned running off to a tropical getaway, but like most things, it's easier said than done. Instead, I've been watching others bask at the sunny beaches of Tulum and swim near the picturesque coastlines of Portofino via my IG feed. It may seem a bit glum, but watching others' glorious vacations has inspired me to finally actively plan for my own. And of course, a major element to the fun of jetting off to an exotic destination is preparation; it's one of the few times when being extra is essentially a requirement (so you can think about leaving your most practical basics at home).

In addition to bookmarking all of the places geotagged in my favorite tastemakers' vacation snaps, the market editor in me has also been keeping tabs on all of the fashion. As I repeatedly scroll through Google Flights for deals and read through endless resort reviews, I'm outlining all of the outfits I've mentally "packed" so far. If you, too, plan on visiting somewhere nice within the next few months, consider this your guide to mastering early-fall vacation style. Keep scrolling to see the outfit inspiration on my mood board and the looks for every travel scenario.

The Outfits on My Mood Board


(Image credit: @jeannine.roxas)


(Image credit: @itsreallynana)


(Image credit: @emnitta)


(Image credit: @maggie_mccormack)

What I Plan on Packing for…

Exploring the City

One of the best parts of traveling is having no plans at all. No matter where I go, I like to leave enough time to aimlessly wander through small side streets and quirky gift shops to find hidden gems. In situations like this, it's best to go with pieces that are versatile enough to work across all environments—whether that be a nice restaurant or a park. A cool oversize shirt and patterned jeans strike the balance between fun and comfortable. Last but not least, flat shoes are a must.

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Day at the Beach

Welcome to the fashion-person way of hitting the beach. In my case, not just any cover-up will do. Right now, I'm completely enthralled by Louisa Ballou's elevated printed, sheer dresses and swimsuits. To top off the drama, add magenta sunglasses and a green woven tote to hold all of the trashy beach reads.

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The chronically overprepared may already have dinner reservations lined up, but more often than not, my travel buddies and I like to be spontaneous about our eating plans. A matching skirt set is a no-brainer that fits within every dining atmosphere. Another plus: The knit material makes this very easy to pack.

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Museum Hopping

Reserve your Sunday best for browsing beautiful works of art and captivating exhibitions. The plissé pants below look way more expensive than they are and are so comfy you won't mind spending hours walking through every exhibit. 

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Spontaneous Rendezvous

A vacation is the best time to deviate from the norm. Whether it's grabbing drinks with a new acquaintance or spending a night out on the town, you'll need a look that ensures all eyes will be on you.

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Travel Day

Sure, you'll be sitting in taxis, planes, and trains all day, but you can still look chic doing it. My go-to is a long-sleeve tee for all of the excessive AC and a sweater for some extra warmth. An oversize knit vest and high-waist sweatpants are truly a fail-safe option. Don't forget a roomy tote to shove all of your essentials and any last-minute packing remnants into.

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Up next: The "Artsy" Micro-Trend Fashion People Can't Get Enough Of

Fashion Market Editor

Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.