Ask CF: What Should I Pack for My New York-San Francisco-Las Vegas Trip?

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Ask CF Question


I’m planning to visit the USA for the first time this June. I’m going to visit New York City, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. I want to pack light since I plan to do some shopping while I’m there. What kind of clothes should I bring with me to cover all climates and still remain comfy and stylish since I’ll be wandering around all day long?


Our Response

Dear LW,

It sounds like you have quite the exciting trip coming up! And, because of that, it is understandable that you don’t want to spend a lot of time stressing out over what to bring — especially since the places you are visiting are some of the most exciting (and fashionable) destinations in the US!

With that, and the fact that you would like to pack light (Smart!) in mind, I have created a mini capsule wardrobe for you, along with some suggestions about how to style the pieces in it. Remember, though, that these pieces are meant to be mixed and matched, so feel free to experiment with your own combinations to see what works best for you.

{RELATED POST: What to Wear in Las Vegas (+ Outfit Ideas)}

The Capsule Wardrobe

Vacation capsule wardrobe for NYC, SF, and Las Vegas: Two piece floral set, white denim jacket, blue tank top, distressed denim shorts, sunglasses, red sandals, white Converse sneakers, houndstooth scarf, bucket bag, crossbody bag in black, black heels, blue open shoulder midi dress in blue polka dot, white v-neck tee, black scalloped shorts, hair ties, waterproof tote bag, gray zip up hoodie, skinny jeans

Products: (first column, from top to bottom) Top – Zara, Skirt – Zara, Heeled Sandals – H&M, Flat Sandals – Nordstrom (second column, from top to bottom) Jacket – Gap, Sunglasses – ShopzeroUV, Scarf – Old Navy, Bag – Mango (third column, from top top bottom) Camisole – Madewell, Shorts – Madewell, Sneakers – Converse, Bag – Mango (fourth column) Dress – Lulus (fifth column, from top to bottom) T-Shirt – Everlane, Shorts – J.Crew FactoryHair Ties – J.Crew, Tote – Madewell (sixth column, from top to bottom) Jacket – Uniqlo, Jeans – American Eagle

Outfit #1

For the first outfit, I decided to put together a cute and simple daytime look that is perfect for walking around and that will keep you nice and cool in the hot summer weather.

To start, put on a breezy striped camisole. Next, add a pair of classic denim cutoffs, and do a half-tuck with the cami to achieve a fashion-forward look with minimal effort.

White Converse look great with almost any casual look and are very comfortable, which is why I’ve included some here. However, you could always swap them out for the flat sandals if you would prefer.

A pair of flattering round sunglasses will keep your eyes safe from the sun in a stylish way, while a sturdy canvas tote is the perfect way to carry around everything you need for the day; it would also serve as a great carry-on piece for your plane rides to and from your destinations.

Finally, if you have long hair, keep it out of your face using any one of these adorable leather bow hair ties. (Personally, I think that the red one would go best with this particular outfit, but it’s up to you!)

Outfit #2

I love the idea of packing a matching set for a vacation, since they’re so easy to just throw on and go, or break up to wear the individual pieces with other things in your vacation wardrobe.

This pretty printed set can go from day to night in a snap when styled with feminine strappy red sandals (how cute are they?!) and a trendy netted bag. If you’re going somewhere a little more formal, though, you could always switch out these sandals for the black heeled ones, and the white bag for the woven black one, whose dressier chain strap makes it perfect for a night on the town.

Wherever you choose to wear this set, it’s probably a good idea to bring along a light jacket — like the white denim one shown here — so that you don’t get cold at night and/or in overly air-conditioned indoor spaces, since the set is made of lightweight linen and the top is off-the-shoulder.

Outfit #3

This outfit is almost like a fancier version of the first outfit, making it a great choice if you would like to get just a little more dressed up for daytime shopping, or are planning on going out to eat at a nicer restaurant.

Begin by putting on a basic white t-shirt (which would also look great with the skirt from the matching set). Then, add a pair of black shorts, whose scalloped hem offers a playful alternative to your standard cotton pair.

The red sandals add a chic pop of color, while the woven chain-strap bag is not only super on-trend for the season, but is also super-fun to wear.

If you plan on going from inside to outside a lot, don’t forget your sunglasses and your denim jacket!

Outfit #4

The final look that I created is very simple to put together, but is definitely the most formal of the bunch. It would be perfect for wearing out to a fancy restaurant or for a classy night on the town.

To get it, all you need to do is slip on an elegant floral-printed wrap dress. Next, add the woven chain-strap bag and heeled sandals, and voilá, you’re all set to go!

If you’d like to wear this dress in a more casual way, however, all you need to do is swap out the heeled sandals for the red ones or the sneakers, and the woven bag for the white one or the tote.

To make your look appear extra laid-back, tie the denim jacket around your waist and put your hair back in a loose ponytail using one of the bow hair ties.

And there you have it — four effortless yet stylish looks for your vacation! I hope that these outfit combinations have given you some ideas as to what to pack, and that you have a wonderful time visiting the US! Thanks for your question!

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What do you think?

How do you like to pack lightly when you go on vacation? Do you have any tips or tricks for making your clothes go the extra mile? How would you style some of the pieces in the capsule wardrobe?

Let me know in the comments!

1 thought on “Ask CF: What Should I Pack for My New York-San Francisco-Las Vegas Trip?”

  1. None of those options look warm enough for San Francisco in June. It is usually in the mid-50s (F) with heavy fog in the morning and later afternoon (plus optional 20mph winds). You’re going to want pants and good jacket to get you through the days. We call it “June Gloom” for a reason. San Francisco’s summer is in September and October. You’re not going to find many sunny, warm California days (like on TV) here in June.


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