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Q. I am visiting friends for Memorial Day weekend in New York City and haven’t a clue what to pack! We’ll be shopping and going to a museum or two during the day and going out to fun dinners at night. What should I bring?

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A. I love New York on holiday weekends when most of us head out to the Hamptons or Jersey Shore and restaurants seem a bit easier to get into and the streets are a touch less crowded. Some of my favorite places to spend time outdoors are on the lower West Side’s Esplanade by the water near Battery Park City and dining al fresco in the meatpacking district (great for people watching!) Be sure to hit the High Line and Chelsea Market while you’re down there for a truly NY experience.

Packing for a shopping/eating/touring weekend in the city is a lot easier than you think. Pack a few of your favorite day-to-night dresses, some well chosen accessories, and your most comfortable pair of chic summer sandals. The idea is to dress like a local (read: stylish), so leave your gym sneakers and faded t-shirts at home! Here are a few essential items to add to your weekend bag:

Q. I will be traveling to Italy this November, spending time in Florence and Rome. Mindful of keeping room in my luggage to bring back lots of goodies, I am struggling with what to pack. So far, I purchased these boots and I am interested in building a number of looks (casual and slightly more dressy) around them. I hope to avoid looking like a typical tourist (jeans and tennis shoes). I am petite (5’2” and 110 lbs.) and am comfortable in most colors. Please share some suggestions for affordable outerwear (light-to-medium weight), pieces for layering, and what kind of pants/leggings to wear.

A. Your boots were a great purchase - comfortable and chic. To coordinate with your boots, your best bet is to pack a few pairs of skinny jeans and leggings to pair with some mix and match pieces to layer on top. Pack a leather jacket and a scarf and you should be ready for any weather. Add a cute day-to-evening dress that works with your boots and you’ll be set.

Here are some pieces in a neutral palette that will help you to create several different looks. The knit dress can be worn with bare legs or tights, or wear it as a sweater with the jeans and leggings. Add a belt over the dress and cardigans to vary the look:

Q. I’m looking for cute and trendy carry-on baggage for a Europe trip. Any recommendations?

A. We found a great variety of chic and functional carry-on bags at ebags.com. Below are some of our favorite styles, each available in a wide array of colors and prints to suit your personal style.

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Q. I’m heading to Tokyo, Thailand, and Cambodia for a month. I’m super pumped about the trip as I have not had the opportunity to travel outside of the country for a couple of years and I have never been to Southeast Asia (though I’ve always wanted to go).

I’ve learned (the hard way) that one really shouldn’t over-pack for these adventures, so I’m only bringing a carry-on sized bag and a collapsible duffel that will come along to tote around souvenirs before I ship them home. For this trip I especially want to only bring the bare minimum because I’ve heard that everything is very inexpensive other there (including clothes) and that I will be able to buy climate appropriate wear—read: made for the incredibly hot and humid weather—for very little money. However, I still need to bring some basics. And I will need something to wear in Tokyo, where we will be stopping for the first few days of our trip before we get to Thailand and the prices are much higher.

My question is this: What should I bring ? How would you pack?

I only want to bring around 6 pieces. My activities will be so diverse—city sightseeing in Tokyo and Bangkok; Temple Trekking in Cambodia; an elephant trek through mountain villages in Northern Thailand; and beach hopping all along the way—so bringing diverse pieces will be essential. Laundry can be easily done so I have no problem wearing the same things over and over.

Other things you should know: I am petite (size 2 or 4) but (unluckily) big busted so braless is never an option.

A. Sounds like a fantastic trip! I applaud your plan to pack very lightly since you don’t want to be bogged down with cumbersome luggage. For the hot & humid climate and the varied outings you plan to take, I suggest the following extremely pared-down, yet functional, list:

1. 2 to 3 tank tops/t-shirts
2. pair of shorts
3. casual skirt
4. casual day dress
5. comfortable yet chic sandals for city tours
6. hiking shoes/sneakers for treks
7. linen scarf/wrap - just in case you need an extra layer
8. hat

Look for fabrics that are easily packed and either won’t wrinkle or are meant to be wrinkled (like the scarf and skirt below). The packable items below will keep you comfortable, well-dressed and should carry you through the month. Have fun!


Q. I am a below the knee amputee and am wondering what you would suggest I wear on a trip to the Virgin Islands this Spring. I don’t wear shorts, sandals or anything above the knee. I typically wear light weight pants, jeans and longer capris in the summer. Right now I am unable to wear heels, so I am always wearing flats and t-strap style sandals. I do wear a below the knee prosthesis. Thanks for some tips.

A. We suggest loading up on summery ethnic print tops and tunics, islandy maxi dresses, breezy drawstring linen pants and lightweight cropped jeans or pants. For shoes, this season’s update on the classic huarache is the perfect choice to wear with any of the aforementioned pieces, whether you’re lounging on the beach, having a poolside cocktail or touring the local town.

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