The 7-Piece Road Trip Wardrobe Capsule


As you shift back into somewhat normal routines involving shopping trips and anything other than ordering in for dinner, summer’s arrival is still a reminder that not everything is quite back to normal. Exhibit A: Remember those long-awaited vacation trips canceled on account of COVID-19? Still, all hope is not lost on summer yet. A road trip is easy to pack for and also happens to be a social distancing-friendly method of travel for thought while you’re debating the next time you’ll step foot on a plane again.

With July on your heels, an inevitable case of cabin-fever brewing, and a longing for any semblance of familiarity, an eight-hour (or longer) car ride may be just the ingredient to satiate your adventure craving — but not without adequate preparation. While a cross-country drive isn’t exactly the occasion you pull out “the works” for, it doesn’t have to be an ode to boring sweatpants and old college tees either. Luckily, the fashion industry has reached a space where comfortability and style can effortlessly coexist. A truth proven by the fact that you've been stocking up on your loungewear-adjacent wardrobe since mid-March.

If you’ll be making stops to sightsee and get some selfies in, you’ll want to keep the cute-comfy combo in mind. Think patterned leggings, tops that simultaneously pop in pics and allow for ease of movement, and on-trend sneakers. When the goal is to keep your outfit at a minimum, as is typical for a road trip, accessories swoop in for finishing touches. Consider revisiting the ‘90s with a bucket hat that both nails functionality and the cool aesthetic. A statement pair of sunnies are always a must, and though there’s almost way too many trending styles to narrow them down, we’ve done the work for you below.

Try as we may, packing for any trip often falls in last minute on your to-do list, but the ahead picks for what to wear on your next road trip will make the process substantially easier.

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What To Wear On A Road Trip: A Comfy-Cute Top

The ideal road trip top is comfortable enough for a potential car nap, but cute enough for an impromptu photo session. Texture provided by exposed, stitching along with atypical necklines, sleeves and body silhouettes are the quickest way to elevate your top from basic to statement.

What To Wear On A Road Trip: Cool Sunnies

Sunglasses just may be street style’s favorite accessory, and a summer road trip must-have. Get your neon fix through Gucci’s stand-out oval style, or explore the number of other eyewear trends occupying summer wardrobes: sunglasses chains are set to explode in popularity at any moment, and for just a hint of minimalistic flair, flat lenses are the go-to.

What To Wear On A Road Trip: Comfy Bottoms

Extended car rides aren’t typically denim’s best moment. Particularly when summer traveling, breathable, stretchy, or a little baggy is the way to go. If you’ve spent the last few months ditching any and every thing for biker shorts (it’s the Emily Ratajkowski influence), then opt for a poppy color of leggings, or the little sister of sweatpants— sweat shorts.

What To Wear On A Road Trip: Slip-On Sandals

You know how hours into a long drive, you just want to kick off your shoes and recline (well, if you’re not the driver)? That’s when Birkenstocks, the ‘ugly’ shoe celebrities are loving, come in handy — or pretty much any other slip-on sandal. Road trips are an arena where lazy dressing is welcomed, even encouraged, and going absent of heels doesn’t always mean the absence of fun. Birkenstock’s NEON collection is summer’s ultimate shoe-mate, and between Michael Grey’s completely on trend exotic sandal styles, and the most sophisticated flip-flop to exist, via The Row, you won’t miss your pumps. If only for a while.

What To Wear On A Road Trip: A Vintage-Inspired Bucket Hat

The history of the bucket hat extends far and long from its debut with fisherman in the early 1900s to mass popularity spearheaded by hip hop culture in the ‘80s and ‘90s. And since the ‘90s are back, as is its effortlessly cool headgear trend.

What To Wear On A Road Trip: Must-Have Sneakers

If you’re making stops for sightseeing, hiking and the like during your trip, sneakers are a non-negotiable, and a variety of styles are trending right now. Though Nike offers the Air Force 1 in a variety of color-ways and limited edition styles, the signature white pair reign in versatility, which is necessary to bear in mind for minimal packing. Additionally, brands like Converse have trendsetters hooked on platform sneakers, while there’s a plethora of multicolored shoes on the market that’ll be a stand-out in your next outdoor Instagram post.

What To Wear On A Road Trip: Handy Bags

For practicality’s sake, forgo your beloved micro bag just this once. Not only are jumbo bags back on the rise following the stint of their mini counterparts, but they also supply the convenience you’ll need for snacks, tech and other extras. For hikers and nature explorers, a durable belt-bag may come in handy, or a practical backpack which includes a built-in phone and battery pocket.