Travel in style: My best advice and tips from suitcase to hairstyle

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Travelling is quite a big part of my private and business life. I love to discover new countries, meet people from all over the world, and learn more about other cultures. While travelling, we often have some special needs and only a limited amount of space in our suitcases. I still want to dress true to my style, though. Over the years, I found different ways on how to maintain my retro style while I’m away from home. And in this blogpost, I share all my tips on how to travel in (retro) style with you. So let’s start with a very important thing: Our luggage.

Travel in Style: Vintage Suitcases & stylish Weekender

Stilvoll auf Reisen: RetroCat mit einem Vintage-Koffer aus Leder vor einem Zug

Old-school suitcases aren’t known as being super practical. But they look absolutely gorgeous, in my opinion. And trolley bags can be quite tricky as well. First of all, they are pretty noisy, especially when you have to pull them behind you over cobble stones, early in the morning. Second, you can’t always rely on them. Just let me tell you a short story:

It was in Paris, a few years ago. My hotel was on top of a small hill, and, I’m not completely sure, but I believe the path was paved with cobbles. Almost on top of the hill, one roll decided to break up with me and rolled down the whole hill and even futher ahead. I tried to catch the roll, headed down with my now one-rolled suitcase and somehow catched the dirty roll in the end. I tried to fix the roll, however, it wasn’t the last time the roll tried to get independent. It was the last time, though, I took this specific suitcase with me. Since then, I prefer stylish vintage suitcases…

You can find them either on flea markets, online (on Etsy* for example) or in grandma’s cellar (this is where I found mine ;-)). If you prefer stylish luggage with rolls, I recommend to have a look at SteamLine Luggage. They offer really beautiful and super cool suitcases in different sizes.

Woody Ellen*, on the other side, offers some very pretty weekender in hand luggage size. Those are perfect for a short weekend trip or a handy supplement to your suitcase. As I usually travel by bus, train, or car, and almost never use the plane, I normally don’t have a problem with luggage size and weight, though.

And now, we are going to have a look on what to pack in your stylish suitcase. 😉

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Travelling in Style with lovely Jersey Dresses

Jersey dresses are always an excellent choice for travelling. They are super comfy, almost don’t wrinkle, and look very pretty. I personally really like the jersey dresses by Vive Maria*, Pussy Deluxe* and Atelier Belle Couture*. For the ride or flight, I usually choose a slimmer dress. At my travel destination, I also wear jersey dresses with circle skirts and even petticoats. If you want to pack a petticoat, by the way, I highly recommend a vacuum bag. PS: I usually wear swing or circle skirts when travelling, as those are easier to team with flat shoes, which directly leads us to the next point.

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Travelling in style with elegant & comfortable shoes

While travelling, we want to discover the new area, of course. Therefore, flat shoes are definitely a good choice. In summer, I usually pack some ballet flats by Melissa*. When travelling during colder seasons or visiting the north, I go for classy flat lace-up shoes, as those look pretty, and are comfortable at the same time. For colours, I recommend shades that are easy to team with different outfits, like beige and black.

If I want to go hiking or the weather is really bad, I choose my black Timberlands*. Those also go well with flared skirt, still look quite “vintage”, and are definitely perfect for uneven terrains. Of course I usually also pack a pair of classy black pumps for my evening outfits.

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Travel in Style: Tights instead of Stockings

Stilvoll reisen: RetroCat mit Vintage-Koffer und Strumpfhose auf Reisen

I do wear nylon stockings in everyday life. To be honest, though, I prefer tights when travelling, as you don’t have to bring a matching garter belt with you. And there is another advantage: You can go through the security check without having to show one of the security officers that you are only wearing old-school stockings with a garter belt that, unfortunately, has some metal clasp… And for everyone who prefers an authentic look: There are also tights with seams* available. 😉

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Travel in Style: Pretty Scarves

Perfekt für Reisen: RetroCat mit einem langen pinken Schal

A pretty scarf is a wonderful travel companion. It keeps you warm when the air-condition is too cold, and is also perfect when the weather at your travel destination is not as good as expected. I always choose a long scarf to cuddle into for travelling, by the way.

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Travel in Style: Cosy (vintage) Cardigans

Stilvoll reisen: RetroCat mit Vintage-Strickjacke und beigem Kleid am Bahngleis in Aviemore/Schottland

I always pack a small selection of cosy (vintage) cardigans when travelling. If it isn’t too chilly, they are a perfect jacket. And when it gets really cold, you can wear them underneath your “real” jacket to add an extra layer of clothing. It is best to choose some neutral shades that can be worn with many different outfits. I usually go for a beige and black one.

I bought most of my favourite cardigans in vintage stores. But of course, online shops like TopVintage*, for example, also offer some pretty knitwear.

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Weatherproof Jackets for Travelling

Stilvoll reisen: RetroCat mit einer schönen wetterfesten Jacke von Ted Baker in den schottischen Highlands

To be honest: I didn’t own a weatherproof jacket until I decided to travel through Scotland. At home, I wear my coats or a fake-fur jacket when the weather is bad. But then, I finally found out that it is definitely good to own one weatherproof jacket. When I have to buy something practical, though, it has to be pretty, at least. So it was quite a challenge to find something suitable. In the end, I found a parka with a lovely peony-print at Ted Baker.

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Travel in Style: Berets, Hats & Scarves

If you travel to the south, you may want to protect your head from the sun. A very stylish way to do so is by wearing a straw hat. I usually transport my hats in a specific hat box, to make sure they won’t get any damages. If you can’t take a hat box with you, make sure to put some clothes into the crown of the hat. This helps to keep your hat in shape.

When I travel to the north or during colder season, a chic beret or turban is great way to keep your head warm, while still looking super stylish. Furthermore, those pieces are insensitive, small, and therefore super easy to pack. If I have some space left, I also like to bring a small cocktail hat with me, to dress up my evening outfits.

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Travel in Style: Handbags & Backpacks

Of course we also have to carry around several things while travelling. So we shouldn’t forget our handbag. I usually choose one with shoulder straps, so it is easier to carry the bag around. And, as before, I choose one in a neutral colour that can easily be teamed with different outfits.

Sometimes, though, a backpack is simply more practical than a handbag. I own a small leather backback that looks quite cute. You can have a look at Ted Baker and Grafea, for example, they offer some lovely small and pretty ones. But please keep in mind: Especially in cities and at crowded places, I wouldn’t pack things like your purse, passport, and smartphone in a backpack. I usually carry around those objects of value in a thin belt bag underneath my clothes (I know, not very sexy, but at least my stuff is safe from pickpockets).

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Travel in Style: Jewellery & Accessories

Accessories and jewellery are a beautiful way to make your outfits more interesting. When travelling, I usually pack some small, not so expensive earrings like my beloved black rose earrings by Glitter Paradise* for the day, and some sparkly ones for the evening. Depending on which outfits I pack and the destination, I also usually take a thin belt* and one pair of gloves with me.

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Travel in Style: Pretty Pajamas & cosy Socks

RetroCat mit warmen Socken, einer Tasse Tee und einem Buch im Bett

While I like to wear negligees in my own bed, I usually prefer long sleeved pajamas in a foreign bed. I simply feel better when there is a layer of fabric between me and the bedsheet. Plus: it can always happen that the hotel room is quite chilly. In this case, you are really really thankful for a long pajama, trust me. 😉 In summer, I usually choose light pajamas made of silk or light cotton. During colder seasons, I go for ones made of jersey or viscose. Vive Maria* and Calzedonia offer some pretty cute pajamas, for example.

Another recommendation: Always take one or two pairs of cosy and warm socks with you! Especially when it was cold during the day, it feels absolutely amazing to take a warm shower and cuddle into the hotel bed with a comfy pajama, some cosy socks, a cup of tea, and a book. When it comes to books: I actually still prefer paperback books. When travelling, though, an e-book reader is definitely more practical…

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A lovely Travel Makeup

Stilvoll reisen: RetroCat stellt ihr Reise-Make-up vor

When I’m travelling, of course I want to wear my makeup just as I do at home. However, I really only need very few products when I’m away from home. And this is what I pack:

  • The CC Cream by Chanel with SPF 50. This is a foundation, skincare, and sunscreen at the same time.
  • A pressed powder
  • An eyeshadow primer, as eyeshadow creases quite fast on my lids
  • A small eyeshadow palette with some matte brown shades. This one can not only be used on the eyelids, but also for the eyebrows
  • My favourite mascara, the I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara by Essence*
  • A (cream) blush and a lovely rosewood colour
  • The Dior Addict Sugar Scrub (Review here) for lipcare and to add a little bit of colour, plus one classy red lipstick.
  • A small brush set by Zoeva to apply all those products. 😉

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Pretty easy Travel Hairstyles

RetroCat mit einer stilvollen Retro-Reise-Frisur am Glenfinnan Viadukt in Schottland

Last but not least: Let’s talk about hairstyles. Of course I somehow style my hair when travelling, I don’t want to spend hours in the bathroom, though, as I rather explore some new places. For the car, bus, train ride or flight, I usually wear my hair down with some waves, or pin it up with as few pins as possible. I never wear my huge bun for this occasion, though, as it can be quite hard to fall asleep in a seat when wearing it. 😉 But of course, I wear it as soon as we arrive at our destination.

If you want to be able to curl your hair while being away from home, I recommend to take Sleep-in Rollers* with you. These don’t need a lot of space in your suitcase and are easy to use. Just roll your moist hair around them, go to bed, and brush out your hair in the morning  – that’s it. As those rollers are super soft, they won’t also really bother you while sleeping.


By the way: In my style diary blogposts, I show you the specific outfits I wear while travelling.

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