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2020 Spring Break Packing List

Where to find the hottest trends of the season as the weather heats up

Feb 25, 2020

If you have a passion for fashion, the arrival of a new season means one thing: new clothes! While it would be 100% wrong to overhaul your wardrobe every three months when a new trend comes along, new trends can inspire you to update your look in a fun and fashionable way. And when the new season coincides with an upcoming vacation, for a fabulous fashionista, a trip to the mall or your favorite fashion website can be almost as fun as going on the vacation itself. 

Don't forget your sunglasses!Don't forget your sunglasses!Courtesy of Arnel Hasanovic for Unsplash

2020 Spring Break Style Trends: Go Big or Stay Home

Big polka dots, highlighter-inspired neons, bright colors, sequins, see-through knits, and high-waisted short-shorts are all the rage on the runways this season. What’s the inspiration behind the bold statements? “Fashion is a reflection of what's going on around us – politics, economics and culture,” according to a 2017 article on trends in the UK edition of Harper’s Bazaar magazine. “Trends are about tapping into a zeitgeist; they define a spirit or mood.” 2017 saw a lot of anti-establishment, feminist messaging as well as a lot of the power-color red, which is associated with strength, optimism and passion.

In some ways, 2020’s big, bold statement pieces focus on being versatile, recycling and repurposing, and being “seen”. With all the focus on climate change and renewable resources, versatility – being able to use key pieces in your wardrobe for multiple purposes – is a great way to practice responsible fashion. Borrow your dad’s baseball cap or your mom’s old tracksuit. Wear a long skirt over your pants or tie a sweater over your shoulders. Mix and match is the wave of the year, and it requires very little effort – just make sure you don’t mix prints (one print or bold signature color at a time is the best way to play it safe. The bright neon, sequin and metallic trend is a call-to-action for all fashion-forward folks to see and be seen. Like a peacock showing its feathers or a diva taking center stage, you can strut your stuff safe in the knowledge that you’ll not only be visible, but you’ll also be perfectly appropriate and fashion forward in your bright, shiny best.

Vacation is the perfect time to leave your everyday clothes at home and break out your brightest, most colorful accents.Vacation is the perfect time to leave your everyday clothes at home and break out your brightest, most colorful accents.Courtesy of Seventeen

Tip #1: Shop your parents’ closets

It’s super eco-friendly to bring back looks from your parents’ era so you can shop their closets, thrift stores or vintage shops to find your next neon statement piece, wide-collared shirt, or repurpose a sequined top from eveningwear to daywear. 

Head to your local vintage store for unique piecesHead to your local vintage store for unique piecesCourtesy of Hannah Morgan on Unsplash

Tip #2: Make sure your swimsuit is vacation-ready

Make sure you have a swimsuit that fits. You want to avoid waiting until you pull on your swimsuit the moment you get to your hotel, ready to hit the sun, only to find you have pulls on the bottom from sitting on the concrete on the side of a pool without a towel underneath, or the elastic has dissolved and left you with a baggy bust or a saggy bottom. Try on your swimsuit at least a week before vacation to give yourself time to shop for something fabulous that fits. Check out these swimwear trends from Who What Wear before you shop for some inspiration.

Swimsuits don't have to cost a fortune to look great. Opt for bright colors and fun prints this season.Swimsuits don't have to cost a fortune to look great. Opt for bright colors and fun prints this season.Courtesy of Seventeen

Tip #3: Make sure everything fits and looks right

Swimsuits aren’t the only things that go off after a few seasons of neglect. As a growing tween or teen, it’s quite likely that a growth spurt has kicked in since summer while you were hibernating under several heavy winter layers of sweaters and your cute summer pants might have turned into capris by now. A week before vacation, get into the spirit of the trip and have a little personal fashion show to make sure everything fits, is clean, doesn’t have holes, and isn’t too worn out. 

For example, when you buy a pair of jeans that has holes in it, they look good for a season or so before the holes start to grow. Eventually, you look in the mirror only to discover your favorite pants are more holes than fabric! 

Check for spots and stains. Sometimes when you wear clothes, they develop spots and stains even after you wash them. Make sure everything you bring is wearable. 

Check your jeans for holes before packingCheck your jeans for holes before packingCourtesy of Jason Leung on Unsplash

Tip #4: Put outfits together

You may have a favorite hot pink polka dot blazer that you’re dying to wear on vacation, but don’t forget it has to be worn WITH something – preferably more than one thing. And, if you don’t want your suitcase to way more than you do, consider mixing and matching clothes and wearing things more than once. Bring pieces of clothing that can do double-duty, like a top that can be worn during the day one day and at night paired with evening clothes, too. 

Short shorts with long frilly tops and uni-jumpsuits look great whether you're touring a new area or going out at nightShort shorts with long frilly tops and uni-jumpsuits look great whether you're touring a new area or going out at nightCourtesy of Dominic Sansotta via Unsplash

Tip #5: Bring basics to mix and match

It’s easy to pack when you have basic items that go with anything. Like a little black dress, a skirt in a solid color, a pair of white pants, jeans shorts, a pair of stylish sandals that can be worn day or night, a neutral sweater that goes with anything day or night, and a jacket in a neutral color. Definitely don’t forget the jacket – many spring break destinations can be warm during the day but chilly when the sun goes down.

Not sure what to pack? Start a pinterest board or lay your clothes out on your bed to help you choose outfits and see what's missing before you packNot sure what to pack? Start a pinterest board or lay your clothes out on your bed to help you choose outfits and see what's missing before you packCourtesy of Lauren Kay Sims

Tip #6: Hand washing detergent and a stain stick

When you plan to mix and match, be prepared with hand washing soap like Woolite that can be used with warm water in your hotel bathroom sink. Ice cream melts; tomato sauce drips; coffee and tea can dribble and spot your favorite vacation white clothes, so be prepared with an on-the-go stain stick or wipe like Tide to Go so your vacation photos don’t show off your food mishaps.

Throw a tide to go pen or a shout wipe in your bagThrow a tide to go pen or a shout wipe in your bag

Share your stories

Where are you headed for spring break? Do you have a spring break packing nightmare to share? Let your voice be heard in the comments below!