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What to Wear on a Road Trip? The Three Cs of What to Wear

  • Travel Guides
  • Celine Jerly
  • 6 minutes

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Craving long winding roads, favorite songs on loop, travel buddies, wind in your hair? You’ve got the road trip fever, bestie! Better handle it right away. But ugh! Packing. What to wear on a road trip? If you find yourself asking this again, here’s a bit of help. Just the basics, because the new rule in fashion is “You do you.” 

The three Cs of what to wear on a long road trip 

Remember the three Cs – Comfy, Casual, Chic. If you start thinking about an outfit idea at any point in this blog, make sure the three Cs of what to wear on a road trip check out. Now, summon all your inner strength and Marie Kondo your travel bag. Cause living out of a suitcase is all about limited options. So, what to keep and what to leave – here are your road trip style essentials. 

Keep: T-shirts and tank tops 

They don’t take up a lot of space in your bag; comfy for summer car rides and great for layering in cold temps. Love prints and logos? Go ahead, but throw in a few plain tees or tanks in neutral colors too. You never know what happens on a long journey. If you need to dial down the casual a bit, a plain white or black t-shirt will come in handy to wear with slacks and a blazer. 

Casually dressed young women

Leave: Everything tight and itchy 

The fit of your clothing has to be just perfect for a road trip. Don’t start picturing baggy shorts and frumpy sweaters yet! It’s more like worn-in denims and shoes. Shoe bites from a new pair or the waistband cutting into your skin – oh! The end of day agony! Remember that you’ll be sitting around for hours, and any clothing that can turn your car ride into torture should be left at home or saved for a no-drive day. 

Keep: A light cardigan or sweatshirt  

Even when the sun promises to follow you all the way to your destination and back home. Why? Have you checked out the weather lately! The sun is no longer qualified to make such promises. Courtesy: Global warming. Also, you have to factor in air conditioning, especially if you get chilly before everyone else. Some of the roadside restaurants and rest stops will have their ACs on full blast in peak summers. 

Leave: Pointy heels and flip flops 

Okay, the flip-flops can go in your bag for some light walking but not for the car ride, especially if you are driving. The stilettoes – you don’t think they are uncomfortable? Respect! If you must carry heels – for a cute date or a night out – go for wedges or block heels. But pack them away till you reach your hotel or rental. No slip-ons or loose footwear that makes it difficult to control the pedals while driving. 

Keep: Hats, socks, and sunglasses 

A beanie for fall/winter and a summer hat or cap for spring/summer. Wind in your hair and arms in the air is all dreamy till you try to brush out your hair after the car ride. Scarves work too – you can cover your head and still look chic. A few pairs of socks need to go into your travel bag. The car’s floor vents could freeze your toes when they are out of the shoe. The sunglasses make a style statement and keep the glare out too. 

Leave: Too many accessories 

First of all, it’s hard organizing and packing all your chains, earrings, watches, hairpins, bags, etc. – especially the jewelry. So, when in doubt, go for one or two versatile pieces. Like a chain that can double up as a quick bracelet or a sling bag with detachable straps. If you are planning to go souvenir shopping, leave room for new accessories in your travel pack. That means what’s at home stays home.   

Good news! Here are a few more things you can pack for your road trip: 

  • A denim jacket – pair well with anything for a cool Instagram #OOTD post and keeps you comfy too. 
  • Low-maintenance styles. Wrinkle-resistant fabrics like wool or synthetics. (Does not apply to tees and tank tops for the car ride.) 
  • Leggings or draw-string pants. Buttons, buckles, and belts can be uncomfortable for long hours of sitting. 
  • Gloves, boots, and raincoat/poncho – in case the weather plays spoilsport. 

what to wear for road trips layers

  • A denim or flannel button-up shirt – totally cool and warm too. 
  • Maxi dress or a long skirt – easy, breezy, and great to cuddle up in. 
  • An LBD, for those day-to-night style transformations, dress-up or dress-down – the versatility of a little black dress is unparalleled. Pick your silhouette and fabric. It’s just got to be a black dress. 

More Tips on what to wear on a road trip 

If you are still going … 

Let’s break it down into…

Two simple rules for what to wear on a road trip

Dress and pack for when and where you are going: You know it’s going to get warmer as you get closer to your destination? Switch to shorts instead of jeans. Planning to take a dip in the sea en-route? Wear your bathing suit under your car outfit. Expecting a mid-day hike or walk around the shops, slip into comfortable sneakers.  

Layering is the golden rule of travel fashion: Changing in restrooms or on the side of the road is such a hassle, especially when you have to pull something over your head. Zip-up sweatshirts or vests, button-down shirts, cardigans, jackets, and coats are road-trip essentials for this reason. Layer up in easy pieces to stay comfortable at all times.  

Remember, these are only guidelines. Don’t forget to just ‘be you’ – road trips are all about enjoying the journey. Don’t stress the small stuff! Stay ready to stop and enjoy the view. Strike a pose and keep that #Roadtrip #OOTD looks moving on your socials. And if you are looking to take a break from driving, find parking near you right here. 

affordable city parking

  Read more blogs on affordable airport parking, the best insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you.


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