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Packing for a trip—whether it’s a weekend getaway or a weeks-long excursion—comes with its own set of stressors. Not only do you need to plan each outfit to the T in order to make sure you have everything for both daily excursions and dinner dates, but if you want to look halfway decent, you also need to choose the right kinds of textures and materials that can withstand the physical demands of travel.
Sadly, this usually means leaving behind some of your favorite dresses that always end up looking like crinkled paper mache post plane, train, or car ride. But that doesn’t mean you’re destined to don only jeans and tees. Tons of fashion designers are tapping into the flowy, light textures that promise not to wrinkle or require major ironing. Check out these stylish frocks and gowns that are ready to wear right out of your suitcase.
Textured Metallic Jersey Dress ($130; halston.com)
Whether you’re celebrating your birthday, New Year’s Eve or simply enjoying a night on the town, your outfit should fully express your mood even if you’re thousands of miles from home. While, of course, you can’t go wrong with a little shimmy and shine, a dress made of polyester promises to maintain its form in and out of your suitcase. “While this material may muster visions of 70s pantsuits, it's widely used in many fashionable dresses,” says Soraya Pena Hennessy, fashion and travel blogger at Chic Flavours.
Bell Sleeve Sweatshirt Dress ($49; nordstrom.com)
"Sweatshirt dresses are some of the most versatile and cozy for travel,” says Hennessy. “They always look fresh, even if they have been crammed in your carry-on!” They’re also incredibly easy to dress up—or down. Style with some big hoop earrings and knee-high boots for a girls’ night out or some leggings and sneakers for a more casual look.
Sorceress Burgundy Velvet Maxi Dress ($68; lulus.com)
As if it ever left, velvet is back in style. And, perhaps, the best part about the material is the fact that it just doesn’t wrinkle—plain and simple. “You can pull a dress made of velvet right out of your suitcase, throw it on, add a few accessories, and go," says Hennessy. Especially if you’re traveling to attend a special occasion, for example a wedding, velvet can be folded up neatly and easily worn like it’s brand new.
The Corrine Kimono Maxi in Aloe ($104; shop.leota.com)
The best time to rock exotic prints and bright hues is undoubtedly on vacation. This NYC-based womenswear brand has well-fitting, vibrant, and wrinkle-free dress and separates options in all-inclusive sizes (think contemporary and full-figured). This tall, tropical glass of water is effortlessly flattering—it ruches on the belly area and has a loose, free fabric that’s breathable and can sustain being shoved in your luggage.
Lace Appliqué Crinkled Velvet Dress ($895; nordstrom.com)
This detailed little lace number from Jonathan Simkhai offers that subtle yet sexy romantic look in a crinkled polyester velvet material that flatters most figures. It has a hidden back-zip closure, so it clings to your body, with easy spaghetti straps that rest easily on your shoulders—and don’t forget that stunning thigh-high slit.
Floretta Suede Ruffle Fitted Dress ($1,595; aliceandolivia.com)
This LBD, made from 100 percent suede, ruffles in all the right places and is asymmetrically layered throughout. A work of art on its own, it calls for relatively few accessory pieces and can be worn with a basic pair of black pumps. It’s a sexy number that won’t crinkle or crease, but will certainly attract double-takes from onlookers.
Scoopback Bodycon Dress ($69; bebe.com)
A holiday dress you can wear (and pack) with ease, this bodycon number is one you’ll get plenty of use out of throughout the year. It’s 92 percent Nylon and 8 percent spandex, so it has just the right amount of stretch to it and its chevron-texture knit, which is carefully flecked with shimmering silver metallic, won’t wrinkle when packed neatly in your suitcase.