Tan France's Clever Packing Tip To Look Chic On Vacation If You Only Have A Carry-On

There's dressing well, and then there's dressing well, European-style. Across the pond, the street style is decidedly chic for the everyday traveler. Casual looks somehow manage to be timeless yet trendsetting at the same time. If you're traveling to Europe with just a carry-on (a wise decision), you might wonder how to pull off this effortless aesthetic. Thankfully, Tan France, the English fashion designer and style expert on the hit TV show "Queer Eye for The Straight Eye," gave a few pointers in a recent interview with Insider.

The first tip is to pick your fabrics carefully. If you're heading to Southern Europe, in particular, avoid the temptation to pack garments that don't hold up well in the heat and humidity, like silk. Instead, opt for cotton and linen. Not only will they feel more breathable in areas without air conditioning, but in a pinch, you'll be able to wash these fabrics in the hotel bathroom sink and air them out to dry. Instead of packing bulkier clothes like jeans, coats, or boots, save your precious space and wear them to the airport.

Neutrals and accessories

The bolder your outfit choices, the less you'll be able to mix and match, says France in his Insider interview. With so little space in your carry-on, you'll want to squeeze in as much versatility as possible. Hands down, basics and neutrals are the winners here, like a fitted pair of jeans, a white tee, and a nice blazer. When done well, these items never go out of style. Plus, items that fall under a neutral color palette — blacks, grays, whites, denim, blues, browns, and beiges — will match everything else in your capsule wardrobe. If in doubt, you can always use the monochrome trick to instantly elevate your look, like the French who have mastered the all-black outfit.

To elevate your look, bring accessories like belts, scarves, and hats inside a toiletry bag. Do leave the beret and socks-with-sandals trend at home, though, says France via Insider, lest you stand out like a tourist. Also worth noting is a solid pair of sneakers, as Europeans rely much more heavily on walking and public transportation than Americans. A simple black or white pair will go with everything. Now that you have these tricks to make packing a carry-on easier, don't overthink it. After all, you're on vacation! You don't need to look like a runway model; just focus on having a great time.