Studies Show These Are the 3 Items Travelers Always Pack But Never Wear

Allyson Payer

There are two types of people in this world: underpackers and overpackers. If you fall into the latter category like me, a study that Trunk Club (Nordstrom's personal styling company) recently conducted will probably pique your interest. The study examined the travel and packing habits of Americans and found that a whopping 62% of those surveyed admitted to overpacking when traveling, which the study attributed to the fact that most started packing 24 hours before leaving. They also voted that packing is more stressful than the trip itself. Yikes.

The study found that "nearly a quarter of the average suitcase [is] left untouched when traveling," which is a shame when we could all use that extra space for things we'll actually wear, or even swap out our suitcase for a smaller one. So what are the most common items that travelers always pack but never wear? Jackets, long-sleeved shirts, and socks. (This tidbit might be handy to keep in mind the next time you're making a packing list.) Maggie Mee, the head of merchandising at Trunk Club, advises, "To avoid overpacking, consider using versatile items that can be repurposed for multiple outfits and occasions." Translation: Narrow it down to one jacket, two long-sleeve shirts, and only enough socks to cover the days when wearing shoes that actually require socks.

Read the survey for even more findings from the study, and scroll to shop some of the versatile items I've been packing as of late.

Paige Jojo Jacket in Grandstone ($249)

No matter what season it is, I always have a denim jacket in my suitcase.

Reformation Emmie Dress in Elyse ($218)

I gravitate toward subtle dresses that no one will notice if I wear more than once.

Goldie Ribbed Elbow Sleeve T-Shirt ($80)

A slim-fitting, ribbed tee in both black and white is a must.

Veja Esplar White Low-Top Sneakers ($120)

These are comfortable and polished enough to wear all day in even the chicest of cities.

J Brand Jules High-Rise Straight Leg in Metropole ($248)

This new J Brand style is insanely soft, and the wash is perfectly versatile.

Comme Des Garçons Play Stripe Tee ($156)

Speaking of long-sleeve shirts, this is my favorite one to pack.

Réalisation The Naomi Skirt in Romance ($180)

Sure, the leopard version of this skirt is a cult classic, but the black one is ideal for travel.

Re/Done Ribbed Tank ($74)

A layering piece that takes up minimal space.

Gucci Jordaan Leather Loafers ($730)

I've packed these on more trips than I can count.

Everlane The Wide Leg Crop Pant ($68)

One pair of wide-leg pants and one pair of jeans may suffice for a short trip.

Wandler Hortensia Mini Tote Bag ($526)

This bag is the perfect size for trips, and it's so versatile.

Reformation Miles Hoodie ($68)

I always pack a lightweight hoodie—even during summer.

Next up, 24 pairs of jeans you should actually wear on a flight.

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