I’m a multi-tasker. Aren’t you? Dodge a bullet, spin plates on sticks, keep an eye on the ball, hop up and down on one leg and smile all the while. It’s expected of us these days, and we’ve dutifully risen to the occasion. We must to survive in our fast-paced, changing environment… and as women, we’re the best at it.

Should we expect any less of the items we so carefully chose to pack in our ever-shrinking suitcase? Absolutely not. I have always sought out travel items that do double-duty. Hair conditioner I use as shaving cream; belts that can be worn as necklaces; pareos that transition from sand to dance floor; scarves that serve as a hair accessory, a makeshift top or an arm sling after a tumble on cobblestones (check out this great instructional video starring very clever founder of Splendora  for six ways to tie a scarf).

Here are a few of my current finds ….

The Convertible Knit Dress – by Garnet Hill

As a sundress with sandals and a straw hat, or shimmy it down to your hips as a skirt with a breezy top or tank. Winterize it with a heavy sweater or turtleneck, a wide leather belt and boots and it’s carried you into another season. Material is cotton/rayon/spandex.

The Infinity Dress – by Donna Karan

Brilliant solution for anywhere, anytime. Moves from day to night, casual to dressy. Accessorize with flats to heels, jean jacket to sequined wrap. Layer with a thin jersey top (as shown) or under a structured jacket for business.

The dress morphs into at least six different styles. The jersey fabric is ideal for packing and provides a flattering drape.

Convertible Ruched Dress – by Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret introduced a “7-in-1” dress that gives Donna Karan a run for her money, coming in at a fraction of the cost.  Same concept and an array of available colors (pictured above in red, green, fuchsia and black),

Convertible Pant – by Columbia

This active-fit pant (read: close to the body) has two hand pockets, one back hook and loop pocket and one side-zip security pocket. The pant legs zip off just above the knee to transform to a longer length short. Synthetic fabric wicks away moisture and has a UPF of 50 to provide sun protection.

Wear them as pants with athletic or walking shoes, zip off the legs, add heels and a sequined tank and you’re set for a night out.

Convertible Handbags, Clutches and Backpacks – by Meray Arnett

Two styles are currently shown on the website — this red bucket tote and the fold over.  Both are convertible and reversible to an alternative color.

But my favorite for function is the more roomy, backpack to shoulder bag which debuts in August.  Made of nylon, it’s all-weather and seasonless, easy to pack, provides numerous pockets and storage and can be wiped clean. I see this making its way on a back along the cliffs of the Cinque Terre and then over the shoulder shopping through Portofino.


Belt Conversion – by Twisted Silver

A chain belt has been one of my travel staples for more than 10 years.  Slung around the waist with a bikini, Ciao Capri! It’s the perfect accent for jeans or skirts and worn long around the neck it can up the style quotient on a simple button down blouse.

Double-wrapped it makes a chunky, more substantial statement and balances a shift dress. If the chain has a secure clasp, it can also be wrapped multiple times around the wrist for maximum impact.  One piece, many looks.

With the “what to wear” part of your trip figured out, you can now focus on what to do.