Heading off for a summer jaunt? You'll want to maintain your signature style on the way, of course, and at your destination, particularly if it's a posh city scene. Start off even before you leave the ground (or hit the road) by packing cleverly. Too or too few items, and you'll have a pile of wrinkled clothes when you arrive. Button all buttons and zip zippers to help pieces preserve their shape. Fold items once to make a narrow line, than roll - don't fold - each item, fitting the resulting pieces together like a puzzle. Wrap delicate pieces in tissue paper to help ward off both moisture and wrinkling.
Some items are just more road worthy than others. In general, clothing with a bit of man-made material will hold its shape fabulously on the road. Natural materials may be cooler, but wrinkle more easily, dry more slowly, and are heavier than synthetics. Road warriors include jersey, preferably of a cotton/synthetic blend, or rayon georgette. Hang them in your hotel closet as soon as you have arrived, and the wrinkles will fall out while you're washing up. Or look for a polished cotton with a bit of spandex, in a dark color for dressy evenings.
Did you bring enough clothing? Can you face any situation, be it tropical heat followed by a frigid theater? Think layering. Pack camisoles, thin cotton sweaters, scarves and waterproof outerwear, all in similar color schemes. Bring as few pairs of heavy shoes as possible, which means all-purpose footwear - for all but the fanciest dinners, for example, you can skip the strappy stacked heels in favor of the same dark ballet flats you wore all day. Similarly, one all-purpose dress in a darker color and easy fabric like jersey or washed silk can take you from day to night with a few strategic accessories.
As you're rushing to sightsee on a blistering day, make sure your beauty products stay on your body and not on your clothes, which may cause unsightly stains. When applying SPF or body oils, give yourself time to dry before getting dressed, and wipe off any excess. Pack clear deodarant, remember, not white. And choose goof-free products such as long-lasting lipstick stain, and mineral powder bases, blushes and shadows rather than messy liquid or creme.
Don't forget to bring a first-aid kid for your clothing; nothing can ruin your trip faster, or make your attire look sloppier, than a dropped hem or popped button, especially when you've done the right thing and packed lightly. Essentials include a big and small safety pin, a few needles with thread (preferably matching your wardrobe), and a set of buttons. Again, if you bring the spare buttons to the clothing you've packed, so much the better.
The first thing to do when you have an Oops! moment is to act fast. Rinse with water if you're out and about, even it is means finding the nearest fountain. When you're back to your hotel, scrape off any residue, then pre-treat the stain with a squeeze of liquid detergent or stain fighter. Soak the garment in cool water for 30 minutes, then air dry on the clothesline. Be sure the stain is gone before using your hotel's laundry service; stains will set in if they're still on the clothing when it's send to the dryer, and especially if it's ironed.
It's best to be prepared for hand-washing on the road. First, because you can't always trust hotel laundering services to handle your clothing with care, second; you'll want to address dirt and stains as soon as possible, and third, because it's convenient, and much more inexpensive than hiring out. Be prepared for the drying cycle; bring a small, collapsible hanger for undergarments. Synethics respond well to gentle hand washing and air drying, and generally can dry in an overnight. For natural fabrics, roll the item in a towel first to soak up excess moisture, then hang in a well-ventilated area.