We all do it. Eight dresses for a two-day trip? Of course we need each one. But overpacking can be avoided. The key is knowing exactly what you need ahead of time. Whether you’re taking a weekend vacation at the beach or just heading down the street, this list will help you get organized – once and for all.

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What to Pack for a Weekend Away

1. Clothes
Think versatility. Summer pieces are generally smaller and more lightweight, so you can get away with bringing more without reaching that overpacking threshold. Stick to one base color – like cream or white – then just mix and match for a whole new look.

Your key items: Two pairs of shorts, one pair of jeans, one dress that works for both days on the beach and nights on the town, one T-shirt, and one dressier top. (Plus the requisite sleepwear and underpinnings.) If you’ll be soaking up some sun, one swimsuit is plenty.

2. Shoes
Yes, you can get away with bringing just three pairs of shoes. You’ll need something for day, night, and sightseeing (read: lots of walking).

Your key items: One pair each of flat sandals, neutral-hued wedges, and sneakers.

3. Accessories
Try to avoid bringing every last necklace or belt in your house. Instead, pick pieces that work with the majority of your clothing.

Your key items: One statement necklace, one neutral-colored belt, a pair of sunglasses, a floppy hat, and one tote (bonus points if you can fit a weekend’s worth of items in it).

Our The Packing List: For Summer Weekend Getaways Boutique opens Wednesday, July 3, at 11AM ET.

By Brianna Lapolla, Staff Writer

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July 3, 2013