7 Tips to Look Good In (and Out) of the Car This Summer

Road Trip Style

Because style doesn’t take a vacation.

Summer and cars are the perfect pairing. Our cars serve us year round but in the summer we pack up and head off for extended trips to the beach, to the mountains, and to see relatives. All of the sudden our cars aren’t “the school drop off express.” Maybe we head out on a ladies trip and splurge on a convertible rental. Whatever the occasion, don’t sacrifice style; with the right wardrobe and accessories, you can look as good as the car you’re zipping around in.

On a recent trip to Houston I had the opportunity to attend an event at the Elaine Turner store in Houston’s City Centre.

It was my first exposure to the brand and as a frequent traveler I was impressed with how well thought-out the line was in terms of travel, pieces that are easy to care for and that are durable. So often, cute accessories and clothes can require special care and are flimsy, but not so with Elaine Turner.

Adorable shift dresses came in bright patterns and solids and could be balled up in a suitcase with little consequence. Shoes had the heels that I desire but in a wider base so that I won’t be teetering my way through airports, and the purses and clutches were made out of durable treated leathers with contrasting zippers on some and add on pom-poms on others.

Elaine Turner’s tips for flawless summer road trip style

When you’re choosing outfits and accessories for summer road trips keep a few handy tips in mind:

1. Dresses are your friend.

Not only do dresses provide an easy, comfortable, breezy driving experience they are faster at rest stops – no zippers or buckles to undo. Efficiency in roadside bathrooms is always key!

Dresses pack smaller than a full outfit so you can pack a small tote to bring in and out of hotels in the evening. And dresses can be accessorized up or down to be casual or fancy. Just be sure to choose dresses that travel well in low wrinkle fabrics if you’re going to be driving all day.

Elaine Turner Katie Dress, Shift Dress

Simple Katie shift dresses by Elaine Turner come in variety of easy to accessorize colors and are easy to care for handwash. Photo Credit: ElaineTurner.com

2. Shoes should be flat and comfy.

Driving in heels for prolonged periods can be a little uncomfortable. If you do choose to wear heels chose a chunky heel and utilize your cruise control to avoid calf cramping.

Flats don’t have to be dull, though! With summer trends including cork and snakeskin prints, a cute pair of sandals will go perfectly with your driving dress.

Elaine Turner Sandals, Cork, Summer Fashion Trends

3. The perfect purse for the car???

At Elaine Turner I found my true purse love. Large totes with flat bottoms in bright colors sat perfectly on the car floor without tipping and snap out smaller center purses meant that at quick stops I could grab out only the essentials expeditiously to bring in with me.

The clutches (I bought three in different colors!) are a treated leather that is easily wiped off with a damp cloth. With contrasting zippers the detailing reminds me of some upscale auto manufacturers’ car designs. The clutch size was perfect, not too small – it was like a glorified wallet – but not so large or bulky that I couldn’t pop it in the glove box or slide it in the door compartment.

4. Pick a color palette.

With summer road trips, time spent matching outfits or digging through suitcases is mileage lost. You can’t cover ground if you’re trying to find a pair of shoes to match your multi-piece outfit. Now is the time to test drive that capsule wardrobe that you keep swearing you’ll get around to.

Pack what you need for your destination and then toss a few cute pairs of sandals, some dresses, and a few statement jewelry pieces into a small tote for hotel overnights. You may come out of your trip having learned that less is more!

Elaine Turner, Roadtrip Packing, Accessories

5. Grab a light wrap or sweater.

As you stop into restaurants and attractions you may find some overzealous A/C use. A light wrap or sweater can easily be draped over the shoulders of your seat and pulled out at stops as needed.

6. Don’t forget the sunscreen.

It is easy to overlook sunscreen on a road trip. I mean you’re in the car, right? Well, the car isn’t impervious to the sun’s rays. Be sure to put a light moisturizer with SPF on your face and your arms unless you want to end up with the dreaded “driver’s tan” where your left arm is several shades darker than your right!

7. Cap it all off with a great pair of shades.

It’s important to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays as well. A great pair of shades will accessorize your outfit and keep your peepers functional for years to come. Be sure to buy sunglasses from reputable retailers so that you know that the UVA and UVB protection that they offer is valid.

Roadtrip, Style Tips, Elaine Turner, Road Trip Style Tips

The perfect accessories can make a road trip a breeze! Photo Credit: Nasreen Stump

Your bags are packed, your tote is ready for quick overnights, so now it’s time to check out some of our other road trip tips and tricks and set out on the open road! Enjoy the ride– in style.

Disclosure: I was the guest of Elaine Turner for a private event and received a clutch. My opinions cannot be bought and come from years of travel and roadtrips!

Nasreen Stump is a freelance travel writer and Director of Social at Travelingmom.com. She has rented hundreds of cars... More about Nasreen Stump