Backpack, But Make it Fashion

Written by Shona Neary, Edited by Aurora Hinz

Photographs by Shona Neary

I have been travelling for many weeks and now months with everything I own in life on my back.  Everything I need from city life, beach life, some professional life, and even farm life fit into my pack.  Going to the Fashion Institute of Technology prior to me leaving the country had me in the bad habit of just owning so much stuff. For some reason, a lot of what it means to be fashionable means owning an insane amount of clothing, but I wanted to find a way to challenge myself to still present myself the way I want without compromising my fashion sense. Most of my belongings were thrifted, found, or gifted but this still doesn’t take away the fact that I am a materialist.  Do I need all of this? Can I live with the bare minimum and still feel like I have my personal style? The only way for me to know was to actually do it.

So, after graduation I backed my carry on bag and took off on my one way ticket plane ride. Some time later, here I am with the same belongings and have made them work for every occasion and everyday, in everyplace. If I had to describe my experience, I would say it is one of the most freeing things in the world. The general rule for packing is to pack for just a week because you can wash your clothes, pack a similar color palette, and bring out personality in cool accessories.

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Below is my packing list for my life:

  • 1 thrifted leather coat for cold weather and city wear

  • 1 warm sweatshirt given to me from my past job

  • 2 silk shirts that are lightweight and match with every mood

  • 1 pair of cargo pants cute and practical for travel and holding on to valuables

  • 1 pair of warm jeans given to me by my roommate

  • 1 pair of leggings for cold nights and more physical days

  • 1 swimsuit that can be worn with pants

  • 1 silk thrifted tunic dress that can double as a shirt or skirt

  • 1 cashmere grey sweater to be layered for colder times

  • 2 crop tops for warm weather and layering

  • 2 short sleeve and long sleeve black t shirts

  • 1 Athletic shorts for work and sleeping

  • 1 linen green shorts

  • 1 pair of hiking boots

  • 1 pair of white sneakers for cities

  • 1 pair of flip flops for showers and beaches

  • 1 hat for sun protection and rough hair days

  • 1 funky belt

  • 1 quick dry towel

  • 1 fanny pack because its practical for travel and avoiding theft as well as trend

ITEM TOTAL: 24 items

CAN FIT INTO A 25”X11” pack

*also borrow something if you want! I’ve met travel friends on the road that have lent me anything from heels to shorts!

**not included in photo:

4 bralettes

10 pair socks and undies

All of my food
If you want to check out what I’ve been doing and see how I incorporate my backpack fashion, check out my instagram @shona.n