Lessons in Packing

7 years ago by

I’d like to think I’ve got packing for summer vacations down pat. Until I find myself frantically unprepared 10 minutes before I need to leave and suddenly I’ve included 5 additional items I’ve never actually worn but somehow decided this would be the perfect moment to give them a whirl.

I’ve realized the only way to become an expert in this field was to see exactly what Ilona packs for her summer getaways. She is truly a classicist and embodies everything her swimwear brand (Matteau) and magazine (Unconditional) strive for: a less-is-more sensibility and simple, timeless way of dressing. She was kind enough to give us a full run down of her travel essentials, carry-on only.

Lessons in Packing

1. Apart from Havianas (because you don’t want to ruin leather by getting it wet), it’s always a pair of K Jacques Epicure sandals. Sometimes I pack another variation, like these pictured from Celine, but K Jacques is where my loyalty lies. / 2. I always grab simple cotton voile shirts from H&M for cover ups on the beach. Always in classic white. You can wear sunscreen and be a little rougher with them. / 3. A Matteau bikini – black always comes first and is packed no matter where I am going – great for the spa in winter or for the beach. / 4. Classic and easy sunglasses. You can’t go wrong with a black wayfarer, or ones with a tortoiseshell twist. / 5. I love to read on vacation. I mix it up between easy indulgent reads and something a little more sociology based. I always buy hardbacks and take the covers off them to feel more connected. It’s a strange habit. / 6. I never go anywhere without L’Ombre dans Leau by Diptyque.



7. I tend to pack more than one pair of Levi’s jean shorts depending on how long I’m gone because I have different fits that are all important! And they don’t take up too much space. / 8. Jeans, if it gets cool where you’re going. / 9. A Matteau tote is easy to fold down and travel with or use as a beach bag. / 10. A mini bag for the evening, like this Chanel one, is compact while still holding your phone, cash, room key, and lip balm.

Lessons in Packing
Lessons in Packing

11. I always travel with this Gucci bag as my carry on. My husband gave it to me about 7 years ago and its travelled the world. / 12. I love wearing my favorite jewelry to the beach, which my mother hates, but I don’t feel like myself without it! Thick Tiffany hoops are a must for evening dinners. / 13. Aesop Jet Set pack is so helpful for travel as it has everything you need for up to about a week. I could live off Aesop alone if I had to.

Lessons in Packing

Thank you Ilona! | Unconditional Magazine | Matteau Swim


Add yours
  • Such great inspiration for packing!

  • Encore une fois je suis fan de la présentation de ce type de posts, c’est canon !
    Je me retrouve pas mal dans plusieurs de ces essentiels de voyage en particulier les K.Jacques et une bonne paire d’Havaianas qui sont pour moi de vrais incontournables :)
    Des bisous !


  • I love the swimsuit and the Gucci bag! Everything’s so classy & chic.
    Be sure to check out my latest blog post!
    x. kritsida

  • These pictures are flawless and so are the swimsuits! x

  • Packing to leave on vacation is stressful as I always have more stuff than I need . You’ve done well !
    Dress The Part

  • Delphine June, 27 2017, 10:28 / Reply

    I love her style, her smile!
    great great story!

  • cynthia June, 27 2017, 4:11 / Reply

    What style of gucci bag is that? Love the simplicity and elegance of the packing list!!!

  • Perfect tips – thank you!

    Lindsay |

  • She mentions jewelry and a chanel bag for “evenings out.” So otherwise she goes naked? I don’t think she is including everything she brings in this story.

  • Hi there!

    I totally see what you are saying.

    Although, Ilona’s approach to packing for a summer vacation is very simplistic and takes on an essentialist approach. During our chat with her, she told us that on evenings out she will wear a silk, sleeveless Equipment shirt with the jeans or denim shorts she mentioned in the post. Her way of dressing that up is with the jewelry and Chanel bag. But, maybe she could go naked too? Who knows! ;)

    Tori x

  • would love to know where the necklace pictured is from!

  • Also want to know where the necklace is from! I have been looking for something just like that.

  • Caterina June, 28 2017, 8:07 / Reply

    Can you please, dear GD team, come with a full list of the products pictured
    (2 belts-2 pair of sunglasses) ?

  • Claire Schmidt June, 29 2017, 12:24 / Reply


    My name is Claire Schmidt. I am a freelance writer, specializing in lifestyle topics–specifically health and wellness. I went to NYU for journalism and French, and I am a big fan of the Atelier Doré website.

    Do you have any opportunities for freelance or full-time writing? And how would I go about applying for a position at your company?

    I appreciate any guidance you might be able to provide. Thank you for your time and consideration!

    All the best,
    Claire Schmidt

  • Natalie June, 29 2017, 12:45

    Hi Claire! Please send your resume and any relevant writing samples to Thank you! x Natalie

  • Garance M June, 30 2017, 12:08 / Reply

    Great story ! We all wish we could travel like this…
    Would you please disclose the brand of the jewels pictured ? They look so simple and yet so sophisticated!
    Thank you !

  • Where is that amazing necklace with the three charms from??

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