How to Actually Pack for a Vacation in Austin, Texas

With its high profile festivals, creative vibe, and year-round sunshine, Austin (Aceable’s hometown) is the place to be. About 50 people literally pack up their stuff and move here every day. If you’re content to just come and hang out for a while, do it! ATX is a relatively cheap and undeniably fun vacation spot. We’re always curious to see an outsider’s take on our city, which is why we couldn’t resist W magazine’s latest article on How to Pack for a Vacation to Austin, Texas. Although we definitely don’t know as much about fashion as W, this packing list made us lol. From the out-of-touch price tags to the embarrassing cowgirl stereotypes, all of these suggested items have “tourist” written all over them. Check out their designer packing list and some local-approved suggestions.

W’s Austin Fashion Picks and Our Alternatives

Coach western dress
Coach 1941 western dress, $895 modaoperandi.com
Sure, there’s no shortage of guitar-wielding dudes in pearl-snap shirts here. But this dress is just overkill. Also, now might be a good time to warn you against cowboy boots. I don’t care how many pictures you’ve seen of people shopping at Allen’s Boots on Instagram. They’re not from around here. Austinites almost never wear cowboy boots, unless they’re sorority girls at a tailgate party or my dad on formal occasions. As for the dress, you’re better off with an easy romper or sundress that forgoes the longs sleeves and stuffy collar. You may be in Texas, but the aesthetic isn’t that different from other hip, major cities.
R13 plaid flannel shirt
R13 plaid cotton-flannel shirt, $325, net-a-porter.com
Flannel? Don’t do this to yourself. Temperatures in Austin regularly hit 100 degrees or hotter in the summer. You know what else is hitting the triple digits? The price tag on this grungy shirt that looks like it was hemmed by a rabid dog. That said, we’d probably still wear this shirt… in January. Go for something lighter, like this t-shirt that gives a nod to the city’s slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.”
Understated Leather denim jacket
Understated Leather jacket, $220, understatedleather.com
True, this isn’t your first rodeo. That’s because Austin isn’t a rodeo; it’s a major urban city. Why is the rest of the country still having trouble with this? Please leave jackets and cowboy costumes at home. If you want to cover up with some layers, try a breezy kimono that adds interest without the heat. Just want a surface for displaying your strong patch and pin game? This denim vest is ready for customization.
Saint Laurent fringe suede boot
Saint Laurent suede fringe boot, $995 ysl.com
Who am I to turn my nose up at Saint Laurent? These boots ain’t bad if you’re planning on spending all your time at Austin’s bevy of bougie farm-to-table restaurants and the kind of clubs where people won’t spill Lone Star on your shoes (none of them). Wear something comfortable for walking or riding a rental bike. Also pack a pair of sandals. This should get you through long days at Barton Springs and long nights exploring downtown.
Lack of Color hat
Lack of Color The Rancho hat, $159 lackofcolor.au
No offense, but I can envision very few people pulling off this hat. The Undertaker-meets-Buffalo-Bill look is not for everyone. Keep the sun off your face with this versatile hat instead.
CHLOE Faye bag
Chloe Faye bag, $2,450 chloe.com
This purse is beautiful, and W is right to assess it as very New Austin. It belongs on the arm of a girl who smells like patchouli and bids you “namaste” before heading home to her expensive downtown condo. Here’s a similar bag, but made with vegan leather. This is an animal loving city, after all.
TOPSHOP denim embroidered shorts
Topshop embroidered denim shorts, $60 topshop.com
These pass the test. Climate appropriate, cute, and they probably cost less than a night at your AirBnB.
HERMES silk bandana
Hermes silk bandana, $185 hermes.com
They’re calling it a bandana, it looks like a bandana, but…this Hermes scarf is not the kind of thing you’d use to keep dust and sweat off your face. It’s easy to find a cute bandana that doesn’t cost much.
LINDA FARROW aviator glasses
Linda Farrow aviator glasses, $1,152 fwrd.com
If you’re down to spend a month’s rent on something that could fall off your head and sink to the bottom of Lady Bird Lake, go for it. But we think it’s more fun to throw a high style, low cost pair in your bag without worrying about lens scratches.
ARE YOU AM I choker
Are You Am I leather choker, $95 areyouami.com
Hhmmm…so baroque. The choker trend is still going strong. This will do, but more often you’ll see Austin ladies in jewelry like this – handmade pieces featuring natural materials.