Sotela’s Travel Essentials With Jasmine Hwang

Hi there! 

My name is Jasmine and I am a recovering overpacker. 

It wasn’t until I started chasing minimalism and experimenting with a capsule wardrobe two years ago that I finally started figuring out what versatility and cohesion meant when it came to my wardrobe. In the past, I would cram whatever I could into my weekender bag or carryon no matter how many days we were going away. I’d pack sweaters in the summertime, tank tops in the dead of winter–just because I never knew what my mood (or body temperature) would be. It wasn’t until my road trip to Santa Cruz this last Spring that I was finally able to pack only what I needed. I was able to fit my clothes and my boyfriend’s clothes into a small weekender for our three-day adventure.

Now, I’ll admit, that I still pack one too many t-shirts and sweaters (and a pair of shoes or two), but I’ve gotten better over the years. What has helped is finding clothes that I love to wear–clothes that make me feel beautiful; clothes that match my every mood; clothes that are comfortable; and clothes that fluctuate with my food babies. Enter my Sotela pieces. They tick all of the boxes for me when it comes to choosing pieces to add into my 68-piece wardrobe. Without fail, I will always pack at least one Sotela piece when I travel, if not all of them. I currently own three of the Lyla Crop Tops (they’re that good), the Avery dress, and the magical Luna Wrap Dress. They’ve all seen their fair share of California as I travel up and down the coast with them. 

Here are my three favorite pieces from my travels this year so far: 

When it comes to really easy pieces, there’s nothing quite like the Lyla Crop Top. It is the perfect thing to throw on when you want to spend less time thinking about your outfit and more time exploring! I’ve worn my Lyla’s on short and long road trips and they have been great for all of them! They are a perfect layering piece too.


This is such a special piece in my wardrobe. It is incredibly comfortable and will make a great companion on your adventures! Pair it with some sandals like I did for an easy, casual look or with heels or boots for a fancier event like a wedding or date night. The linen made this dress so perfect for the relentless summer heat in Joshua Tree.


Ribbed, roomy, and reversible–what more can you ask for in a dress? The Avery is the ultimate slip dress that can be worn on its own, layered over a t-shirt or under any outerwear of your choice. This dress is my dress of choice when I know good food is on the menu for that day. It is super forgiving with food babies and is just oh so comfortable!


Here are three tips for packing a small travel capsule: 

  1. Take Some Time to Plan: This may seem like a no-brainer, but check the weather, plan out a loose (or tight) itinerary, and plan outfits accordingly. Write some outfits down on your phone or in a journal so that getting dressed while you’re away is less stressful. 
  2. The Importance of Versatility & Accessories: Choose pieces that could be easily dressed up or down depending on the accessories you choose. My go-to versatile pieces are a black dress, an easy jumpsuit, and a few tops that could go with a few bottoms. Accessories take up a lot less space than clothes and can really change up your look! Necklaces and hats are my favorites to bring along with me.
  3. Function over Form: I don’t know about you, but when I’m away from home, comfort is even more important to me. Exploring a new city, state, or country is a whole lot easier when you’re comfortable!  

All in all, do what works for you! If it makes you feel more prepared and less anxious to overpack, then do it! What matters most is that you have fun on your adventures and make memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life! 

I wish you well on all the adventures you have ahead of you! If you want to follow along on mine, you can find me on Instagram @jazzyhwang or follow along on my blog, The Pleb Life.

Happy exploring!

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