Packing for trips, even short ones, is a special kind of anxiety for me. I change my mind a lot, so I like to have options. What if I'm feeling crummy and want to wear something loose and comfy, but I only brought skinny jeans and tanks? What if I bring only casual basics and someone wants to go out to a nice dinner? It's always a raging battle in my brain when I'm packing.
For the last two years, I've lived about 3.5 hours away from my family, which is close enough to visit often, but far enough to not feel like I have to visit every weekend. I'd like to think I'm getting better at packing for a weekend away, but each time I'm back in my hometown I've discovered I've left something important or packed a few things I never end up wearing. The weather is also SO all over the place, so one day the low is 42°F (6°C) and the next day it's a balmy 75°F (24°C)! How the crap do you pack for that?!
This trip I brought a bunch of my favorite tees in different colors (plus one printed one), some printed button-ups, two styles of jeans, a nice dress, a light jacket, and my trench coat. Since it's entirely "normal" for the day to start in the 70s and end in the 40s, layering is pretty much all you can do. With that in mind, I thought I'd try to demonstrate how I get different looks (and bear a range of temperatures) with just one outfit.
Join me as I work my way through these layers from the outside in, like a delicious fashion apple!
|This is Scout! He loves to fetch the Frisbee.|
First up is my most-used, most-loved jacket: the trench coat! For a style that's been around for so long and never gone out of style, I'm a little surprised (but very, very pleased) by the recent explosion of this style. While there are a thousand different versions you can buy new, there are millions of vintage trenches to be had at thrift stores and Ebay.
I'd been eyeing this faux fur collar from Asos ever since it went on sale, and a couple weeks ago, I finally broke down and bought it. It looks great over a lot of my jackets, and just generally makes me feel cozier.
I've had these Gap Sexy Boot jeans for years now, but they've been in storage for ages during the years I refused to take off my favorite skinny jeans. I'm glad boot-cut jeans are coming back around again. I think they lend a good balance for those of us with some extra curve on top. They certainly give a different feel to my outfits... Maybe it's extra swagger? Hard to say.
And just what do you wear with boot-cut jeans? Can't go wrong with boots, that's for sure. I have to wear at least a little bit of a heel with these jeans to keep them from dragging on the ground. I like to have a pair of jeans that just touch the floor while wearing heels; they make your legs look a little longer, which is always a bonus for me.
Under my jacket is this excellent printed sweatshirt/button-up combo. I'm a girl who loves dinosaurs, and gold dinosaur skeletons are for sure a print worth having in my closet. The vintage blouse under it has a tiny heart print!
I wear this blouse pretty regularly, too. It's big enough to house the girls without pulling at the buttons, it never wrinkles (perfect for packing! This is possibly the only good thing about polyester fabric), and I really like the colors.
Normally when I just wear the blouse like this, I have the sleeves rolled up... but it was a little chilly, so I conveniently "forgot."
After that jaunty layer is the tee! I've purchased this particular one twice (on sale) because I lost it and really, really wanted it back. Normally when I buy an item to replace a lost one, the original comes back to me, but so far no dice. It's soft, the sleeves are a subtle gold, and the neckline is just right. I highly recommend StyleMint for classic, basic tees (my size is a 4 or XL).
Sometimes when you're having a not-so-great day and you're feeling a bit insecure, a light jacket or shirt around the waist can be a little security blanket.
This particular jacket is one I snagged from an Army/Navy store when I was in high school, so this is as legit as it gets. The patches were already sewn on, even! Bonus flair!
I think I did okay packing for this trip. Here's some basic ideas:
- I tried to keep to a similar color palette throughout to maximize the amount of mixing and matching that could be done.
- I also brought a ton of accessories (even though you can only see one necklace in this story, I promise I brought loads more) which helps stave off outfit boredom. Plus, they take up very little room.
- A couple pairs of flats (one neutral, one bright) and the booties with a heel gives me pretty much all the shoe options I need without over-stuffing my duffle bag.
- I brought one bold, patterned dress for going out (bonus points if you can layer it with other pieces in your suitcase!) in an easy-care fabric. That means no wrinkles!
Happy trails to you, followers!
Tee: StyleMint (sold out now). Their classic crew is a favorite of mine for having a looser, more scoop-neck style, like the one I'm wearing.
Blouse: Vintage. Ebay's vintage section always has some fun stuff.
Trench: Besides Ebay, Asos has a lot of fun options starting at $45. You can also buy one by boob size at Pepperberry, or try one with more of a skirted bottom like this one at Romwe.
Jacket: If you can't get to a local Army/Navy surplus store (which I highly recommend for finding lots of cool stuff), Madewell makes a great version, and Forever21 makes a cheaper version with a hood.
Jeans: 1969 Sexy Boot Jeans from Gap. They come in three lengths!
Shoes: New Look from Asos. Very similar version from Madden Girl at Zappos. And here is a wide-fit, chunkier version from Asos.
Accessories: Faux Fur Lapel Collar at Asos is still on sale!