August 28, 2015
9 DAYS – 1 CARRY-ON
I used to be resolute in my right to have ‘options’ and ‘variety’ for my every changing outfit needs on holidays. My theory was, I’m on vacation, I shouldn’t have to sacrifice style for space. Even just a couple years ago I would have shamelessly packed half my closet into a giant suitcase if I was going on a 9 day trip. But this time I decided I would challenge myself to bring only what could fit in my weekender and my leather tote. Surely with all the capsule closet experience I’ve acquired and my year-long mission devoted to a ‘Less is More’ philosophy, I can manage to curate a suitcase that will suit my needs for 9 days of style satisfaction, right?
I had all kinds of grand intentions to plan out every outfit ahead of time and take photos for inspiration but of course, the week before a holiday is never abundant with free time. Instead at 9:00 the night before I found myself staring at an empty bag and wondering what to do. So I asked myself a few key questions:
1. What’s the weather supposed to be? Luckily the weather was looking consistently mild and sunny (about 24 degrees).
2. What activities are on the itinerary? Our plans involved mostly days trips to beaches, exploring neighbourhoods on foot and a couple road trip adventures, without any particularly dressy events. This meant I could keep the overall vibe relaxed but put together. Basically I knew I’d want to be comfortable at all times.
3. What items do I know I’ll want to wear for sure? My Summer Foundation closet was SO useful for this step as I already had a bunch of outfit ideas and all the items I’d need to put them together. I stuck to highly interchangeable items in the same colour palette (black, white, striped, neutral and denim) and left out anything that was too precious or prone to wrinkling. Thanks to a tip from a reader I also had this post in the back of my mind when I was decided what would make the cut.
So with the answers to those three questions in mind, this is what I brought with me!
Before I completely commit to what clothes are coming with me I like to pull together my main bag, which in almost every case in the last two years has been my Cuyana Tote. It is just the perfect carry-all for traveling and always looks chic. It’s also held up incredibly well to all the use it’s had, I mean just look at that leather! For this trip I brought the usual necessities and to save room in my bag I wore my hat on the plane.
Magazines (Porter + Cereal) || Wallet (Primecut) || Passport || Pen (Cross) || iPhone (Wallflower Design) || Ear buds (Happy Plugs) || Watch (Daniel Wellington) || Sunnies (Warby Parker) || Glasses (Warby Parker) || Lipstick (Smashbox)
TRAVEL CASE | BEAUTY
I keep my make-up routine extra basic for travel. To be honest, I kind of hate doing my make-up, even on a typical day and when I’m on vacation it’s even lower on my list of what I’d like to be doing. This was all I brought with the exception of a lipstick and lip balm in my purse.
Hypnose Mascara || Shu Emura Eyelash Curler || Anastasia Brow Pencil || Bite Lipstick Duo || NARS Blush || Naked Palette || Smashbox BB Cream || Clarins BB Cream (I blend the two) || Clarins Concealer || Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss (my fave!) || Clinique Shadow Brush || Bobbi Brown Blush Brush
TRAVEL CASE | SKINCARE
My skin tends to throw a total hissy fit whenever I travel. Maybe it’s the stress involved or the change in climates or a combination of that and bad luck but I just can’t seem to avoid it. I try my best to maintain my usual skincare routine when I’m traveling and just accept that it might not be perfect.
Face wash, Exfoliator + Moisturizer (all Origins) || Shampoo || Simple Cleansing Wipes (life savers!) || Eye brightener (Benefit) || Roll On Perfume (No.7 by Province Apothecary) || Deodorant || Contact lenses || Electric Toothbrush (Philips) || Hair Brush (not pictured) || Dry Shampoo (such a life saver! Not carry-on safe though.)
I bought the Everlane Weekender a couple years ago when I knew I’d be doing a lot of short trips and it’s been an excellent travel companion. It’s it surprisingly roomy and yet it slides effortlessly into the ‘carry-on size check’ stations at the airport and tucks into the overhead bins without a problem. The first thing anyone says when they see it’s all I’ve brought is, ‘Wow, you packed so light!”.
What I brought to wear (see outfits for sources):
- 10 Tops
- 1 Sweater
- 1 Denim Jacket
- 4 Dresses
- 3 Pants
- 1 Shorts
- 3 Shoes (2 flat + 1 Platform)
- 2 Swimsuits (1 full + 1 two-piece)
1 Cross body bag (similar here) || 1 Black tote (Cuyana or Madewell) || 1 Long Gold Necklace (Another Feather) || 1 Statement Necklace (BIKO) || 1 Dainty Necklace (Morning Ritual) || Vintage gold bracelet || Gold bangle (Laite Atelier) || Watch (Daniel Wellington) || Straw Hat (Janessa Leone) || Scarf (Blockshop)
On the Plane (I wore all my bulkiest items): Top old Zara | Hat Janessa Leone | Flares Madewell | Clogs s/o Rachel Comey (similar here and here) | Denim Jacket (not pictured) Rag & Bone | Accessories (see above)
Brunch: Top Elizabeth Suzann | Pants Elizabeth Suzann | Sandals old Zara | Accessories (see above)
Handy Extras: Striped Dress s/o Calder Blake | Striped Crop Long Sleeve Tee (old)
So there you have it! All the items I brought and outfits I wore during a 9 day jaunt along the west coast of Canada (technically 10 days if you count the flight home). I must say I never wanted for anything except a slightly warmer coat when we were in Tofino but otherwise I was perfectly happy with my options. If I needed to I could have easily doubled the number of outfits too (although I’d need to do some laundry)! The MVP of the trip was definitely my Elizabeth Suzann black Cecilia Pants, which got a TON of use, held their shape perfectly and never looked worn out once.
I hope this post helps you when it comes time to pack for your next trip or even just gives a little outfit inspo for the weekend!
Do you have any special tips or MVPs when it comes to travel packing? I’d love to know!