Going Places

I'm getting ready to head out of town for the 4th of July weekend, and with that comes my least favorite part of travel: packing. I hate having to pick out my outfits in advance and try to predict any possible changes in weather or surprise activities that require specific clothing.

But since there's no getting around it, I'm attempting make the best of it by checking off  both "Create a Packing List" and "Create a Post for Wednesday" on my To-Do List before I leave here.

Step One:
Check the weather forecast for the destination city. Portland, OR in this case:

This is a tricky forecast for me. 80° is usually the turning point for me from pants to shorts, and most of these days are right on the brink. My goal is to make it so that each of my tops have an option for pants or shorts without double-packing bottoms for each day. I also don't have any major activity plans other than hanging out with relatives, BBQing, and maybe some casual restaurants (VooDoo Donuts!) or movies. So I'm just bringing normal, everyday clothes.

Step Two: 
Plan the outfits. Ughhhhhh. The part I hate the most. I have a couple of simple rules for packing when I travel:

1. Plan around the shoes.
Since shoes are relatively heavy and take up a lot of suitcase space, I try to get by with the minimum and plan my outfits around them.  Based on what I've worn a lot this summer, I'm going to try to work around these:

L-R: Halogen Kyla / Sam & Libby for Target (last year) (Similar) / Vince Camuto via Zappos

2. No untried outfits.
If I haven't worn an outfit in its entirety, a trip is not the time for a maiden voyage (ironically). Inevitably, I will wish I had brought a different belt or shoes or necklace. And I get irritated when I feel like my outfit is WRONG for the day. Especially when I know I have the right pieces to fix it. Back at home!

Here's what I started with as a plan for each day:
Tops (All from Express) L-R:  Snakeskin / Tee (Similar) / Red / Hot Pink / Contrast Piping

Bottoms L-R: Black Jean Leggings: Express/ Jean Shorts: Old Navy (Magic Island) / White Shorts:  J Crew / Black Shorts: Old Navy / Jean Leggings: Express (Similar)

The black pants and black shorts should be interchangeable for weather fluctuations, and same for the jean shorts and jeans. So even if I have to re-wear bottoms it shouldn't be more than twice per pair. The white shorts go with almost everything so they could also work as substitution if I feel like it.

Sadly, even though I've worn all of these pieces before, I haven't worn any of them exactly as shown here or with the two shoe choices. Plus, I have to figure out which accessories to take. So now I get the task of trying all this on. 

Here's how it all turned out:

After trying it all on, the black wedge sandals didn't look right with any of the outfits. So those are out and a pair of black flat sandals are in. (I know everyone says leopard is a neutral, but I cannot bring myself pair it with snakeskin!)

I'm worried that I might be cold on the 4th in the red blouse and white shorts, so I'll check the weather one more time before I leave and possibly swap those shorts out for white pants. Or bring both...just in case...

All of my jewelry goes into this Jewelry Organizer, which I absolutely love because it fits SO much stuff in a compact space. The only problem I have in recommending it now is that when I bought it in 2012, it was $26.99. Now it's $57.95. #Inflation. But I love it enough to re-purchase it if it ever falls apart, so I'm sharing it anyway.

* * *

Five tops, five bottoms, five days...it doesn't sound that complicated. And yet the process of selecting everything and trying it all on (and taking pictures, of course) took me a solid two hours. That seems excessive and I wish I could reduce that time. When it comes to packing clothes from Express I have it down, but I need to figure out some express packing techniques!

Linking up with:
Random Wednesday / I Feel Pretty / What I Wore Wednesday  / Whatcha Wearin' Wednesday /
Mix & Match Fashion / Tres Chic Fashion  / Jacqueline & Elle / Fashion Friday / Marvelous Monday / Fashion Friday



  1. You are so organized! I just end up bringing too much stuff. Do you pack your jewelry in your suitcase? I have had my jewelry case stolen out of my luggage so I put it in my carry-on now. It has caused a few pauses on the security x-ray belt and it's heavy but I'd rather do it that way. The silly thing is it's all costume and I'[m sure the person that took it was disappointed!

    1. I pack it in my suitcase but shoot! Now you are making me worried about that! Like you, it's all cheap stuff so someone is sure to be disappointed in the resale value! LOL.

  2. You are so organized, when I'm traveling it's a nightmare. I always try to fit as much as possible in my suitcase. I really need to save this post for my next trip. And that contrast trim portofino I NEED IT. What I love about your wardrobe is that you have all your basics.

  3. I love this so so much! And I too hate packing. And I too *must* try on stuff before I go lest I be stuck with outfits that look awful. And I'm totally buying that jewelry organizer. I've tried a few but I love all the compartments!! Thanks! And have fun! Jealous about Voodoo donuts!!! Http://morepiecesofme.com

  4. Great post! I dread packing, and usually pack WAY over. Not just for myself but for the kids too. I also tend to way over pack my carry-on because I have a huge fear of it getting lost and being on vacation with nothing to wear lol! I adore your weeks worth of outfit choices! Love how you were able to use the same shoe a couple of times!

    Have a great vacation!!

    xo, Erica
    Casually Styled

  5. Thanks for the tips, Gina! I don't like packing either. The jewelry organizer is so neat. I have to check it out. Have a safe and wonderful holiday =)

  6. portland! jealous! i have a packing post set for tomorrow ;) but for Australia. I had such a hard time planning for packing + outfits, and I am an over-planner by nature so I had like 30 outfits and only wore like 15 because I bought stuff there. Taking photos of outfits gets old, when its one after the other after the other. But it helped and I could have fit 2 and 1/2 weeks for Aus 'winter' in a carry on. Winning. I hope you do a recap of portland ;)

  7. You are going to have so much fun and be so stylish!! Those last shoes (the vince camuto) are GORGEOUS!

  8. What a great process! You look great! I have such a hard time packing because I feel like I never know what I will actually feel like wearing while I'm gone!

    La Joie de Vivre by Alecia Mariana
    Facebook//Twitter//Instagram // Bloglovin

  9. You are so organized! I hate packing too but that's a good tip to pack around the shoes. I always do that last and end up bringing way too many and my suitcase goes over the weight limit. Love all of the outfits you picked! Have a wonderful trip!


  10. Loved reading this! I hate packing for trips too - on one hand, you don't want to bring too much but for some reason - as soon as I think "holiday" I want to wear all my prettiest things!

    Like you - I've found the best way is to try on complete outfits (including shoes, necklace and bag) and then narrow it down so I'm only taking 3-5 necklaces, 3 shoes and 1-2 bags.

    p.s. I adore that Black contrast piping shirt on you - I want one now ;-)

  11. Great tips! I follow basically the same strategy... pack a couple pairs of shoes that work with everything and try it all on. Hope you are going somewhere really fun! I am loving that last blouse with the contrast piping.

    xo, Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

  12. I loved each and every one of those outfits. You looked cute and casual, yet dressy all at the same time!

  13. You are very organized when packing, and I love the outfit combinations. I also love how you select the perfect shoes (the two pairs) and mix them with your looks. It saves you a lot of room and space on your luggage.


  14. Great post! I just got done packing for this weekend and it was hell! Why I need so much for a lake trip in Michigan, I'll never know but I'll be damned if I end up too cold with no leggings and long sleeves. Love that jewelry organizer!

  15. Those outfits will be perfect for the temps in Portland. Bring a light sweater and you're good to go. I love the idea of packing around the shoes - genius!

    1. Thank you so much Lana! Yes, I'm definitely throwing in a (black) jacket. I don't really like how it will look with the coral tee, but it's better than being cold and it goes with everything else. :)

  16. You are so organized and these are great tips!! Your outfits are all perfect for travel-I absolutely love the last look with the black shirt & white piping!! Enjoy your trip & the holiday:)
    Marta, xo

  17. Well, I have you beat... my vacation is 6 weeks long! There is no way I'm trying everything on! I make sure I have enough to mix and match so I'm not tempted to buy too many things when I'm gone! :) The jewels though, that gets me frustrated, because I can't pack until I have all my accessories ready, and that takes some thinking with all the combos!
    ANYWAY... love your choices! I need me one of those jewelry cases!

  18. Have fun on your trip! I've always wanted to travel to Oregon, and my sister in law is actually there with her family right now! It looks like you've covered all the bases :) you are definitely a similar organizer to how I pack, so I understand completely. Safe travels!

  19. I actually really love packing... is that weird? I love your outfits!

    xo, Michaela (http://monogrammedmidwesterner.blogspot.com/)

  20. That jewelry organizer is awesome! I just created a packing checklist on my blog today! Funny coincidence

  21. Great post, and you're so right about trying the outfits on beforehand. I've made that mistake too many times! Also, I was just in Portland! It was so much fun, but my packing was a bit of a failure in that I underestimated how cold it'd be! I think you'll be ok since the weather seems to have warmed up some, but if you haven't already, I'd pack a thick jacket (maybe a utility jacket?) and a fluffy infinity scarf to be safe. My thin faux leather jacket did not do the trick on some days, so the infinity scarf that I bought at the Pioneer Square H&M saved my skin! :-)

  22. I have never been to Portland yet! Cant wait to hear how it goes!

    Eleventh & Sixteenth

  23. I'm with you- I hate packing! I'm so bad at it; list-making is a huge part of what keeps me organized when it comes to getting ready to get out of town.

    Hope you have a great holiday weekend, doll!

  24. I've never been to Portland, but I've heard amazing things about it! I agree that picking your outfits in advance is key to avoiding over-packing (and those checked luggage fees!). Have a great holiday weekend and fun time in Portland!

    Nicole to the Nines

  25. Ugh I hate packing too. I always pack like 4 things and wear them everyday. I am lazy like that!


  26. Wow, you are committed. You try all your outfits on before packing them!!?? I am terrible about packing the night before a trip. Cute looks, all of them.


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