You see, since Jill works from home, her daily outfits are pretty darn bland. For the last few winter months she could very easily be found in a sweater, jeans, and boots. Not that there is anything wrong with that kind of outfit. Actually, we would also say that there isn't anything wrong with the fact that she sometimes works in her PJs. But, getting dressed professionally and putting outfits together is something that Jill enjoys and misses now that she is no longer in an office setting. And even better is the challenge of packing all of those necessary clothes into one single (small) carry-on. For trips under 10 days, Jill refuses to check luggage. She tries to spend as little time as possible in airports and standing in front of a luggage conveyor-belt can just about make her go crazy. Yes, if the travel company says to check-in an hour before, she is checking-in 59 minutes early. Fun fact- Jill has never missed a flight due to being late. So apparently something is working in her favor.
Anyhow. This SMRT IDEA post will show you (of the lady-type) how to easily pack for a 10-day trip (with 5 days of business-wear). This edition will be specifically for winter packing. We will also be posting an edition for spring, summer, and fall.
Let the fun begin!
As background information, this example is for travel on Friday, working Monday to Friday and then traveling again on a Sunday. Whenever Jill is close to family she tries to spend the weekends with them, otherwise, she isn't likely to be going on 10 day business trips (which means even less to pack!!!). Also, typically for Jill's business trips the dress code is business casual.
So here is the 10-day outfit run down:
Now let's get down to the specifics of what Jill actually packed:
THE MAIN OUTFITS
1- gray dress pants
3- black skirt
4- gray skirt
5- striped cardigan
6- black cardigan
7- suit jacket
8- light pink oxford
9- black turtleneck
10- ruffle black shirt
11- bight pink 3 quarter length sleeve shirt
12- purple short sleeve sweater shirt
13- teal turtleneck
14- short sleeve black dress
15- funky black and white long shirt (this is too short to wear as a dress on its own, but it is too long to fit in the shirt category)
1- gray wide belt
2- yellow sash
3- black wide belt
4- turquoise belt
5- massive collection of random earrings
6- elephant necklace
7- black and red bead bracelets
1- dress coat
2- white scarf
3- gray hat
RUNNING GEAR (Jill loves running and is so thankful that it is something she can do pretty much anywhere. Winter is the only season which requires heavier gear, but it is also the season that doesn't involve as much sweating, so she can usually get away with wearing the same outfit more than once. The below gear could easily allow Jill to go on 4 runs. Four days out of 10 with two of the 10 being travel days is usually what is available when Jill travels. If her business schedule would allow for more runs, she would likely throw in some extra clothing. Running tights aren't too big and bulky.)
1- black running pants
2- black running spandex
3- burgundy long sleeve running shirt
4- hot pink long sleeve running shirt
5- light pink no sleeve running shirt
6- teal long sleeve (with a hood) running shirt (Jill's favorite running shirt!!!)
7- gloves (repeat from the above mentioned outerwear)
8- black running hat
9- heavy weight rain/wind jacket
1- awesome, sex, plaid pajama bottoms ;)
2- blue long sleeve shirt
UNMENTIONABLES (you don't want to forget these guys)
1- 5 pairs of running socks (also used for sleeping if the hotel room is cold)
2- 3 pairs of long socks
3- 2 pair of tights
4- a TON of underwear (like more than enough for everyday, plus every expected run)
5- 2 bras (it is ideal to ensure you have one skintone colored bra to ensure you are still looking good wearing a white shirt)
6- 3 sports bras (not shown)
And now to the packing part!
The best thing to start with are your shoes. You can stuff the space around the shoes with anything small (like your unmentionables). Then you just want to layer up your suitcase. Folding items into fourths works well. You can also roll, but Jill doesn't typically do this (It takes extra time, and although it can save even more space, Jill doesn't typically need that extra space, so she would prefer to save the time.). For items like the suit jacket, Jill attempts to have that be closer to the top and ensures it is folded nicely before placing it in the bag. She also tries to hang up clothes as soon as she arrives to her shelter for the time being to avoid wrinkles.
Packing for your return flight is extra fun.....just stuff that bag!!! ;)
So here is what Jill would lay out, the night before her travel:
- Her large carry-on bag with the goodies we saw above (plus her toiletries bag)
- Her entire outfit for the travel day
- Her smaller carry-on bag (some items that would be found in there are: - her laptop, power cord, jump drives, cell phone, cell phone charger, any necessary paperwork for business, travel information, wallet, sunglasses, magazines, paper and pens, water bottle (as long as it is empty when you go through security, you can take a water bottle through and then fill it up at the gate),an umbrella, and typically Jill also has some MustHaveStaches projects with her (that means: gloves, felt, sewing needle, small scissors, thread, and a marker))
To sum-up, here are some tips that Jill attempts to follow when packing.
1- Pick a central color (black or brown). It is so much easier to mix and match your packed clothing if you have only black shoes for example. We aren't fashion experts, but we are thinking chocolate brown pants just don't really go with black pants.
2- Try to wear your heaviest/biggest shoes. And hopefully they will also be the most comfortable and not too difficult to remove when going through security.
3- Remember that accessories can make a huge difference and are super easy to pack. A scarf or belt or big statement jewelry can really expand your outfit options. Typically you would have seen more scarves in Jill's luggage, but she has been on an earring and belt kick recently.
4- It wasn't shown in the above photos, but typically Jill finds that she has more room in her luggage after packing the essentials and throws in a few extras. Be it another shirt or sweater or even running pants, if there is room, throw something else in there. You may surprise yourself that you don't even wear that extra piece of clothing, but it is always nice to have some back-up outfits. Sometimes you don't get lucky and are seated next to a messy person on the plane. Just say'in.
5- Jill usually ensures that an extra layer as well as her pajamas are close to the top of her luggage. Airplanes can be rather chilly, so it is nice to be able to easily grab an extra layer. And when you arrive to a destination late in the night and you are jet-lagged, there is nothing better than being able to quickly access your pajamas and jump into bed.
6- Put your toiletries bag in an easy to access pocket or location. It will help streamline your security experience and everyone else in line will thank you.
7- If you are going on a longer trip and have to check luggage, rememeber to ALWAYS include one outfit in your carry-on (and clean undies). If that one outfit mixes with the one you are wearing that is an extra WIN. You never know when your luggage will be lost.
To all of you ladies out there who feel like you pack your entire wardrobe whenever you travel, we challenge you to really analyze your clothing before packing. If you are ok with wearing items more than once (if you work in an office we have a feeling you aren't really getting your clothes THAT dirty) this is really a pretty easy challenge.
Stay tuned for a spring, summer, and fall edition.