Four and a half years ago I started a job that required some travel. In those 4 1/2 years I’ve been schooled on how to pack well.
Last week when packing for a business trip to Indianapolis, I thought it might be a challenge since I’m still learning how to dress with a baby bump. But by making and following these tried and true rules, everything I packed was precisely what I needed…
1. Check the freakin’ weather.
I am amazed by the number of people I go on trips with who don’t check the weather of the city they’re traveling to. You can’t assume they’re having the same weather you are, and it really makes a difference in your comfort level while there. I checked and saw that Indianapolis was going to be waaaay cooler than it was here, so I was sure to pack jackets and a sweater for night time activities. And boy did it pay off – between the cooler temps and the craaaazy wind it was freezing. Check the freakin’ weather.
2. Go through your itinerary to know what you’ll need.
On most trips (even vacation-centered one’s) you have an idea of what you’ll be doing. Business trips especially are pretty planned out. So go through each event and decide what it is you’ll need to wear. If you’re not sure what the level of dress will be, shoot for somewhere in the middle of dressy and casual. This means packing items like blazers and dark jeans. That combination goes well in almost any situation. Something that also goes well is a little black dress. Pack your most versatile LBD (like the one pictured) so that you can wear it with pumps at night, then change to flats and a jean jacket for some sight seeing.
3. Pack items that will pull double duty.
For my trip to Indianapolis I had to dress for a nice reception and meetings during the day. For this I packed one pair of heels (I wear a size 10 so my shoes take up a good bit of room). And sure, the safest bet is to go with your black pumps, but I decided to go with a little more flair and packed my patterned pumps. They really jazzed up my striped dress in the evening and added great personality to my black and white pants (like the ones pictured) for meetings during the day (plus they’re some of my most comfortable heels). All of the other shoes I packed were both nice looking and comfortable so I could easily switch them around to different outfits (and comfortably meander downtown).
4. Remember to pack for down time.
One thing I’ve been working on for the past couple of trips is packing for down time. Simple, casual outfits you can wear after hours that are comfortable and appropriate for public viewing really come in handy and are sometimes easily forgotten. A t-shirt like the one pictured (which ironically says, “Nothing to Wear”) is a great way to go. So is the snakeskin patterned shirt that can also pull double duty under the white blazer.
5. Stick with simple colors or patterns for easy mixing.
Notice the only animal print I have up there is in the black and white blouse from Express. Every other pattern is something different. This makes it so that everything can be easily mixed and matched. At a quick glance, I counted 11 outfits that could be made out of the items above. Keep this in mind when packing, and be sure to lay everything out on your bed before packing it. This will allow you to see the big picture and be certain that you can pull multiple outfits together.
Also, try everything on before you pack it away. I know this adds to your to-do list, but it’s better to know that everything fits and looks well while you can still change it instead of in the hotel room when you’re stuck with what you’ve brought.
I hope this helps you with all your spring/summer trips. Conveniently, everything pictured (except the Nike’s) can be found at West Town Mall!