10 Items, 10 Looks
Updated: Jan 27, 2019
I used to always overpack, but when I realized the problem I faced was just wanting to make sure I had enough looks (because you never feel like wearing the exact outfits you packed once you are there), I figured out a way to pack a little and wear a lot.
When I went to Europe for two weeks, I only packed a backpack. Nothing fancy, just a little one foot by two foot backpack that was maybe seven inches deep. I had enough outfits for the whole two week, business during the day, party looks at night, with some cute casuals as well. This last weekend, I took a girls trip to Chicago. Just for fun, I tried to pack small again but get as many different looks out of it as possible. And that's what I'm sharing you today.
To have a bag packed with a few to style with a lot, the biggest trick is bringing pieces that match more than one thing. If a shirt doesn't match at least two other items, then I won't bring it. Making a new outfits with the same items is what will be key. I have found that these are the top items I bring with me/what I took with me on this trip and the pieces you will see in the outfits:
Jeans — I find that packing a pair of jeans that are versatile between occasion are great. I usually opt for a pair that works with tennis shoes, heels/booties and flats (maybe sandals?). For Chicago, I only packed on pair of shoes, so I did a high waist, medium wash pair with some wearage on them because I knew I would only be wearing my jeans in a casual setting.
Skirt — When it comes to dressing up, or getting a little more professional, I always lean on the side of feminine, so skirts are my favorite. Picking a skirt that is neutral is key, but also I love wearing skirts that aren't just skirts, so I always have to find a balance. For Chicago, I chose a tweed skirt that had a few different colors within it, which makes it easier to swap out different tops.
Dress — Okay so actually, I love shirts that I can as tops. It can be a looser dress or a more slim fit one, but if I can tuck it into a skirt without it causing havoc elsewhere, I'm for sure doing that. I always pick a dress that can be layered with something over it, or can be tucked into something to make it another look later. For Chicago, I chose an olive toned, body-hugging dress.
Sweater — Listen, I don't care what the weather report says the week before you leave, Mother Nature be wildin' somedays. Pick a sweater that you can wear with jeans or layer with something else. For Chicago, I picked an all black sweater that was a little bit looser so I had some wiggle room for layering options.
Shirt — Have a shirt that works with everything and every time of day. Pick a shirt that you can wear with the skirt, the jeans or be layered to create a whole other look. For Chicago, I picked a form-fitting, cold shoulder light sweater.
Big Layering Piece — Bring something that can change the look of your outfit. It can be a blazer, a sweater or a big shawl. For Chicago, I took a big, sweater shawl that I was able to wear on my on my arms and then belt it for another look.
Jacket/Coat — This was the one thing I forgot on my trip to Europe. Have a jacket that works for any potential weather or with the other pieces you are bringing. I typically will opt for something black and leather. For Chicago, I did opt for something black and leather, see: leather jacket.
Unique/Comfy Piece — There are going to be times when you just want to hang, you're not going to feel like wearing anything you brought, bring something you know you like and something you know you are comfortable in. Maybe this one only matches one outfit, who cares? Cut yourself a little slack. For Chicago, I picked a sweater hoodie, super soft.
Statement Piece — Maybe this matches other pieces, maybe it doesn't. You might have an event where you want to stand out, or need something very specific to wear for an occasion, bring it. For Chicago, I brought a t-shirt/dress style top that is completely sheer, so it's fun to layer. Looking back at it, I probably could have worn it with the skirt too. Also oops, I cheated. I brought two statement pieces on this trip (because I needed it!), so you'll see some fun wide leg pants in there.
Tiny Layering Piece — With all these pieces, something is bound to not line up in the right way or you might need something under a piece. Example, for Chicago, I brought a black tube top to layer.
*disclaimer, one of my gal pals lent me her fur coat for the last picture, it was too fun not to share!
All in all, you can pack whatever you want, however you want. (I highly recommend rolling your items. It typically prevents clothes from getting wrinkled.) When I went to Europe and knew I'd be bouncing around a lot, I packed all my clothes in a lil backpack. Depending on trip, think about your shoes. For Europe, I packed a pair of tennis shoes for walking and casual days, but I wore my heels through the airport because a) they were heavier than my tennis shoes, b) tennis shoes are easier to pack, you can stick your socks or underwear in them and make more room in your bag. When we hit the Windy City, I packed everything in a regular suitcase.
Biggest take away, pack compatible pieces. Each outfit should have components that match other pieces in order to pack as light as you can. I went for a 10 piece challenge to make 10 different outfits. Think you can do it too? Tag me or comment below your favorite travel packing tips! Happy Traveling!