Style Travel

Challenge – Clothes for 9 Days of Business and Play Travel in a Carry On

  • September 26, 2017

Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m an Overpacker.

Or at least I used to be. I recently overhauled my closet using the Project 333 method. The same concepts of having less, but having things you love and use, can and should be used when packing for travel. I recently went on a nine day trip to Washington DC and London for work. My husband flew to London to spend some time as tourists in between my meetings. Until recently, I would not have been able to pack for this type of trip in anything other than a large checked bag. But using the capsule wardrobe concept I easily packed everything into one carry on and I didn’t feel like I sacrificed anything. (In fact I still had too much!)

The challenge for this trip primarily was temperature. In DC the temp was in the 80’s and humid. In London it was drizzling, windy and in the low 50’s to mid-60’s. Additionally, because four of the days of my trip involved meetings at a conference, I needed to have several business appropriate outfits that could be repurposed for going out to dinner.

packing tips

This is what I did:

Pick a color theme

When packing for travel try to pick a color theme. This trip I didn’t bring anything brown or navy. Pretty much everything I brought could go with black and the three pairs of shoes I packed: black booties, black heels and a pair of sneakers.

Pack items that can be dressed up or down

This is pretty self explanatory but when packing for travel, try and select blouses, denim and boots that can be dressed up or down for multiple uses.

Avoid too many prints

It may seem kind of boring to bring a lot of solids, but I promise it will make life easier. Prints are tough to re-wear multiple times without really looking like you’re wearing the same thing.

Project 333

Bring things you love

A trip isn’t the time to bring out a total style change. I think many of us think we will become this other person when we travel so we bring something we wouldn’t normally wear. Nine times out of 10 that item doesn’t get worn. Instead, bring clothing that fits, that you like, and you know you’ll be comfortable wearing.

So now for the fun part, what did I pack for my nine-day-mix of work and fun trip to DC and London? Keep in mind, I needed work clothes for four days of conference/meetings. I also needed clothes for going out to dinner, and casual clothes for sightseeing. I also needed clothes for three travel days with long flights.

1 black lightweight rain jacket

1 white suit jacket for meetings

2 Pairs of cropped pants, one black and one striped (I did NOT wear the striped)

2 pairs of jeans one black and one blue denim

3 short sleeved T shirts – two black and one white

2 long sleeved striped T shirts (wore both but could have just re-worn one)

6 blouses for evening dinners and work meetings  (did NOT wear two of these)

2 sweaters (one black belted and one long grey – I did NOT wear the grey)

1 black pencil skirt

1 set of workout clothes (only wore these for early morning walking in DC, hung them up in between wearings)

3 Pairs of shoes — Black heels, black boots, sneakers — all three were clutch and worked great

Underthings, 1 set of PJs

Accessories: 1 gold watch, three necklaces, one pair of sunglasses

Curling iron, brush, toiletries, my journal, iPad and laptop, a book – One large leather purse for travel and work and one small cross body bag that doubles as a wallet


I was really happy with how my packing for travel turned out. It was important for my business meetings (four of the days) to look put together – and I was able to rewear some of the blouses for work with jeans and boots when we went out to dinner. The rain jacket was a must in London, and the black belted sweater was the perfect thing to wear on the long flights.





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