First of all, I’m struggling with the idea of packing light for a road trip when our car has a huge trunk. What’s the point of cramming everything into one small bag when I can pack a big suitcase full of wonderful options and full-sized toiletries? Isn’t this whole light packing phase the very reason I looked so frumpy on my recent trip to Seattle? Travel-friendly clothes + my middle-aged spread + a minimum of accessories + minimalist makeup = someone who should stay behind the camera.
Because I’ve committed to a year of packing light, I will continue to do so for our upcoming road trip- despite the fact that the trunk will be lonely without all of my belongings filling it up. (And look at how much money the bellhop will lose if I don’t have multiple bags to carry up to the hotel room!)
I decided to forego most of the wrinkle-free, breathable, mix-and-matchable attire that got me in trouble last time. This time I based my wardrobe on my favorite pieces and gave myself some options.
I love, love, love this skirt that I got from S&A Beads in Takoma Park, MD. It is light and airy and allows me to rock my compression hose in the summer without looking completely goofy because it comes down to my ankles. I usually wear the shell under the top, but on really hot days, I wear just the shell. Sometimes I wear the shell with a thin wrap or shrug (shown below). The bracelets were purchased at a cute little shop in New Smyrna Beach, FL, the earrings are from Hand In Pocket Denim Boutique, and the necklace was a consignment shop find.
Here’s a skirt that I keep forgetting to wear but fall in love with each time I have it on. It, too, came from S&A Beads. (I shop there every time I’m in the area and haven’t bought a bead in years.) The tee was purchased at a performance. I usually layer the two, but just like with the brown shell, I wear the shell alone on very hot days or with a wrap/shrug when I want to feel a little dressier. The shoes have a granny/orthopedic look about them, but they are very comfortable thanks to a footbed made of memory foam. The amethyst earrings and necklace came from South Africa, and the bracelets are Alex and Ani and a handcrafted bangle purchased at a festival. (I can’t remember the name of the vendor, but the artist’s name is Aaron, and he is based in Atlanta.)
This will be my travel outfit. The pants are REI’s Sahara Roll-Up pants, the top a TJ Maxx find. The necklace and earrings are consignment shop finds.
For the formal event I will wear this very flattering dress that I got for $18 at a consignment shop with flats from Marshalls. I’m not sure which of the Charlotte Russe earrings I’ll want to wear so I’m packing both. The necklace was purchased years ago at a mall kiosk. The bracelet on the top was purchased at a vintage store in Florida, the one on the bottom from some forgotten cheap place.
The shell and shrug are handy for cool nights, cranked-up AC or just dressing up a shell. The hat is packable.
I’ll be sleeping in an old shell and cotton boxers. The robe is a very soft, travel-friendly TJ Maxx find.
My wristlet will serve as my daytime and evening purse. The tote/day bag is yet another fabulous find from S&A Beads. (I have no financial relationship with them except for the amount of money I leave in their store whenever I shop there.) I love the bag because it’s made of a soft, stretchy cotton material and has great lining inside.
Just like before, all of the clothes fit into my medium-sized packing cube (pictured separately and inside the backpack. The smaller cube (on top) is holding the pjs, robe, underwear, bra, and compression socks.
With all of the clothing options packed, I still have plenty of space in my Osprey Porter 30 for toiletries, makeup, and other random items. Looking back at the amount of luggage I used to take with me, I see how far I’ve come in my my quest.
Just found your website today, and feel like I know you:) especially after reading about one of your favorite skirts from S&A beads, I too love that store, and Takoma Park MD for that matter… I’ve recently moved Abroad from Takoma Park and am interested in minimizing my travel experience with a quality backpack/packing cubes. What packing cubes do you recommend? I don’t know rather to go with the Ospary 46 or the Toluga 44…..
For functionality, I love the Tortuga. If you want something cheaper and/or more colorful, go with the Osprey. You really can’t go wrong with either bag. I’ve been using random packing cubes that I’ve found at TJ Maxx, but I am getting ready to splurge on some from Eagle Creek. Yay, Takoma Park. Great shopping!