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Monday, November 17, 2014

12 Pieces, 14 Outfits - Fall Packing 2014

Recovering over-packers in the house, raise your hands!  Whenever I pack I face a dilemma: I hate over-packing, but I also hate feeling limited in my options. 

SO, for the last two Thanksgivings I've worked on packing my suitcase in such a way that gave me lots of options without having to pack my entire wardrobe.  It started because three years ago I packed a suitcase that I hated.  I was trying not to overpack, so I packed in outfits.  People say that helps, and I suppose it does...until you're on the trip and decide you don't like any of the outfits you packed, AND you packed so horribly that the items don't mix and match with anything else.  That was me three Thanksgivings ago, and I was stuck with outfits that I didn't want to wear.  (And some that didn't even serve all the occasions I needed to be at.  Yikes.)  Maybe it's just me, but I need options!

Last year I finally broke my packing down to a generalized list for a good mix and match suitcase using 10 articles of clothing and 2 pairs of shoes.  I used that formula to help me pack this year, and honestly I just wanted to pack my exact suitcase from last year.  I loved it!  Even though I didn't need my outfits to be nursing-friendly last year, they were!  But, for the sake of exercising my remixing muscles I put together a new list for this year.  (Though, almost half of the items are pretty much the same as last year.  Some pieces just work, you know?)

(Even though I say it's 12 pieces this year as opposed to 10 pieces last year, it's the same number.  Last year I didn't count shoes in the 10 pieces whereas this year I included them in the total count.  Accessories were not counted though the scarf count is the same.)



Here's the general list which can be used whether your style is the same as mine or not:

  • 3 bottoms - At least one neutral and one colored.  Third can be either.  These can be pants or skirts, but I happened to choose all pants.
  • 3 completer pieces - At least one neutral and one colored.  Each of your bottoms should go with at least two completer pieces.  I also chose one blazer instead of a third cardigan.  This helps differentiate some of the looks from each other a bit more as well as provide more options for different potential occasions.
  • 4 tops - 1-2 solids and simultaneously 2-3 in neutral-ish colors.  Your tops should each also go with at least 2 out of your 3 bottoms.  If each top goes with all 3 bottoms you'll have even more options.  This year I exchanged a dress for one of the tops because it's really easy to nurse in that dress and that's going to be helpful for certain parts of our trip this year.  It worked out that I could wear it at least 3 different ways, which would have been the equivalent to a top that worked with all 3 bottoms.  
  • 2 pairs of shoes - Neutrals are easiest, but I was able to squeeze in a pair of red flats this year!
  • 2 scarves - 1 solid, 1 patterned.  This is where it makes it easier if you have two solid colored tops--your patterned scarf will work with both of them and allow you to change up your looks more.  Unless of course, you can pattern mix the scarf you chose, which I did this year. 
  • Necklaces


And below are 14 outfits I made!


I was actually able to make a lot more outfits than these (at least 11 more that I edited out--11!!!), which is awesomeeeee!  Options are a girl's best friend.  ;)

See the last two Thanksgiving packing lists here:

Happy packing!



Shop for the Look:


53 comments:

  1. Love this! We won't be anywhere for more the 4-5 days over the holidays, but I still may do this! I have many similar pieces in my wardrobe.

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  2. Our trip is only a week long and I definitely don't need 14 outfits. But for me, it is really all about wanting to have options!

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  3. Totally. I always over pack for that exact reason. Now I don't have to! Thanks!

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  4. This is a completely awesome idea. I've been stuck in the outfit rut forever. I went to Hawaii in September for 9 days (woo!), but my bag was ridiculously huge and there were things in it I didn't even wear. I am way too cheap to check my bags, so paring down my luggage is key to my overall happiness and bruise-free shoulders.

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  5. Can you please come style me? I love all of these! And that floral dress is absolutely beautiful!

    And random but I’d love if you shared this post on my new Weekend Snapshots link up. The link-up just went live today!

    http://www.herheartlandsoul.com/weekend-snapshots-linkup/

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  6. I love the idea behind this, but I'm not sure I have enough pieces that I can truely mix and match that I enjoy wearing. I always feel super awkward when I wear outfits that are beyond my jeans/tshirts/hoodies uniform. I normally end up super uncomfortable all day or changing before I leave. I'm not a huge fan of cardigans (can't find ones that fit well) or blazers (uncomfortable), so completer pieces are kinda lost on me... I do have a Jean jacket and a few leather ones, but they don't seem as versatile. Do you have any suggestions for those of use who aren't huge fans of scarves and statement necklaces? I love how much more polished your outfits are with them, but as much as I try, I just don't like them. BTW I love you blog, it's so inspiring. Every time I read a post I wish I was more like you lol

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  7. I am seriously coveting that floral dress.

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  8. Aw, thanks Erin!


    Can I share this on your link up even though it doesn't fit the Weekend Snapshot theme?

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  9. Hi Jes! When I first started reworking my closet it was because I didn't have pieces that I could mix and match either. I learned a tonnnnn (which is all the stuff I wrote in the series on building a remixable wardrobe in case you wanted to try it.)


    About jeans/tees/hoodies...denim jackets and leather jackets are some of the completer pieces I wear the most! But for blazers, have you tried ponte blazers? I've found some that feel EXACTY like sweatshirts but don't look like it at all! The white one above is an in-betweener as the outside is ponte but it's lined. However, I have a couple without any lining and it's seriously all sweatshirt-like.


    If you can find ponte sweatshirt-like blazers, you could do jeans + t-shirts + blazer and that would look a billion times more polished than a hoodie but should feel exactly the same.


    About necklaces and scarves, lately I've been wearing a really tiny necklace most days so you don't have to do big stuff around your neck. You can add color with bracelets or earrings, but if you don't like jewelry at all you can also go for colored flats. It would probably help to have different colored bottoms if you want to mix up your wardrobe. (See the building a remixable wardrobe post on that if you don't know what I mean.) But there's also nothing wrong with sticking to jeans + t-shirts + blazer or denim jackets all the time, as long as it makes you feel good!

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  10. I want the weekend snapshot link-up to be all about what people were up to the past weekend. For some people it's a recap of their weekend, for other's its a recipe they created, a workout they did, an outfit they snapped, or a suitcase they packed. :D I think yours fits great!

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  11. You are just the best at this! Whenever I go shopping I like to pull up your blog on my phone to figure out what to buy... haha ;)

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  12. I love this. Thanks! I need to keep this in mind when packing for a trip!

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  13. I love these posts. Major motivation to get some different colored bottoms and completer pieces! Also like seeing you wear that Target scarf with the striped shirt. Very good chance I'll be trying that soon!

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  14. These are my favorite posts! I totally revamped my wardrobe last fall based off of your packing post! Now I have some new ideas without spending a ton of money :) I would love it it you did something similar for spring and summer (hint, hint) ;) Thanks!

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  15. All are super cute...this is such great advice that I need to take lol, I always overpack!

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  16. I should have looked at your packing lists for my current trip! I packed way too much! Next time I will be referencing your blog before I pack!

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  17. That blue dress is so pretty and versatile!
    -Ash
    www.stylizedwannabe.blogspot.com

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  18. This post is amazing! I had no idea what to expect as a new follower! Love, love, love it! So inspired not to overpack this holiday season.


    www.simplyfashiontv.com

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  19. I love your blog, however I'm curious to find if you have a resource for nickle free jewelry. I have a nickle allergy which means i can not wear most jewelry sold in stores. I know jewelry really can tie and outfit together, any help or suggestions is appreciated! Thanks!

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  20. I love this! Thanks for the great advice - I always look forward to your posts!

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  21. I was just thinking about what I need to pack for Thanksgiving. Thank you for the great inspiration!

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  22. HappinessatmidlifeMonday, November 17, 2014

    You are incredible at putting these outfits together. Always enjoy these posts!!


    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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  23. Thanks so much for your response! I've gone through all of the building a remixable wardrobe posts as well as the wardrobe from scratch posts but I've always gotten stuck on completer pieces and accessories. All of your advice have me the push I need and I kinda can't believe I'd never thought of it. I love earrings and bracelets especially statement type earrings! I'm definitely going to try the ponte blazers and try to pack like this when I go home for Christmas (11 days). In fact your response was so inspiring for me I wore a very stylish outfit (brown/black sweater dress, black leggings, black over-the-knee boots, and a pair of earrings and a cuff bracelet I love) and felt super confident and amazing. You must be a miracle worker! Lol

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  24. Hahn! I so need this when I'm packing to visit the in-laws in Michigan! I'm a chronic overpacker because I want options but this is so much better! If I can master this, we may only need to bring 1 suitcase!

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  25. Ah, I'm so glad to hear that, Jes! If you love statement earrings you won't even need statement necklaces or else they'll compete--so that's perfect!


    If your trip is 11 days you could add just one more bottom and top, or just two more tops, and you'll get a TON of more options with minimal excess.


    And your sweater dress outfit sounds cute!

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  26. I was juuust thinking how I don't do spring and summer ones, even though I do sometimes take extended work trips in the summer. I think you've watered a little seed, Sara. ;)


    Or would it just be helpful for me to do random capsule wardrobe posts? That way I wouldn't have to wait until I'm preparing for trips.

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  27. Don't be fooled---it took a lot of thinking and planning to come up with that list last year, which I used for this year!

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  28. Hi SD! I know NOTHING about nickel free jewelry, so I'm going to sound like a complete idiot asking this: is sterling silver nickel free? Because if so, I have a post coming up later this week about a jewelry store that might help you.

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  29. Either way! I just know my summer wardrobe needs help (not just for packing!) and I love being able to mix and match so I don't feel like I'm spending so much money ;)

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  30. Thanks for the great post! I just used your list to pack my bag for a conference I'm heading to on Thursday!

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  31. Next time please post the outfits you edited out too! Would be awesome to see them all! :)

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  32. I am going to be traveling for 2 weeks for the holidays, and was trying to figure out how to pack lightly. This post is perfect. I am going to do a practice 2 week of my packing list before I travel so I know I can do it. Slightly type A lol. Thanks for all your tips. I have used your blog to get out of my sweats and sweat-shirt stay at home mom outfits.

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  33. Haha! I hope it works for you! For a slightly longer trip like that I'd add one more bottom and top, or two more tops. That'll make a LOT more outfits (1-2 more tops to go with 2-3 more bottoms = at least 2 to 6 more outfits) and also give you some buffer in case clothes get ruined or something.

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  34. Always love these mix and match type posts, trying to realize less is more! Want to try this for fun just to see how I can mix up the outfits I already have. Love the idea of a summer post-maybe that's cuz it's 20 degrees here today...in VirginiašŸ˜³

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  35. Sterling Silver is Nickel Free! :) Thanks for your recent post!

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  36. Woohoo! OH, and I just read in the description for the yellow/grey statement necklace from That's Mine that the chain lead and nickel free! So I'm assuming all of those in any color would be the same case. YAY!

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  37. These outfits are so fabulous! You really do look put together. ;)

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  38. Totally in overpackers anonymous with ya! Great basics and awesome outfits! This is enough clothes for 2 weeks if you really think about it.

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  39. Hooray! I love a good packing post, and you've done a great job with this one! All of the pieces look great together, and I loved seeing all of the outfits styled and on you as well! I don't travel all that much, but when I do, I tend to be a bit of an overpacker. My goal next time I take a trip is to fit everything into a carryon and have lots of mix and match potential. I'll be pinning this post to reference in the future!

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  40. Love this post! Do you have any suggestions for the olive skinny jeans? Old navy is pretty much sold out of them.

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  41. Yes! Kohl's has a pair right now: http://bit.ly/1vGA7mV and Old Navy has another darker pair: http://bit.ly/1ylEhEB

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  42. Creativity at its finest :) Amazing <3 Just discovered ur blog now and u gained a new follower & fan ;)

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  43. Thanks so much, Engy! Glad you're enjoying it, and welcome!

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  44. Thank you so much for this post!! I have followed your blog for awhile now, but I have not really tried to incorporate any of your tips into what I wear. I feel very uncomfortable with fashion and really don't know what I'm doing. I decided to try buying some new things with some Christmas money and read your "wardrobe from scratch" posts. I went to the store and still felt pretty overwhelmed because I hadn't taken the time to try to figure out what I like. While at the store, I realized that I like the outfits you post and your color choices. I decided to try to order some items from this post as a starting point for me. I purchased several things online and at some great prices. I am so excited for my items to come. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas! They are really starting to get me thinking about what I might like to try! I also think it is wonderful that many of the items you share are in my price range or go on sale. I so appreciate your help!!!

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  45. Hi Jocelyn! How did the items work out? And are you feeling less overwhelmed? Let me know if you have further questions!

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  46. Thank you very much for this post! I am writing from Chile (South America), winter begins here recently and these ideas are amazing outfits are basic items that have been very easy to get here. I'm recently and I identify with almost everything you write, Thank you!!
    I so appreciate your help !!!

    P:D: excuse my English ;)

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  47. Hi Vivi. So glad you like the post! Thanks for saying hi!

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