My Packing Mentality

Hi peoples!  Happy 4th of July!  Sorry that I don’t have a red, white, and blue outfit for you today (though I do have one here.)  Instead, I have a post completely irrelevant to the 4th of July, on packing!  Haha.  Some of you said you’d be interested in seeing what I packed on my recent trip to Madison, so here it is.
Since I travel so much, you’d think I’d have this packing thing down to a science, but I don’t.  Sometimes I love what I’ve packed and other times I’m regretful.  It just so happens that on my trip to Madison in June I loved what I packed, so I’m trying to study my good packing experiences in hopes to get them down pat.
I’m not sure how helpful this packing post will be because it was only for 5 days and I didn’t have special occasions to dress for like nice dinners or the beach, etc.  Almost everything for my trip to Madison was super casual and involved lots of time in a hotel meeting room in band rehearsals.  Also, summertime requires less layers and excess things, so packing light is much easier.
At the very least, you will get to see a bunch of outfits!  🙂

For links to similar items, scroll to bottom of post…

I don’t know about you, but the reason that I over-pack is simply because I want options.  I don’t like being stuck in an unfamiliar place unprepared!  But I also don’t like over-packing.  Thankfully, building a mix-and-match wardrobe has helped me to pack fewer items with more possibilities.

Choosing Items

Started With Bottoms
I started by choosing bottoms first, and I chose one for different potential occasions.
  • Two pairs of jeans – even though it’s warm in Madison, I knew I’d spend most of my time in an air-conditioned room.  Slouchy jeans instead of jeggings to let my legs breathe a little in warmer weather and mint jeans for some fun!
  • A skirt – in case it got hot.  Also, we were leading worship at a church and weren’t told the dress code, so I brought a skirt in case the church required it.  I thought it could do double-duty and be dressed up nice enough for church or be worn casually.
  • Shorts in case it got really hot and in case I needed to do things I couldn’t do in a skirt.  Though I never wore shorts on the trip, they took up little space and put my what-if-I’m-unprepared thoughts at ease.  Small cost for a versatile and useful option. 

I chose tops that could be paired with any of the bottoms I picked.  I limited myself to 3 (scary!), choosing one with a print, one in a solid color, and one in a neutral color with a subtle pattern.  I chose similar types of tops in my 8 Pieces, 15 Outfits post, so I think that might be something I stick to. 
I did originally have a different colored skirt in the mix, like white or navy–can’t remember, but after seeing the tops in my pile, I went with the rust colored skirt instead since it worked nicely with all three of my tops.  
Even though I’m always cold, I only brought one cardigan in a neutral color that went with everything, and it worked out well.  Having checked Madison’s weather before I left, I knew that it wouldn’t get too cold at night and that a cardigan would be sufficient, so I went sans jacket (also scary!).  I did, however, bring a fleece for “JUST-IN-CASE” but I felt okay about that because it could do double-duty and be worn to sleep if needed.  Even though a fleece is not the most stylish of outerwear, since it was for “just-in-case” I talked myself into being willing to potentially “sacrificing” style for one night.  (First-world problems, I know.)  I ended up not needing the fleece at all.
Shoes & Accessories
Believe it or not, I packed ONE pair of shoes besides athletic shoes to work out in.  And they were the sandals you see below.  I didn’t have to go to fancy dinners or anything like that, so I forced myself to pack light and disciplined myself that one pair of shoes would be enough.  Neutral to go with everything, comfy enough to walk in and stand in for long periods of time, and still keep an outfit cute.
Since I learned that accessories can change up an outfit, I brought just a few so that people would notice less when I repeated my tops.  Teehee.  🙂
Accessories list:
  • Leopard scarf – helpful for changing an outfit and for staying warm on the plane.
  • Two different colored necklaces
  • Two belts – so that I could either belt at my hips or belt a shirt if I wanted to.
  • Some earrings which aren’t pictured 

Besides workout clothes, the fleece, and undergarments, those were all the clothes I packed!  I had 12 outfit options here, but I only needed 5, so even this felt like overpacking!  Especially compared to my minimalist husband.  But like I said, the reason I overpack is because I just need to feel like I have options.  I’m glad to say that this time around I think I gave myself options while still packing pretty lightly.  
The Outfits
Here are the outfits I wore.  Maybe you’ll think I’m gross for repeating tops, but I don’t sweat much and I was in an air-conditioned room most of the time.  It’s okay, you can still judge me, cuz what’s done is done!  🙂
I only pictured the five outfits I actually wore and not all 12 possibilities.  I didn’t have time to take 12 outfit pictures!  Plus, I want to save them for future outfit posts.  😀
Wore this on the plane.  Loose and comfortable, and needed the cardigan because I’m often cold on planes.  I don’t like to travel in sweats, especially on trips like this when I have a 6:30a flight and arrive at 2pm only to go straight into a meeting.  To avoid feeling sluggish, I try to feel put-together while traveling.
Wore this to lead worship at the church.  It fit the bill perfectly, so good thing I packed that skirt!
Another mint & navy look.
Similar to this outfit.  I wouldn’t normally travel with mint jeans, but I knew I’d be seeing my friend who was also excited about mint jeans (my firey Puerto Rican friend who is in the post I just linked to).  In fact, she was on the hunt for them so I bought her a pair from Target here in San Diego and brought them to Madison for her!
Traveled home in this.  Again, comfy jeans and a loose top.  I added the scarf for warmth on the plane and to hide the fact that I’d worn this top already, hehe.
Other possibile outfits:
  • Printed top + coral shorts – similar to here
  • Printed top + blue jeans + yellow necklace
  • Peach top + coral shorts – I LOVE peach and coral!
  • Peach top + rust skirt – I’d tuck it and belt it or knot the tee over the skirt and maybe add a necklace
  • Tank + mint jeans – similar to here
  • Tank + coral shorts + either necklace
  • Tank + rust skirt
So many possibilities!  And the cardigan could have worked with any of those options.  



How do you pack?  Are you typically an over-packer?

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