+ Tips and Tricks

Three Ways: The Summer Packing List

Last October, I published a packing list for cold weather travel.  Since then, I’ve had numerous requests for packing advice, specifically packing advice for warm weather work travel.  So here you go.

Three Blouses: Dot-Chambray Blouse ($88), Featherweight Cardigan ($120), Naomi Blouse ($110)

Pool Attire: AX Classic Sunglasses ($70), Madewell Flip-Flop ($50), End-on-End Tunic ($60), Balconet Top ($25) and Hipster Bottom ($25),

Two Bottoms: White Bootcut Jean ($115), Superfine Pencil ($70)

Accessories: Embossed Leather Pump ($178), Michael Kors Snakeskin Pump ($175), Carolina Flats ($185), Skinny Plate Waist Belt ($58), Pineapple Seed Circle Stud ($61), Bubble Necklace ($150), DvF Haley Belt ($185), AV Max Marquise Bracelet ($48), Vinader Isla Stud ($110), Fleur de Lis Stacking Rings ($40), Gogo Philip Oval Ring ($9)

Two Dresses: Rebecca Taylor Silk and Gabardine Combo Dress ($175), Reiss Sophia Dress ($170, limited sizes)

Polyvore Set Here.

This afternoon, we’ll talk more about how to turn these pieces into enough outfits for a three or four day work trip.  So right now, I want to talk about how these pieces were chosen.

When packing, to guarantee maximum wearability and eliminate wasted suitcase space, you need to choose a color palette.  For the Fall packing list, it was black.  For the warm-weather packing list, it’s navy–summer black–with grey mixed in.

Every piece in this set is under $250, and basic enough that you should be able to find a similar item (a dot blouse, a combo dress, a flesh-toned pump) in a lower price point if need be.

There is a lot of J.Crew.  It’s unavoidable.  I’m looking for basic pieces in a mid price point that are multi-seasonal and classic.  Right now, J.Crew is one of only a few retailers doing that.  Plus, they’re the only retailer doing that who gives me a blank background instead of using model, making their site the most Polyvore friendly.

I included pool attire because when I travel in the summer, I spend my free time pool side.  If you prefer to go to the gym during your off time, add your workout clothes instead.  If you want to go sightseeing instead, add a pair of shorts or a casual skirt and a knit shirt.

Lastly, there is something missing from this set.  Did you notice?  I didn’t until it was too late. 

Ding, ding, ding…there are no purses. (facepalm) Since I’m now 30, I blame my old age for this oversight.

In the Fall list, I told you to pack a clutch and a basic bag, that advice still applies.  So you’ll see the bags in the outfit sets but not in this set.  Problem solved, see you this afternoon.



  1. Kris says:

    Thanks Belle! I'm about to embark on travel and am attempting to put together my suitcase. Any recommendations for travelling in certain outfits? Do's and Don'ts for airports?

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  2. Jules says:

    I love those two dresses! And totally agree on the black, navy, grey color palette. But I think the rest is way to much to pack for a 3-4 day trip. I never pack separates or heels. I wear the same pair of flats every day. I pack 3-4 dresses that roll up easily without getting wrinkled. And one cardigan for meetings in chilly air conditioned offices. I hand wash the cardigan at night if I need to. Since I mostly travel from DC to rural america, i'm still too dressed up compared to the folks i'm meeting with.

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  3. B says:

    Kris, Belle has covered this a lot! 🙂 If you type “airport” into the search bar, you come across several of her entries detailing travel friendly airports, what she carries in her purse etc.

    I've gone back to reference them a lot, so I figured I could help you out 🙂

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  4. l says:

    While we're on the subject… can anyone recommend a good, wrinkle-free black sleeveless dress? I'll be leaving for a long-term trip in the next few weeks, and could use a sturdy dress that looks stylish but is easy to toss into a pack.

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  5. Monica says:

    Perfect timing! Packing for a weekend trip and i went back to the fall packing tips for advice!

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  6. meg says:

    Perfect timing!!!! I have a business trip coming up. Now, I just need to figure out how to pack everything in a carry on. Any luggage and packing advice??

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  7. MM says:

    1 – I was going to recommend Landsend's ponte knit shift dress, which I love for traveling – doesn't wrinkle, and looks great dressed down or dressed up =- very comfortable too. Unfortunately, looks like they only have plus sizes left: https://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-plus-size-ponte-knit-shift-dress~229877_-1.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::ZTU&CM_MERCH=search-_-shift+dress&origin=search

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  8. Leah S. says:

    Hey Belle, Great post. The white jean itemized link is taking me to a swimsuit on Delia's. While pantless travel may be exhilarating for some, I know it's not your style. I've already purchased through the polyvore link, but wanted to give you a heads up.

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  9. l says:

    Thanks MM! I'll keep an eye on it!

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  10. Lindsay says:

    This is great! I always overpack. Thanks for the advice!

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  11. H. says:

    l – I really love this dress, which I bought last year in black and am likely going to acquire in the purple soon. I think of Talbots as being kind of a frumpy older woman's store, but trust me — it drapes nicely without clinging, is machine washable, doesn't wrinkle, and is easy to dress up or down, to belt, etc.


    June 28, 2012/Reply
  12. Tsampamama says:

    I salute you! This whole set is just fabulous. Well played.

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  13. Lexi says:

    Love this list! It's classic but still young and modern, great color combos, and really thought out. Well done and thanks for the inspiration!

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  14. Lexi says:

    p.s.– I 2nd Talbots. Growing up they were always for the frumpy grandma, but have noticed some much younger, nice pieces there. I like that they make a wide variety of their clothes in plus sizes too.

    June 28, 2012/Reply
  15. B says:

    The whole set is lovely! The only thing I would probably steer clear off are the white trousers. I don't know about you ladies, but I would get these dirty in seconds, especially if I wore them for travelling, and then they'd be k.o. for the rest of the trip.

    June 29, 2012/Reply
  16. TMT says:

    This was a great post (as were those that followed)! Thanks, Belle for all you do.

    June 30, 2012/Reply
  17. CSP says:

    Great post and advice, but I don't see a need for 2 pairs of pumps. I'd swap that space for the clutch any day.

    July 20, 2012/Reply