So this is (almost) everything I packed in my carry-on for the press trip I took to Oahu. There was also a photo of me in a bikini that I took with my cell phone the hotel bathroom mirror. As you might imagine, it was a little… much. So this is everything I packed for four days in Hawaii except the photo of me in a blue bikini with ruffles. If you’ve already seen me naked, I will totally send that to you. Otherwise, use your imagination.
For trips to warm places, I try to pack mostly one-pieces (dresses, rompers) because they pack smaller and you don’t have to waste any time worrying about whether you’re packing stuff that matches everything else.
I wore this dress to travel, with a yellow slip underneath so my skin doesn’t show through the perforations. It’s poly, so you can pretty much roll it into a ball and it doesn’t wrinkle, and it also unzips all the way down the front, so you can layer it over things in interesting ways.
Here’s a full shot of the dress, which I also wore on our tour of the Turtle Bay Resort where we were staying. I look so happy here because the dress cost six bucks. I’m genetically unable to shut up about that.
I wore this to the luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center, the dress is Urban Outfitters, and the sweater is thrifted. I’ve since shrunk the dress to half its original size, so look for it as a shirt in future posts.
This romper is by a San Francisco designer whose brand I forget, of course. (She’s in the Mission, tiny shop on one of the numbered side streets between Valencia and Dolores. Anyone?) Anyway, it’s an oddly functional piece of clothing. I can belt it, wear it with tights and a long sleeve shirt, add something with a collar to switch it up. It’s become a bit of a uniform, but ultimately it’s a romper. For romping.
There, that’s better.
This is me in a ruffly dress from H&M, wielding a machete. Machetes are apparently still a thing in Hawaii.
Here’s the full dress with one of the vintage cardigans I brought. I used that sweater constantly, by the way. It was warm, but the breeze at night was a little chilly and there was some rain while we were there.
To save space, I try to pack jammies that can double as clothes if I need them. This is an Old Navy tank, and a pair of workout shorts from American Apparel. Can you imagine how bad the aforementioned bikini shot has to be if I’m willing to post this? Exactly.
Beach coverup! I wore this Urban Outfitters romper over my swimsuit when we headed down for surf lessons at Turtle Bay.
I got the sunglasses at a flea market. They’re made for shooting, and they feel heavenly because of those little side shades. Our trip lead, Mike, said they make me look like a 70-year-old man. I told him to get off my lawn.
American Apparel high-waisted side zip shorts and a random transparent shirt I’ve had forever. This shirt is an awesome suit coverup, so I wore it kayaking because I knew it would fit under the life jacket.
(Aside! Holy crap, have you ever seen a sea turtle? These sea kayaks had glass bottoms, so you could see them swimming around, and I didn’t expect to be so affected by them. One looked right up at me, and it was like I could feel my heart beating in my mouth. Please put “see a sea turtle” on your Life List.)
This is my American Apparel bikini top, which I bought for a trip to Jamaica. The bottom is super high-waisted, which is convenient if you have stretch marks from baby havin’.
You can also cover stretch marks with a lightweight scuba skin, which is excellent for snorkeling. And sexy times.
This is every item of clothing I packed for seven days in Dublin. I’m doing a campaign for L.L.Bean’s Signature Collection and they sent me a giant box of clothes, so I’m wearing a few of those items below. That means you can actually obtain some of these pieces, instead of cursing me when I tell you that everything you love was purchased at a vintage shop in 2001.
For example, this perfectly faded brown dress with polka dots? It’s L.L.Bean’s Silk Habutai Dress, and it’s so Little Orphan Annie. Except it’s made of heavy silk, but who says orphans can’t have nice things? Jerks, that’s who.
Anyway, as I mentioned recently, belts are a challenge for me. I’ve been trying to up my game on that front, so I bought a few from H&M and this is my first attempt. I felt so pulled together, ya’ll. The cardigan I’m belting here is also H&M, but it’s from the men’s section, which is where they keep all the good stuff.
The grey tights are Target, and the magic travel boots are from Argentina. They’ve gotten me through more trips than I can count.
Let’s get a closer look at those blue polka dots:
Hello, little buddies.
This is my travel outfit, hence the action pose. It’s a knit dress I got at a thrift store, worn with an H&M elastic belt and the aforementioned tights and boots. I also wore a grey sweater wrap that I didn’t get a photo of, but you can see it in my New York post from a couple years ago. It doubles as an airplane blanket.
I’m wearing the dress on the way back home too, so I’ll be washing it in the bathtub while I’m here. Airplane germs gross me out. Another reason to do a quick rinse:
This is the dress worn as a top. I’ve cleverly safety pinned the sides to the outside layer of my Express Ultra Skinny Stella jean pockets. You can also use extra large safety pins to do a gathering effect on the sides of your dress, which is slightly more labor intensive, but arguably more effective. There are those boots again. I love you, boots.
The necklace is also H&M, it makes everything a little more current. Unlike these killer sleeves. What’s up 1983? We miss your economy.
The circle scarf is H&M, and I love how easy it is to mess with proportions when you’re wearing it. Also, coziness.
These are my Rudolf Dassler PUMAs, which I adore, so of course they rub away the skin over my Achilles tendon. I’ve been trying to decide whether I strictly need that skin, so I’ve taken to tying them lower. This frees up a lot of extra lace, hence the creative lace tying. I like the way it looks, so I’ve been doing that with all my sneakers now.
This is a packing minimization outfit. We’re revisiting the cardigan, boots, and jeans.
I forget where the shirt came from, but I bought it because I liked the gathering around the neck and cuffs. You have to iron it like crazy though, and I only seem to have time for that when I’m on vacation.
The hat is hand knit, I got it at a thrift store where I get almost all of my hand-knit items. For the record, if someone hand knits you something and you send it to a thrift store? I’m pretty sure you need to go to confession, or sacrifice a goat or something. Or at least learn how to knit things that other people can then throw away — full circle.
I try to pack PJs I can wear as clothes in a pinch, so this is a tank top and cropped sweats from who knows where. I wear the tank under stuff for an extra layer if it’s cold. The comfy pants are nice if I get sick and want to be cozy, or if my flight is delayed and everything I’m wearing is coated in airport goo.
Chic librarian is my preferred look, so this is my favorite outfit for the trip.
These are L.L.Bean’s Cuffed Cropped Pant. They are fantastic. I’d normally wear them with a chunky heel, but we’re walking on cobblestones in the rain here, so these are cheap, destroyable flats from Target.
The cashmere cardigan is from the Alameda Flea Market, the Peter Pan collar top was 99 cents on eBay, and the modernized cat-eye glasses are Dolce and Gabbana. The hair scarf is actually a belt from a polyester ’70s dress I got at a thrift store when I was in high school. Yeah. It’s time to clean out my closet.
Thanks to the team at L.L.Bean Signature Collection for sponsoring this post.
Next time I have a clambake, you are so invited.
So this is every item of clothing I packed for five days in New York. My goal was to fit everything in my hiking backpack (plus a little rucksack for the plane), because unwieldy luggage really affects trip quality. I hate dreading the subway stairs, or sleeping through my first day because I’m exhausted from lifting my suitcase.
I wore one outfit twice, and everything fit neatly in my hiking backpack. I brought two pairs of shoes so I could change things up if my feet started to hurt, but only ended up wearing one.
How crazy cute is this ducky yellow hat? I know! Bryan hates it, because he is blind. Anyway, the skirt, sweater, and hat are all thrift store scores, and the neck warmer was a gift from a friend who got it on Etsy. The gloves are from Ann Taylor and I got the purse in Argentina, which is also where I got…
The magical, one-pair-of-shoes-for-this-whole-trip boots! They’re a metallic navy blue that goes with everything. I’ve actually made out with them. They taste like gumdrops.
This is me, Zoolander style, in a layered look that worked well for New York’s freakishly schitzo weather (Rain? Snow? Hot Sun? The hell, New York. You’re lucky I brought magic boots.) Everything I’m wearing here is also thrifted, except the hat, which is H&M. I’m wearing a long-sleeved turquoise tee, a sweater with a surprisingly warm silk scarf tied as an ascot, all under a corduroy blazer. In retrospect, the cardigan was a little bulky under that blazer, but I was nice and warm.
Beloved JCrew Red Pants! I’m showing incredible restraint in this photo, as it’s practically impossible not to do karate poses in these. Paired with a black turtleneck sweater and fingerless arm warmers, which were hand knit with love by a stranger (thanks again, Etsy). This look is matchy-matchy, but I’m pretty Doris Day about wardrobe matters, so I like it. I got the heavy wool wrap at a little boutique in Vermont when I was preggo. Best maternity to regular wardrobe transition ever, plus it doubles as a blanket on the airplane.
Nothing is hotter than posing alone in front of a mirror in your hotel room. Do you feel the heat? There’s the blazer again, this time with vintage wide-leg jeans and a circle scarf from H&M. American Apparel also makes circle scarves, and you should get one, as they are crazy versatile.
When I take the blazer off, I pull the scarf down around my shoulders over this long-sleeve tee I got at Target. That tee is awesome, by the way. I have monkey arms and a long torso, and Mossimo makes proportions just right for me.
These are my jammies. In a pinch, you can pull your hair into a ponytail, belt the shirt, and wear this out with flats. Or you can just watch Top Chef reruns in your hotel bed while you cram mini-bar chocolate in your mouth. It’s perfect for that.