Mighty Life List
Jul 30 2012

Packing Light: Olympic Gold-Medal Layering

I’m in New York about once a month lately for work and pie, so I thought I’d give you a peek into how I pack for variable weather, and a trip that encompasses both business and social elements. Because I like to pack everything into a single carryon and a laptop/camera bag, I tend to plan my outfits beforehand.

These are the quick snapshots I took for my last trip. They were taken for personal reference so I could just look back at my phone to remember how I wanted to mix and match everything. That’s why there are no fresh flowers and globe collections in the background. Still, I recognize that not everyone is this anal meticulous, but most people don’t loathe checking bags as much as I do either.

Packing Light New York: Sweater, Scarf, Skirt | Mighty Girl

Spring in New York is easy for me because it’s exactly how I dress in San Francisco. Two factors are at play: 1. I need to go from business in the day to drinks at night without stopping by home. 2. I need to prepare for a chill when I’m outside, and the heat of a crowded bar at night. And as I shed layers, I’d like to carry minimal crud around.

The outfit above is how I’d leave the house for a day of work.

Silk scarf, vintage
Cashmere sweater, vintage
Rock crystal necklace, gift
Navy mini, Zara
Gray tights
Royal blue flats, Target

Packing Light New Yorka: Sweater + Skirt | Mighty Girl

If it’s warmer than I expect, or if the sun comes out mid-morning, I can stuff the tights and scarf in my tote.

Packing Light New York: Tank + Skirt | Mighty Girl

And then, whuuuut? I find myself at bar in Greepoint that weirdly has steam heat and a surplus of cute guys. Voila. Orange tank is Mossimo brand from Target.

Packing Light New York: Culottes + Sweater | Mighty Girl

Same concept, different outfit.

Hand-knit cap, thrift (again, whoever gave this up is a monster)
Cashmere cardigan, L.L. Bean
Handmade safety pin, Etsy (no longer available)
Cotton skirt, purchased in Buenos Aires
Navy Tights, Target

Packing Light New York: Tank + Denim Skirt | Mighty Girl

Warm bar or restaurant, and the sweater goes in my purse or over my shoulders. Obviously, I can lose the tights and the hat too, but after 8 hours of hat-hair, and the probability that I haven’t shaved my legs? That’s a last resort. This yellow tank top is also Mossimo for Target, which makes the best long tank tops for tall girls.

Packing Light New York: Coat + Booties | Mighty Girl

It was supposed to rain while I was there, so I wore this warm wool coat on the plane. I can wear it belted or loose, and it works with all of the outfits pictured here.

Silk scarf, Hermes
80s Wool Coat, thrifted
Cashmere sweater vest, thrifted
Brass necklace, ALT Summit gift bag
Same navy skirt from Zara
Grey tights, Target
Elf booties, Vintage

Packing Light New York: Layered Tees + Skirt | Mighty Girl

Here are the bones of this outfit, and I can take it down even further by removing the sweater vest. Stripe shirt, H&M.

Packing Light New York: Coat + Pant | Mighty Girl

This is what I wore on the plane. It looks sort of hobo here, but I actually wore it with the belt.

Scarf, thrifted
White T, Zara
Black pants, Gap
Flats, Urban Outfitters

Packing Light New York: Layered Tees + Pant | Mighty Girl

Here’s how the outfit looks without the coat. The grey long-sleeve T-shirt is Gap Body, and it’s the best thing ever. I’m about to order it in every color because it’s so soft and layers so well. Cozy.

Packing Light New York: Tee + Skirt | Mighty Girl

Here’s the same Zara T-shirt without a layering , which I paired again with the unstoppable Zara skirt. In reality I ended up wearing it with the black pants for solo brunch with my favorite novel. The vintage-style half bra beneath is Anthropologie (pervert).

So those are my layering tricks. You’ll note that I dress almost entirely in color blocks, with print coming in as an accessory or base layering piece.

How do you make your wardrobe stretch when you’re traveling somewhere with temperature swings? I’m all ears.