Mighty Life List
Jul 20 2009

Packing Light: Puerto Rico Edition

This is every item of clothing I packed for eight days in Puerto Rico, minus my traveling dress and sweater, which somehow escaped my camera.

Regular readers know I like to pack light, so my goal for this trip was to fit everything in a carry-on suitcase and my laptop backpack. This is relatively easy to do if you’re going somewhere warm and casual, but Melissa was still surprised by how much I managed to cram into my bag.

This is a green dress I bought at H&M shortly after I had Hank. I love it, because the front pleat is very tummy forgiving, and that’s the area I worry about most, especially post-baby. When it’s not belted, it’s a comfy, loose shift. The purse is a thrift find; it’s lined with a spectacular hunting scene.

These peacock feather earrings are from Claire’s, and I love them.

The skinny gunmetal belt is J Crew. Versatile, ladies.

These simple, functional flats are my sneakers. They’re ideal for travel because they go with everything, you can step right out of them at airport security, and they flatten completely in your bag. I don’t like blisters while I’m out exploring, and you don’t need to “break them in,” which is really just code for “my shoes are defective.” What other item of clothing could make you bleed without giving you just cause to return it for a full refund? Girl shoes piss me off.

Anyway, I’ve gone through three pairs of these magic flats, and I’ve raved about them before on Mighty Goods. They’re by Navid o Nadia.

I bought this BP dress for Blogher very early in my pregnancy. It has a subtle stripe of blue and green that you can’t see in the photo, and it has proven to be a great layering piece. I can do tights (or slim pants), boots and a little jacket if it’s cold. On warm days, wearing this is like pulling on a T-shirt and walking out the door without worrying about finding pants. Dresses are magic.

This skirt is a vintage piece begging for a West Side Story dance number — quintessential Puerto Rico. The ribbed tank is from Old Navy.

These are my indestructible Saltwater Sandals, which I grew up wearing. I’ve had this pair for years. They come in tons of colors, and again, zero blisters. They’re made for walking on the beach, so sand isn’t an issue — so much more pleasant than flip-flops thwacking sand against your calves.

These earrings are also from Claire’s. You definitely have to dig, but they have some great deals in there.

I bought this dress years ago in New York to supplement what I’d packed for a Morning News retreat. It’s Club Monaco, and I got it on super sale. It packs down to nothing, so I always throw it in to wear over my suit, which you can see in this photo.

Claire’s again, all from the same shopping trip. Can you tell my accessories were getting outdated?

I haven’t worn shorts in a hundred years, because of the glare. People gasp on the street and throw bottles of sunscreen at my head.

These shorts have little bronze sailor buttons up the front, which is spectacular. I’ve contemplated wearing them as bikini bottoms, because they’re kind of short for shorts, but very demure as swimsuit bottoms, eh? I forget the brand, but I had to seam-rip an enormous metal tag off the back, seriously the size of a belt buckle, so we’ll let them work their marketing magic elsewhere. The shirt is Banana Republic.

This is the very best swimsuit in the entire world. It’s by Donna Karan, and I’ve had it for three years. When retro suits made a tentative comeback, I checked in every day online until it went on sale, because I can’t justify spending over $100 on a swimsuit. Which is silly because I wear them for like a decade, but still. The most awesome thing about this awesome suit is, if you’re having a crisis of thigh confidence, you can pull down the outer layer to make it into a very short dress, like so:

Action wear! Actually, this shot makes it look a little shorter than can go. This is more illustrative:

I love it because I can wear it with a T-shirt in the hotel elevator while I’m heading to the pool, and I don’t feel totally naked. In this photo, I’m heading out to pick mangoes from the hotel fruit trees with Melissa. We made Mango cocktails to enjoy in the pool. Sounds amazing, right? But they were actually terrible. I have no idea what we did wrong, but we did it all the way. The bag is Envirosax. I have a set I use as travel totes if I can’t fit a big purse in my suitcase.

Not only did Intel sponsor my trip, they also sponsored my jammies. Leggings are from H&M, the shirt was a gift in lieu of the apparently rare Ajay Bhatt rockstar T-shirt that haunts my dreams (watch for it here at 14-16 seconds).

I’ve mentioned before that I try to pack PJs that can double as an outfit. This is what I packed in lieu of jeans, in case we got a chance to go horseback riding. We didn’t end up doing it, but I did do a lot of napping, so no harm no foul.

Regrets? Holy, holy, I should have packed a second swimsuit. We almost never left the water while I was there. I ended up with angry chafing on my side that looked like something laid eggs under my skin. I showed it to Melissa.

Melissa: GEEEEZE!
Me: I’m not going to worry unless it hatches.
Melissa: Signs your Prozac is Working too Well.

Also, it’s great to have flip flops to wear as slippers. I always regret not throwing in some flip flops.

Next trip I’ll tell you what’s in my toiletries bag too. It’ll be like sneaking a look at my medicine cabinet when you’re drunk at a dinner party, but without all the dental floss. See you then.