Packing Light: Laura Mayes, Happy Dress

This post is all about me refraining from “pot of gold” jokes. I humbly request that you admire my restraint.


This is Laura’s beachwear. The rainbow dress is from Target, the shelf-bra tank is Banana Republic, and the flip flops are Rocket Dog.


I know you saw this headband coming — also from Target.


Is there a blogger left who doesn’t own one of Andrea’s Superhero necklaces? There should be a secret handshake. Obviously, Laura is wearing hers as a bracelet.


Her actual necklace features a Thoreau quote, “Live the life you have imagined.”


Laura’s glasses are from Urban Outfitters. I suspect Laura made an Urban Outfitters run before this trip. Fess up, Mayes.

And there you go. Pretty good for one little carryon, especially since we didn’t even touch on what she packed for New York. She probably just paired this with leggings and a scarf. Voila! Business casual.

Laura, thanks for your patience with my camera, and for your willingness to spit in the face of jetlag. You make things more fun.

Packing Light: Laura Mayes, Headbands


Yesterday’s cute headband was hardly the only one in Laura’s travel arsenal — this one is from Urban Outfitters. There’s something so Texan about all of her hair accoutrements; I kept expecting her to clip on a fake ponytail for fullness, or pull a wig out of her duffel bag. Then again, I’m the one who packed set of hot rollers for a beach vacation.


Her dress is White House Black Market and I love the full skirt. So comfortable when you’re traveling.


Also well suited to impromptu musical numbers. Do you get the impression that Laura has never worn a sweatsuit in her life?


Her houndstooth heels are vintage, and are clearly a commitment to cuteness.


Another simple sundress, this time from Target.


Her scarf is also from Target, though her shoes are Gucci:


When I was asking Laura about her clothing brands, I said, “Do you realize all of your stuff is either Prada and Gucci or Target and TJ Maxx?”

“That’s so me,” she said.


Packing Light: Laura Mayes, Accessories


This photo makes me so happy. It’s the quintessential traveling-with-the-girls shot.

Anyway, here’s an example of how some very slight changes in accessories help you stretch your travel wardrobe. You can dress for a day of sightseeing, and then just make a few changes for dinner without packing a separate outfit. Laura’s Gap flats and her black sundress from Urban Outfitters both pack down to almost nothing.



My lord, I love this hat from Urban Outfitters. I want to see her toss it jauntily in the air Mary Tyler Moore style. Laura Mayes, you’re gonna make it after all.


Laura’s oversized vintage locket is from Uncommon Objects in Austin. She’s the only person I know who has actual photos in her locket. This makes me feel that she can be trusted. Laura would never read your diaries while she’s house sitting.


Here Laura swapped the sunglasses and hat for a felt headband from Saks and a pair of shell earrings from Claire’s. The effect is slightly dressier, and now we can head out to share a bottle of wine. Let’s do.


Packing Light: Laura Mayes, Outfit 2


Laura called this vacation her “planes, trains, and automobiles trip” because every mode of transportation was involved — including boats — and all of us dragged our suitcases along. Laura usually packs by stuffing a massive suitcase with anything at hand and then crossing her fingers. But with so many location changes she knew the steamer trunk would grow tiresome, so she made it a goal not to check her bag.


Packing light for Greece was a particular challenge because she had a few days of business meetings in New York tacked on the end. I unfortunately didn’t get shots of her NYC outfits, but she managed to fit everything into a carryon by heeding my advice to pack all dresses and items that can do double duty. This is Laura’s swimsuit coverup, which doubles as a dress for daywear.


Update: Laura said in comments, “Also, the dress/cover up was purchased from a street vendor in Cozumel. For about $4. I know. I hate my own guts.”

Tomorrow, one dress done two different ways.

Packing Light: Laura Mayes, Outfit 1


Speaking of The Industrious Laura Mayes, I took some photos of her outfits while I was in Greece so we’d have another perspective for the Packing Light series. Laura is an Emmy-winning writer, editor of the new Kirsty book, and fellow Broad Summit organizer. I love having her around, because even when she’s tired or having a rough time, she still seems joyful.


See what I mean?

Laura’s earrings are from Target, and she stole the flower from a bush on the hotel grounds. I was scandalized.


Laura also dressed up her ponytail by covering the band with a bit of hair. In case that seems like a Houdini-style achievement to you, here’s a quick how-to:

-Pull your hair into a ponytail like usual,
-take a piece of hair from your ponytail and wrap it around the rubber band until the end is on the underside of your ponytail,
-secure that bit of hair beneath the band with two bobby pins crossed over one another in an X shape. Note: You’ll want to tuck the bobby pins into your hair as you pin so they don’t show.

And voila.


Laura got her dress at a vintage shop in Houston, and her sunglasses are Prada. Laura can have Prada sunglasses because she apparently doesn’t lose them every time she wears them like I do.


This yellow cuff is from a New York boutique, and Laura keeps it in heavy rotation.


Her patent red ballet flats are Gucci. Laura is another friend who tends to be serious about her shoes. I personally think it’s dangerous to wear “there’s no place like home” shoes when you’re vacationing in Greece, but Laura lives on the edge.


For the record, this is how Laura responds when you’ve been barking orders at her as you photograph and then you say, “Now, dance, monkey! Dance!” She takes direction well.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss Laura’s Mighty-inspired packing strategy.