The Sophisticated Lady’s Guide To Packing A Weekend Bag

Today has been spent packing for a friend’s Bachelorette weekend in Beverly Hills. Before even leaving this afternoon, our flight was cancelled due to heavy rains and strong winds in the Los Angeles area. Even though there have been delays in our girl’s weekend, I’m still oh-so-excited!

Looking cute and stylish for a Bachelorette weekend is not easy when you’re restricted to a carry-on and have to dress for (guaranteed) pouring rain in Southern California. Which is unfortunate, since it hardly ever rains there in the first place. An additional challenge is, unlike a typical lazy getaway weekend, a Bachelorette weekend requires multiple outfits per day! Some of the challenges I have to pack for:

Friday

  • Travel
  • Dinner

Both of these things have now been cancelled due to a change in my flight schedule. 😦

Saturday

Sunday

  • Brunch
  • Shopping
  • Dinner

Monday

  • Travel

Of course, things couldn’t have been easy with Spring florals and sandals. Nope–it has to be pouring rain. Which means bundling up, adding jackets, and figuring out how to stay warm–all while still looking cute.

1. Start by Instagramming your destination city. It sounds silly, but it gives you a feel for how people dress, how formal/casual a place is, and what people wear to certain activities (dinner, clubbing, sightseeing, etc).

Our destinations–Beverly Hills, Malibu, and Los Angeles–are known for their high-end fashion. A casual lunch I might normally wear leggings to now requires at least a nice pair of jeans.

2. Essentials only. I cannot stress this enough. While packing only “essentials” for a dress-up trip is a challenge, this simply means not one square inch of your carry-on should be wasted with unnecessary or unneeded items.

3. Consider the weather. While this post is extreme, intended for a long-term backpacking trip, it has great ideas of what to pack for hot weather travel and cold weather travel.

4. It’s important to make sure everything can be worn more than once (or at least matches more than one thing, in case you get bored of your outfit mid-day and need a refresh). This post has great inspiration for mixing items to create multiple outfits for various occasions. I love the multi-functionality of this capsule as well.

5. Limit the number of shoes you bring. I know this is next to impossible. In fact, I am definitely breaking this rule for this trip. But shoes truly are the bulkiest item in your suitcase, so be wary of how many pairs you bring and if you’ll be wearing them more than once.

Now, here’s what I’m bringing!

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My travel essentials include:

  • 3 tops
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 skirts
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 lightweight sweater
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 cami
  • 1 pair of casual sandals
  • 1 pair of dressy sandals
  • 1 pair of boots for rain
  • 1 pair of sneakers for travel

Please ignore the fact I am definitely breaking the “don’t bring too many shoes” rule. This is a lot more than I would normally pack for a weekend (which would be like 4 t-shirts, a pair of jeans, a pair of leggings, and maybe a dress). But remember, this is a special occasion weekend! That’s probably not a completely valid excuse, but–whatever. It’s a good enough excuse for me.

For traveling, I’m going to keep it simple with a top and jeans.

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I usually keep it lazy at the airport with leggings and sweatshirts, but due to our flight cancellation from the previous day, we’re going to be hopping off the plane and starting our day immediately. This look is casual enough for travel, but it’s not sloppy or boring. Here is a similar top at Forever 21 for $12.90. Here is my favorite pair of jeggings from American Eagle Outfitters ($49.95). Of course, I will be topping everything off with my leather jacket to stay warm.

My Malibu Wine Safari outfit all depends on the weather. I’m either wearing a floral sundress or a more practical jeans-and-top ensemble. If you’re interested, you can check out their beautiful and fun Instagram.

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Tea dresses are available everywhere now as Spring fashion makes it’s way into stores. Here are some options from Topshop [1|2], ASOS [1|2|3], and Forever 21 [1|2|3]. When the rain strikes, I’ll be pulling out my jacket yet again.

For the second look, here is the exact top from Forever 21. I am also in love with this pretty lace top, which I actually forced myself not to buy the other day. Grab your favorite pair of jeans and you’re ready to go.

Girl’s Night Out is all about dressing up and having fun! I have a leather skirt paired with a crop top and a sheer mesh top.

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I had a beloved leather skirt from a few years ago that ripped at the top seam. I’ve been meaning to fix it for a long time now, but just never got around to it. Instead, I purchased a new leather skirt. A classic cropped cami [1|2] and a mesh long-sleeve for layering complete this look. A bodysuit can also recreate the look without showing as much skin.

Brunch is meant for looking pretty and laid-back.

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This blush maxi skirt is a favorite in my wardrobe. It’s gotten plenty of use at bridal showers, baby showers, weddings, brunches, and date nights. Pairing this classic skirt with a fun cutout top adds a bit of interest to the look, while still keeping things pretty and simple. Here are two tops from ASOS [1|2], one from Urban Outfitters, and another from H&M. This is where my cardigan comes into play as well, in case the weather is still chilly.

There’s the basics of what I’m bringing on my trip. Wish us luck in the pouring rain! For further reading, here’s a great post that talks about what make-up items to bring in your carry-on. You can also read my post about packing carry-on for long haul flights.

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