Saturday, June 23, 2012

Packing Guide: Work trip, Europe, late spring, 2 weeks

How do you pack for a 2-week work trip in late spring? Find out the dress code. Choose wrinkle-resistant clothes that can mix and match, and layer, easily. Plan for cool, air-conditioned or rainy weather. If you're be walking a lot (check) or toting a lot of paperwork (check), bring some flat footwear. Pack one evening-worthy outfit (LBD & blazer), and comfortable clothes for the hotel or plane (stretch skinnies & tunic; yoga pants & hoodie). 

Scroll down to see what I packed and some of the outfits I pulled together, and for a list of fail-proof packing tips. Do YOU have any packing tips not included here? I'd love to hear them!


What I packed:

{Hooded sweatshirt; two three-quarter sleeve cardigans; cashmere-blend tunic}

{Three blazers in neutral colours, including one long blazer}

{Bottoms in neutral colours - two skirts, shorts, stretch skinny jeans, dress pants}

  {Two three-quarter sleeve button-downs; four mix-and-match tops in fun prints or textures.} 
{Not pictured: nautical-style shirt and silk button-down added at last minute}

{Stretchy, wrinkle-resistant dresses - LBD, shift, maxi}

{Three camis; yoga pants, two casual tees, two workout tops, running shorts, two PJ shorts}
{Not pictured: floral cami added at last minute}

{Accessories: Camera bag/purse, laptop bag, sunglasses, hat, hosiery, two pashminas, two belts.}
{Not pictured: tote purse}

{Footwear - three pairs ballet flats, one pair pumps, one pair booties, one pair running shoes}

{Rainwear - trenchcoat, umbrella}

(Some of) what I wore:

{Get creative: I layered this top over my LBD.}

Packing tips:
- Luxurious pashminas can double as a blanket on a plane. Inexpensive ones can be used to sit on during a picnic.
- Bring earplugs to help you sleep in noisy places.
- Pack one or two full outfits in your carry-on in case the airline loses your luggage.
- Pre-pack your <100 mL liquids in a small Ziploc bag. 
- Stay organized by rolling clothes and packing them into large Ziploc bags. This is especially handy for backpacks or if you have to unpack and repack often.
- If space is at a premium, pack items in a vacuum-seal bag (but watch the weight).
- Plastic or cloth grocery bags are handy for leaky toiletries, soiled laundry etc.
- Pack snacks and an empty water bottle to fill once you're past security.
- Wear shoes that require socks so you're not going through airport security barefoot.
- Decant liquid beauty products into travel-sized containers.
- To the extent possible, pack wrinkle-free or wrinkle-resistant clothes.
- Pack small jewellery in pillboxes.
- Plan outfits in advance and photograph them to ensure you're not overpacking.
- If you make a packing list, bring a copy with you for the return (especially if you'll be staying somewhere where your stuff will get mixed up with others').
- Raid the dollar store. I've found everything from mesh head covers for a night spent outdoors in Australian outback to pouch-sized rain ponchos for a backpacking trip.
- Use every nook and cranny. I stuff socks or camisoles into shoes.
- Bring something comforting, like your favourite tea or fuzzy socks.



  1. wow so many outfits!you look great in everything.

  2. Tammy @ Silverstyle23 June 2012 at 18:21

    Hey you! Thanks for stopping by and lending some much needed support.
    These tips are great. I always take to much. I usually wear it all but still way to much. We had to cancel our spring trip this year, next trip I'll use some of above and try the capsule.

  3. You look so professional yet fashionable- I love the outfits! I was so overdressed on my business trip to LA- everyone else was wearing funky clothes and I stuck very closely to the 'business appropriate' dress code and wore a lot of suits! Lesson learned! I always wear maxi dresses on planes- so comfortable plus you can wrap up in it like a blanket!

  4. kat, you sound like such a pro. you have some great tips. it was fun seeing all your outfits, you look very professional! :)

  5. Great tips! And I'm LOVING that floral maxi (gorgeous on you!) - I leave today for a 2 day work trip - can't imagine 2 weeks!


  6. cute outfits, I love the maxi gorgeous for summer.

    xo erica

  7. Looks like you packed appropriately! My tip is over pack and always bring a couple outfits in your carry on in case the airport loses your bags!

  8. We're like packing soul mates - we should design a spreadsheet packing system together!

  9. Wrinkle resistence - what a brilliant idea. I also like the way you mix and matched.

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  10. First and foremost you must pack for me for my next trip! Second I have nom idea which is my fave outfit I love the white striped top the chanel piece scored in Australia or your print skirt. I also never thought about putting hosiery in a ziploc. Love that idea!

  11. That floral maxi is STUNNING. And wow, does your cute floppy black hat go with it.

    You are quite the packer! I always have the best of intentions when I pack, but I usually end up with everything and the kitchen sink in my bags. :P Everything you pack can be mixed and the you up with so many beautiful, chic outfits! (That floral maxi just jumped out at me, but all of these outfits are stunners. That black button up shirt is really special looking!)

  12. asecondglanceblog1 July 2012 at 10:44

    My heart actually fluttered a little at the word 'spreadsheet packing system'. Yes we are packing soulmates!

  13. asecondglanceblog1 July 2012 at 10:47

    Sorry to hear you had to cancel this year's trip. Hopefully the next is twice as special. If this post makes your packing a little easier, then I consider it a success :)

  14. asecondglanceblog1 July 2012 at 10:51

    Thank you! I wore the maxi and hat on my day off, to a market in neighbouring France and I must have gotten about 8 compliments on the hat in an hour. I was incredibly flattered. I doubt I would have had that kind of attention in North America. And yes I like to look for clothes with a little something unusual and the mesh shoulder detailing with a leaf print on the black top jumped out at me right away.


I genuinely enjoy reading everyone's comments. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!