Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Packing guide: work trip, Europe, fall/winter, 1 week

I was recently asked for advice on what type of clothes to pack for a fall/winter work trip. I thought I'd write this post as a follow-up to an earlier one, on a spring/summer work trip (here), where I also had gave some general tips for packing. 

This is what I brought to Paris and Brussels in late October. I was away for one week and I knew the weather would be cool and unpredictable, and that I'd have to walk a lot. I wasn't sure of the dress code for the Paris portion, so I assumed I'd need a blazer. I chose black as a base neutral and brought pieces that could be both layered, and mixed and matched. I actually started with the footwear and built my outfits up from there. I was lucky to have my girlfriend L over the night while I was starting to pack. She was an awesome sounding board!


{cashmere-blend long-sleeved black minidress; grey tweed dress}

Why? Both of these dresses can be layered. I've worn blouses under the grey one and the minidress can be worn with leggings underneath, or as a top when layered under a work skirt. The tweed dress is beautifully tailored and doesn't wrinkle, and the fabric is all business. The cashmere in the black dress is warm and oh-so-soft.

{burnt orange cropped cardigan; grey print swazer with leather accents; black stretch blazer}

Why? The black blazer is stretchy and wrinkle-free, the cut looks polished and it goes with everything. Same with the swazer, which also has on-trend leather piping. Both were small enough in the shoulders to fit under my jacket. The knit fabric and the cut of this cardigan make it a bit more sophisticated and suitable for Europe. 

{two statement necklaces; one gold chain necklace; gold earrings; silver earrings; watch; two bracelets}

Why? Since some of my outfits were slightly androgynous, I packed statement necklaces to give them a bit of flair. I kept things simple and small with the earrings, just one gold pair and one silver pair. I consider a watch an essential because it's easier to check discreetly than a phone. I threw in a couple of bracelets for good measure.

{slim puffer jacket; one wide and one narrow belt; structured handbag; zebra print scarf}

Why? The jacket is featherlight but also warm because of the goose down fill. It can double as a pillow or blanket on the plane. I layered up with the scarf and gloves on cool evenings. The scarf can be used as an outfit accessory or as outerwear. The belts and bag are toned-down neutrals but the texture adds dimension to outfits. The bag is roomy enough to stash an ipad and an extra pair of shoes.

{tall black flat boots; camel ballerina flats; black patent brogues; low black pointy-toed pumps}

Why? The tall flat boots are good for walking and can fit over leggings or skinny jeans. The rubberized shaft is waterproof, in case of rain (which I did get in Brussels). I wore the camel flats to walk to my destination, then changed into the low black pumps which I'd stashed in my bag. The brogues gave me a flat footwear option, and they cover more of the foot on colder days.

{one set of workout wear}

Why? I like to have the option to get some exercise, even if it didn't happen this time around. C'est la vie!

{cream knit tee; two camis in neutral colours; leopard-print silk blouse; blush cherry-blossom print blouse; cream wrap sweater}

Why? I had a bit more fun with colour and prints on the blouses, but nothing over-the-top. These are wrinkle-free, and with the exception of the sweater, pretty light. I wore the sweater on the plane because it can pretty much double as a blanket. The camis and tee were for miscellaneous layering.

{dark skinny jeans; black leggings; light grey wool trousers; black pencil skirt with gold detailing}

Why? One pair of dress pants and one pencil skirt were enough to mix and match with the rest. One pair of leggings and one pair of skinny jeans got me through my downtime.

Here are four of the outfits I wore; I wish I'd had a chance to photograph more of them, especially the actual work ones!


  1. I loved all of your outfits from your trip to Europe, Kat - but that photo of you drinking coffee on the window ledge just makes my heart melt every time. The outfit, the location, your expression... everything is utterly perfect and so very Parisian! These are great packing tips, too. Although I have to admit, my packing style is quite a lot less practical and mostly based on how much I can fit in while still making room for new purchases ;)

  2. Kat, I wish you lived closer to me so that I can come and ask you to profesh me up! I loveddddd all your traveling outfits especially because they weren't so obviously travel-y! Does that make sense?

    1. Profesh - my new fave verb!! There's nothing worse when being a tourist, than looking like one!

  3. I love all of your outfits Kat and that burnt orange cardigan I really love. So cute and that photo of your drinking coffee, love love love.


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