Packing List: Long Weekend in London

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I recently got to feel rather fancy by taking a quick work trip to London with Pinky. We attended an awards ceremony for his company and their work in virtual reality training and education. We got to see long time friends we met in our last life in Nashville and got to get dressed up for the special event and take photos in Trafalgar Square before. Between jet lag and the quick length/ prep time for the trip, it’s now kind of like a pretty dream that I never want to fade.

It had been quite a while since I visited this fair city and I’d only visited in summer months before. Having lived in Portland for over six years now though I had a good handle on what I’d need to bring: layers. But what was fun about this packing challenge was that I wanted desperately not to overpack like I always do (mostly shoes). I knew I’d have to travel with an evening dress and a tuxedo of Pinky’s in my suitcase, too, so room would be sparse. Another main goal was to be comfortable but chic and that’s always tricky.

I’m a leetle obsessed with perfect packing posts and capsule wardrobes, so I really wanted to hone my skills in this, as a little test to myself. Besides Pj’s, undies and my awards event outfit, these are all the actual pieces (or the closest I could find) that I traveled with to London.

Long Weekend in London: What I Brought

Left

Leather JacketAll Saints Bales Jacket – I adore this jacket and it was one of the best items in my suitcase. (Thanks for suggesting Shana!) I’m wearing a US 6 here and the fit is great. That’s my typical jacket size and this is slowly stretching just enough but wasn’t uncomfortable to start with. It’s becoming my absolute favorite piece in my closet besides my black skinny jeans. Worth it.

Camel Sweater –
H&M Fine Knit Sweater – So soft and comfy.

Black Jeans –
Madewell 9″ High Rise in Black Sea – Dang it. My favorite jeans are selling out, but I love this pair with the buttonfly.

Backpack –
Mossimo Black Floral Backpack – Love this little backpack and it fits a 15″ laptop.

Black Sneakers –
New Balance 574 Sneakers

 Middle

Sunglasses – Ray Ban 50mm Round Sunglasses – Mine are sold out, but loving this shape and style. 

Gray Scarf –
Asos Oversized Long Knit Scarf – I love this scarf. It’s great to wrap around a few times for a chunky look or…wear as a blanket on the plane. Yup.

Black Sweatshirt –
Sugar Lips Crewneck Ruffle Sleeve c/o Social ThreadsThis top was not only comfy but so super cute for dressing up my jeans a little. Love. Wearing a small.

Blue Jeans (similar) – 
MOTO Mid Blue Ripped Hayden Boyfriend Jeans – I love a good slim boyfriend jean to mix it up from the black jeans. Mine are sadly sold out, but love these from Topshop.

Crossbody Bag –
Madewell The Simple Crossbody Bag – This is a great size for holding just the essentials while traveling in a busy city.

Right

V Neck TeeAlexander & David – One of my favorite v-neck tees ever. They do shrink a little, but are oversized
to start with. I own it in two colors. Love. Wearing a Medium.

Striped Tee (similar)
– H&M Striped Tee

Joggers (similar) –
Urban Outfitters Out From Under Jogger – SUCH a comfy choice for the plane. I tried to do a midi dress but it just isn’t me. These were so comfortable (mine are older H&M) and yet still stylish. I do wish I could find a pair that are comfy and don’t stretch out, but they weren’t too bad and wash right back to shape.

Clutch (similar)
Anne Taylor Suede Foldover Clutch – I think this color is great with both red earrings (see last photo below) and the leopard prints I brought and is a fun color addition to my otherwise very neutral palette.

Leopard Boots –
Dolce Vita Macie Chelsea Boot – These are kind of all I wear right now when it’s not heavily raining. They make every outfit cooler and were a great stylish choice for travel. They’re comfortable enough to wear walking around London or the airport or running errands at home. LOVE them. TTS.

How I Wore It

Long Weekend in London: Travel Outfit

london packing list The travel outfit was by far the trickiest to figure out. I wanted to be comfortable for the long travel time (turns out the West coast is really far from the U.K. y’all. Nashville is closer, btw.) I also don’t like to look too casual when I travel and the pieces had to fall under the chic category. My solution? Joggers. Hooray! It’s like you’re wearing PJ pants in public but they don’t look like PJ’s, especially when you pair them with snazzy shoes and a leather jacket. I have the camel sweater and gray scarf tucked into my backpack here because it was fairly warm the day we left, but you never know how cold you may get on the plane. I was glad I brought both as I wore them later and used the scarf as a blanket during the flight.

Jacket | Tee | Pants | Boots | Sweater | Scarf  | Bag | Backpack

Long Weekend in London: Outfit #1

london packing list

Jacket | Scarf | Tee (similar) | Jeans or these | Boots | Bag

Long Weekend in London: Outfit #2

what to pack for london

Jacket | Scarf | Sweater | Jeans (similar) | Boots | Bag

Long Weekend in London: Outfit #3

sketch London

Sweatshirt  | Jeans or these | Boots | Bag

Long Weekend in London: The Extras

The last night we were there was the fancy awards night. Here we got to stop for pictures at Trafalgar Square since the event was being held at a nearby hotel. It was magical and fun and a great night for the husband as he got to accept the very first VR Award!

london packing list

Dress | Jacket | Bag (similar) | Shoes (similar or these) | Earrings

I feel like this was the first trip where I didn’t just decide to last minute put a bunch of other items of clothing (or pairs of shoes) in my bag and where what I brought actually worked. I did wind up wearing my sneakers some during parts of the day, but didn’t seem to snap a photo in them. It was nice to have a truly cushiony shoe for the afternoon…and for the trip home with my joggers outfit after wearing those heels all night the night before.

If you have figured out packing like this on a regular basis I’d love to hear your approach. I think I’m getting better! But time will tell. Until my next trip across the pond, I’ll just be over here daydreaming about what it would be like to live there…

Cheers!

L

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @elletrain to see daily outfits, puppy pics, and of course, Sienna’s dance moves. 

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About Author

Meet Laura! She’s a reader turned contributor and we couldn’t be happier to have her as part of the team. Her fun, creative style is, as she says, “somewhere between Madewell and Joan Jett” (YES.) and she delivers some mean dressing room selfies so keep an eye out for those. Fun fact? She loves getting her haircut and we love to see what she has up her sleeve.
 

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14 Comments

  1. Love this post. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe but sometimes it gets hard for travel; I love having options, but the reality is that sometimes just a few colors (black.gray, camel, neutrals) often make your life a little easier. These options were neutrals but really cool and interesting. Thanks, Laura!

  2. Hi Laura – Love this post and your style! The All Saints leather jacket looks amazing, but I noticed it doesn’t come in petite sizing. I’m a bit of a shortie (5’2”, size 8 jacket) and am having some trouble finding a moto-style jacket that fits without the arms being too long (and there’s no good way to shorten the sleeves on a moto jacket due to the zippers at the cuffs). It seems like you may also be proportionally petite, but it’s hard to tell from the photos – would you say I might have a chance with this jacket? Or if not, can you recommend a rad black moto jacket that comes in petite so I can rock this trend, too? TIA, and wanted you to know I especially enjoy your posts as I am originally from Portland (now in Seattle) and love it when I recognize scenes from my old town. Cheers!

  3. Elizabeth Rafter on

    Love this post! And now I want every single thing here! You look fabulous, as always! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Hi! i love your post! it really helped me pack for my Friday – Monday trip to Virginia/DC the past weekend. i brought similar items, but didn’t need to dress up. i found a black long sleeve ruffled blouse sim to yours at Marshalls. i brought 3 tops, the black, stripped tee and navy tee. 2 pairs of jeans: blue and black. fleece moto jacket (Nordstrom) like Shanna’s. a pair of Allsaints lace oxfords in buff/sparkle, they are old, but so well made (like a piece of art). also a thin buff cashmere sweater. The only thing i didn’t wear and should not have brought were my ugg boots. Coming from California, i thought it was going to be cold in Virginia, i only ended up wearing them on the plane. i really liked your scarf too, but i don’t wear them so often here. Thanks again, love all your ideas. Makes me realize that i have too my clothes and like too many styles.

  5. Love this post! We’re heading to Lima the week after Thanksgiving, and I was thinking about requesting a post like this. But you were already on top of it! Thanks!

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