As you read this I’ll be somewhere over the Atlantic ocean, watching some new releases on the seat in front and trying desperately to keep my ears unblocked. Yup the time has finally come and we’re off to NYC baby! (in case you hadn’t already guessed from the previous two posts)
As per usual, packing was both an exciting and exhausting task for me as I attempted to condense my entire wardrobe into a small selection of versatile items that weighed no more than 23kg. I often find that I don’t get excited about a trip until I start planning the outfits (anyone else? no just me?) but it’s always soo hard to decide which pieces to take and which to leave behind. Even harder when you don’t know exactly what to expect from the weather and have to try and leave some room for the items you know your going to end up buying while there! Try as I may, I can never abide by the regular packing rules of taking one dress that can be worn five different ways and only two pairs of shoes, one for day, one for evening, that logic just doesn’t work for me. Ideally I’d like to be able to take every single thing that I might want to wear and then see how I feel on any given day but when that isn’t really an option and eight pairs of shoes alone takes up the entire suitcase, I find the easiest way to pack is to sort my clothes into outfits for each day.
First of all I gather my inspiration (you’ve got to channel a look right?) and think about what type of outfit would suit the different activities the trip will include. Of course things always change; it may be much colder/ warmer than you expected, you may end up doing something unexpected and your mood may be different once there, so I always pack a few basics and back up items that go with everything so that the outfits can be interchangeable. For example a black skirt can easily be swapped for black jeans if I want to be more casual and a jumper can be thrown over a shirt if it gets cold.
Shoes are usually my sticking point as I love to have choices but I try really hard to be realistic about the type of footwear I’ll actually wear. I.e. if it’s a Summer holiday I’m likely to spend the entire time in sandals so do I really need so many heels?
For New York, while we haven’t decided exactly what the itinerary is, I know there is likely to be a lot of walking involved as we explore the city, take in the sights and shop till we drop (ok that last one is mostly me). As it’s the middle of December, the temperatures are going to be low so my day outfits mostly revolve around layers, cosy knits and comfortable footwear. But we’ve also got our sights set on experiencing the nightlife and enjoying a Manhattan while in Manhattan (GB mostly, I’m going to have a Cosmo) so of course I’m bringing a few cocktail worthy outfits too.
Here’s a few of the pieces I’ve taken along with my inspiration and packing tips…
First of all think of the items that you absolutely can’t do without and those which will easily work with all of your outfit choices if need be. These are a few of the items I’m going to be wearing day to day to see me through five nights in NYC in winter.
A warm coat – As I’m thinking of buying another coat while there I can definitely only afford the room to bring one with me so I picked the one that I know will go with all of my outfits, my vintage Marc Jacobs checked number. Although its a little worse for wear I can accessorise it with different scarves and shrugs easily and throw it on over anything.
A scarf – I’m taking a wooly one too but this turquoise woven scarf is great as it keep me warm while still looking quite stylish.
An everday bag – my BHS satchel is my bag of choice for this trip. The colour goes with almost everything in my wardrobe at the moment, it’s big enough to fit all of my travel essentials while small enough not to be annoying or heavy when out all day and I can throw it over my shoulder and still have my hands free.
A heat tech thermal – According to my friend Alex who has not long returned from the big apple, the weather was slightly temperamental – going from mild one day to cold the next so her advice was layers. I figured my Uniqlo heat-tech was the perfect essential as I can wear it under jumpers and cardigans should the temperatures drop.
iPad and Carry case – this is my first trip since buying my iPad mini and I definitely won’t be leaving without it. Our apartment has wifi so I can check in on emails and do some blogging as I go. Plus it will be handy on the flight if I get bored of the movies. I’m taking my & Other Stories orange leather case and notebook holder for when I want to take it out with me.
A statement necklace – an easy way to add a touch of glam to any outfit.
A wear anywhere pair of boots – my ASH jalouse boots are probably the comfiest boots I own and also go with both skirts and dresses or jeans meaning they can be dressy or casual.
A wooly hat – I wanted to take a different one for everyday but I’ve settled for this cream knitted bobble style to keep me cosy on the really cold days!
If you’ve got full days of sightseeing planned, factor in outfits that are easy to pull on and comfortable to wear. I’m going to be wearing variations of the above; slouchy boyfriend jeans, comfy yet colourful chelsea boots, a cosy knit that can brighten the outfit up, an easy leather biker (which I can wear underneath a warmer coat if I need to) and accessories which can add personality such as my new bejewelled headband from ASOS.
Top Tip – wear a thermal underneath for extra warmth.
Well of course my favourite Upper East Sider would play a part in my inspiration and when better than for my shopping outfit. For a day scouring vintage stores and buying Christmas presents I’ve chosen a girly ensemble that’s cosy yet chic. I’m teaming my River Island pink leather mini with my ASOS pink angora crop jumper, silver flats and these cute polkadot knee highs from M&S (how cute are they?).
Top Tip – Don’t risk bare legs, layer up with nude tights under the socks or easily swap the skirt for jeans to stay warm.
Outfits like this are great packing ideas as they can easily take you from a day of walking around the city to dinner and drinks in the evening without needing to head home and change. I’ll just pop a pair of heels and a statement necklace in my bag and I’m good to go. Yes I’m the sad individual who wears a NYC t-shirt while in NYC but I couldn’t resist. This one is from a designer called Jacqueline De Yong, which I picked up on ASOS for a bargain price. I think it goes perfectly with a little black leather skirt, my new pink cardi and a pair of heels for eating out in the big apple.
Top Tip – a pair of converse in the day will keep this look casual.
I never go on any trip without at least one killer dressy outfit, even if I have no intention of heading out. (the last thing you want is to have nothing to wear when suddenly the opportunity arises) Who better to channel while sipping a Cosmo at a bar in the trendy East Village than the ultimate New Yorker, Carrie Bradshaw. I first wore this outfit (Topshop skirt, River Island top)for GB’s birthday a couple of weekends ago and it felt very SJP so I figured I’d crack it out again when out on the razzle dazzle in Manhattan’s finest cocktail bars. I’m taking my Alexander Wangs with me as they work with any outfit when I need to glam up but seeing as they aint the most practical or comfiest of heels I’ll probably save them for the evenings when the least amount of walking and standing is needed.
Top Tip – heading to a cosy pub rather than a cocktail joint? Tone down the sparkle level by swapping the sequin top for a simple black tee and the heels for some comfy boots.
Other than that I’m bringing plenty of knitwear, a couple of pairs of jeans, some classic black boots to stomp around in, loads of jewellery and some earmuffs!
Do you have any top tips for packing? See you on the other side!