What I packed for a week-long work trip

What I packed for a week-long work trip to North Carolina — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Tops and layers for a week-long work trip — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Pants and shoes for a week-long work trip — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Tops and tees for a week-long work trip — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Last week, I was in North Carolina for work. I flew out on Monday, had training from Tuesday through Thursday, and flew home on Friday. I stayed in the Raleigh-Durham area, which was new and exciting since I had only been to the Outer Banks area previously (though I didn't get to explore much of Raleigh or Durham, unfortunately!). I'm happy to report that I was able to accomplish my main goal: eating some delicious Carolina BBQ. ;)

As with all of my trips, I packed for this one with only my carry-on roller bag (mine is old by Kipling) and Longchamp 'Le Pliage Neo' tote: two of my air travel essentials I've written about previously. I ended up bringing along five tops, two extra layers (one cardigan, one blazer), one pair of jeans, one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, one pair of sandals, one pair of loafers, two pairs of earrings, three bags (if you count my tote and wallet), and my trench coat. This trip consisted of training with no formal conference/presentation setting, so I was able to pack fairly casually (I packed what I would wear to work normally). The temperatures ranged from the upper 70s to upper 80s/low 90s, and it was very muggy with a chance of storms almost every day. It did rain/storm on two of the days I was there.

Here's what it looked like laid out in Stylebook, and below, you'll find each outfit on me with a quick note about that day's activities, weather, and outfit breakdown! (I apologize for the wrinkly clothes; I threw them into the hamper when I got home before realizing I hadn't yet taken photos! My hotel room didn't have a full-length mirror.)

What I packed for a week-long work trip — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
What I wore during a week-long work trip — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Shop exact or similar items:

MONDAY / Travel + Dinner

Travel outfit with camel cardigan and loafers — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Casual outfit with white tee and denim shorts — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Activities: Flew from Boise to Raleigh-Durham, went out to dinner with co-worker (BBQ night!)

Weather: High of 93°F, humid but dry

Outfit breakdown: I wore the outfit on the left to travel. My jeans and loafers were a couple of my bulkiest items. I wore a t-shirt because I knew it was going to be hot when we landed, but I had to wear a cardigan for the chilly plane rides. Even though my trench coat is my bulkiest item, I stuffed it in my roller bag because it was far too warm to wear it! I changed into the outfit on the right to go to dinner. I brought the shorts for this day in particular since it was forecasted to be the hottest of the trip. I kept my white t-shirt on, and by some miracle I did not get any BBQ sauce on it. The sauce was, however, all over my face and hands—ha!

TUESDAY / Training + Dinner

Work outfit with cotton-linen pants and linen tee — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Activities: Training all day then dinner in the evening with co-worker

Weather: High of 88°F, humid but dry

Outfit breakdown: On another warm day, I opted for a combination of a linen tee and my cotton-linen pants. It's hard to survive in humidity without linen. ;) I like wearing these pants to work when it's warm because they're loose yet still nice-looking. I added my cardigan for warmth in the chilly classroom. I don't usually wear camel and grey together; I don't like the look since camel is generally a warm neutral and grey a cool neutral, but I didn't care too much here.

WEDNESDAY / Training + Dinner + Shopping

Work outfit with striped tee and denim — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Activities: Worked remotely from hotel room in morning, training in the afternoon, dinner out in the evening, and shopping after dinner to avoid storms

Weather: High of 85°F with intermittent showers and thunderstorms

Outfit breakdown: I wore another linen tee to beat the heat and pulled out the sandals because of the rain and to give the loafers a break. (I prefer to not wear my shoes two days in a row if possible, and I knew the loafers were going to be worn the most so I made sure to wear the sandals at least one day.) Luckily, the place I trained at is casual enough that a "nicer" pair of jeans fit the bill. This camel cardigan ended up being the best item I packed! I would have froze without it, haha. I wore my trench coat in the evening due to the threat of rain.

THURSDAY / Training + Dinner

Work trip outfit with linen blazer — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Casual outfit with cardigan and double denim — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Activities: Training all day then dinner in the evening with co-worker

Weather: High of 77°F with intermittent showers and thunderstorms

Outfit breakdown: I wore the outfit on the left to training, but it ended up being too chilly; it was fine for when I was outside, but I was in a new classroom and it was absolutely freezing. I had my trench coat with me and ended up wearing that, too, but it was still so cold! For dinner, I changed into jeans and my cashmere cardigan because they are slightly warmer than the linen blazer and cotton-linen pants, plus I didn't feel the need to keep wearing my blazer after work. I wanted to be comfortable! Luckily, I didn't get rained on, but these shoes handle rain just fine. I got caught in a downpour in Vienna a couple of years ago while wearing them and they didn't look any worse for wear after!

FRIDAY / Travel

Activities: Flew from Raleigh-Durham back to Boise

Weather: Not really applicable, but it was already pretty warm when we left in the early morning and the high in Boise was 75°F with a chance of rain (though it ended up being dry).

Outfit breakdown: This was basically a repeat of my travel outfit from Monday, but I wore a different tee because, as I expected, I sweat enough in NC to warrant wearing a different top every day. I don't like wearing grey and camel together as mentioned previously, but I didn't mind so much on a travel day. I'm not sure that I'd wear this tee for travel again because it has a side tie and I didn't realize how large the side tie hole was; it definitely needed to be tied a bit tighter. I also flashed my stomach every time I lifted my bag into or out of the overhead bin! I ended up wearing the trench coat coming home because there was a slight chance of showers in the forecast both in Raleigh and Boise, but I didn't end up needing it. Wearing it saved me some space in my roller bag, though.

Travel outfit with trench coat and Longchamp tote — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

The best t-shirt dress

Spring outfit with striped t-shirt dress — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Everlane cotton box-cut tee dress — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Silk bomber jacket outfit with striped dress — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Vintage Coach City bag in British tan — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Black and white striped dress with bomber jacket — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

I've written before about my love for t-shirt dresses, despite the fact that they don't usually look like I wished they did on me. The t-shirt dresses I've tried in the past tended to cling to my stomach and emphasis my "pooch", which made me self conscious and was the main reason why I never wore them... That was, until I found this dress.

Truth be told, I didn't have high hopes for this $25 t-shirt dress from Everlane that was perfectly striped and fell at the exact point on my legs I was hoping it would. It seemed too good to be true! But, you guys, it's the perfect t-shirt dress. It's not so long and wide that it swallows me, and it manages to skim my body without emphasizing my belly pooch at all. I would wear this every day in the summer if a) I could wear a dress this short to work and b) it was socially acceptable. I've been enjoying wearing it during the evenings and weekends as the weather allows!

On a particularly gorgeous 70°F evening, I took this dress out for a spin with my black silk bomber jacket and cognac accessories for contrast (black, white, and cognac will forever be one of my favorite color palettes!). It was the perfect ensemble for a little shopping at the record store and then a late dinner at a new-to-us place downtown. 

For reference, I ordered this dress in a size small. I tend to take either an XS or small in Everlane depending on the item (see my reviews here). I purchased a size small because I wanted a little bit of extra room in this dress just in case it shrinks a bit in the wash. I'm really hoping it doesn't shrink, though; the fit right now is the best I could have hoped for in a t-shirt dress! 


Grana jacket c/o / similar by DSTLD (last seen here)
Everlane dress / exact or similar by H&M
Target sandals / old; similar by Steve Madden or from Selfridges
Coach bag / vintage; exact style on Etsy
Moorea Seal sunglasses / old; similar by Le Specs
Dior Addict Lip Glow in pink / exact

Triple play

Spring work outfit with layered denim — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Linen blazer and denim spring outfit — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Earthies Tolo flats in navy — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Linen blazer layered with denim vest and chambray shirt — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Denim on denim spring outfit — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Linen blazer spring outfit with chambray shirt and jeans — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

I've been feeling like I'm in a bit of an outfit rut recently. My outfits have been pretty simple this spring; 9 of the 19 I've blogged so far (not including this one) don't feature any sort of layering, which is fine (and what I've been wearing in real life), but it's not very exciting. ;) Normally in the spring, I have more outfit ideas than days to post them all, so it's kinda weird to be playing "catch up" and posting so many impromptu outfits! I think the fact that I've been shopping somewhat slowly this year is affecting my creativity, which I hate to admit because I don't like the idea that bloggers should only be posting new items to keep the interest of their readers. I've been trying to mix up my older pieces as much as possible, but how many times can you wear a pair of jeans with the same "type" of top...?

I digress. 

After the conclusion of my summer 10x10 last year, I got the idea to sandwich my denim vest in between my (sleeveless) chambray shirt and linen blazer; all three pieces had been included in my 10x10, but they weren't ever worn together. I don't think I've ever worn three items like this before at once! I didn't do the smart thing and try the outfit on prior to the day I planned on wearing it. The morning of, I debated for far too long about whether or not I liked the vest with this look, mostly because it's decently shorter than the blazer and the shirt underneath. I decided that I liked it enough to leave the house with it on.

What I love: the collar situation (the spacing of the vest and shirt is pleasing to my eyes) and the three different variations of denim (I almost decided on white skinny jeans for color contrast, but I think the dark denim works, too). What I didn't love: the length of the vest (it feels distracting since it's so much shorter) and how snug the blazer felt over the vest. Surprisingly, I didn't feel like I looked noticeably "bulkier" with the additional layer even though it felt more snug. This wasn't a home run outfit for me and I probably won't repeat it, but I'm glad I branched out and experimented a bit with my closet! Now I'm more inspired to play around with layers (as long as the weather cooperates). 


J.Crew Factory blazer / similar by Caslon or J.Crew
Madewell vest / exact (limited sizes) or similar (last seen here)
Madewell shirt / old; similar from Anthropologie or Macy's
Madewell jeans / old; similar
Earthies flats c/o / exact style (on sale!) (last seen here)
Moorea Seal sunglasses / old; similar by Le Specs
Dior Addict Lip Glow in pink / exact