Packing for a long summer road trip

Packing for a long summer road trip -- Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Before I started blogging and learned about the idea of capsule wardrobes, I was a chronic overpacker. I basically just opened up my suitcase and stuffed in as many clothes and shoes as possible with no real consideration of what went with what. I also tended to bring the largest suitcase possible because of this. (Though I will say that a few years ago, when my family flew to South Dakota the week of Thanksgiving, I surprised everyone by packing for a midwest winter in only a carry-on bag. I was very proud of myself.)

This trip to Wyoming and South Dakota, I packed all of my clothes and accessories in my Everlane weekender bag (here's my referral link, if you're interested in creating an Everlane account!) with plenty of room to spare. We packed our shoes in a separate bag, but I would have had plenty of space in my weekender since the pairs I brought are slim.

For some reason, road trips are harder to pack for than trips that involve flying. I think it's because of the likelihood of dealing with different weather and elevation (especially being out west). For this trip, I had the idea to stick with a main wardrobe of about ten pieces (including shoes) and then add accessories. That didn't entirely work out because I decided that five tops, three bottoms, and two pairs of shoes wasn't going to be enough for ten days, five of them spent driving at least part of the day. I increased it to 12 pieces by adding in an extra bottom and an extra pair of shoes, but then I forgot one of my tops...so it ended up being a capsule of 11 pieces (ten if you don't count my Toms, since I only wear them when I know I'll be driving).

What to pack for a long summer road trip -- Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

In addition to my 11 tops, bottoms, and shoes (Toms not pictured), I also packed a few accessories: a belt, my Coach crossbody bag, two necklaces, two pairs of earrings, and my umbrella since we were going to South Dakota in the summer after all. :) As I described more in my post on packing for an academic conference, I used Stylebook to put together a packing list. I don't have my Toms in Stylebook because they are old and I don't wear them in my regular outfits. They are my favorite shoes to wear when driving, so that's why I brought them along, and as you can see in the photo collage they were worn quite a bit!

When packing for this road trip, I considered the activities we would be partaking in and, of course, the weather. I knew that the majority of our trip would be in heat and humidity, so I made sure to pack a linen tee and other loose tops as well as shorts. I decided to pack a dress because I wanted to dress up a little bit for the party. I almost packed a skirt instead of jeans, but after looking at the forecast, I decided to throw in a pair just in case. I was happy to have them! I packed my most comfortable pair (ones that I would be comfortable sitting in for long periods of time on driving days). I packed two pairs of sandals that were versatile enough to work with anything and comfortable enough to go on short hikes. I was planning on packing a jacket, but I also forgot that, so I was very glad to have packed my heavier-weight striped top. I layered it over other tops on cooler days. I kept in mind how wrinkle resistant each of the items were and I think it worked out very well even though my chambray did get a little bit crushed.

I kept my color palette cohesive with a base of navy and denim blue. I added in my grey tee, red floral shirt, and cognac for variety. I've focused a LOT on curating a wardrobe the past year or so in which everything goes with everything else (or as much as possible), so it was almost difficult to narrow down my options! 

Packing for a long summer road trip: outfit ideas -- Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Here's what the outfits in the collage above look like on Stylebook. I could have made at least five more outfits with these pieces (more if you consider different shoes a completely different outfit even if the other pieces stay the same). I'm really proud of how well I packed for this trip, even though it would have been nice to have that extra top and my jacket. I didn't end up in need of those items, but I was quite annoyed at myself for forgetting them, haha. :)

Posts featuring outfits from this trip: Dakota denim, On the prairie, The Little House