Dressing for Success When All You’ve Got is a Carry-On

by gigigriffis

Last week I left the charming, magical cobblestones of Montmartre for the quirky, colorful, warm streets of Austin, where I spent three days meeting with awesome colleagues and clients and about two full days on planes.

Which, of course, brings me back to one of my favorite topics: how to stay stylish while living out of a bag.

Today, I thought I’d give you another peek into my capsule wardrobe and how it works when I’ve got three days of business meetings and two days of travel to cover and I pack carry on-only.

Let’s start by talking about my packing list.

Here’s everything (clothes-wise) I brought for the five-day trip: 2 black flowy skirts, 1 black pencil skirt, 1 black sweater, 1 black long-sleeved shirt, 1 gray zip-up, 1 pink tank top, 2 black tank tops, 1 sparkly scarf, 1 pair gold earrings, 1 gold necklace, 1 pair of red tieks, 1 pair boots, and, of course, socks and undergarments and pajamas.

Yep. That’s three tank tops, three shirts, and three skirts, plus accessories.

(And even that was a little too much. You’ll notice that I did not end up wearing my tieks or my sparkly scarf, so I could have easily left those behind as well.)

So, how’d I mix this teeny wardrobe up over those five days? Well…

Day one: working on a plane from Paris to Texas.
Black flowy skirt by Anatomie, black tank top, gray zip-up from H&M, warm knee-high socks, boots, simple gold earrings, gold heart necklace.

Days two & three: client meetings.
Pink and black tank tops, a black sweater that ties behind my back, gold jewelry, and my fabulous cowgirl boots (both days) with black flowy skirt #2 (day two) and my favorite black pencil skirt (day three).

Gigi GriffisDay three

Day four: final wrap-up meetings.
Black pencil skirt, pink tank top, long-sleeved black top, boots, and gold jewelry.

Gigi on businessDay four

Day five: flying back to Paris, sleeping en route.
Black flowy skirt #2, pink tank, black sweater, boots, and gold jewelry.

As for my hair, I wore it up every day either in a bun or a curly ponytail. This was A) because my curling iron has a European plug and I don’t have an American adaptor and B) because I forgot my hairbrush and felt that a bun was the best way to hide the fact. Good times.

This time I didn’t have a fabulous photographer to follow me around, but, despite the lack of professional quality, hopefully these photos do give you an idea of how I mixed and matched those few simple items to tackle my business meetings without feeling like I didn’t belong.


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8 comments

Rob February 18, 2013 - 6:22 am

I usually don’t go for the pink tank top, myself :)

I’ve always admired people who can look that good, traveling or not. I long ago abandoned the whole process and it’s been jeans & t-shirts as long as I can remember.

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gigigriffis February 18, 2013 - 7:52 am

Thanks!

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Rebeca February 18, 2013 - 12:27 pm

Thanks for the post and great ideas for looking professional while on the go and packing as light as possible. Plus who wants to pay extra for luggage? Not me.

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gigigriffis February 19, 2013 - 5:04 am

So true.

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Roommate #1 February 18, 2013 - 7:47 pm

This is great! I spent a month living out of a carry-on -you were with me for the last two weeks in the Alps- but I think it showed in my wardrobe of one pair of jeans and three travel t-shirts (I’ve been to Ireland! and England! and Here!) acquired along the way. You, on the other hand, are much more stylish.
Well done.

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gigigriffis February 19, 2013 - 5:05 am

Don’t sell yourself short. You have some very stylish dresses that you cycled through on our Italy and Switzerland adventures.

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Bernie March 30, 2013 - 5:45 am

I’m so glad to know I’m not the only long haired person to have forgotten her hairbrush… ;-) But seriously, that’s some great inspiration on how to look professional but stay comfortable *and* all via carry-on.

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gigigriffis March 30, 2013 - 9:01 am

:)

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