Living out of my suitcase... (long and pic heavy)

I just returned from a week long business trip and decided to make an inventory of my travel wardrobe - maybe somebody will find it interesting too...
I had 6 work days including the first day - plane-to-office and one day just for travel back. Even though I worked in the bank my dress code was business casual as I worked in the IT department and did not have any business meetings to attend.
This is what I packed:

- 1 black sleeveless Tahari sheath;
- 1 pair of slouchy trousers (Long Tall Sally);
- 1 white Tahari button down;
- 1 animal print blouse;
- 1 BR black t-neck;
- 1 BR white t-neck;
- 1 BR striped navy / cream sweater
- 1 Danier leather blazer;
- 1 leather outdoor jacket (Danier)
- 1 pair of SE suede putty booties
- 1 pair of red heeled loafers (Trotters)

All my things fit into a carry on bag with a room to spare (it was taken on the way back by the bottle of French cognac from a duty free :-)
Pic 1
This was a very long day - 7 hours of travel followed by 8 hours in the office and no ability to change in between. I needed something comfortable for the flight and in the same time acceptable for the client's site. I have decided that my slouchy trousers should be perfectly comfortable for the flight and I was right. Actually I think they are perfect for travel - do not constrict you anywhere while you sit for hours and do not wrinkle at all. Just perfect! I have paired them with my new BR black t-neck and white studded belt and booties
Pic 2
Black sheath and a striped sweater layered over it with patterned hose and red patent loafers. I have added a b/w polka dot square scarf for pattern mix (and because the dress kept peaking from under the sweater :-)
Pic 3
The same trousers with an animal print blouse, leather blazer and booties. Sorry for the grinning in this shot - I wore a black tee under the blouse for warmth.
Pic 4-5
Sheath dress layered over a white t-neck and under a leather blazer. I really like like different greys in the blazer, hose and booties work together here. I found that I prefer these booties with skirts to my python ones because they are lower contrast.
Pic 6
Striped sweater layered over a white button down worn with slouchy trousers.
Pic 7
Last day at the office and I could not decide if I want to wear a t-neck or animal print blouse with the dress. Then I remembered Angie's outfit from February NYFW and that was it. I layered a black t-neck over a white button down with cuffs and collar visible and then wore a dress on top. I wore nude hose with suede booties that day as red loafers gave me blisters and booties was my only option but I liked how they added an unexpected twist here. When I came to the office one of my co-workers called this "tuxedo dress" and then I got compliments from two bank employees I just met in the hall so I guess this outfit was not a complete bust :-)
Pic 8
Travel home so of course trousers were in order. I decided to wear a white t-neck with them - after all it would go into the laundry at home anyway. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed wearing white while I was in transit. Usually I never do it because it is no t practical but it really lifted my spirits and made me feel good!

So this was my week out of a carry on suitcase. I have another week of business soon so I better start planning soon!
Any thoughts / suggestions / critiques are greatly appreciated as usually!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 9 years ago

    Absolutely ingenious use of the dress. I am leaving Monday for Ottawa and will be there until end of day Friday. I am going to try to learn from you and reduce my packing to fewer than my normal number of items.

  • Raisin replied 9 years ago

    Wow, you made 8 completely different outfits with so little clothing! Very impressive. All your outfits looks great as well. I like these posts, they are a great help when I'm packing for a short or week long trip.

  • replied 9 years ago

    I think you did an amazing job, Sveta! You looked great each day and all in a carryon!

  • marija replied 9 years ago

    Wow! I am impressed! You looked amazing and different every day and really packed so little! Yet, look at all the texture and pattern! I love that sheath dress. It is so versatile. The only thing I might say to add is a bit of colour. A pop of something would just take it over the top! :)

  • Ingunn replied 9 years ago

    You have great style! I'm very impressed by the quality of your outfits. You look so professional in every single outfit, and they all differ from each other although you only have a few garments to work with here. Well done, and thanks for the inspiration!

  • Ornella replied 9 years ago

    Queen Capsule Wardrobe shows how it's done. Amazing!

  • annagybe replied 9 years ago

    Very impressive and a great series of looks.

  • Deborah replied 9 years ago

    Sveta, brilliant travel capsule! Very clever use of the dress and I love that you wore everything? No excess. I would suggest this takes great discipline. Well done, and such fabulous outfits.

  • Caro in Oz replied 9 years ago

    This is a very well thought out capsule where everything works so well, you must be very please. They are all fab outfits #3 is my favourite, the print in the blouse works so well for you.Love the tights in #5 too - your legs look amazing, if you don't mind me saying.

  • Atlantia replied 9 years ago

    This is outstanding! They all look like you, but they look different enough that n outside observer would never guess you were living from a suitcase.
    I would suggest slipping few scarves into the mix for additional color and variation.

    Would it be too much to ask to see your actual suitcase and packing technique as well? I have just begun traveling for work, and find that to be really challenging.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Sveta replied 9 years ago

    I thought about adding some scarves or more jewellery but in the end decided against it. I had one cobalt / black checkered square scarf but I wore it mostly with outerwear and on the plane, not in the office. For some reason I really liked the minimalistic approach this time and how textures, patterns and high contrast in neutrals replaced colors to bring interest to the outfits. Honestly playing dress up at home before the trip (yes, I rehearsed every outfit to make sure I wear everything at least twice) every time I added some color in a scarf or top it did not feel right...
    I am going again in a week - maybe I will play with colors this time :-)
    Atlantia, I will take the picture of my packed suitcase for you before my next trip, I promise! :-) The main trick I have learned is to pack the items which can get wrinkled on the bottom, then pack more heavier items on top of them and shoes on the very top - heavier items keep lighter ones in place.
    Caro, thanks for the compliment, my legs are truly not my best feature so it is nice to hear!:-)
    Deborah, the only think I did not wear was a pair of leggings - I packed them to lounge in my room but I did not have any time for lounging...
    Dianthus, have a safe trip!
    I also missed in my list a black cami and a black long sleeve tee from a thin merino wool. I layered them under some of those outfits to keep warm as IT department was freezing!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 9 years ago

    This is impressive Sveta. I can't believe you were gone that long with a relatively small number of clothes in a carry on! It goes to show that if you choose the right pieces, a small capsule can really work. I also note that your entire capsule is made up of neutrals - was this deliberate or just the way it worked out? I'm wondering if that's why it worked so well.

    Those slouchy trousers couldn't be more perfect on you - the colour will work with everything, the style is fantastic and now you know they are incredibly comfortable and versatile for travel.

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    Sveta, what a brilliant and economical capsule. You are amazing!!

    Waving at my navy BR sweater twin!!! Love how you layered it over the dress; I will have to copy you.

    But I *really* want to copy those booties! What *are* those ones? Sam Edelman, okay....are they the Lisle or another? They look fantastic, and I love them with your tights. (What are those tights??)

    My absolute favourite outfits here are your "tuxedo" dress and #5. That sheath does some fantastic work for you!

  • Sveta replied 9 years ago

    Shannon, I guess I was on the neutral kick! :-) It was not deliberate, I guess it just worked out this way. I had patterns and textures to keep the things interesting! :-)
    Suz, they are Sam Eldeman Petty booties - the same style as the python but in suede:
    The diamond grey tights was a lucky find on the sale rack in The Bay last year. I don't remember the brand and I have never seen them again. I am so happy I got both pairs available in my size: I will be very sad when they both are ruined...
    This Tahari sheath from Winners really was worth its weight in gold for me!:-)

  • Adelfa replied 9 years ago

    Packing posts are my very favorite, yay! I like your neutrals and didn't miss color. The dress was so inspiring. I have a sheath dress that I was thinking of playing with for winter and now I have some ideas. Thank you!

  • Beth Ann replied 9 years ago

    Thanks for the capsule lesson, Sveta. I'm a serious overpacker, so I needed. I never go on business trips, but I've a Christmas trip coming up and I plan to "rehearse" my outfits, too. I'll put your comments to good use.

    BTW --- you look strong, confident and beautiful here --- and I know that's tough to do when you've been pushing so hard.

  • ManidipaM replied 9 years ago

    Sveta, that was a *masterclass* in travel capsule maximising! :-D

    You look great in each and every outfit, distinctive and very you... and always with something special going on, thanks to the textures and shapes, like you note. Selecting the most basic piece is *not* always the most versatile approach, clearly! Thanks for that lesson.

    I'm particularly impressed at how well you choose and integrated your footwear to have just 2 pairs go with so many different outfits, but of course it makes sense since you have only 1.5 'bottoms'! The dress transformations are indeed genius.

  • jenanded replied 9 years ago

    I have found this useful Sveta - thank you for sharing. Yes I think you look super stylish and how fantastic to have it all in a carry on!

  • CocoLion replied 9 years ago

    Such a smart set of outfits! And I love the Angie-inspired #7. Like the others, I'm so impressed that you got these looks into a carry on. You could be the subject of a magazine article. I just went on a trip Tuesday through Friday (4 days, 3 nights) and had a garment bag and a carry on. But then again my trip was by car, you can be a lazy packer.

  • lyn67 replied 9 years ago

    Thanx for sharing Sveta, landed to my faves(may I ask not to hide this thread?), as very inspirational-you did so well,living out from a suitcase, which is never easy, esp. when for work.Thnax again.
    (Oh, and have a similar pair of taupe suede booties which I also find incredible versatile)

  • Karie replied 9 years ago

    I love how everything goes together and you fit it all in one carry-on! Wow! I will have to refer back to this when I am packing for my next trip!

  • Vix replied 9 years ago

    Hi Sveta --

    Echoing the above -- this capsule really has such a non-capsule look to it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    I'm a bit partial to looks 2,7, and 8 but then I'm on a low-contrast kick right now. ;)

  • Ornella replied 9 years ago

    Returning to this thread to enjoy your outfits once more, you truly outdid yourself! I really am at awe how versatile this series is.

    I analyzed what you wore a bit closer and I remembered AJ'd paper dolls method. Although I can see that many outfits have the same bottom or the same top part, they all look so unique.

    You really deserve standing ovation.

    I also wanted to ask about outfit #7 and layering button down under t-neck. I remember which of Angie's outfits you were talking about as it's one of my favorites too. I recently tried it myself, but wasn't too happy, the button-down's sleeves scrunched under t-neck's were a bit too fussy for my liking.
    I wanted to post "Ask Angie" question and see if it's just me or things can somehow be rectified, but Angie is on a much needed break, so I guess it's good timing you've posted this as now I can "Ask Sveta" ;-)

    So, let's play
    "Ask Sveta: layering with button-down"

    Was it comfortable for you?


  • Sveta replied 9 years ago

    Thank you for lovely comments, I am happy if this post is useful for you in any way.
    lyn, I never hide my pictures unless they are very unflattering K/R :-0
    Ornella, my t-neck is on the bigger side (I sized up one size due to Angie's advice) and my white shirt is very fitted. I also tucked the shirt into my tights so it stays in the same place better. The dress is pretty fitted too so it hold all in place. As all outfits above this was worn for work and then straight to restaurant for a dinner - at least 15 hours in a row - and it was comfortable enough.

  • Ariadne replied 9 years ago

    I love all these outfits, Sveta. Everything is so chic and very you. That sheath dress is incredible, as are the diamond tights and the leather blazer. And the booties. Wow!

  • catgirl replied 9 years ago

    Sveta, you are Queen Remix! Love how you've reworn the dress - very inspiring.

  • Carole replied 9 years ago

    Wow, I'm seriously impressed! I just love these packing posts, they seem like such good lessons in what is truly important in our closets. You have some fabulous and versatile pieces that are obviously workhorses for your style. It must be nice to know next trip you will already be sorted! Well done.

  • celia replied 9 years ago

    Sveta, you are a genius . All of these outfits look so fabulous and distinct from each other.
    My new favorite on you is #8, the soft colors and those pants...

  • Lisa replied 9 years ago

    This is a great capsule wardrobe you have here. One thing I noticed right away was the fun hose you had on, really added interest to the outfits!

  • rachylou replied 9 years ago

    Very efficient packing! And every outfit looks A1!

    I really like the turtle necks with the slouchy trousers. They match up in slouchy-ness.

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