What to Pack for the PNW (Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, etc)

Monday, October 6, 2014

I promise I'll shut up about Seattle soon.... but it was just so fun! And the clothes I packed really worked out for me on this trip, so I thought I'd share.

These outfits would work well if you're in the transitional weather we're all experiencing right now - chilly one day and warm the next. They would also work most of the year in the PNW, if that's Seattle, Portland, Vancouver or otherwise. These combos will carry you through a good 9 months of the year.

I used two main bases - a pair of jeans and a black dress. I worked the long shorts in (primarily packed for the Lake Chelan portion of the trip!) once for the wedding, but I could have used them more if needed.

15 Ways to Wear One Dress


Topshop black dress, $55 / MANGO long sleeve shirt, $16 / American Eagle Outfitters top / Alice Olivia white blouse / T By Alexander Wang white shirt / Flower kimono / Phase Eight print scarve, $57 / Print scarve, $19 / H M black belt, $21

To be honest, I probably could have worn this dress the entire week... and almost did. Lest we forget I also had 2 jackets to throw into the mix! I didn't wear all 15 of these outfits but the point is I could have. The goal is to give yourself PLENTY of options with a limited selection & you'll never get bored in your suitcase! This black dress has seen more wear than anything in my closet.

One great example of using this dress to it's max -- I had been at a coffee shop earlier in the day and it was chilly, so I layered this dress with the chunky knit & flats. 

When I met Cait back at her house, I took 5 minutes to freshen my make up, throw a few extra curls in my hair, add the kimono plus belt & heels, and I was transformed. Cait complimented me & said "it's like I turned around and you were a supermodel!". While she's kind & exaggerating (i'm definitely not a model), it just proved my point - a few accessories can completely transform your look.


Seattle: Jeans


MANGO longsleeve shirt, $16 / Alice Olivia white sleeveless top / Abercrombie Fitch racer back tank / T By Alexander Wang white linen tank top / American Eagle Outfitters fake leather jacket / Green field jacket / Long kimono / Michael michael kors skinny jeans / Madden Girl cork wedge heel sandals / Restricted ballet pumps / Slingback wedge sandals, $115 / Phase Eight plaid shawl, $57 / Floral print scarve, $19

Once again, plenty of options for the colder days. Dark jeans are so versatile! Another key is that my accessories were so different - woolly tartan vs. bright chiffon, and longer military jacket vs. black moto jacket.... they change the entire personality of the outfit.

I could wear the striped top with the military jacket & tartan scarf with flats for day, and swap to moto & bright scarf with heels for the night. The right accessories change everything.


Wedding Outfits


Little Mistress strapless maxi dress, $105 / Nicole Miller cocktail dress, $705 / Alice Olivia silk blouse / American Eagle Outfitters biker jacket / H&M chino shorts, $8.10 / Madden Girl wedges shoes / Michael Kors crossbody purse / MICHAEL Michael Kors leather tote bag / Floral scarve, $19


Now for the wedding is where I splurged in my packing a bit.
I re-wore one of the dresses from the bachelorette weekend for the rehearsal dinner. I re-wore my wine tasting in Chelan outfit while I did the bride & bridesmaid's hair. And I brought an entirely different dress to wear to the wedding. BUT! I still used my shoes, purse, scarf & jacket i'd been using all week.

It wasn't necessary for me to bring this extra dress that I'd only get one wear out of. If I was going on a longer trip, I would have subbed in one of my other dresses I wore for the bachelorette weekend.... However, this was the purpose of my entire trip (the wedding!), so I wanted to have something special. What a sacrificed was a 2nd pair of pants that would have given me even more options during the week... but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make and felt very happy with my outfit options! 

Make smart choices with your packing options and know what your limits are. Decide what's important to you and maximize everything else so you can have that thing.

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