Packing for a Weekend Trip

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I’m heading north this weekend for a quick trip, and am sharing with you what I’ll be packing. People are normally surprised by how much of a light packer I am, but I’m a lot more low maintenance than I may appear. I pride myself on consolidating my necessities to a single tote. Here are my top tips for packing light for a weekend trip:


1. Choose separates that go with each other. It seems like common sense, but many people will bring tops and bottoms that only go with one other top and bottom. Don’t pack with the mindset of packing one outfit per day, but in separates that will go with every other top and bottom. An easy way to do this is to stick to a simple color scheme.

2. Pack jewelry in the same tone. My weekend attire is very casual, so my jewelry will be minimal, but if you happen to bring more jewelry make sure it’s either all gold, all silver, etc. It will still “go” if you mix metals, but it will make outfit planning a lot simpler if you keep it to a single tone.

3. Wear your bulkiest layers. If you have bigger boots, a vest, a heavy sweater, etc., wear that layer to the destination. It will save valuable room in your tote.



1. Don’t over pack, just bring what you actually need. Are you really going to go for that morning run? Then don’t lug workout clothes and shoes. Speaking of shoes, you probably don’t need more than one pair, but you definitely don’t need more than two. Time and time again I see others bringing more pairs of shoes than days they’ll be on the trip. Be practical and try to wear one pair, but only two pairs tops.

2. Don’t plan for every occasion. Check the weather and plan for it, but don’t have an outfit “just in case” something occurs. It most likely won’t, and if it does, it’s not the end of the world.  More times than not, you’ll be able to adjust and be alright.

3. Don’t pack items that take up room unnecessarily. If you aren’t wearing your bulky items to the destination, then don’t pack them in your tote. Either minimize your heavier items, or bring easy to pack lightweight layers. Focus on getting the most space out of your weekend bag.


Here’s what I’m packing for the weekend. You may notice a color scheme of red, white, and blue (whoops, can’t help that I’m American…). It makes it a lot easier if plans change and I need to switch things up since any top will go with either pants.

The Bag: This Tommy Hilfiger tote is the right size to fit all my clothes, and I love the longer strap that fits comfortable over my shoulder.


Day One: I’m making sure to wear my quilted vest (not pictured) while traveling since it’s a little too thick to pack. I also opted for comfortable layers, such as my new favorite cabin crew and Land’s End cord leggings, to make traveling as enjoyable as possible.

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Day Two: My Land’s End flannel and J Crew quilted vest complete the quintessential “up north” look. Camp socks tucked into boots will surely keep me warm.


Day Three: My new LL Bean retro fleece pullover is both warm and comfortable to wear in the colder temps and on the car ride home. I’m wearing the jeans from day two since they still work and also save on space in my weekend bag.


The Essentials: No weekend in frigid temps would be complete without a quality coat and pair of boots. My down puffer coat is from Land’s End a few years ago, and my Sorel boots are super easy to slip on and off and are by far the warmest boots I own. It’s all about warmth over looks when it comes to living in Michigan, but I also don’t mind the looks of either items.


Do you have any packing tips for packing only the essentials? Do you tend to over pack?


3 Comments on Packing for a Weekend Trip

  1. Alex
    February 12, 2015 at 2:27 pm (9 years ago)

    Love your advice I’m always the one to pack something impractical “just in case.” Love the llbean pullover, too! I was so excited when I saw them come out with those because they’re much more cost efficient than Patagonia’s (and cuter, too)


    • thedressdecoded
      February 12, 2015 at 5:31 pm (9 years ago)

      I totally understand, we girls like to be prepared for everything! 🙂

      And I love it too, it’s just as thick as a Patagonia fleece. I’m not surprised it sold out in so many sizes so fast!

  2. Tichu
    April 2, 2023 at 3:47 am (6 months ago)

    Great post share!! Keep sharing more helpful posts like this.


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