Packing for Holiday Travel

While my husband and I are well seasoned travelers, this is the first time that we will be taking our son on a plane and traveling to visit family for Christmas. So not only do we need to bring all of our own things, but we are packing our son’s items and Christmas presents as well. While my aunt is graciously picking up some essentials for us, we have so many things that we have no choice but to bring with us. Therefore, before I’ve even put in my own things my bag is almost full. As I’ve been strategically planning over the past few weeks, I have several recommendations on how to stay stylish on limited packing space.

My suitcase without a single one of my items packed yet.
  1. Pack a small capsule wardrobe that can be mixed and matched.

I picked four tops, two cardigans, three bottoms, one scarf, and one necklace that all look good together. This gives me the flexibility to be creative and alternate my looks without taking up too much room in my suitcase. I spent about 20 minutes putting on various combinations of these items, so I know which looks are my favorite as well as the many ways they match together. I am also confident that no one look is too similar to the other. Another tip is to layer rather than bring bulky items. A shirt and a cardigan pack much smaller than a single sweater and can be worn if varying ways. I plan on wearing the same shirt with a cardigan one day and with a scarf another.

The items I’m packing to wear over the course of a week. With the exception of the plaid button up, each item will be worn twice.
  1. Wear the same outfit for the plane ride as well as your bulkiest items.

Over the years I have developed my favorite outfit for wearing on the plane. It consists of leggings, a dolman sleeve top, whatever scarf I plan to wear with my other outfits, and my heaviest shoes. I love this outfit because it is so comfortable on the plane, especially if I plan to fall asleep and the scarf can double as a blanket if I’m cold or be removed if I’m overheated. On this trip I’ll be wearing a pair of tall boots as well, which keeps them out of my suitcase.

  1. Bring the smallest amount of beauty products possible.

I love Maya Chia’s The Great Cleanse and I keep on hand a tiny sample bottle that I received when I was first trying it. I know that I use three pumps twice a day, so I filled my tiny bottle up with exactly the right amount. I also have several small containers from samples of face masks that I’ll use to store face creams and other essentials.

Additionally, I plan to keep my makeup routine simple (at least simple for me). Brow cream, a single eyeshadow that I’ll apply with my fingers, foundation, blush, bronzer, highligher, eyeliner, mascara. A routine I can complete in five minutes and will keep my makeup bag light. Two shades of lipstick in my purse can add in some variation.

The cutest little sample sizes!
  1. Plan versatility through hairstyles.

A simple braid or a top knot can elevate the look of an outfit so easily. By bringing with a few hair clips and ties, I’ll be able to add depth to my style without weighing down my bag.

Hair pin by CA Makes and a clip I bought a few years ago at Nordstrom.

I have never packed so light on fashion before and while I was concerned that it would be limiting, I’m realizing that the items I’m bringing will give me more options than what I usually pack.

Follow me on instagram to check out how well this adventure goes!

The Holiday Wish List of a Conscious Consumer

In the decade that my husband and I have been married our gift giving has morphed from us each spending countless hours selecting the perfect gift for each other to us just writing the other person a list of what we want. I like to think of this as us becoming more practical versus just being lazy. Regardless of the perception of this practice, this is what I’m asking for this year.

On occasion you may spot my apple watch in one of my instagram photos. Usually though, I’m not wearing it. This is because I hate the way it looks in photos. It instantly drags an outfit down as the sport band that came with it feels far too casual for my liking. In an effort to make my watch more seamlessly match my outfits, I am asking for two bands to wear with it. One of which is a simple brown band that elevates the look of the watch while still appearing timeless. The other is a triple wrap band that provides the right balance of edge and modern style. While there are a plethora of gorgeous watch bands available, I chose the brand Arrow and Board because they are handcrafted in the USA. I also like the brand Grovemade, however, they do not make a watch band for the 38 mm size apple watch, which is what I have.

A plain leather band, yet a major upgrade.


A stylish upgrade, I love the additional wraps of leather.

Now that we are parents to an infant, I have found that I spend way more time hanging out in my pajamas, especially on weekends. We love to lay on the floor with our sweet boy or cuddle with him on the couch and my usual work wear just won’t do. I’m also not a big fan of wearing workout clothes for lounging as I like to keep my association with those items to, well, working out. Therefore, I’m asking for a gorgeous set of pajamas from the Australian brand Moonbird. Certified organic as well as fair trade, these pajamas are positively perfect.

These remind me of some of my favorite items from Liberty London, but thankfully these ones aren’t dry clean only.

While I deeply love trying new foods and am a rather adventurous eater, I am quite picky when it comes to what I drink. This is particularly so for the containers I drink things from. I hate the taste that both metal and plastic add to liquids, so I have been using glass water bottles since 2009. Travel mugs for warm beverages though have been difficult to come by. Starbucks makes some stunning ceramic ones, but I’ve been concerned about the gold rims that many of them have as I don’t know what type of paint is being used on them. Additionally, in general I’m trying to be more conscious of what I purchase. Therefore, I was really excited to discover travel mugs by ACERA. Hand crafted and eco-friendly with tourmaline to balance taste, this mug is exactly what I am looking for. The downside is that they only come in a smaller size of 11.5 ounces. Given that I’m hoping to use this for both coffee and tea from home as well as asking our local coffee shop to fill it up for me, the smaller size may be a limitation. However, given that this is exactly what I’ve been looking for, it’s a minute issue. I’m also requesting the flip top tea infuser and travel lid, both available through Live Vessel.

I love the design on this mug. It feels classic, yet completely new.

Last, I really need a new hairbrush. My current one is a holdover from high school and last winter while traveling to the UK, it got smooshed in my suitcase and lost some of the bristles. I love my current brush so much though that I wanted to find something similar. I’ve settled on a paddle brush by the brand Tek. The wood is sustainable and the packing is eco-friendly. If you’ve never used a wooden paddle brush before, I highly recommend. It evenly distributes oil throughout your hair and gently detangles.

Almost exactly like the one I’ve loved for close to half my life. The perfect replacement.

Even though my husband has a list of his own, there are a few additional items I plan on purchasing for him that are fair trade and eco-friendly. However, given that he reads this blog, that post will have to wait until after the holidays.

What items are you hoping to get or planning on giving for the holidays?

The exceptions: The little loopholes in my plan for no fashion purchases

Every good plan needs to have some exceptions, right? Well, these are mine.

While I won’t be buying any new fashion items for myself, I can still make purchases for my husband and son. At five and half months old my son is growing steadily, so he will absolutely need new things in 2018. I do plan on buying minimally for him, after all he grows out of things so quickly anyway. Additionally, I’ve found that so many of the outfits he has are designed to match nothing else, which means we are forced to buy more. I’d like to find brands that allow me to better mix and match to extend the wear. Thus far I’ve discovered the brand Primary, which seems intriguing. I would like to find more children’s brands that are fair trade and ecofriendly. However, the ones I’ve tried so far tend to fit poorly and cost about what I would pay for my own clothes.

Baby clothes are adorable! But all these patterns make creating multiple outfits from the same items near impossible.


In regards to my husband, unlike me, he does not enjoy adding new things to his wardrobe. In fact, there are still a few things in there from when he was a teenager. He literally wears his clothes to the bare thread. Therefore, if he needs something new, we’ll buy it.

My husband still wears these shirts, circa 2002.

Friends know I looooove fashion, so I am often given gorgeous items for my birthday and Christmas. In fact, some of my favorite pieces have come to me through gifts as people tend to find something I love that is different enough to make it unique. That said, I won’t be asking anyone for new items or putting out any hints of what I might want.

Another exception is that I can buy someone a fashion related gift, but only upon request and only if there are no alternatives. In other words, if someone tells me they’d love a new scarf for their birthday, I’m free to find them the perfect one. (Focusing on fair trade and eco friendly brands, of course.) However, when I go to a baby shower or a specific request is not given, I need to find something fashion free.

Borrowing is okay and highly encouraged. Sometimes I just need something for one night or one perfect outfit. It’s totally fine for me to borrow something or lend something of mine to a friend!

Last, if desperation calls for it, I can rent something or buy and resell on ebay. This is a rule I hope I never need to invoke. However, if I do have to, it will only be for the happiest of reasons. When I was telling my friends about my plan for a year without a purchase, one of them asked if I’d be allowed to wear a bridesmaid’s dress. The answer is a resounding, yes!

I’d love for you to join me on this journey for as much time as you are able!  Comment below or find me on instagram so we can connect! My instagram is @elyseclarkstylediary or you can use the hashtag #lovethiscloset