How To Pack: Miami Edition

When I found out I was headed to Miami during the first weekend of June to celebrate my dad's milestone birthday, I was beyond excited. 

A few days at the beach is something we could all use every once in a while, and, for this trip, I was even more ecstatic to dress for it. 

Miami is a culturally rich, undeniably colorful town with tons of energy. Your wardrobe should reflect the city you're going to, and this one was no exception for me. 

 Raquel Greer Gordian packs a suitcase that reflects the color and energy of Miami, Florida. 

To start the packing process, I made a mental agenda of all the activities I would be doing. For 2 nights and 3 days in Miami, the list was short, but just as important to prep for as my 13 day trip to Europe. 

Here's what was on the list: 

  • Friday plane ride

  • Friday dinner at OLA

  • Saturday pool & beach hangout 

  • Saturday lunch at Malibu Farm

  • Saturday dinner at Byblos

  • Sunday brunch at Stiltsville Fish Bar

  • Sunday plane ride

When packing, I plan out my outfits in chronological order of when the events will be taking place to ensure I didn't forget any activity. 

So to start, I picked my plane outfit. Comfort is key for a plane outfit, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style. 

FRIDAY

Plane Outfit: Leather High-Waisted Shorts, Neon Crop Top from Beehive Boutique, Vince Leather Slides, Straw Flat-Brimmed Hat

 My airplane look was comfortable and also mimic'd the vibes of Miami, Florida. 

I chose this look to mimic the flashiness of Miami (leather & neon), so upon arrival, I would feel present in my environment and excited for what was to come. 

Next I put together my dinner look for Ola. 

For this look, I wanted something light-weight and easy to throw on after being tired from travel, so I packed my spaghetti-strap high-low black dress I got this winter from Estilo at Le Garage Sale. 

 A candid shot of me and my mom at the dinner at Ola. Pictured is my statement necklace and earrings to compliment to simplicity of the black high-low dress. 

A candid shot of me and my mom at the dinner at Ola. Pictured is my statement necklace and earrings to compliment to simplicity of the black high-low dress. 

I complimented the simplicity of the dress with a bold gold and hot pink necklace, and finished the look with my Anthropologie statement earrings. For the shoe, I chose gold Schutz platforms from Revolve.

DINNER OUTFIT: black dress, statement necklaces, statements earrings, black clutch, black heels 

SATURDAY

If you use your swimsuit often (like I do), it can easily wear out and stretch, so I was in need of a new one for the trip. 

I decided to go big and bold with the one I purchased, a personalized one-piece from PRIVATE PARTY.

 My personalize suit from PRIVATE PARTY was the perfect piece for this trip

To finish the look, I added a simple striped cover-up by Rails and my Vince black sandals.

The restaurant we went to for lunch was right next to the pool, so I just threw on my cover-up and was ready to dine.

SATURDAY POOL & Lunch OUTFIT: SWIMSUIT, COVER-UP, SLIDES

Saturday dinner was all about celebrating my dad, so I chose something glitzy to feel party-ready and excited for the event. 

 My sister-in-law and I before we headed out to dinner at Byblos

My sister-in-law and I before we headed out to dinner at Byblos

SATURDAY DINNER OUTFIT: aLICE & oLIVIA MINI DRESS FROM REVOLVE, POUR LA VICTOIRE PLATFORM HEELS, BLACK STATEMENT EARRINGS

Style Tip: Mix n' match old pieces with new. While my sequin dress was a 2018 purchase, these shoes have been a staple in my wardrobe for 7+ years.

SUNDAY

It was time to say goodbye to the weekend, but not without a delicious brunch from Stiltsville Fish Bar. 

For this look, I went super casual and comfortable because I knew we would be going from the restaurant straight to the airport. 

SUNDAY BRUNCH/PLANE OUTFIT: TOPSHOP WHITE JEAN SHORTS, GOLD HOOPS, RAILS STRIPED BUTTON DOWN, VINCE BLACK FLATS

Now I would love to know! What pieces do you love to pack for a weekend getaway? Leave me a comment below and tell me. I would love to hear from you!

 Leave us a comment and tell us your favorite things to pack for a weekend getaway!
 

1 Carry-On, 13 Days of Travel: Here's How I Did It

I like to pack light.

It makes sense for my travel style, because I hate lugging stuff around, and I also love the challenge of creating a tightly conceptualized wardrobe.

My belief is that you should always have fewer clothes in your closet, and use them to make more outfits. When I'm traveling, my suitcase is my closet on-the-go.

I recently took a 13-day trip to Europe for my honeymoon, and upon booking, I immediately decided I would take this opportunity to see exactly how much I could get out of and get into my CALPAK hard shell carry-on. 

Here's the approach I took when packing for this trip: 

1. Go with basics.

I'm a big fan of color, but I was worried I would get sick of color if I relied mostly on the usual brights I like to wear in spring. Instead, I choose black as the dominate color for the trip along with navy, taupe and white. While I craved color by the end of the trip, I was still completely satisfied what I had. 

 Bavaria, Germany: Wearing my basic black top, black boots and jeans to see Neuschwanstein Castle. To make the neutrals more exciting, I paired my favorite silver hoops and wide-brimmed black hat.

Bavaria, Germany: Wearing my basic black top, black boots and jeans to see Neuschwanstein Castle. To make the neutrals more exciting, I paired my favorite silver hoops and wide-brimmed black hat.

2. Comfort is key. 

The look of a garment or shoe has historically been way more important to me than the comfort of it, but for this trip, there was no getting around the fact that I needed to be comfortable. 

We were going to be walking around Amsterdam, Munich and Berlin all day, every day, so I needed shoes that would support me in my journey. 

I decided to go with my Texas staple, Tecovas cowboy boots. I also invested in a new pair of lace-up military-style boots from Kork Ease.  

3. Know the weather. Know thyself. 

I'm lumping these two points together, because dressing for the weather isn't just about what people typically wear at certain temperatures. It's about knowing how you like to dress in any given weather. 

When I first started packing for this trip, I saw the average temperatures for Amsterdam, Munich and Berlin would all be around 55 degrees. I pulled out my Blank NYC suede moto jacket as the one-and-only honeymoon jacket.

Last minute I decided to swap this jacket for my full length cashmere, and boy am I glad I did! While the moto would have worked for some people, I'm a true Texan -- I get very cold very easily. 

Make sure to be honest with yourself about what you'll need to feel comfortable on vacation. While another person would've been fine in the moto jacket, my intuition told me to go with something heavier. Always trust your intuition.

4. Accessorize like it's nobody's business. 

If you're a client of mine or you frequently read this blog, you've probably heard me say that you must wear accessories with every outfit -- they're the icing on the cake and the way for everyone around you (personally and professionally) to understand you are detail-oriented and thoughtful. 

To keep my neutrals fresh on every day of the trip, I relied more on accessories than ever before! I packed A LOT of them, perhaps a few too many, but they lived up to their job. Each accessory I wore gave me a creative and bright pop to an otherwise simple, neutral canvas. 

 A snapshot of the jewelry I packed for the trip. I included my wedding jewelry (bottom right) in the bunch for when I wanted a romantic touch to my look

A snapshot of the jewelry I packed for the trip. I included my wedding jewelry (bottom right) in the bunch for when I wanted a romantic touch to my look

 Another handful of pieces I decided to take to Amsterdam, Munich and Berlin plus the gold hoops (top left) I purchased in Berlin

Another handful of pieces I decided to take to Amsterdam, Munich and Berlin plus the gold hoops (top left) I purchased in Berlin

Taking the ideas above into account, here's what I packed for my 13-day trip:

1. BOTTOMS

  • blue jeans, black jeans, black pencil skirt, Athleta Restore Jogger pant, 3 pairs of work out pants

2. Tops

  • black v-neck dolman top, black turtleneck, taupe sweater, blush sweater, blue & white striped Rails shirt, 3 work out t-shirts

 Munich, Germany: my Rails blue & white shirt paired with my wedding jewelry

Munich, Germany: my Rails blue & white shirt paired with my wedding jewelry

3. Accessories

  • black wide-brim hat, green beret, black knit scarf, black tights, black gloves, bathing suit, 3 sports bras, undergarments, handkerchief cotton scarf

  • lots of jewelry -- see above for a snippet of what I brought

4. Shoes

  • Tecovas cowboy boots, Kork Ease lace-up military-style boots, sneakers (for working out only)

And with all that in tow, I headed out to Europe for two weeks! Like any experiment, there are things that worked perfecting and others that didn't.

 Day 1 in Amsterdam - All ready for cold weather

Day 1 in Amsterdam - All ready for cold weather

Here's what I learned from what I packed: 

1. Be realistic about what you will or won't do.  

I was tight with what I packed, but there were still a couple things I didn't end up needing:

  • a bathing suit: I love to swim, but honestly, taking a swim at the hotel after eating brats and sauerkraut was not the most appealing activity. It didn't happen.

  • tights: I ended up not using these, because while I could shed other layers if I got hot, tights would have to stay on all day. I was worried I would get uncomfortable, thus they stayed in the CALPAK carry-on.

2. Accessories are essential, but know your limits.

While every outfit needs accessories, I was sick of switching out accessories by the end of the trip just for the sake of switching. My favorite earrings are my big hoops, and I ended up wearing these 3 days in a row towards the end. I packed 7 pairs of earrings, and for future trips, I'm sticking to 3. 

3. I still had too much stuff! 

I know it sounds insane, but I really could have used only one pair of black pants (I packed black jeans and the Athleta Restore Jogger pants). Since they're both black, they essentially did the same job.

 Amsterdam, Netherlands: One of the days I wore my black pair of pants. Upon looking back, I think I could have only packed one and would've been just fine on the trip.

Amsterdam, Netherlands: One of the days I wore my black pair of pants. Upon looking back, I think I could have only packed one and would've been just fine on the trip.

 Amsterdam, Netherlands: Saying goodbye to Amsterdam and heading for Munich in my black pencil skirt and a top I picked up at a vintage shop in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Saying goodbye to Amsterdam and heading for Munich in my black pencil skirt and a top I picked up at a vintage shop in Amsterdam

Want to pack the perfect carry-on for your next trip? I can help with that! Simply book a call with me, so I can get to know you and your style better. From there, we'll set up a 90-minute session dedicated to building a suitcase filled with pieces you'll love to wear on your next trip. 

  

How to Pack for Thanksgiving Weekend

It's that time of year again... the holidays are officially upon us! Are you (and your stomach!) ready for Thanksgiving? 

Packing for the long holiday weekend can be daunting, but we've got you covered. All of the elements on our list will fit perfectly in your carry-on bag, so you can worry about what's important on Thanksgiving like what you're eating, and not what you're wearing. :)

The Elements: 

Jeans

Jeans are ideal for all climates and lend themselves well to the fun, laid-back holiday that Thanksgiving is. Make sure yours have at least a little bit of stretch to accommodate your Turkey Day meal. :)

Lightweight Sweater

Choose a sweater in an unexpected neutral (blush and slate gray are fantastic!) that will work double-time for your suitcase, serving as the base for your outfits with jeans. 

Vests

Vests are perfect for adding another layer of warmth into the mix on those colder days. Choose a heavier vest for your travel day to layer over your lightweight sweater: it's a great way to stay just warm enough in the airport and en route to your destination without adding the bulk of a heavy coat.

Relaxed Dress

A fun, festive dress is a great way to express your own personal style on Thanksgiving. You'll be just dressed up enough, yet casual and comfortable enough to really kick back and enjoy the holiday with your loved ones.

Overcoat

An overcoat in a bright color or unexpected pattern lets you show off your personal style, even when the temperatures dip below freezing. Going the vintage route is a failsafe way to snag a real gem that expresses your style.

Bright Scarf and Gloves

Accessories are often overlooked, but are *the* best way to both punch up an otherwise neutral look and serve as a practical (and packable!) way to create some variance in your look. Adding a bright pop of color in a scarf or earmuffs is the perfect finish to your holiday look.

Versatile Boots

One great pair of comfortable boots is all you'll need for the long weekend! They work seamlessly with all of the outfits you can put together with all of the pieces above: no need to pack multiple pairs of shoes that will take up valuable real estate in your suitcase!

Source: https://youtu.be/jp30WssJ6C4

How to Pack for This Weekend

If you're visiting the relatives (or anyone, for that matter) over the holidays, this one's for you. If you're not traveling for the holidays, welp, don't worry: there's plenty here for you too.

Planning out exactly what you'll wear over the holiday weekend means there's one less thing to worry about. And travel or not, we all need that. 

So here it is. Signed, sealed, delivered for you to recreate from the contents of your own closet. 

Keep it simple. Don't overwork it. 

What's on the style agenda: 

Day 1:
JEANS-SWEATER-BOOTIES

Day 2:
Day -- LEGGINGS-SWEATER-BOOTIES-TUNIC TOP
Night--LBD-SWEATER-NECKLACE-BOOTIES
 

Day 3:
JEANS-SWEATER-BOOTIES

And here are the steps to make sure everything works...

Step #1
Choose your jeans wisely.

I chose my Madewell flare jeans for this trip, because they're comfortable, easy to wear with boots and thick enough that I know I'll be warm.

In addition to blue jeans, add a pair of leggings to your carry-on. Packing the perfect suitcase is about finding the sweet spot between having too much and too little. Leggings will ensure you have a back up if you want to switch things up. 

STEP #2
Pull your favorite Classic sweaters.

One of the biggest issues you encounter when packing is that you pull what you don't love. You get on vacation, open your bag and go "why did I bring that?!" Listen to your intuition. Go with what you know you'll wear and what you love to wear. Especially with a short trip, your choices will be limited.

So be cutthroat.

Both sweaters should versatile; easy to dress up or dress down. Each should be in good condition, up-to-date and versatile. 

Note: No sweatshirts allowed!  

 My V-Neck Sweater by Leith

My V-Neck Sweater by Leith

 My Crew Neck Sweater by Top Shop

My Crew Neck Sweater by Top Shop

STEP #3
DON'T FORGET YOUR Accessories!

I've said it a billion times, and yes, I'm saying it again...no outfit is complete without accessories! Even if you're spending the holidays at your great aunt's house, your running-around-her-town outfit must include accessories.

For a crew neck sweater, go with a bib-necklace or beaded necklace, which accentuates the shape of the collar. A v-neck is great with a long or short pendant necklace to highlight the slimming silhouette of the v-neck. 

I highly recommend packing two necklaces, so you can mix and match your accessories with different outfits. Multiple accessories will ensure you don't get bored with your look. 

In addition, add stud earrings for every daytime outing and a pair of statement earrings for night. 

 A pop of color necklace for my crew neck sweater! 

A pop of color necklace for my crew neck sweater! 

 The soft hues of my pendant necklace and v-neck sweater balance each other well.

The soft hues of my pendant necklace and v-neck sweater balance each other well.

STEP #4
Wait! YOU'll need more ACCESSORIES!

Don't forget your scarves. I'm packing two, so I can choose a scarf depending on my mood. The colorful one is for my playful moods, the gray is for my serious moods. And yes, you will have many moods when hanging with family. Style is all about creativity, so don't be afraid to mix and match your scarves with both sweaters. It's eclectic, fun and gives each outfit a fresh feel. 

If you're going somewhere reeeeeally cold, pick gloves and a hat to match each scarf.

Fold them into your suitcase messy or clean. Most heavy scarves will remain wrinkle-free, so you'll be set to throw them on when you land.

STEP #5
ADD A HOLIDAY DRESS in the mix.

You'll probably have a dressy dinner one or two nights this weekend. Bring your little black dress for this occasion. If you're going out to dinner, rather than staying in, throw your crew neck sweater on top. Both necklaces will work for the crew neck sweater, so put on a different necklace at night than the one you had on all day. Add your statement earrings, and the outfit is done! 

 The Little Black Dinner Dress

The Little Black Dinner Dress

 Pair it with Statement Earrings, a Pendant Necklace, and Your Cowl Neck Sweater. 

Pair it with Statement Earrings, a Pendant Necklace, and Your Cowl Neck Sweater. 

STEP #6
DON'T FORGET THE EXTRAS! 

  • Bring two easy to throw on tees or casual blouses for under your sweaters. Make sure they're presentable. In other words, if you get hot and take off your sweater, you shouldn't be embarrassed wearing them. 
     
  • Bring one tunic top (aka a long top that covers your derrière) to go over leggings.
     
  • Add your winter coat to the mix to keep you warm all weekend.
     
  • Bring one pair of booties. You can mix black and brown, so if you feel up to a living outside the box, pair brown! 
     
  • Traveling for more than a few days? Double up on everything.
     
  • Got questions? Schedule a chat with Raquel to get personalized tips on how to pack for your trip. 
 My brown booties, tunic top, and leggings rolled for easy traveling! 

My brown booties, tunic top, and leggings rolled for easy traveling! 

Happy Holidays!