Packing For Valentine's In NYC

I'm going to New York to visit my boyfriend for 7 days, and I am trying to figure out what I should pack.

The first thing I do when packing to go somewhere is figure out what the weather is projected to be.  For my trip the temperature should be high 30s, low 40s and sunny.  

The next thing I do is figure out any specific and general plans.  For my trip I will arrive in upstate NY on the evening of the 13th.  My boyfriend has class until 9pm on the 14th (Valentine's) so we're just planning to go see a late movie.  On the 15th we thought we could go out to a local bar with some of his friends.  For the 16th we are going into the city to celebrate a friend's Birthday.  We will be going out to a nice dinner and a bar/club afterwards.  We have no specific plans for the 17th and 18th, but we will likely enjoy a meal at one of our favorite noodle restaurants and I anticipate we will be doing quite a bit of walking.  I am leaving on the afternoon of the 19th.

Now the fun part: PICKING OUTFITS!!!

The key to packing light is to utilize different pieces of each outfit to create different outfits.  Accessories play such a big role in packing light.

I like to start with a few pairs of shoes and go from there.  When traveling I try to wear the heaviest shoes as part of my traveling outfit.  So, I am going to be wearing a pair of Brown Knee High Boots onto the plane.  I also want to take a dressy pair of shoes, so I will be taking a pair of Black Pumps since they will be easy to pair.  I'm lastly going to take a pair of casual shoes to do some walking (these will be determined later).

Next, I start picking out some outfits to match the shoes I have chosen.  I first choose my Pajamas, since they are likely to be very light.  I then pick an outfit or two to lounge in, I'm going with a Purple Velour Track Suit (Leggings and a Long Sweater/Sweatshirt are also a good choice).  Oh, and I always take a Swimsuit no matter where I'm going (it takes up virtually no room).  I now use my rough list of plans to pick outfits for each day.

13th (Travel) - To Be Determined
14th (Movie) - Black Leggings, Pink Shirt, Black Sweater Vest & Black Flats (my 3rd shoe choice).
15th (Bar With Friends) - Yellow Sweater, Dark Skinny Jeans & Boots.
16th (Travel To City) - To Be Determined
         (Birthday Party) - Tan Dress, Black Cardigan & Pumps.
17th (?) - To Be Determined
18th (?) - To Be Determined
19th (Travel) - To Be Determined

This is now the step where mixing and matching pieces comes in handy.  I try to mix parts of outfits I've already determined with a few new items.  Since my boyfriend and I will most likely celebrate Valentine's (and our Anniversary) on one of our free days, I am going to plan another dressy outfit.  I will also take something casual enough to walk around in.  I also want to choose my travel outfit at this point (I usually wear comfortable and casual outfits when traveling).

13th, 16th & 19th (Travel) - Black Leggings (again), Black Tank Top, Red Sweatshirt & Boots. OR Purple Velour Track Suit (from lounge outfit).
17th & 18th - Dressy Outfit: Black Lace Bodysuit, Black Pencil Skirt & Pumps. Casual Outfit: Tan Dress (again, but as a top), Black Cardigan (again), Light Blue Jeans & Black Flats.

Next, I try all of the outfits on and choose the appropriate undergarments, jewelry & accessories (purses, scarfs, hats, tights all that good stuff).  At this point I take a picture to make sure everything looks just right.  The picture also helps me remember exactly what the outfits look like when I want to recreate them.

Lastly, I choose an appropriate coat.  For me this is the hardest part because the coat needs to be versatile.  Dressy enough for nice dinners and able to pair well with more casual outfits.  I have a Tan Wool Trench that fits this description nicely.  In total, I am able to make 2 dressy outfits, 3 casual outfits, 1 lounge outfit and 1 travel outfit (in truth I can keep playing around with the combinations and come up with more outfits if I need).

When packing my suitcase I fold each outfit together with underwear in between and put each outfit into the suitcase starting from the last day (my Pajamas and movie outfit will be on top).  This prevents me from digging through my suitcase excessively and messing up the neat pile I've created.

Additionally, I'm going to pack all of my personal items that will not be provided for me in NY.  Toothbrush, contact case, sunglasses, flat iron, hair accessories, face washes & lotions, perfumes (etc.) and of course my MAKEUP!  I have many travel sized items and bottles to pour some liquids in.

As crazy as it may sound, I'm usually able to fit all of these things into a carry-on bag.  I find that a little planning upfront goes a long way to keeping me organized and to help me spend my time having fun rather than worrying about what I should wear from a pile of random clothes.  I'll try and take a picture of each outfit while in NY!


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