How to pack for an NYC summer #blogher2012

How to pack for a New York summer

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to 40 Comments

Now, this post SHOULD be short and sweet, according to all the advice that I was given prior to packing for my trip to New York tomorrow.

It should read something along the lines of this:

Step 1: Find biggest suitcase in house.

Step 2: Just add change of undies plus essential toiletries.

Step 3: Shop on arrival.

But. Here’s the thing.

Unlike my blogging sisters who are either in transit or on the ground soaking up every possible shopping opportunity (Mrs Woog and BabyMac, I’m looking at you …), I will be arriving the night BEFORE BlogHer starts.

Granted, I will not be returning for some time after the conference ends, when the shops will very much become my playground, but in the meantime, I need to look like someone who purports to call themselves a style blogger.

But ahead of my shopping fun, I need to arrive with four days of outfits ready to go.

So, I did what I do very well. I made a list.

How to pack for an NYC summer #blogher2012

A list of what was on the schedule for each day – including parties night-time networking.

I worked back from that list, creating outfits that would suit both the summer weather I’ll be flying into, the occasion AND the fact that I am known to freeze in air-conditioned conference venue situations.

Some of my favourite Australian designers also came to my packing party*, sending me some sneak previews of what they’ve got in store for spring for me to feel very special in.

And I can tell you, there’s a whole lot of colour involved. The contents of my suitcase are not for the neutrally pre-dispositioned, no siree.

You will not be able to miss me in the corridors of the Hilton New York. Well … maybe you will because there will be approximately 4000 or so other female bloggers probably flaunting their summer colours too.

How to pack for a New York summer holiday

What I’ve packed

1. Lightweight frocks.  In summer, I’m very much a frock girl – and I’ve packed maxis and short frocks in summer fabrics for this trip. They fold up to next to nothing, require no ironing and will form the basis of my party and hot summer casual travel wardrobe.

2. Tops. While at the conference I’ll be teaming tops with jeans or a skirt and a knit or a jacket (see above re my cold fish in aircon status). I have this top earmarked to wear to the Sparklecorn party because apparently it’s mandatory to sparkle. I’m down with that. I’m also packing extra tops because as soon as I can get to the shops, I’ll be buying up some NYDJ shorts for all the walking I plan to do around the city. Much as I love dresses, I do not love the chafing that can occur thanks to my not-so-stylish combo of sweat, summer and generous thighs.

3. Lightweight jackets. Jacket for me are a bit of a conference uniform. They dress up a jeans and tee outfit as well as provide just the right amount of warmth. I’ve packed the Seed jacket from this post and I also whipped out to Sussan on Saturday for the floral blazer featured in the new catalogue (it’s not online otherwise I’d link to it). It’s 3/4 sleeves, lightweight and fun. It “spoke” to me and said, please take me with you to New York.

4. Jeans. I’m only packing two pairs – one I’m wearing on the plane and another as back-up for at the conference. I suspect it will be far too hot for long pants once I’m out of the airconditioning.

5. Statement accessories. Ahh, you didn’t think I’d go minimal here, did you? For starters, the lovely Renee Blackwell Designs is my jewellery sponsor for the conference and she’s sent me off with some gorgeous pieces from her collection (some pictured below). You can see some above but look out for them in my New York outfit posts. I’m particularly fond of the “Madonna Nipple Ring” (Renee’s description, not mine!). To work back with the jewellery I’ve packed a few lightweight scarves and few pieces from Ruby Olive and Sancerre.

Renee Blackwell Design

6. Flat or almost-flat shoes. Count the shoes above. Yes, this is NOT an illusion. I’m actually only taking four pairs of shoes. Now, I know that for many of you this is still excessive, but for me it’s a miracle … and I’m not saying that I might still sneak another pair in 😉 I’ve been semi-sensible too: just packing flats or low-heels. Which leaves the (suit)case wide open for some highly impractical shoe purchasing post-conference.

7. Makeup/toiletries: I’ve got my plane stash sorted. In my luggage you’ll also find the bits and pieces I like to carry with me. At all times. Everything from sunscreen through to makeup to create a smokey eye for those night-time parties. I’ve minimised where I can but I’m sure my roomie will still very much laugh at how much I’ve stashed.

…. and what does that all add up to in suitcase space? Half of my big Samsonite, thank-you very much!

There is a huge advantage to travelling somewhere where it’s summer … your “stuff” doesn’t take up so much room. Well, that’s my packing story and I’m sticking to it.

What’s your travel packing secret? Are you laughing at my version of  “light” packing?

* I’m incredibly grateful and honoured to be taking with me some amazing fashion pieces gifted to me from some of my favourite Australian designers. While I’m away I’ll be featuring those pieces in Model and Me and Keeping It Real outfit posts. Special mention to Renee Blackwell Designs, Verily, Feathers, Bella Lido, Sancerre, Zoe Kratzmann and Ruby Olive


I’m attending BlogHer ’12 in New York City thanks to my favourite toothpaste

Sensodyne is sending me to BlogHer '12

Comments 40

  1. Oh I love this!

    I do love packing for a trip, so this does my traveller’s heart the world of good.

    Wish there was room in there for me!

  2. great packing tips! i find it really hard to pack for summer in a big city..i always imagine summer holidays by the beach where you dont have to pack much at all..this is a lot trickier!

  3. I love it when things “speak to me”. Means those babies are coming home!

    I always pack something for all possible occasions. A light coat/jacket, jeans, tops, summer pants. I don’t wear dresses so that helps, and I try and cut down on shoes. A pair of sandals and a pair of flats that you can wear with everything, plus something to traipse around in.

  4. I’m getting a little excited just at the sight of your packing!!! Looking forward to seeing your outfits out and about in the US! Have fun….x

  5. Walking around New York a week ago I experienced all kinds of weather…The first couple of days were stinking hot, Queensland style, followed by a massive electrical storm – so cool hearing the thunder echo around the skyscrapers – and the next days were cooler and rainy. One day I was actually quite chilly, wearing a short ponte skirt and linen 3/4 sleeve top and wished I’d popped my pashmina in my handbag. So an umbrella was essential – and pop in a scarf of pashmina when you head out for the morning.
    Also 3B action cream is a miracle worker and allows you to wear anything you like with no chaffing. Can’t live a summer without now.

  6. You havent over packed at all…I took 4 pairs of shoes on a long weekend away!! but that included flats for day and heels for night. Loving all the colours cannot wait to see the outfits! Hope you have a ball Nikki!!

  7. Nikki I love looking at your clothes – they are the complete antithesis to a Melburnian’s wardrobe of blacks and greys and it’s just so refreshing. Looking forward to hearing about NY.

  8. No I think you have done very well,packing wise,I am an over packer as I like to have “choices”I know I usually wear what I’ve chosen BUT these Nina type thoughts go through my head ,”what if it’s too hot”,”what if it’s too cold” etc etc,you know how it is,Love your choices and you can always dress up a maxi with jewellery and a cardi or different shoes.Your lucky you can wear shorts ,my shorts days are very long over i don’t like the scars on my leg,so usually stick to dresses and I know your going to look good,you always do,and the no iron rule is a must ,I don’t like ironing,I prefer uncrushable fabrics too.Your roomie won’t Laugh,she is lovely ,that Sarah from abeachcottage,you will have a ball together
    I hope you have a fantastic ,amazeballs time and buy some lovely things for us to drool over ,Can’t wait for you daily wardrobe posts,Loved the fashion weeks ones and hope you take some videos for us to watch,I am so excited for you !!

  9. Four pairs of flat (ish) shoes- well done! Keeping the shoe numbers down is always my big issue. I’ve learnt the hard way how much weight the shoes add to your luggage, and how much I want to walk around and see as much as possible when I’m travelling. Stylish but practical is my mantra. I’m with you on the freezing aircon, too but when it’s hot there’s nothing better of an evening than a dress and sandals with a bit of statement jewellery or a light scarf. Love your plans, these ensure the practicalities are covered and you can be frivolous with any shopping!

  10. I read this with interest Nikki, as I’ve just returned from a very hot Italy, and had great fun comparing your lovely suitcase load with my measly cabin bag only lot. I usually pack too many shoes but this time I was very good, only packing two pairs – a pair of Ballerinas and my Teva walking shoes. Have a brilliant time, I know you will! Vix x

  11. I am a bit like you Nikki, I Usually don’t have that much time before an EVENT and like to hit the deck running. Plus I like to be comfortable in my clothes and don’t want the stress of having to source an outfit for something special, in a foreign place, where I don’t know their sizing or shops/brands all that well. I would rather spend my time connecting, socializing, or sightseeing! Plus I just don’t have the hot body where anything off the rack will look good on me- it takes me time to find and decide! I always pack at least 4 outfits, which gets you through the start and then if you can’t find something new to buy gives you time to get them laundered (ps take a wee bit of your own washing powder/liquid too).

  12. Hi Nikki, no, i’m not laughing at your packing – it does look light! Very sensible re. the shoes. I also write a list in my head as I pack – Trinny taught me! (and I’m not ashamed to say her packing for a long weekend spread is my favourite out of all their books! Makes me want to plan my next break every time I look at it!) Have a fabulous time Nikki!! xx

  13. Sounds like you have done well in the packing, I’m excited for you & look forward to reading your posts when you get there! Have a great flight 🙂

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