Terra McBride

:Love Your Travel Wardrobe:

Terra McBride
:Love Your Travel Wardrobe:

How to Pack So Your Clothes
Do The Work For You


When I went to Nashville in early April, it was for work. My company’s annual meeting was that week and it’s my team’s responsibility to put on a world-class event. I have to pack professional clothes for at least three days. But we always have a little bit of time to do what we want, so some casual attire is a must. It’s a unique packing challenge to fit all of that stuff in a carry-on (I refuse to check a bag now that I’ve experienced that carry-on life) but I’ve done it for three years now and I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it.*

I was not planning on doing a blog shoot while I was in Nashville. But Nick and I met, we liked each other’s style and we had some time. So a shoot was born just before I flew back home.

Not gonna lie, you guys. I was intimidated about putting together outfits for a shoot. Usually I have my whole closet to build something. This time I had to cobble together two unique outfits from my suitcase. With a new photographer (who is, quite frankly, exceptionally good at his craft) no less. It was probably the most unnerving thing I experienced all week!

But this is where my pre-trip planning came in really handy. When I think about what to pack for an extended trip, I try to build multiple ensembles with individual pieces and/or stay within a color palette to allow for easy mixing and matching. So for example, this lace turtleneck was layered under a black slip dress and cropped black blazer for one of my pre-conference days. Check it out below. It looked way more conservative layered up that way. But because everything I brought was in a certain color family, it didn’t take much to build a completely different outfit around this top.


I cheat just a little. The bulk of what I pack is neutral (black, white, cream, grey). But not everything! I brought this colorful skirt and this (AMAZING) dress. Both of those pieces injected just enough vibrance into the otherwise simple collection.

The key to feeling covered with your selections is to map everything you plan to wear before you pack. The first thing I do is write a list of the things I want to bring and the days/events for which I plan to wear them. Then I lay everything out on the bed and make sure I’m digging it all when I see it in front of me. These two extra steps take the stress and guess work out of packing. I have felt completely prepared when I travel after implementing this process.

I’m always looking for ways to be a more sophisticated traveler.
So, tell me… do you have any packing hacks that help ensure a smooth trip?
Share your tips in the comments below!


Lace turtleneck Free People | Pants MOTHER | Bag Cult Gaia | Blazer AYR |
Shoes Stuart Weitzman | Earrings Uncommon James (UJ is based in Nashville! I visited the store and I am officially OBSESSED. Bought six pieces. The price point is really good.) | Sunglasses Quay | Suitcase Away

Photos | Nick Brier

*I have talked about putting together a How-To for packing a week’s worth of clothes in a carry-on.
I’ll make that a priority!

Big thanks to Independent Fashion Bloggers for featuring this post in their weekly round up!