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travel challenge

If you follow House of Earnest on Instagram, you’ve seen a fair amount of outfits that I share, but I don’t share fashion on the blog because, well, I’m not quite sure why.

I worked in the fashion industry for seven years and spend about as much time making accessory and clothing DIYs as I do home DIYs.  I honestly thought that you guys wouldn’t want to see that part of my life and that by sharing the fashion choices and projects, it would somehow ‘muddy up’ the site I’ve strived to build over the last 3 years.

While I’m not going to go whole hog here and start sharing red carpet events or fashion week news (because, honestly, I don’t care about either of those things), I am going to start showcasing some of the daily choices and thoughts that I encounter when it comes to my wardrobe here at House of Earnest. So, all of that being said, I’m starting today with a REALLY FUN challenge for myself as a way to showcase my resourceful outfit creations and give you guys some major thinking points when it comes to packing for travel. It will also include a fun spin on a previous home decor DIY that I’ve turned into a fashion accessory. Are you excited yet?

Here is the jist of the ‘challenge:  I am packing for a full week abroad in Hong Kong entirely in a carry-on suitcase (21″ roller to be exact).  What you see above is all I’m taking on an 8 day trip.  As soon as you start to think, “eight outfits could totally fit in there”, here comes the fun part.  I’m packing daytime outfits, separate evening outfits, a couple of lounge/vacation outfits, and my workout clothes, toiletries, shoes, all of it.  There will be 18 total outfits. And you guys will see each one.  I’ll share every single outfit on Instagram during the week using #HofETravelChallenge .  You’ll be able to hop on, click on the hashtag and see the entire lot of outfits, what I’m wearing that day, and what I’ve styled different with the same pieces day to day.

wardrobe travel essentials

I’m going to Hong Kong to work on Grandiflora’s Fall line as well as to meet with a couple of other clients for my developing retail manufacturing consulting business. I will have casual workdays, fancy dinners, a dressy dim sum brunch, some sightseeing, dancing, and drinks.  All types of events and all types of outfits.

My secrets to efficient packing are simple:

  • Stick with one color scheme; in this case black/white/army green are constants while other pops of color will be accents.
  • Use animal prints as a versatile neutral.
  • Depend on lightweight, breezy pieces that take up minimal space.
  • “Nest” your accessories.  Jewelry goes inside a small clutch, small clutch inside of another clutch inside of another handbag.
  • Roll up belts and other accessories inside of your shoes.
  • Use shoe bags!  This allows you to shove shoes in the holes around your clothes without them getting everything dirty.
  • Wear your bulkier items.  I wear my jackets or sweaters onto the plane which doubles as a blanket if you’re cold on the flight!
  • Plan two outfits for each piece you bring.  If you have a piece that is only worn once, it better be a statement piece.

To add just another layer (and a rule!) to my challenge, the absolute max I can wear any once piece is three times. That goes for jeans too.  The only things I’m considering exempt from the three wear rule are shoes.

So, every single thing I packed fits into the small roller above.  I haven’t even used my expander (room for shopping!).

Are you going to follow along? Are you ok with me sharing the fashion parts of my life as well as the homey parts?  Follow on Instagram to keep up with the action!

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Latest comments
  • I love this and will definitely be following along! I’ll be in Paris for 11 days in October so hopefully I can borrow some tips!

  • I think this is great! Would love to see your fashion choices as well as your home and party choices!

  • Love this post! I traveled around the world for 2 months, and could only have one carry on that weighted 15 pounds. It was the most difficult traveling I’ve ever done, but it was so worth it not to pack any bags! Have an awesome trip.

  • Woohoo! I’m all about this post! Your instagram yesterday made me think I NEED a black maxi before we head out next week… I just might have to get on it! If you feel like extending your trip and heading to Hanoi on May 2, just lemme know 🙂

  • The color-coding is my travel secret too – if it doesn’t coordinate with my base color for the trip, it can’t get packed! That way if you’re in a pinch you can rearrange outfits as needed. Enjoy your trip! Bon Voyage!

  • Here in Hong Kong it is starting to get pretty hot and humid so bear that in mind when picking your outfits! But you will also need something to cover up in cold air conditioned buildings too!

  • Erin we needed this challenge for our DC trip in eighth grade!! Have a great week!

  • This looks great !! I use the same trick of keeping a constant basic colour theme, mine is always black and white ! And then throwing in layering pieces … i always end up having trouble with accessories though and taking my whole jewellery assortment !!!

    Seems like you have got it down !!

    Victoria @ Alf & Emilio

  • What a genius blog series idea! I’m loving that you decided to incorporate your fashion tips into your blog 🙂

  • Fab challenge. Am now all signed up to follow you on Instagram. But please, oh-please, could you tell me where those jeans are from???

  • This. is. awesome! I am so excited to see what you have come up with! And totes okay with you sharing fashion, thanks for asking 🙂

  • I’ve followed your blog for quite some time because I love your style. Not sure why I didn’t think to check your insta! New follower on there and I can’t wait to see some of your clothing style posts. Exciting!

  • This. is. awesome! I am so excited to see what you have come up with! 🙂

  • Hi, i always end up having trouble with accessories though and taking my whole jewellery assortment