Packing Light: Thanksgiving Weekend

Wellesley & King | Holiday weekends are stressful enough, without the added stress of packing. This no-fail list will give you plenty of options for mixing and matching AND keeping you looking stylish. Click to see how!
Like many of you, I will be traveling this holiday weekend which can mean the added stress of packing. With so much to think about and remember, planning thoughtful outfits can be the last thing on your mind. It’s much easier to throw everything but the kitchen sink into a bag, zip it up, and be on your way. But, let’s be honest, no one wants to lug that heavy bag up the stairs, and you’re definitely not going to want to unpack it after the long weekend. That said, I’ve put together a list that will easily get you through five days, and it won’t weigh anywhere near your kitchen sink.


  1. An embellished t-shirt or blouse
    An embellished tee is perfect for dressing up jeans or wearing with a skirt for meeting friends, church, or catching an afternoon movie (so many good ones coming out this time of year!).
    *Bonus: the neckline embellishments double as a necklace so no need to pack extra jewelry.
  2. A versatile blazer
    Blazers are my favorite layering piece because they not only add warmth but make an otherwise casual outfit look dressy. Great with that embellished top or with a casual knit for Thanksgiving dinner.
  3. A soft knit tee
    A cotton knit works for layering under a sweatshirt, is comfortable enough for travel, and easily pairs with a skirt or jeans for family visiting.
  4. A cozy sweater or sweatshirt
    Depending on where you’re staying, in a hotel or with relatives, you might want a sweatshirt for lounging around. And come travel time, you’ll definitely want something comfortable to wear for a long car ride or flight.
  5. A pair of dark wash jeans
    I specifically say dark wash jeans because they look the most dressy. When packing light, versatility is key and a pair of dark wash jeans will be great for a dressed-up dinner or a long day of black Friday shopping.
  6. A dressy-casual skirt
    These weekends usually include reunions with old friends, maybe over a nice dinner or drink. They might also include church services or an afternoon at the movies. For those situations, a skirt that is equal parts casual and dressy is a versatile option.
  7. Shoes for dress, comfort and in-between
    Shoes are the punctuation on your outfit. They’ll determine whether you’re going for dressy, casual or somewhere in between. I suggest taking three pairs to ensure you are equipped for any situation.
  8. A pair of pajamas
    Pajamas or loungewear that you can wear during morning coffee or to curl up on the couch at the end of a long day will be much appreciated.
  9. A sleep mask
    Sleeping somewhere other than your own home can be difficult. A sleep mask helps me to get better rest, and that’s always a good thing.
  10. Warm slippers
    When I’m traveling, especially if staying in a hotel, I always pack a pair of slippers. I throw them on as soon as I wake up and wear them as I’m getting ready. Plus, they’re just so darn cozy.
  11. A large duffel bag
    Obviously you’re going to need something to put all of this smart packing into. Find  a duffel bag that is lightweight but large, and definitely opt for one with a comfortable shoulder strap.

To illustrate some combinations you can create with these pieces, I’ve put together the below sample–which takes you from Thanksgiving Eve through the weekend. It really doesn’t take a ton of clothes to create many different looks!

Wellesley & King | Holiday weekends are stressful enough, without the added stress of packing. This no-fail list will give you plenty of options for mixing and matching AND keeping you looking stylish. Click to see how!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope this post was helpful to some of you! If it was, please leave your comments below!

About the Author

Lauren is a Pittsburgh-based lifestyle blogger. She is also an entrepreneur, wife, and mother. Like many modern women, she aims to balance her busy career and personal life in style. Let's do this, together. Wellesley & King Is devoted to providing inspiration to other modern women looking to bring style to all areas of their lives, in a way that is affordable and suits their busy schedules!


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  1. 11.23.15

    These are great tips! I love packing light for a weekend trip, because I know Im going to go shopping and bring more stuff home lol

    • 11.23.15
      Lauren said:

      That’s definitely a plus! :) Thanks for reading Shamira!

  2. 11.23.15
    Lisa said:

    This was a really great post – love how much thought you put into it! It’ll help when I start packing this week.

    • 11.23.15
      Lauren said:

      Thanks, Lisa! I hope it helps and thanks for reading!