Packing tips for business trips

For the past few weeks, I’ve been shuttling between NY/NJ for work. Travel is lonely and draining, but at least I can now pack in my sleep. I started out with a little roller suitcase, but as time went on, packing became progressively more minimalistic. Young me used to bring pretty dresses, cute handbags, and even hair appliances in anticipation of living it up in the city after work…now, my “extras” consist of one oversized sleep shirt for hotel hibernation. I’ve gotten it down to one tote bag, clunky laptop contained.

My trusty Longchamp Planetes Tonal tote (5-star user reviews!)


Outfits for 3 days (clockwise, from upper right): Target blouse, J.Crew necklace, AT blouse, Sparkling Sage necklace, H&M; blouse, pearl necklace, AT lace skirt, AT knit skirt, BR suiting skirt (all newly slimmed for super cheap in Asia…woohoo), Theory basic blazer.

I bring necklaces to add interest to otherwise plain outfits, but the downside is that most of my jewelry is so heavy! This is not good for lightweight packing and especially not for the neck, I’m sure. Going forward, I resolve to avoid buying heavy costume jewelry (unless it’s just too cute – those will have to be reserved for short-duration wear).
Some packing tips:
– Choose polyester blouses that are lightweight with good drape, and don’t wrinkle easily.
– Choose stretchy knit skirts that are comfortable for travel and don’t wrinkle easily
– Roll clothes up tightly to avoid wrinkles (you get the theme) and to save space. I especially like doing this because I’m a bad folder.
– Wear your heaviest and/or least packing-friendly pieces when traveling (unless you have a long trip). I usually travel in a black suit, and recycle the blazer for outfits throughout the week.
– Coordinate your outfits around one pair of shoes, since heels take up lots of space. I always pack my Ann Taylor perfect pumps, and travel in TB Reva flats.

Ta da! 3-4 days in a tote bag.

Not shown: I usually fold up a Longchamp Le Pliage tote (Nordies has 10+ colors) and toss it inside my main bag, just in case I have to carry documents home. When I “splurged” on my first Longchamp in 2008, I worried about the thin straps tearing and the bottom corners fraying into holes. After four years of almost daily use/abuse, I can attest that they are actually very functional and sturdy. My Le Pliage corners have started to fray, but the Planetes Tonal (thicker, sturider, yet still lightweight and pliable) corners show very minimal wear. I clean mine inside & out simply with an antibacterial wipe, and can’t imagine traveling without one. See my vintage post on the different-sized Longchamps against a petite frame.

Readers – What are your tips / habits for packing for business trips?

144 thoughts on “Packing tips for business trips

  • Well Heeled Blog February 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I've been thinking about getting a Longchamp – thanks for the review & for showing me how much it fits! LOL. Right now my bag for anything less than 4 days is the Linea Pelle Dylan Weekender, but I think the Longchamp would be lighter.

  • Jessica Cai February 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Great post!

    I've had my Longchamp for four years and use it every time for travel too! When I pack I usually lay my clothes flat because for me, rolling takes up more volume. What do you think?

  • Katherine February 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I love my Longchamp too and always bring it when I travel, it's one of the most versatile bags! You are such a packing expert, WOW. Do you have a separate handbag that you bring though?

  • Mimi February 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    these packing tips are awesome! thanks for posting about them. i will definitely keep these in mind. 🙂

    <3, Mimi

  • Marsy February 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Thank you for the helpful tips! 🙂

  • Ella Pretty Blog February 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Love how you've pared down your packing to just the essentials! Since I'm a SAHM I don't have to travel for work anymore – but I do use some of the same tips when packing for family holidays – 1)planning my outfits around my shoes 2) keeping the outfits simple and using statement necklaces to liven things up.

    It's really amazing how a bold necklace can make a simple outfit look well put-together.

    I also hate the feeling of heavy necklaces on my neck – so I find myself reaching a lot for my H&M; necklaces – which are surprisingly light – you can forget you have them on!

  • Anonymous February 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Um, I'm sure it's in that turquoise make-up bag I see tucked in amongst your clothing, but how about toiletries and a change of underwear/bras?

  • Natasha Fatah February 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    This is really helpful, thank you Jean!

  • Lili February 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Excellent tips! I don't think I'd be able to downsize this much, but then again I don't travel for work often 😉 Btw, I love your pumps! 😀

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I didn't think the world needed to see my panties and push-up bras, so you'll just have to use your imagination : ) And yes, toiletries = turquoise bag.

  • harrietbambridge February 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    i love those longchamp bags but refuse to get one on the basis that everyone seems to have them! thanks for the very useful packing tips too, they have actually helped a lot! xx

  • Victoria February 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    I do the exact same things as you. I don't go on business trips but I've been flying home from college every other weekend for 3 days so I have really honed my packing efficiency. I've got it down to a longchamp le pliage tote and a teeny tiny suitcase not much larger than my tote bag. This weekend my suitcase was nearly empty even with a textbook and notebooks in it! I think it's time for me to downsize even further and just bring my tote bag.

  • The Little Dust Princess February 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Great tips, Jean! I also pack a plastic bag (or other thin, light one) for the "used" clothing so it won't stink. 😛 I love the Le Pliage! I used to put my laptop (along with other things) in it for school although it was SO bad for my shoulders.

  • The Little Dust Princess February 27, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Oh! You got rid of word verification! I was preparing for battle before I hit Publish. LOL I started noticing the new system of CAPTCHA a couple of days ago and it was so frustrating.

  • Hannah February 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I love how even when you simplify everything down, your outfits still look stylish and professional! By the way, love your Long Champ.

  • rt r February 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    "thin straps"

    Don't they dig into your palms/shoulders when the bag gets heavy?

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Great idea with the baggie..I need to start bringing one for the dirty laundry.

  • Kat February 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    where do you work now? will you be commuting to nj/ny permanently?

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Yes, I suppose they do. There's no denying that the best thing for your shoulders and back is a backpack.

  • Gracie February 27, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    I love these kind of posts!

    I've always wondered how these bags fair when you carry them from the strap. Do you have problems with it touching the floor or such?

    @Victoria, that lip color looks fabulous on you!!

  • Lisa - respect the shoes February 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Holy cow, you are streamlined in your packing! I travel quite a bit for work too – but no way could I pack like you, though I need to!

  • Aileen (Pharmafoodie) February 27, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    I'm a big proponent of packing light, but my few toiletries (hairbrush, styling paste, travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, body wash and dry shampoo), minimal makeup and pharmacy meds (Rx and OTC) still take up a good amount of space! Since I travel a lot for both work and fun, I am a big fan of Tumi luggage – I've discovered that a rolling computer bag and a duffel bag that hooks on top of the roller is perfect for a 3 day work trip and petite-friendly (aka, no heavy lugging!).

  • Jasmine M. February 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    if you didn't know this, longchamp boutique repairs the fray corners for free but it takes upto 6-8 weeks! hope this helps! 🙂

  • tiffany rose February 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Some of my packing tips for traveling more than a few days include choosing two neutrals that work with the same pair or color of shoes and adding one or two accent colors through blouses and accessories to make the most of mix and match. Also, scarves squash down to nothing and can change up outfits. A thin wool thermal underwear top is a must for me, you never know when you'll be stuck in a too-cold meeting room. They take almost no room in your bag and you can sneak off during a break to slip it under your long-sleeve shirt/blouse.

  • Forever Fashion February 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I love your tips so much!

  • Angie February 27, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    that is downright impressive, jean. the art of packing light is something i definitely need to work on, but at least i got some practice flying around for interviews. i can't imagine living out of a tote!

  • rebecca February 27, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    no tights? no coat/scarf/glove? isn't it still pretty cold in nyc this time of yr?

  • Anonymous February 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    wow thanks for the great tip!

  • Tam February 27, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    I'm so impressed! My short trips always seem to require two Longchamp totes: one for laptop, other electronics, files, and medications, and the other for clothes, shoes, and toiletries. Unfortunately for me, no hair appliances is just not an option!

  • Amelia February 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I always roll my necklace into a sheet of bubble wrap, then secured with a rubber band to keep them untangled — this has saved many a necklace during travel.

    Also, super impressed with your packing, I always end up packing entirely too much, and realize I could have gotten away with about a quarter of what I brought.

  • Lloyd Lim February 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Wow. Talk about minimalism. I don't think I can reduce my travel pack as light as yours ever. I used to travel 70% of the time years back, and I had mastered the airport security check-in; scan safe belt, easy to take off & put on shoes, slip in and out laptop bag, etc. Wish MacBook Air were available at that time. It's super light. (But, I don't travel for work any more.)


    – Lloyd

  • SewPetiteGal February 28, 2012 at 12:01 am

    So impressive! I think I pack more than that for an overnight trip (eep).

  • Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 12:02 am

    But they all still fit in there too? That's impressive. I wish I could pare down my packing as much as that, but I always worry that squishing padded bras into such a confined space will permanently deform them -_- Anyone got any tips for packing those without making them lose their shape? Pictures not required 🙂

  • Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 12:09 am

    You can also use the one provided in hotels for laundry- that's what I do and it works just fine.

  • ChristinaBakes February 28, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Wow, I'm so impressed. What do you do for make-up and toiletries?!

  • bex February 28, 2012 at 12:26 am

    so glad you posted on travelling! I live in one of the most isolated cities in the world (perth in western australia), so packing so very important…and I'm so very bad at it. for a petite girl, I was always pack far too much, and end up wearing half of what i've been lugging around between taxis, airports, trams…maybe the purchase of a longchamp is all I need to turn into the minimalist expert traveller. hmm.

  • Inés February 28, 2012 at 1:12 am

    It´s absolutely stunning. That´s an extra minimalist packing!!

    Big hugs!

  • SIENA.STYLE February 28, 2012 at 1:16 am

    love it!!i have the same bag

  • Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Have you ever considered packing cubes? I've seen them on some other blogs and recently tried them out myself and I love them.;=packing+cubes

  • Bettina February 28, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Agreed the longchamp bag is fabulous, but I had no idea you could fit that much in the bag! I've never tried this and I've never tried rolling pieces of clothing this way. I will be attempting to use just my longchamp bag for my next 2-3 day business trip and will report back to you 🙂

  • kath-thy February 28, 2012 at 2:20 am

    I have both the planetes tote and the medium le pliage and love them both. The planetes tote carried me through my university years and I only have some minor scuffing on the bottom corners. Now its too large for my everyday needs, that's where the le pliage comes in. But will definitely consider travelling with it. Thanks for the idea 🙂

  • Anna February 28, 2012 at 3:51 am

    I bought my first Le Pliage in the same year as you did (if I remember correctly). It did fray but still holds up beautifully. The leather on the strap was tucked in the closure of a car seat once and got a little damage, but still I can carry my (less bulky) laptop as well as clothes, shoes, beauty essentials and books inside without having to worry. I bought a second Le Pliage last year and love it to pieces. I will go for one of the even sturdier models for the next one probably, but anyways the cost per wear for my Longchamps has always been amazing so they are deffinitely worth the splurge!

  • Sophie February 28, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Wow! It's great that you can pack for 3-4 days in a tote bag. I always tend to overpack thinking I need everything. -_-

  • gigiofca February 28, 2012 at 6:20 am

    I am amazed. I thought that was your carry on bag only. *lol*

  • PetiteLittleGirl February 28, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Wonderful tips, Jean! You should have posted these before I visited Boston so I did not have to pack my life with me for a 2-day trip =) Now, I am contemplating the Planetes tote. It seems like a great bag for travel. Do they come in different sizes like the Le Pliage?

  • My Dressy Ways February 28, 2012 at 8:20 am

    You're amazing!!! I always overpack! Great tips, Jean.

  • M February 28, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I usually pack my padded bras over a pair of socks or similar, to avoid crushing them with something else.

  • M February 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I just realized it's a tote bag… WOW! i usually pack just what i need but my blow dryer takes up most of the space… I think i need to get a travel sized hair dryer. I'd like one that's powerful but small (and on the low cost side)… any recommendations?

  • dietingfashions February 28, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Great tips! I usually can fit everything in a carry on and my handbag. When I travel, I roll my clothes too. I get cold very easily so I like to pack lightweight sweaters and cardigans rather than blouses. I actually travel with the Caruso ion steam rollers. It's very compact and easily portable. I don't like to travel with jewelry.


  • Love and Company February 28, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Thank you for posting some traveling tips. We always have a hard time packing in everything for short trips and end up over packing for just a couple days. Very efficient!


  • Benjamin + Trang February 28, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Rolling your clothes is definitely a room saver! I use the Eagle Creek Organized Travel to store my rolled up clothes, they're super helpful! They can be purchased almost anywhere…I put the link below 🙂

    Also, love your longchamp! I've had mine for almost 5 years now and am looking into a new one….since yours is sturdier, it may be a good option. Thanks for posting!


  • Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    How was going through security? I pack really tightly especially with a baby bag and remember TSA ransacking through all my tightly carefully packed things and then shrugging their shoulders as they handed me my bag with all its spilling contents. I'd have to put it back carefully while putting back my shoes, balancing a stroller and making sure my toddler didn't run away. Sometimes I think TSA likes to mess it up on purpose.

  • Ping February 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    jean– i need to learn from you in term of packing light. when i went to cabo the first time, i maxed out with one luggage at 50lbs. hahaha!! tim was like OMG, all u need are your bikinis, how did you manage to pack 50lbs worth of stuff. hahaha!

  • Rosie February 28, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I am so impressed, Jean! The good thing about being petite is that our clothes take up less spade. 😉

    I also love the trick of slipping in my suitcase extra folded-up Pliage bags when traveling. I take a smaller one to use as a handbag at my destination and a large one for carrying home shopping and souvenirs.

  • Laura Frost February 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    That is really impressive! I have started to pack much lighter too, now that I have to share my suitcase with my little 1 year old.

  • Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    If your clothes get wrinkly, you can hang them in the bathroom while showering. The steam will take the wrinkle out. I also ziplock my jewelry separately, so they don't fall all over and don't rub against each other to have discoloration.

  • KT February 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • February 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    You dress so cute at work Jean…and I can't believe you packed 3 outfits + more into that bag! I'd be lucky to get one!!

  • Chocolate, Cookies &amp; Candies February 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I actually have the same sized tote but in canvas which I use for traveling (and grocery shopping). I can pack for 1-2 nights into my Le Pliage shopper although I won't be carrying my heavy laptop with me.

  • Lauren February 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    The Planetes Tonal tote is seriously my new favorite bag as well, but I definitely have to try your method of packing into it now. Just love that I can bring this gem around NYC and all I have to do is wipe it clean!

  • Tina February 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for the useful tips! I'm a super light packer as well and I feel so left out when I go on vacations with friends and they pack their whole life with them but I pack so little =/

  • Lin February 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I have the same Longchamp bag as yours. I've had it for 3 years now, and it is my favorite bag for small trips and for my books when I go to class. It is my trusty bag; love it!

  • Coast to Coast Chic February 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    i love that longchamp bag! i have that in lavender and this emerald green. I use it all the time!

    I just got a new bag too!

  • Lela February 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Can I just have EVERYTHING in this post? J'adore.

    (I'd love if you checked out my fashion blog/shoe blog/etc!)

  • newpetite February 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    And I thought I was the one who travels light! Thanks for this post!

  • Anne February 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I'm a new stay at home mom, so I don't have to think about travel all that much. But when I did go on business trips I would pack a whole ton b/c I would travel at minimum for 3 days and 2 nights. Once I do go back into the workforce later this year, I hope to minimize like you wrote about in here.

    I have a smaller Longchamp in Lavender, but I really should invest in a bigger LC tote.

    Whereabouts in NJ do you travel to? I'm from NJ 🙂

    xo Annie

  • Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    You just had to twist the bra and stack two cups together, then do the same to another bra and stack them together 😉 Kat

  • laura February 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I envy your light packing! I travel often for work, but I'm never able to go w/out at least a carry on suitcase — especially when crossing into a different climate. Also need to bring workout gear. Gotta keep fit even while on the road. 😉

  • happilyfull February 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    great post as always!!! that's so cool that you can travel light-weight!!! i am an over-packer for sure;;;

  • PinkOrchids February 28, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    I too fold my clothes like that!! Thanks for sharing! xX

  • meli88a February 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    This is AMAZING.

  • Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I'm a minimalist traveller too and I like using silk scarves instead of necklaces when I travel. They're much lighter.

  • Genie February 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Now I really want a Longchamp tote! I envy your packing skills, I unfortunately am not great at packing so much in such a small space.


  • Kady February 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Curious why you go with the Longchamp i/o a roller bag. I used to travel all the time, and relied on my fairly small and light roller. I ultimately just couldn't take the strain on my neck/shoulder of hauling my computer around in a tote. I have never been able to pack as efficiently as this, because I ALWAYS need extra layers (sweaters, scarves, etc…) when I travel. I run super cold.

  • Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Wow! I'm surprised that at 5'0" you were able to find a bag large enough to accomodate your laptop but not too big as to overwhelm your frame. I'm around your size and am having that issue… Do you think the Planetes Tonal tote is big enough for a 15" laptop?

  • audrinajulia February 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Love all my longchamp bag and I agree with you that's it very functional and practical to use. I still don't have the planetes but after reading good reviews, I'm planning to own one, I'm using Longchamp LM tote for long trips and when I have kids with me..and yes really a helpful tote. thanks for your packing advise.:)

  • jennyjk February 28, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    lol i like how you change yourself from young me to the now you. sophisticated but chic, your outfits are actually very pretty well put together 🙂

  • Olivia February 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Thanks for another great post Jean!!

  • Emily February 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Ugh, one bag—if only! My business trips seem to require two outfits per day, at least. I need at least one outfit I can move around and get a little grimy in, as well as 2-4 business attire outfits I can wear for 4-6 hours on my feet (so flats are non-negotiable!) On the flip side, my colleagues and I do make an effort to spend our decent amounts of downtime sightseeing, shopping, or dining, and that requires a comfier change of clothes. And using hotel gyms is the highlight of business travel for me; I've regretted it every time I've gone without sneakers and running shorts. Luckily, it's usually possible to fit all my petite clothing into a carry-on size rolling suitcase. And believe it or not, I always travel lighter than my male coworkers!

  • Emily February 28, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    You can also tuck something small like undies or a balled up pair of socks into the cups of the bra to help keep their shape. Unpack them when you arrive, and they'll be fine.

    Speaking of socks—I'd never travel without a pair of warm ones. Whether you prefer thick and fluffy fleece or lightweight wool, they're a comfort and a lifesaver in a chilly hotel room or plane cabin.

  • Riani Irawan February 29, 2012 at 12:38 am

    This is exactly how I packed my clothes while I'm travelling.

  • Ennay February 29, 2012 at 5:49 am

    The Longchamps dont dig in as much as the LV Neverful. Carried my NF around and a few hours later the skin on my shoulder had two bright red imprints of the straps. Not a nice look.

  • Ennay February 29, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Is there an additional charge for the repair? If yes, any idea how much? Thanks!

  • Jen February 29, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Hi Jean! I totally saw you like 15 minutes ago walking by the Millenium hotel. You looked fab as always.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 29, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Hi Jen – I spotted a few stylish ladies on my commute this morning and am guessing you were one of them. Please say hello next time! : )

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 29, 2012 at 9:24 am

    My laptop (shown inside the bag) is 15" I believe when measured diagonally. Regular width for reference is about 13" and you can proably fit one an inch or two wider without issues.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 29, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Hi Kady! Two reasons – 1. My smallest roller bag is a full carry-on size suitcase and I always struggle with getting it over my head on airplanes. I always have to ask someone for help, and it's embarrassing! When I bring a bigger bag, I tend to fill it with excess stuff so it gets heavy. 2. I have to commute quite a bit from the workplace to the hotel and the terrain is rugged at times with construction. It's hard to drag a roller through all of that. I might get a small/light roller like that one you have for future travels though.

  • Anonymous February 29, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Am I the only person who's scared to let my bare feet touch the hotel room carpet? I usually pack a thin pair of flip flops to use in the room and even wear them into the shower. They don't take up much room in the bag, either.

  • Nina February 29, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I have sent several bags into the NYC boutique for repair and they come back good as new and it usually doesn't take as long as they say. They usually only charge shipping, I believe, which is like $6-7 dollars?

  • Nina February 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

    What an impressive packing feat! Jean, could you please give some details about your adorable turquoise toiletry bag? I would love to know what the bag itself is, and if you could give us a peek at your "stuff"….Also, I think another commenter suggested this, but I would recommend you try using scarves as accessories – very versatile and certainly lightweight!

  • marisabel r. February 29, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I know what you mean about heavy costume jewelry. I usually end up taking mine off within an hour of getting into work.

  • Faten February 29, 2012 at 11:41 am

    i'll try to use your tips next time i travel, it's silly i usually take my closet with me because i doubt myself a lot

  • Anonymous February 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    great tip!

  • Lori February 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I can't believe you fit everything in your bag! Amazing! I've seen so many girls toting the Longchamp Totes around…I've been pondering about getting one…:)

  • *insert name here* February 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I absolutely love this post! I travel often and it has been a struggle trying to figure out what to pack. I love your style and coordination – keep it coming!

  • Lisa Ng February 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Can't believe you fit all that into 1 bag! I may invest in a Longchamp tote since I see it is so versatile for you. Plus, some bags have so many pockets (and weight) that it limits the main compartment's size. I see the LC doesn't. I like roll-suitacases b/c I hate carrying/lugging a shoulder bag traveling in airports. So heavy! But if I could fit everything into 1 like you, I'd say "yes" and not have to rely on strangers with help for my overhead. Thanks!

  • Ennay February 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Great tip, thanks Nina!

  • 1MadScientist February 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I grew up in the NJ/NYC metro area so I hope you are enjoying it! Lol – no I know travel for work is long and exhausting but thanks for the travel tip!

  • JoJo February 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I need to get me one of those bag!

  • AimfullyAims February 29, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Thank you for the packing tips! Speaking of busy schedules, do you carry a planner around to keep track of everything you have to do? Or do you use an electronic planner, if any at all? I'm interested to know how a successful and well-rounded woman like you do it all!

  • pribble February 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Great post. I too was like you in the beginning…everything that seemed savvy 'just in case'. Then reality kicked in….

  • Joy February 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    oh my gosh, I think I pretty much pack the same way you do. I roll everything up into little hot dogs. I bring one pair of heels, maybe flats or flip flops if I need to. I do think I bring more toiletries than you though; toothbrush, a bar of soap, loofah, travel size shampoo & conditioner, travel-size toothpaste. I've had enough experiences in the past that have taught me not to trust what the hotel provides. I put it all into one bag as well. As a small person, I just can't be bothered to struggle and break my back over being prepared for every single situation.

  • Lindsay Christine Adams February 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm
  • Tanya March 1, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Hi Jean,

    Just wondering if you paid full price for your Longchamp. I really want to get one, but $175 is a bit hefty! I assume there aren't too many sales though

  • tra March 1, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Hi Jean, I am MEGA petite and I am wondering which type of bags you usually carry? I feel like there aren't many bag options for petite girls and i don't want to look funny carrying really big statement bag, neither do i want to carry tiny shoulder bags… any advice? thankS! i adore you and your style!

  • Ashley March 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Thanks for this post! I'm heading out for a 5 day work trip, then another week long trip with a week break, so this post is very much needed! Hope your new job is going well!

  • QT March 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Lovely post!

  • QT March 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I'm glad I came across your blog. I have the same problem…5'3" & 98 lbs…I seriously can't find any pants that fit for work. I have a better luck w/ jeans but those are no no for work. Skirts are hard to find too, they don't fit the waist. 🙂

  • LorraineNpopo March 1, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I wish I can pack so light! Can you show us how you pack your skincare and makeup? That's where my problems come from!

  • Anonymous March 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Hi Jean,

    I absolutely love your blog and got all my college girl friends obsessed as well =) I was wondering if you have any other recommendations for professional work bags besides Longchamps that are high quality but affordable for a college student? Thank you!

  • DiamondsandTulle March 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Great post and tips Jean! ITA about the poly blouses and knits that roll up. (In fact I have that same HM blouse and think it looks so much more luxe than it cost!). I'm also a big fan of using little bags (fabric or nylon) for separating items in my suitcase. Keeps everything super organized.

    The only thing I can't agree on is the carry-tote vs. rolling bag. I remember one business trip in particular… running from one terminal to another to change planes after the first leg was delayed (at the humoungous DFW airport), catching the tram, and heaving and puffing with my Coach overnight tote. UGH… it was the worst thing ever. I promptly bought a carry-on rolling luggage after that trip and have never regretted it!

    xx Vivian @

  • Helen March 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I love this post! I'm starting a job this summer that will require a lot of travel, and I'll definitely invest in a Longchamp bag. One travel tip that has helped me when going on business trips and interviews has been to pack a lightweight long scarf that is wide enough to double as a shawl/blanket on the plane. It a great functional accessory and takes up minimal space.

  • LeeAnne, Style N Season March 1, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Whoa! I'd never to travel that light, I guess. I love my little suitcase too much, hehehe. Admire your minimalism, though.

    Visit me:
    LeeAnne, Style N Season

  • Nitu March 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    That's awesome! How do you end up taking toiletries? I was inspired to starting packing light for my business trips ( huge step since I am a heavy packer). but I end up checking my luggage as I cant narrow my toiletries to one ziploc bag for air travel! Please do share your tips on those too.

  • Karen (littlepiecefnb) March 2, 2012 at 2:03 am

    I love that tote! I have the Longchamp Le Pliage and use it ALL the time for weekend trips. I agree that it's super durable! I like packing (and hoarding) hotel size toiletries for short trips too. haha

  • heatherskib March 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I can manage 2 days plus a laptop in my WhakSak ultimate tote. My recent week long trip I took a carry on and used my ultimate tote as a computer bag. The main jump to a carry on in my case is for running clothes I can do 2 days without a workout, not a week.

    One thing that I find- is when I don't check a suitcase- I tend to get searched by TSA. Maybe they have a hard time believing a woman can travel for a week without checked luggage.

  • La Chinita March 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    You're amazing at travel packing!!! I haven't seen anything as efficient. I wished I had the discipline to pack as little… How do you handle your toiletries? It probably fits in there as well.

  • Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I have the small x-space spinner from Samsonite and I love it. It's about the same size as a large tote, but with spinner wheels (so you can wheel it in front of or next to you instead of pulling behind). And it has a laptop sleeve built in.

  • girlymd March 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    You really make me want to get a Planetes now! But I am on strict no-bag budget after my latest splurge, which I'll have to post soon.

    I really like you're petite like me, although I'm not nearly as petite as you, but I definitely understand the struggle to get those great fits!

  • Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    dear Jean:
    i am also a petite girl (your height) and I used to be a chubby girl ( 65kg). Now i lost some weight and feel OK. But there are some stretch marks on my legs…. i do not know how to do with them. I want to wear pretty skirt just like you. Do you have any idea is there any lotion or make up for legs?

  • Cher March 2, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I've been looking for a sturdy travel tote that is smaller than the rolling DVF duffle that I have now but still large enough to carry my laptop and other travel necessities. I'm not crazy about the Le Pliage for several reasons, but the sturdier material of the Le Planetes might be exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks for sharing!

  • Vicky March 3, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Hey. Such a wonderful blog! I follow you & if you like follow me back! 🙂

    The Golden Bun | new post | follow me

  • Anonymous March 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Thanks – great post. I recommend a dark Longchamp. I love my mustard color "splurge" bought on sale at end of season, but the stains I've accumulated don't love me back.

  • PetiteAsianGirl March 3, 2012 at 11:06 am

    No, thank goodness : ) I work in Boston still.

  • PetiteAsianGirl March 3, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I've tried the steaming in the bathroom many a times and am sad to report it never works for me! Even for really flimsy materials like this H&M; black and white blouse. It could be the size of the bathroom (smaller is obviously better for more steam) and the heat of showers, haha.

  • PetiteAsianGirl March 3, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I used to be a germaphobe but I forced myself to get over it (esp with subway commuting…eech). I used to ask for disposable slippers at the front desk. My mom packs flip flops for everyone for hotel wearing like you : )

  • PetiteAsianGirl March 3, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I think leather / paper planners are adorable but I personally just use my trusty phone calendar. I put so many reminders in there like flight schedules, meetings, when to pay bills, etc and it's easy to update.

  • PetiteAsianGirl March 3, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Hi Tanya, I paid full price for my first one but my planetes was on 'secret sale' at Bloomingdales a long time ago. I was told by the SA they never go on sale but when we scanned it, it was. I'd wait for 20% off friends and family discounts at the designer stores like Saks, NM, Nordstrom, etc to see if the discount includes Longchamp.

  • PetiteAsianGirl March 3, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Are you talking about fashionable handbags or utilitarian totes? For handbags, I love designer bags that come in multiple sizes – and thankfully, so many of them do! For example, the popular LV Speedy comes in a petite-friendly 25 size (and the canvas products are very durable), and many Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Celine and Chanel popular styles have smaller sizes to choose from.

  • PetiteAsianGirl March 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Hi there – what budget are you working with and what type of material (leather, nylon, etc)? I don't know of many alternatives but can keep an eye out. I do want to mention though that I splurged on my first Longchamp right out of college when funds were limited, but I haven't regretted it once because it's been so functional and durable. Now that a reader mentioned that Longchamp makes most repairs/refurbishments for free (which I called to verify), I feel that it makes the price worth it even more!

  • PetiteAsianGirl March 3, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Hi there – I'm not an expert on stretchmarks and I did some research on Google but can't recommend anything through personal experience. It seems like most answers start with a cream to help get rid of the stretched skin, so I suggest looking around reading reviews and forums for recommendations from women who actually tried it (maybe women who just had kids because that's another cause of stretch marks). Good luck!

  • Nina March 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    You can put your Le Pliage in the washing machine! Use a gentle cycle and gentle detergent. You can also pre-treat the stains with Shout or Spray-n-wash. After you wash the bag, just remove it from the machine, blot the excess water with paper towels, and hang by the straps to dry – it will take a day or 2 – it will be good as new!

  • Anonymous March 3, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I totally agree. I really want one, but everyone has one!

  • amy March 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Hi! I'm a relatively new reader of your blog and I love your style and this was a great post 🙂 I just wanted to comment to let you know that if you take your longchamp bag to the longchamp store, they can repair the frayed corners for you for free (but it will take a month)!

  • Anonymous March 5, 2012 at 10:42 am

    What about clothes to sleep and workout? Gym shoes are such a packing annoyance for me…

  • Ale March 6, 2012 at 10:46 am

    hi, where do you pack your toiletries and make up?

  • N. Linda March 12, 2012 at 12:55 am


    After reading your post a few weeks back, I've been contemplating about purchasing this tote. I finally purchased it today!

    I'll be out on an internship in two weeks and really needed a hand-dandy tote that will carry everything I need. I really hope this tote will not let me down.

    Thanks for the wonderful review in your "vintage post."

  • misa April 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I used to have the same opinion, but once I got one, my concerns that everyone else had one went away because I realized why everyone had one – they are just so handy and lightweight! If you're looking for a lightweight tote, get a Longchamp and you won't regret it.

  • Vickie Tang July 7, 2012 at 2:04 am

    This is wonderful Jean! Thanks for the post!!! I travel sometimes and never thought of rolling my clothes. Anyway~ where are your makeups/skin care products? I would love to travel with just one bag but not sure where to put rest of the stuffs?

  • Anonymous August 26, 2012 at 1:38 am

    i know the longchamp boutiques in california don't charge for shipping or repair!. i just brought mine in, no questions asked and they fixed the corners and cleaned it for me. they told me 4-6 weeks but it only took 3(:

  • Nikki September 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing the packing tips! I actually have a business trip at the end of the month that I recently started planning for. Going to put some of your tips to good use. 🙂

  • Anonymous May 21, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Hi, I love the tote you are using! What size Planetes Longchamps do you have pictured?

  • Oanh Nguyen May 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Oanh Nguyen May 25, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Anonymous, it's the Large Planetes. I've just purchased one… not sure how I feel about it, but I know that I will make great use of it since it's classic and black, it's not noticeable 🙂

Comments are closed.