What’s in my Suitcase – Three Weeks in New Zealand

what to pack for new zealand
what to pack for new zealand
what to pack for new zealand

When it comes to any trip (not including our recent stay in the Maldives), I usually try to ‘pack light’. As a teen travelling to Canberra for a week, I’d fill up a suitcase with clothing, only to find on my return to Wellington seven days later, half the items I brought along with me were unworn. But it’s when you’re travelling for two weeks or more that things can start to get a little… tricky.

But I do love a good challenge, and our first Christmas home since moving to Sydney four years ago made for the perfect excuse to sit down and plan out my vacation wardrobe, keeping it to one suitcase. My strategy is pretty simple; stick to a neutral colour palette, and pick pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways, as the two combined tend to be real space savers, particularly if you tend to find it difficult to narrow down your shoe selection, like I do.

We are spending just shy of three weeks in New Zealand for our summer break, split across Wellington, Auckland and Waipu (a small coastal town north of Auckland), and judging by the ten day weather forecast, we’ll be getting a mixture of sunshine, cloudy days, and a little bit of rain, with temperatures sitting around 19-25 degrees C; not too shabby! So I’ve focused primarily on sticking to some of my summer wardrobe favourites, with a few long sleeved tops and a pair of skinny jeans thrown in for good measure. If you’ve ever spent time in Wellington, then you’ll understand wanting to have a few items you can reach for just in case the weather turns.

Above is a little bit of a sneak peek into my suitcase, which includes a lot of the usual suspects that you may have seen featured in my packing list ahead of our trip to the Maldives, in addition to a couple of wild cards (read: something that isn’t black, white or grey). Not pictured? The five pairs of shoes neatly packed into the zipped-up compartment, and the three sets of workout gear I’ve brought along with me so I can nip out for a quick run, or squeeze in a HIIT workout.

TOPS

J Crew b/w polka dot wrap top
Everlane silk camisole in black and dove grey
RUBY white t-shirt
Grana white pocket tee
Madewell white short-sleeved shirt
Karen Walker indigo linen shirt (similar)
T by Alexander Wang blue/white long-sleeved stripe top
Proenza Schouler b/w graphic print long-sleeved top (similar)
Uniqlo mustard oversized sweater

For the last few weeks I’ve heard from my grandparents about how warm Wellington has been, but honestly after years of growing up in the windy city, I don’t think you can blame me for being a total skeptic. I decided to opt for a mix of short sleeved and long sleeved tops (which I figured I could wear rolled up when it was warm) to create a little bit of balance, so that I wouldn’t be caught out if the weather turned. We’re three days in and already I can tell I’ve made a pretty good judgement – today was incredibly windy so having a snuggly jumper to hand certainly came in handy.

As usual, my preferred colour palette is comprised mostly of black and white, but I think this mustard sweater from Uniqlo helps to break things up a little bit, plus I love the way that this pairs with white in particular.

JACKETS

MVN black faux leather jacket

I’m the type of packer that likes to have a back up plan – particularly when it comes to my travel wardrobe – so I brought along a light weight faux leather jacket. There’s a few cold days due to be coming our way so I figured this would be an easy option to throw on, plus it goes with everything.

SHORTS, TROUSERS & SKIRTS

Topshop white denim mini skirt
Wrangler blue denim mini skirt
ASOS black denim skirt
RUBY khaki a-line skirt (similar)
Dr Denim blue denim shorts
Vintage white denim shorts (similar)
ASOS pink linen culottes
Dr Denim faded black skinny jeans

If you can’t tell from the above list, I seem to be having a little bit of a denim moment. Denim skirts in black, white and blue, two pairs of denim shorts, and a pair of skinny jeans were at the top of my packing list. What I have been loving about denim is how easy it is to throw on, and the fact that it works pretty well for a casual day catching up with friends, or even for some cocktails in the evening (depending on how you dress it up, or down!). I also decided to bring along my favourite pink linen culottes – which I still can’t get enough of – as I figured they would work well in the Wellington wind!

DRESSES

Karen Walker navy ruffle dress
Stylekeepers b/w polka dot dress (also here)
Iro white splatter print silk dress

My usual principle for vacation packing is to always stash a little black dress as the bottom of your suitcase. Rather than go for something classic, I opted to take this black and white spotted number, which can be worn a couple of different ways. I also stashed away a great navy ruffle shift dress which I’ve had for a while now from Karen Walker, and a newer silk dress I managed to pick up pre-loved from The Real Real to have a couple options for a nice meal out in town.

BAGS, SHOES & ACCESSORIES

JW Anderson blue signature logo bag
Celine black trotteur bag
Sportscraft straw hat (similar)
Spurr black mules
Everlane black day heels
Sam Edelman black loafers
Sportscraft sandals
Converse sneakers

Finally, let’s talk accessories. The one thing I seem to have an issue with narrowing down – every, single, time – are shoes. I actually ending up packing many of the same shoes I took with me to the Maldives; a pair of mules, a pair of black enclosed heels, a black of loafers, some slip on sandals, and a throw around pair of lace up sneakers. The second half of our trip, we’re planning to spend a little bit of time at the beach up near Whangarei, so I decided to bring along my straw hat, which I nabbed on sale last Christmas – this has been one of those impulsive purchases that has turned out to be a really great addition to my wardrobe, and perfect for protecting my face from the sun. The last thing on my packing list was a couple of mini bags; these are my bag size of choice when it comes to travelling. I decided to bring along a classic option in black, and then something of a wild card… a new bag I nabbed from JW Anderson during the Black Friday sales in a rich cobalt navy blue. Unfortunately as luck would have it I’ve sent the JW Anderson bag back (it arrived without the leather strap), but my Celine has been a serious workhorse when it comes to weekend wear or more casual outfits, making it the perfect travel companion.

I’m thinking of doing a little wrap up on my YouTube Channel in the new year when we’re back, to talk about what worked for the trip and what didn’t, given we are away for just under three weeks, so let me know in the comments if that’s something you would be interested in seeing! x

In my Suitcase: What I’m packing for the Maldives

what to pack for maldives
what to pack for maldives
what to pack for maldives

I love a good packing post, so today, on the eve of our (much belated) honeymoon, I thought I’d share what I’m packing for the Maldives. I usually tend to take a ‘minimalist’ approach to holidays, and packing in general. I start by planning out my holiday wardrobe months in advance, so that I can narrow it down to the bare essentials; a selection of core pieces which mix and match really well. For this trip, I threw that approach directly out the window. Not only are we away for ten days, but it’s our honeymoon – the last thing I want to be doing is thinking about laundering any of the items I’ve brought with me. So, I took a more ‘maximalist’ approach to packing – something for every occasion. Keep reading below to see what I’m packing for the Maldives…

WEATHER

The weather during our trip in the Maldives is going to be hovering around the 27-31 deg C mark, with thunderstorms anticipated, which by my best estimation means that we can expect it to be sticky and hot – nothing we aren’t used to during a Sydney summer. It’s a little cooler in Hong Kong, around 25 deg C, and while it will be humid, I don’t believe we’ll be struck by rain during our trip.

TOPS

I went for a mix of fitted crops, loose tees, and slinky silk tops with a little bit of personality. I know it’s going to be hot, so I wanted to pack things which I knew would be easy to throw on with a little denim mini, or my favourite pair of shorts. My favourite has to be this recent addition from J Crew – it adds a much needed burst of colour to my rather ‘chromatic’ holiday wardrobe (and it’s on sale!).

SKIRTS & SHORTS

Summer vacation is all about the denim for me; I packed my two go-to denim skirts, in addition to my favourite white denim shorts (which are a no-brainer come summer). I also opted to add in a polka dot midi skirt, and this absolutely s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g accordion pleat tiered skirt from Stella Jean (on loan – I wish this had a permanent spot in my wardrobe!).

DRESSES

I tend to try and keep the number of dresses I pack for a holiday to a minimum – they might be a whole outfit, but they limit your options, and your valuable luggage space. I opted to take four with me; two are light and airy linen dresses – one from Grana and one from Stelen – a polka dot midi length dress as a more dressy option, as well as a classic LBD (my favourite is from Bec and Bridge).

OUTERWEAR

This is the one area that I’m keeping to a minimum – it’s warm in Sydney, and it’s going to be warm in both locations we’re headed, so I don’t want to burden myself with anything too cumbersome, if I don’t need to (I’ve already got a backpack stuffed with a drone and two cameras that’s doing that job for me!). I’m just taking one faux leather jacket as a throw on piece, and depending how I feel when we’re headed off tomorrow morning, I might also take a lightweight cardigan – nothing fancy, just in case it gets cool in the evening.

what to pack for maldives
what to pack for maldives

SWIMSUITS, SHOES, BAGS & ACCESSORIES

I went a little swimsuit mad, though as these take up the least amount of space out of everything in my suitcase, I figured this wasn’t such a bad thing. In addition to four bikinis, I also packed a one-piece swimsuit which I thought would be ideal for when we go snorkelling, or do any other more intensive water activities.

For shoes, I decided to go with four pairs; a pair of flat sandals, some black heeled mules, a pair of high heeled strappy sandals, and some simple white converse sneakers.

My final accessories that I decided to pack include a couple of different clutch options for the evening, a nice straw hat, a couple of bandanas and one pair of oversized sunglasses.

As usual, I did share a whole video featuring what I’m packing for the Maldives on my YouTube Channel, however I have rejigged things a little bit. I’ve added some workout clothes and a pair of sneakers into the mix, dropped a few things including a pair of sandals, a linen shirt and a maxi skirt, and switched out the dress I’m intending to wear while in Hong Kong. I figured it was worth taking a page out of Coco Chanel’s book, and instead of removing something I’m wearing before leaving the house, I removed a few things I planned to wear from my suitcase.

Packing light: What I packed in my carry on for five days in New Zealand

We’ve just returned from a five day trip to Auckland, New Zealand, and while I’ve shared a bit of a sneak peek into my suitcase here, I thought I’d download a little on what I’m glad I packed into my carry on, and what probably could have stayed at home.

WEATHER FORECAST

For those of us residing in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the early end of winter, which as you can imagine means frosty mornings, bitterly cold winds, and rain – plenty of it, too. I used the weather forecast in Sydney as a bit of a guide, as I knew it was going to be a good few degrees cooler once we hit NZ shores. Temperatures ranged from 9-14 degrees Celsius every day, with plenty of winter sunshine, and just one day of rain, so I think it’s safe to say we got pretty lucky.

ON THE ACTIVITY LIST

Our trip across the ditch was a bit of a birthday present for Luke, as it’s been a few years since we have been back to Auckland to stay with his family, and catch up with some of his friends. Rather than jam pack our itinerary, we kept things fairly relaxed; a nice dinner out in the Auckland CBD, some casual brunches, coffee dates, a spot of shopping, and a drive up the road to Matakana to drop by Sawmill Brewery (a must if you have a rental car – it’s only an hours drive from the city!).

WHAT I PACKED

For trips that span over a week or less, I try and get a little creative, so that I can travel with carry on only. I’m a serial outfit repeater and given most of my wardrobe is fairly complementary, I don’t find it too difficult to pull together a travel ‘capsule wardrobe’ of sorts. It probably won’t surprise that I opted for mostly greys and blacks, large oversized sweaters, and some comfy trousers.

TOPS & JUMPERS
Grana white pocket t-shirt
Brandy Melville black stripe tee (similar)
Uniqlo charcoal ribbed merino turtleneck
Uniqlo black heat tech crew neck top
Glassons black merino top
See by Chloe striped top
Country Road black mohair sweater
Country Road charcoal chunky knit sweater

SKIRTS & TROUSERS
Willow black leather skirt (similar here and also here)
ASOS blue wash mom jeans
Uniqlo black slim fit trousers

DRESSES
Bec and Bridge black dress (also in white)

JACKETS & COATS
Helmut Lang blazer
Topshop coat (short version)

SHOES, BAGS & ACCESSORIES
Everlane black day heels
Everlane black leather chelsea boots
ONA black leather Capri tote
Celine black leather trotteur bag
Acne Studios grey Canada scarf
Uniqlo charcoal cashmere gloves
Prada sunglasses

WHAT I’M GLAD I PACKED

I recently decided to invest in a couple of knitted sweaters during one of Country Road’s 25% off sales, and the chunky charcoal funnel neck sweater was by far the stand out; this just looked great with everything, and was super cosy. I’m also glad that I brought along the slim fitting trousers from Uniqlo, which have fast become a favourite. These are lightweight, practically crease proof, and look really smart – plus they’re pretty warm too (though I’d get some heat tech tights for underneath if you’re going to a colder climate). Lastly I’m also pretty chuffed with the Celine small trotteur bag I splurged on just last week. This is the perfect size for travel, is an elegant and timeless design, and worked with every outfit that I wanted to wear – both casual and dressy. My only complaint is that the leather on the holster has already rubbed from the interior screw of the chevron plate closure, though thankfully this is pretty minor and not noticeable when being worn! The

WHAT COULD HAVE STAYED HOME

I’m prone to having cold hands – always – so it came as a bit of a surprise when I opened my bag this morning and realized one of the few things I didn’t reach for were my cashmere gloves from Uniqlo. Granted these are a godsend for if it’s a little nippy but given we were outdoors too much, I never really felt a need for them (that winter sun tho!).

The only thing I wish I’d brought with me were a pair of flats; typically, this would be a no brainer but I had to get creative just to fit my dads RM Williams boots into my carry on (which took up about 1/3 the total space!), and they were the one thing that didn’t make the cut.

I’m planning to share some video, as well as some of my outfits from the trip in the coming weeks so make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out! x

What I’m Packing for Dallas

minimal carry on what to pack for dallas travel short trip
what to pack for dallas travel short trip

It’s been a good eight years since my last major solo international trip. I was 21, fresh out of uni, and on a mission to see as much of Europe as possible – with luggage to match. And instead of packing what I wanted to wear, I packed what I thought I should wear; so rather than a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear, I had a suitcase full of clothes I wish I’d left at home.

These days, I’m all about traveling light, even if it’s just to leave a teeny tiny bit of space in my suitcase for the odd souvenir… And with just a few hours until I jet off to Dallas for a whirlwind four-day trip (and the first overseas trip on my own since my early twenties), I though I’d share what I’m planning to take with me, all of which fits neatly into my carry-on suitcase!

– TOPS & JACKETS –
Everlane black silk cami
Grana white silk cami
Everlane white cotton tank
Brandy Melville black/white stripe tee (old but similar here)
All About Eve white distressed ‘cherry’ tee
Brandy Melville white ‘it’s lit’ tee
Hansen & Gretel pleated cami
Madewell Courier shirt
Gorman quilted cotton jacket (old but similar here)

– DRESSES –
Bec & Bridge black pencil dress (also comes in white)
Acne Studios paloma silk dress
Tobi black maxi slip dress

– SKIRTS & TROUSERS –
RUBY khaki a-line skirt
Willow a-line leather skirt (old but similar here)
ASOS farleigh mom jeans
Grana denim chambray trousers (also love these)

– SHOES, BAGS & ACCESSORIES –
Lover black crochet swimsuit (old but similar here)
J Crew peach paisley bandana
Charlotte Olympia kitty flats
Vaneli slingback pumps
Maje black strappy sandals (similar here)
Charlotte Olympia blush feline pouch
3.1 by Phillip Lim beige mini pashli
Kate of Arcadia black leather pouch (old but similar here)

I – unsurprisingly – decided to play it safe and keep my colour palette as neutral as possible; even though I’m only away for a few days, if you’re a girl who likes to have options, then this is definitely the way to go.

Aside from the casual trousers from Grana that I’ll be wearing on the plane, I’m taking a couple skirts and a pair of jeans with me, opting rather to mix it up with some tees, camis and a punchy bandana so I can get the biggest bang for my buck.

I’ll be heading to a couple of evening events so I’ve packed three dress options, which range from more relaxed to formal cocktail attire. Realistically, I’ll probably only find myself wearing two of the three dresses, the maxi from Tobi and the Acne Studios Paloma dress both pack down small so I reasoned that it would be silly not to, right?

I typically always struggle with narrowing down my shoe options (I think I took SIX pairs with me to Europe last year), but given the lack of space, I’ve cut it back to three pairs, which I figure will see me through any situation I find myself in. There’s the dressed up kitty flat, for getting lost in central Dallas in, a low heeled two-tone pump which are perfect for dressing up some distressed denim, and a strappy black sandal for evening events and cocktail parties.

See you in Dallas!! x

A peek at some of my travel beauty essentials

packing for an overnight trip caileur
packing for an overnight trip caileur

If there’s one thing that is pretty much guaranteed, regardless of how long I’m travelling for, it’s that a quirky pair of flats will find their way into my suitcase. Wardrobe typically follows suit of some denim, a striped top, a sweater or cardigan in case in gets a little chilly, and my favourite midi skirt. Three years of capsule wardrobes have essentially taught me the fundamentals when it comes to packing.

Beauty on the other hand, is another story. The drawers of my vanity are bursting with some of my favourite eyeshadow palettes – I can never pick just one – and the shelf on my bathroom seems to have more facial cleansers than I can count. So when it comes to a short overnighter, or two-night stay away, I’m often at a little bit of a loss as to where to start, particularly where my skincare routine is involved.

With our wedding fast approaching, I decided to let Caileur do some of the work for me, and take the guesswork out of what I need to bring. My travel kit included a pack of Cleanse by Lauren Napier facial wipes, a Malin + Goetz facial moisturiser, a shower gel from Diptyque, and a toothbrush and toothpaste set from Marvis. The travel kit I ended up with (which all come in TSA approved sizes) has me only needing to add in a cleanser (in a pinch I’ll usually grab my Biore charcoal cleanser) and a toner (I’ve been following up my skincare routine with the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant).

So I guess the only thing left to do is narrow down the shoes. Two pairs or three?