What to Pack for a Spring Weekend Trip

north charleston hotel

H and I recently went to Charleston for the weekend, where we enjoyed the nice weather and exploring a new city. Since we visited Charleston in February, it was warm enough to swap out my camel coat for a denim jacket and bring sundresses and sandals, although it wasn’t bikini-and-shorts weather. This is what I packed for the trip, which would also work for a spring break road trip or early spring beach weekend.

Packing Up

packing for charleston

I packed in a carry-on so I wouldn’t have to check a bag on the plane. This weekender is smaller and more stylish than a duffle bag, but I knew anything I packed would wrinkle since the bag isn’t very structured. I wanted to pack lightly and bring versatile pieces to be prepared for a variety of weather conditions. My real wardrobe MVPs are on this packing list and my Guide to Packing for a Fall Weekend Getaway.

Exactly What I Packed

On Top:

  • Linen t-shirt
  • Lacy camisole
  • Off-the-shoulder gingham top
  • Navy silk camisole
  • Striped cotton sweater

On the Bottom:

  • White jeans
  • Light wash jeans

On My Feet:

  • Boat shoes
  • Canvas sneakers
  • Flat sandals
  • Wedge sandals

Everything Else:

  • Denim jacket
  • Off-the-shoulder dress
  • Colorful sundress
  • Suede clutch
  • Fleece and raincoat (just in case!)
  • Bras, panties, sleepwear, socks

The Outfits:

The Flight to Charleston

travel outfit to charleston

I donned my travel outfit after work: white jeans, a pink linen t-shirt, Sperries, and a denim jacket, which I wore with everything the rest of the trip. Miraculously, I didn’t spill anything or sit in anything in my white jeans. Once we were at the hotel, I took off my jacket, freshened up, and was ready for drinks at the hotel bar.

Saturday Exploring Charleston

exploring downtown Charleston

Saturday we had a museum visit, brunch, and downtown exploration planned. I love the crisp, clean look of an all-white outfit, so I wore the white jeans from the day before, a lacy white camisole, my denim jacket, and Sperries. I felt a little silly at the museum in North Charleston, but the outfit was perfect for brunch and walking around downtown near the river.

Dinner Saturday Night

dinner at magnolia's

I brought a lot of pieces that I could wear several times, but I also packed two dresses specifically for dinner Saturday and Sunday night. Saturday night I chose the more casual one, a strapless pink and orange dress embroidered with flowers. I paired it with flat leather sandals and my ubiquitous denim jacket to walk from our Airbnb to the restaurant.

Sunday on King Street

walking around charleston

The next morning, we walked to a coffee shop and then strolled down King Street before our afternoon cruise to Fort Sumter. I wore my best “brunch in Charleston” outfit, an off-the-shoulder gingham top, light wash jeans, and red Keds. Gingham is so Charleston, and this top is cute and wearable. I was comfortable for the post-brunch walk, but I did regret choosing a blowout instead of a topknot to face the wind and humidity outside.

The Boat to Fort Sumter

exploring fort sumter

I changed my gingham top for a navy-and-white striped cotton sweater to be more comfortable on the boat and at the fort, but kept the rest of my outfit the same. The Keds were great for scrambling around the embankments and I was just warm enough with the sweater and a light waterproof jacket to block the wind.

Dinner Sunday Night

dinner at husk

I changed into this sweet white off-the-shoulder dress for dinner, since it was my last chance to wear a summer dress before I went back to DC. I paired it with wedges, which are more flattering than flat sandals with the long dress. I wore my denim jacket (surprise!) over the dress in case the restaurant was chilly.

Travel Home and Work Monday

We flew home early Monday morning, so I wanted to be ready for work once I arrived in DC. I wore the same outfit from the cruise to Fort Sumter for a casual day at work: a striped sweater, light wash jeans, and Keds (although I changed my shoes in the airport since the Keds gave me blisters the day before!).

How I Could Have Packed Lighter:

If I were pressed for space, I could have left behind the silk camisole, which I didn’t wear, or the dress and wedges I wore Sunday night. I planned to wear the navy silk camisole with white jeans and wedges if H and I had done anything fancy on Friday night. However, I could have worn the camisole with white jeans and flat sandals to dinner Saturday night and worn the dress from Saturday on Sunday. I brought the camisole, dress, and wedges to have a few outfit choices to suit our flexible plans.

What would you pack for a spring weekend away? Which of these outfits would you wear? Let me know in the comments!

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