What I'm packing for London - une femme d'un certain âge

Here’s what I’m packing for 2 weeks in London…

How to pack for 2 weeks in 1 suitcase: my London travel wardrobe.

It’s time to pack and head to the airport! For the next two weeks I’ll be training in color and style analysis with Red Leopard. I’m leaving a weird winter heat wave in Southern California (86F yesterday!) for chilly and wet London. Here’s what I packed for 2 weeks in London.

2 weeks, 1 suitcase

This trip will be different than our usual vacation travel, so I’ve made some adjustments to my travel wardrobe to accommodate the circumstances.

  • I don’t anticipate spending much time sightseeing on foot, but rather will be indoors for a good part of most days. (And looking at the current weather forecast, I’m fine with that!)
  • Dressing for mostly indoors means fewer layers, so I’ve focused on printed tops and scarves for interest and variety.
  • I’m only bringing one piece of outerwear that provides both warmth and water-resistance.

Still, most of the tops work with most of the bottoms, and the jackets can layer over any of the tops.

My 15-piece travel wardrobe

Susan B's 2-week travel wardrobe for London.

So let’s dig in! Most of the pieces I’m packing for London are from prior seasons, so I’ve linked to similar items when possible.

Shoes

I always start with the shoes, and prioritized both comfort and water resistance in this set.

  • Espresso suede weatherproof ankle boots. These are comfortable enough for being on my feet all day, and can dress up if needed for evenings out.
  • Platform sock boots. Same style in black. Similar look in brown. These are quite comfortable, and will be a fun alternative.
  • Suede low Chelsea bootie (weatherproof). Similar. These will be my travel day shoes, and they’re comfortable enough for all-day walking should the opportunity arise.

Based on the shoe selections, I went with a capsule of mostly brown and ivory.

Bottoms

Tops

I selected a variety of sweaters, and a couple of long-sleeved tees. Unless it’s absolutely sweltering indoors, I’m usually comfortable in a lightweight sweater.

  • 2 solid cashmere crewnecks, ivory and camel.
  • cashmere v-neck, ivory. (not shown)
  • graphic print wool sweater (similar)
  • cotton sweater, striped with lemon print
  • lightweight cashmere intarsia lemon sweater (yes, that’s two lemon prints, but they’re different weights and have a different look)
  • striped lightweight slub tee
  • long-sleeved graphic print top (if you wear blouses, a striped or printed blouse would work here too).

As I mentioned above, most of these pieces are from prior seasons and no longer available. I did find some print sweaters and tops that could work as well. (Click on images to view details, click arrow to see more options.)

Jackets & outerwear

I included 3 knit jackets that could be worn indoors over the lighter sweaters and tops, and will layer underneath my outerwear.

  • Knit short chore jacket. I can also wear this buttoned up on its own as a top.
  • Sweater blazer. (similar)
  • Reversible stand-collar jacket. (similar) For those days when I’m craving some bright color.
packable down coat and two handbags for travel.

On Manina’s recommendation, I’m just bringing one piece of outerwear, which is both warm and water-resistant.

Bags & scarves

I’m taking a variety of scarves in different weights.

  • I’ll definitely be taking my Lo & Sons Pearl bag, and can add this fun tortoise resin chain strap for going out.
  • Still on the fence about bringing my small puzzle bag (similar). It coordinates nicely with the rest of my wardrobe and adds some visual interest.

Before I leave for the airport, I’ll do one last weather check, and may either swap something out or add a Wild Card. I’ll post outfits from this travel wardrobe during my trip. You can also follow me on Instagram for more updates from London!

And if you’re looking for more travel wardrobe ideas and tips, be sure to check out my Travel Wardrobe Resource Hub!

Stay in touch.

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35 Comments

  1. Val
    February 11, 2022 / 3:39 am

    Wonderful choices. I am so happy to see the tortoise resin strap. What a fantastic idea. I have several Lo and Sons bags and I will def be ordering a strap. Thanks for showing it. Have a great time and can’t wait for you next posts.

  2. Anna Oswald
    February 11, 2022 / 4:35 am

    What size bag do you take? I know that you are small, but this seems like a lot of clothes!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      February 11, 2022 / 7:12 am

      Hi Anna, this selection includes what I’ll wear on the plane. It could fit in a carry-on but I’m taking a larger checked bag as I’ll need to bring home color drapes and course materials.

  3. Jane
    February 11, 2022 / 5:07 am

    Great choices for color, comfort and style. I hope to be one of your customers at some point. I’ve been so impressed with the direction you’re wardrobe has taken you. You look wonderful.
    Have a great trip!

  4. Kathy Geese
    February 11, 2022 / 5:34 am

    So excited for you and this new venture! If plans don’t derail again, I will spend June traveling in Spain with a friend and your travel packing ideas will be very helpful. Weather will be much warmer there which will be challenging with my typical PNW wardrobe of light sweaters, short boots, and jeans so I need to start shopping now. I look forward to your London posts and would love to have a color analysis as at 68, finding I need richer colors with my changing hair and skin tones. Bon voyage!

  5. Debra
    February 11, 2022 / 6:02 am

    Looks great – I particularly love those platform boots! I am headed to London next month for a week (fingers crossed) so am hoping you’ll snap a few street style photos of women our age (please) – London is an unknown for me. I’ve already got a carryon-only packing list started but…any advice would be welcome! By the way, I go to a school in France every two years to work on my French (have planned three weeks this summer) and thus think YOUR educational trip is fabulous. If you stop learning you stop living!

  6. February 11, 2022 / 6:30 am

    Can’t wait to see you Xx

  7. Pink Azalea
    February 11, 2022 / 6:36 am

    Love your travel selections. It will be fun to see how it goes and what you learn there. Have a wonderful time. In thinking about my own wardrobe, I think I have almost enough pieces. Going forward I plan to focus more on accessories – shoes, jewelry, handbags, belts, etc. and this post has inspired me to create a capsule for this late winter/very early spring season.

  8. Jill Ann
    February 11, 2022 / 6:43 am

    Are you checking luggage this time, or can that all fit in a carryon? (Doesn’t seem like it would fit)

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      February 11, 2022 / 7:11 am

      It would fit in a carry-on (includes what I’ll wear on the plane) but I am checking luggage this time as I’ll be bringing home color drapes and other course materials.

  9. Eve
    February 11, 2022 / 6:43 am

    What luscious color.for your base. Much better than black and gray. And the great tops. I’m drawn to lemon graphics and just can’t wait to see how you style these pieces. Boots are my favorite footwear and seem just the thing for London weather. Have fun!

  10. Joan
    February 11, 2022 / 7:34 am

    No need for a dressier outfit, evening pant and dressy sweater or blouse?
    Have a wonderful, fun learning experience!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      February 11, 2022 / 7:37 am

      I don’t own much in the way of dressy clothes, so will use the dark cords and one of the jackets if I need to dress up.

  11. Becky
    February 11, 2022 / 7:38 am

    Love your choices! For me personally, a winter sporty/classic, I’d change the colors and either add or swap out a nice pair of sneaks for the platform booties and a denim jacket for one of the knit jackets. I appreciate how you put together a capsule that I can visualize how to tweak for myself. Enjoy your trip!

  12. Florida Lyn
    February 11, 2022 / 8:02 am

    This capsule looks great. I love the colors. For me, I’d pare it down quite a bit since I consider the weight of each item whether I backpack or just pack in a carry-on. And I need space for at least one turtleneck and base layers to keep me warm. (We all have our priorities.) But since you are allowing yourself the luxury of checked luggage, go for it! I love the packing posts and especially the post-trip evaluation. This one should get high marks.
    Remember to look both ways before you cross the street! That left-lane traffic is even harder to get used to as a pedestrian.

  13. Jenniferanne
    February 11, 2022 / 8:07 am

    Always love your packing ideas and have learned so much from you. As an ex Brit I think your choices are good but personally I would nix the lemon tops – a bit too California for a gritty city.

    • Anne
      February 11, 2022 / 4:39 pm

      Totally agree on the lemon graphics! Just can’t see them In London.

    • Maryann
      February 11, 2022 / 7:31 pm

      I also think the lemon graphics aren’t quite right for London. However I could see these items on the South of France or southern Italy.

    • Liz Bordeaux
      February 12, 2022 / 5:37 am

      Odd that a few people have said to nix the lemons – at least one of the lemon sweaters is from Chinti and Parker based in London, who do quite a few quirky things. And as an ex-Brit you probably know that we like those 🙂 Sugarhill Brighton is another good Brit source of quirk but there are several in all price categories!

      • Susan Blakey
        Author
        February 12, 2022 / 10:44 am

        Yes, both of mine are from Chinti & Parker. 😉

  14. SHIRA
    February 11, 2022 / 9:15 am

    What a lovely collection! I am looking forward to seeing your outfits and learning more about your training.

  15. Elizabeth
    February 11, 2022 / 11:33 am

    Love the palette but I’d drop one of the lemon-themed sweaters and one pair of tan/brown suede boots- they seem like duplicates. Otherwise everything looks interchangeable, fashionable as well as practical to me! Have a wonderful experience in London.

  16. Kelly
    February 11, 2022 / 11:58 am

    I am so happy you are learning color analysis from the Red Leopard ladies, cannot wait for you to start seeing clients of your own. The red moto jacket you featured several days ago look so good on you and shows off all the work you have put in with Faster Way to Weight Loss, that is the only item I would add to your packing list.
    Have a wonderful time!

  17. Nicole
    February 11, 2022 / 12:15 pm

    Can you source the brown tee, the one with lilac dots? Nice color palette, very calm and colorful at the same time! Have a great trip.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      February 11, 2022 / 12:43 pm

      Hi Nicole, thanks, it’s from a brand called SIYU and I purchased it in London last year.

  18. Ann Smith
    February 11, 2022 / 2:09 pm

    Hi from Australia. Congratulations on learning to be a colour consultant with Red Leopard. They are such classy ladies. They always look so well put together and have wonderful style. I would love you to take your divine leather jacket you bought in the UK and more trousers that aren’t jeans. Jeans to me are too casual for the Red Leopard team. Enjoy your time. Looking forward to your updates. Cheers Ann

  19. Pris
    February 11, 2022 / 3:49 pm

    Hi Susan
    I would remove one pair of jeans plus a lemon top .
    Perhaps you might consider an ivory pair of jeans/pants which you have featured in the past.
    They would work well with everything you have in this wardrobe. I love your blog and your classy style.
    Pris

  20. February 12, 2022 / 10:08 am

    You are a master in packing for travelling. Looks like you could cover four weeks. Well done.
    Greetje
    PS I know you will have so much fun and learn a lit in the meantime.

  21. Joan
    February 12, 2022 / 10:50 am

    Lemons are a mid-late Winter theme, as that is when they grow, and are a harbinger of Spring. Perhaps people think they are strictly an Italian / coastal theme, but that isn’t the case. (Lemons, oranges, TANGELOS, and kumquats are the things I miss from our 10 years in SoCal!)

    Thank you for the link to the fun and of-the-moment resin handbag strap, which comes in several finishes. I think it will work for several of my bags.

  22. Wendy
    February 14, 2022 / 12:25 am

    Be careful. There is a lot of Omicron around and restrictions are off! You must test negative on a PRC test to return to the US.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      February 14, 2022 / 1:07 am

      Yes, I’m aware and being mindful.

  23. Susan Winham
    February 19, 2022 / 8:16 am

    Hello from Atlanta, Georgia! I am curious how you determined the size to order for the Madewell Chore Sweater-Jacket. I am a 6P and weigh 128. The last sweater I purchased from Madewell ran large so just looking for an opinion! Thanks so much and hope your trip is fabulous

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      February 19, 2022 / 8:22 am

      Hi Susan, I’ve found that I’m usually an XS in Madewell jackets (or even sometimes XXS). I ordered the XS and it was a good fit. You might want to start with that size, or Small if you’re broad-shouldered.

      • Susan Winham
        February 19, 2022 / 1:06 pm

        Thank you!

  24. February 21, 2022 / 5:30 am

    I’ll be going to London from April 25-May 7. I probably won’t need a puffer coat (I really don’t know the weather that time of year). What would you recommend I pack?

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