“I was thinking, Ootzie. Why don’t you just fly straight from Phoenix to St. Louis instead of going back to LAX?” my dad recommended only hours before my flight to San Francisco on November 19th.

Crap. He had a point.

Before even hanging up, I ran into my Santa Monica bedroom and psychotically started cramming random sweaters, shoes and coats into an additional suitcase like an Old Navy Black Friday shopper on crack.

“I can always go shopping,” I told myself while hauling the luggage into the Uber.


But a month later, I am still living off of that random assortment of clothing and accessories from San Francisco to Phoenix to St. Louis, and there has been no time or budget to shop for myself. Plus, even if there was, I’m not sure what I would buy.

Everything I packed was stripes. And why crop tops in December? The only thing that made sense was my workout spandex. And maybe the leopard clutch.


I felt helpless. Until I remembered…

  • If your Macbook Pro has a meltdown, you drive to the Genius Bar.
  • If you don’t understand what’s up with your Jetta, you go to the mechanic.
  • If you’re having a hair and/or life crisis, you head to your hair stylist.

And if you have a styling issue, YOU GO TO A STYLIST.


Or (thankfully) a ThreadsRefined stylist comes to you, like a Genius Bar in your bedroom. Which is exactly what happened when Ginger from ThreadsRefined arrived at my friend’s Scottsdale condo where I was staying to survey the suitcase situation in my first styling session.

The result: A tactical approach to living out of a suitcase in style, including the following must-haves.


10 Items to Pack for Long Trips

1. Drybar Triple Sec 3-in-1

No one likes “(not so) fresh off the plane” hair, especially when it’s still recovering from a sweaty last-minute suitcase cram sesh. Drybar’s Triple Sec 3-in-1 Dry Shampoo gives your hair a soft, matte look and the small size is Security line-approved.


2. Downey Wrinkle Releaser

Because no one has time to iron clothes that are inevitably wrinkly upon arrival. Plus, Downey Wrinkle Releaser leaves your clothes smelling fresh and airport-free.


3. Slouchey Pants

“What do I wear with those?!” They scared me, but as Ginger started rolling the bottoms, I remembered that’s why she was there. Ginger advises cuffing them at the bottom and wearing with any shoe – from sneakers to heels.


4. Nude heels

Instead of my $39.99 black hooker heels. “Nude is more elegant and flattering for the leg – and goes with everything,” Ginger said as she held up the Steve Madden Slithur Caged Sandals she recently purchased.


6. Sneakers

“What if I’m not cool enough to pull off the casual sneakers thing?” I asked, imagining a failed attempt at that cool J. Crew look.

“I thought the same thing. And ended up returning my New Balances,” Ginger reassured me and pointed down at her Adidas. Whether they’re New Balance, Adidas or Vans, they’re easy to pair with boyfriend jeans and a sweatshirt.


7. Jean Jacket

“Always bring a denim jacket,” Ginger added emphatically. And she gave me an insider tip from the hip NY fashion girls: try wearing it off-the-shoulder.

8. White Blazer

It’s a staple. Even in the winter.


9. Jumpsuit

“You need a jumpsuit,” Ginger said. “A solid jumpsuit.” She saw a pattern with my patterns which doesn’t offer the type of versatility solid does. And nothing is more multipurpose than a solid jumpsuit which can be worn with either a blazer and heels or cuffed with sneakers.


10. Fur Vest

“Always think: ‘How many different ways can I wear this?'” Ginger advised, but I had no idea how to apply it to a faux fur vest. Her answer? Big oversized white t-shirts, jeans, dress or a basic v-neck.

Styling Session Success

“Packing is a great way to think of your closet, too. Pack your favorite things that make you feel best, and maybe get rid of the rest,” said Ginger at the end of the hour. “Someone’s going to love that Bebe dress. And she’s 20 in Scottsdale.”


She also gave me an assignment which is perfect preparation for my next ThreadsRefined stylist session: Create a Pinterest board for My Style and start pinning everything I like. Which is what I’m probably currently doing over a glass of Eggnog and A Christmas Story.

For more about personal styling or to be matched with your own awesome personal stylist: ThreadsRefined Personal Styling.