clothing hanging in closet at peninsula hotel

You may recall that I went to Hong Kong and Shanghai last June (I’m ready to go back!). This past weekend I went to Kansas City & Iowa for a wedding and I packed way too much. If I don’t leave myself enough time to pack, if I haven’t traveled in a while, and if I don’t know exactly all of the events I’m going to, I will sometimes overpack. One trip I actually didn’t overpack too much for was the China trip!

Even though I packed in a carry-on bag, I still definitely could have packed less. I ended up wearing a few of the same outfits twice.

I packed with a theme in mind — black, white and neutrals. I was able to pack this little because I recently revamped my packing system. Read my 3 Keys to Packing. But here’s exactly what I brought with me to China, and what I didn’t need to bring.


The only clothing & shoes I needed to pack for a week in Hong Kong & Shanghai (during summer):

  • Flat sandalsMy Vince sandals (similar) were so comfortable, I didn’t need any other flats even though I brought two more pairs just in case any of them rubbed.
  • Nike tennis shoes — I actually only wore these on the plane on the way there.
  • Joie Gold Sandals and Black & Tan Sandals — I wore both of my heeled sandals, but I only wore the gold ones once, but they made the outfit, soooo kinda worth it — but I could have easily gotten away with just packing one pair of heels.
  • Maison du Soir Pajama Set — If I’m staying in a luxury hotel (like The Peninsula) then I only want to wear my luxurious pajamas.
  • Black Silk Pants — Love these pants. They are perfect for dressing up in hot weather.
  • Jumpsuit — Jumpsuits (depending on the fabric) are a great thing to pack because they are the entire outfit. I probably didn’t need to bring this and could have just worn my black silk pants again with a different top but it was fun to wear.
  • Black Dress — This dress looks like textured leather, but it’s actually light and flowy. It’s perfect for traveling because the fabric is supposed to look a little wrinkly! It also rolls up really small.
  • White Sweater and Blush Sweater — I probably could have only brought one of these, but I brought both and ended up wearing both of them.
  • White Vince Sweater — I love this sweater
  • Black Trousers — Probably wore these the most. They are perfect for short flights (I wore them to and from the Bahamas) and for walking around for a long day. They are just baggy enough to be comfortable and not hot.
  • Black & White Tank — I wore this tank with my black silk pants.
  • Navy Dress — This dress is AMAZING. It’s the perfect cut for me, and I love how it hangs. Great for looking nice in really hot weather. I wore it while walking around Hong Kong on a super hot day.
  • Cream Vest (similar)— Wore this vest over my black dress, and loved this outfit so much I wore it once in Hong Kong and then again in Shanghai.
  • Black Leggings — I didn’t have compression leggings, but honestly I think my lululemon leggings are just as tight, and I wore them on the flights.
  • Black cozy sweater — I wore a huge cozy Joie sweater on the flights as well. I needed something super warm, especially for the 15-hour flights!
  • White t-shirt and gray t-shirt — Under my cozy sweater I wore a t-shirt on my flights.


What I packed and didn’t use or wear:

  • 2 extra pairs of flat sandals, in case my new Vince sandals rubbed
  • 1 black BCBG dress with sleeves & belt that went with it
  • 1 patterned ZARA top, had I stayed a few days longer I would have worn it
  • 1 BCBG white jacket, again, had a stayed a few more days, I would have worn it
  • 1 workout outfit — with jet lag I was too tired to workout the entire trip
  • A few extra t-shirts & tank tops I didn’t need
  • 1 sleeveless sweater to wear over my black dress, again, had I stayed another week, I would have worn it
  • I probably didn’t need to pack two white sweaters and a blush sweater and could have just packed one of the three
  • A notebook and a few magazines — The lights were off on the plane most of the trip so I didn’t read all of the magazines I brought, but still had to tote around with me
  • 2 pairs of shorts I didn’t wear


Make sure to see my recaps from China:

Hong Kong Part I

Hong Kong Part II

9 Things To Do in Shanghai

3 Keys to Packing + 9 Travel and Packing Tips

5 Things To Do at The Peninsula Hong Kong

9 Tips for Really Long Flights


Photos by Meg Biram. Please do not use without written permission.