I'm an NYC-Based Fashion Editor Heading to L.A.—Here's Everything in My Carry-On

Since Who What Wear is based in L.A., and I (along with my fellow East Coast editors) live in NYC, every now and then, an occasion comes along that warrants a trip to the West Coast. One such occasion is our company holiday party, which is taking place this week and warrants a six-day escape from New York just in time to avoid a cold front. My dress options for the main event are, of course, packed and ready. Everything else I need to bring, however, wasn't quite so easy to decide on. 

In order to avoid costly baggage fees and the risk of losing my luggage during the year's busiest travel season, I challenged myself to fit everything in a carry-on, despite the fact that I'm notorious for overpacking. Luckily, since I'm going somewhere warm, all of the bulky pieces I've been frequenting in NYC this season can remain at home, with only my easily packable warm-weather favorites joining me on the flight. Even so, dialing down the long list of items in my mental suitcase wasn't easy. (It never is.) Keep scrolling to see how I persevered in the end, as well as what made the final cut. 

Party Looks

In typical libra fashion, I'm bringing multiple dress options for our party knowing that I'll likely change my mind about 30 minutes before I'm supposed to arrive. The cloudy-blue color of this satin slip dress makes it the current front-runner.

Shop the dress:

I'm a sucker for an LBD, so I couldn't help but pack this tube dress just in case the blue didn't feel right on the day of. 

Jeans, Trousers, + Skirts

I can't help but love miniskirts, especially when I'm traveling. They fit right in the nooks and crannies of my carry-on but pack a lot of sartorial punch. 

I've been very into winter whites this season, particularly trousers like these from Closed. I love how slouchy and casual they can be, but you can also definitely dress them up, making them perfect for traveling.

Shop the skirt:

I wear this denim skirt constantly, pairing it with heeled sandals, knee-high boots, and sneakers. Like any pair of jeans, it goes with everything—and then some.

I have a tendency to pack too many pairs of jeans whenever I travel, so this time, I'm forcing myself to stick with just one style. Since Levi's are *the* denim brand, it felt appropriate for them to be the winners.

Tops + Tees

Shop the corset:

Whenever I go to L.A., I always bring one going-out top, just in case. This corset from Miaou is my go-to.

You can bet that this knit will be by my side on my five-hour flight.

I'm going for a very 1990s Michael Kors aesthetic for this trip if you can't already tell. 

This elevated tank is perfect for traveling because it rolls up so small and looks good with everything. 

I'm topping every outfit with this classic button-down. 

Shop the T-shirt:

The last time I was in L.A., I wore this baby tee almost every day. So of course, I have to bring it back for round two.


Shop the heels:

When you're only bringing a carry-on but you have to dress for a formal event, it's important to bring a pair of heels that you can style both up and down. These BY FAR LBSs (little black sandals) do it all.

I only got these a week ago, but I've already worn them a handful of times.

Okay, so I won't technically put these in my carry-on, because I've learned over the years to always wear your bulkiest items rather packing them. They will, however, be worn on the plane. I like being a little dressed up at the airport anyways. 

As long as I bring my running shoes, I might actually go run. That or go hiking somewhere scene-y in Malibu.


It might be L.A., but it still gets chilly, especially this time of year. And a leather jacket is the perfect throw-on-and-go piece for those days (or nights) when temperatures dip below 65ºF.

I hardly ever go on a trip without packing at least one blazer. You never know when your outfit will need a tailored, put-together topper.

Accessories + More

Technically, the version that will be strapped to my back—there's also a crossbody strap that's perfect for travel days—is cream, but this color is equally as luxe. (It's also on sale.)

I'll probably wear these every day of my trip.

Shop the shades:

These are an instant outfit booster, which is important when you're mostly packing basics.

When I tell you these are the best claw clips on the market… Plus, they're perfect for holding back your hair while you do sheet masks on the plane. 

I'm not really one to wear florals, but this bikini fits so well that I surprisingly don't mind it. 

What's an L.A. packing list without a bikini inclusion? Fingers crossed its warm enough to actually wear it. 

It is the holiday season after all. Plus, that blue dress is in need of some bold earrings.


I run in leggings almost every day, and these are my favorite pair I've tried yet. 

This is one of a handful of sports bras that have passed my test.

I wish I had a dozen pairs of these shorts.

I'm very against putting my phone or anything else in my pockets while I run, so these belts are essential.