What I sewed for and packed for a long weekend to Charleston, SC

I’m headed to Charleston, SC for a long weekend with a good friend. Here’s what I sewed and packed.

I wanted a casual blazer style jacket for the cooler spring evenings, so I packed my hand-dyed Kona cotton Wiksten Unfolding Jacket. You can try the SewDaily Ginger Jacket for a similar look (or the Ikina Two from Sewing Workshop).

I chose three tops, four bottoms, a dress, a sweater and the jacket.

Emerson pant what to wear charleston SC sewing for charleston SC

Two of my tops are recent thrift/block print finds at a sustainable fashion show. The creator of these purchased thrifted items, block printed on them. I got a blush print cropped tee, and a light blue linen V-neck tee shirt (shown in the Rainbow Row pic above.)

I chose a friend-thrifted long denim skirt in washed denim, a pair of cream wide leg cropped knit pants and a brand-newly-sewn Emerson pants in blush pink as my other bottoms. I tucked in a pair of Pietra shorts in mint green too.

I wanted a dress for a couple nicer dinners so I tossed in my Ann Normandy linen Slip dress in bright turquoise linen. This is an above-the-knee dress with a roomy midsection, perfect for dinners out in a humid climate!

I added a long striped sweater in cream with gold/mustard stripes, and a navy blue poncho for the plane. Rounding out my trip is a very rainy day in CHS and I will wear my waterproof Columbia rain jacket in light gray/fog. It was torrential rain, with flooding, and took 2 days for my Asics to dry out (always bring extra shoes!)

I’m pairing these with a pair of TEVA sandals (not Charleston cobbles in the pic, but cobbles nevertheless) a pair of light turquoise sneakers from Rocket Dog, and my trusty Asics black running shoes. I sprained my ankle the week before so a really attractive black ankle wrap will likely be my companion at least part of the trip, LOL.

I want a pair of Teva Hurricane XLTs in another color – the molded sole is super comfortable even walking up to 10-12 miles a day, the foam footbed ones are not quite as supportive – but I’m on a mission to not buy more stuff, so the black/cream ones are the go to ones I’ll wear everywhere.

Top row: the Wiksten jacket, hand dyed (by me!) Kona cotton, the blush Emerson pants, blush Emerson pants with (matching!) blush tee that I bought from a sustainable seller. Middle row: two more views of the blush pants with other tee shirts coming with me, Pietra shorts (shown with a me-made tee this summer in Czech Republic), two different views of the Ann Normandy slip dress and my Tevas. Everything I have is tried and tested (the blush pants are new but the Emerson is not – I have three pair of pants and two pair of shorts I’ve worn over and over for travel.)

Outfits from these all fit in one very small carryon suitcase. I actually packed my poncho, a pair of very light weight jogger style pants for yoga and a tank top in my backpack. I normally bring a yoga mat but that’s a bit overkill for the size suitcase I have. I am packing a foldable tote bag just in case.

My agenda consists of the usual: walking and garden tours in Charleston, a lot of good food with my vegan friend. I plan to eat more than my fair share of seafood (I am not a vegan, but I like vegan dishes since I don’t eat much dairy.) I do plan to walk on the beach – my friend lives in a beach town in FL so the beach is nothing new for her, but for me, I need to dip my feet in the ocean if I’m near it.

I wanted to ride a bike (my friend is not a cyclist) and planned a half day on my own to do this on my first day BUT it’s going to be terrible rainy (stormy, actually) weather, so this may not happen. I’m intrepid so if it’s not storming, I may still rent a bike in the rain. That’s what a rain jacket is for!

Last but not least, I’m wearing a synthetic pixie wig, the Natalie by Jon Renau (seen in the pics on me in the mirror shots above) in a light/blonde highlight. I chose a synthetic wig because it’s going to rain (a lot) on Thursday, it’s short and cool for humid days and if/when I do wash it, it’s basically fluff and go. Wigs are easy! I wanted to take a longer wig too but not enough room in my bag. Short hair it is!

How did it go with this Charleston me-made capsule wardrobe?

I had plenty to wear and a tiny suitcase! I ended up not wearing the dress at all but I’ll tell you that long floral flounced or long striped shirt dresses were EVERYWHERE in Charleston! So, if you’re going, pack a printed dress!

I wore everything, mixed and matched and it was perfect. The long sweater doubled as a robe in our air conditioned hotel room, or out at night when it got cooler. I wore the Wiksten Unfolding every evening and on the plane there and back.

When your wardrobe works for you on a trip (see my two-week Europe capsule for super hot summer weather here) it works! It gives you options, keeps you comfortable. I am wearing an ankle brace (sprained my ankle a week before I left!) in every photo, but that’s OK, it was a good trip and I wasn’t hobbling around too much.

What would I make, having been to Charleston?

A dress! I might have chosen a floral, tiered sundress like the Trillium by Made by Rae, or I would have chosen a long striped linen shirt dress or floral dress like this. If you want a knit fabric, the Amare Dress by Naughty Bobbin Patterns is divine. Any vintage sundress pattern would also have been perfect. In short, CHS was the city of pretty spring sundresses when I went!