Living out of a suitcase

Leather Jacket and JeansThose of you who follow me on Facebook and here on my blog know that there have been some changes in my life of late. What’s happening? I’m moving! My husband and I have lived in our tiny, 850 square foot, 1920’s spanish style cottage for over a decade.  We’ve wanted to move our family to a larger home for a while but even with the current state of the economy real estate in the nicer parts of Los Angeles is wildly expensive. As a result we’re moving in two steps. First, we’ve relocated temporarily to my mother-in-law’s spacious backyard studio apartment. It was the original owner’s art studio and still has an enormous north-facing window that brings in beautiful, indirect light all day long. It’s sort of like living in a garden. So far the move has gone very smoothly, but there is one small problem. I’m dressing out of a duffel bag.

One of the things that happens when I pack a suitcase is I realize how very creative my wardrobe is. I just don’t have a lot of basics, so when I need a versatile but spare wardrobe I fall back on jeans and t-shirts. My new black leather jacket goes great with the above pieces, and I’ve worn this uniform every day, with a few variations in shoes and scarves.

Jeans and a Biker Jacket

Leather Jacket and red scarf

Platform boots

Red ScarfIn these photos I’m wearing a black silk blouse and not a t-shirt. I must say it’s as easy a tee but much more elegant. It makes me want to invest in a few more silk blouses in different colors.


  • Black leather jacket from The Gap
  • Burgundy cashmere scarf (Mine was a gift from my mother, but these are similar)
  • Black silk blouse by Zoe & Sam (this one is similar)
  • Hudson “Nico” super skinny mid-rise jeans
  • Kork-ease “Marlo” platform boots
  • And my wonderful beige canvas “Sal” convertible bag from Skinny Vinny.


What do you put in your duffel bag?


21 Responses to Living out of a suitcase

  1. Alexis Grace March 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    I’ve been living out of suitcases for awhile now (& before that out of my maternity wardrobe) , so I understand the importance of creating a uniform! This is a great classic look and I am always a big proponent of silk blouses— classic, easy, luxury!
    Alexis Grace recently posted..Dries Van Noten Fall 2013My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca March 2, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      Oh Alexis I know it’s been crazy for you. At least I’m in one spot. You’ve been moving around like crazy. I can’t imagine how hard that must be for you. I’m glad you approve of my uniform, and I do think you were the person who inspired me to attempt a silk blouse. Now I want more!

  2. No Fear of Fashion March 2, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    I would pack black and white basics and lots of colour accessories. Definitely jeans or in summer white boyfriend jeans. Shoes are my problem. Everything looks good with high heels (I am wearing them now with skinnies, gosh it looks good haha). But that is not comfortable and you cannot wear them every day. So comfortable but stylish flat boots. I am done packing.
    You mention your silk blouse (hidden under your jacket..). I adore silk but not when it is cold because silk does not keep me warm.
    No Fear of Fashion recently posted..Yellow LaDress tunic with skinniesMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca March 2, 2013 at 9:25 am #

      Silk is sort of perfect in Los Angeles because it’s not usually that cold, but in the summer it can be too warm. Oh well. I agree with you on the subject of heels, but I find a low heel can be really perfect in all sorts of situations. I’ve been attracted to them recently!

  3. nicole March 2, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Simple, chic, sexy. Effortlessly pulled together. So you Heather. I’m already looking forward to the cooler weather so that I can start wearing boots and my jacket that is a little bit like yours. Thanks Heather!

    • Heather Fonseca March 3, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Aw, thanks Nicole! It’s been getting hot here in Los Angeles. I hope I have a few more months of layering ahead of me though!

  4. lissy
    March 3, 2013 at 4:24 am #

    I really like those jeans, especially the nice dark wash. They look great on you!
    lissy recently posted..Spring HaulMy Profile

  5. anne the SpyGirl
    March 3, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    Lots of scarves and rectangular garments would be in my duffel!

    I’d love to see a future article on what you packed, how you styled it during your sojourn away from your closet, and what you needed (not wanted) to buy while you lived out of the duffel. And how long it took before you raided storage to pull more items and what you pulled!
    anne the SpyGirl recently posted..Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup for 2/28My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca March 3, 2013 at 9:13 am #

      LOL! Anne, I’m already raiding my closet from home in an attempt to create a wardrobe that’s not too boring. Jeans and t-shirts only take you so far. If I know me, I’ll be raiding that storage unit daily.

  6. Arash Mazinani
    March 3, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    I love that you rock a silk blouse rather than a t shirt. As versatile and basic a t shirt is, very is something much more feminine and chic about a blouse, if you can work it into your wardrobe and forego t shirts for the most part I think overall your style will benefit from it. I hope your move goes all okay :-).
    Arash Mazinani recently posted..How Luxe Fashion Is Changing Our Shopping Experience With In-Store TechMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca March 3, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      I’ve worn T-shirts for so many years, and they are so very casual L.A. living, that it’s been hard for me to look elsewhere for tops. But I like my silk blouse because it drapes so nicely and in many ways is just as easy to wear. Unfortunately they’re much more expensive than a simple T-shirt! Still, I’m going to keep a look out for more, maybe on sale.

  7. Sharon March 3, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    I love the jacket. Awesome causal look.
    I have been having home renovations done and for three weeks my children and I had to live in the family room (it has a bathroom connected and a door that leads to the outside). The floors were being refinished throughout the rest of the house. I basically just had my work clothes and house clothes that I brought for our one room stay. Thankfully we are now free of the confined space.
    Sharon recently posted..Where You Been Girl?My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca March 3, 2013 at 9:48 am #

      House renovation is tough! We’re fixing the house now that we’ve moved out. I’m SO glad we’re not trying to live there at the same time. I hope your new floors look fab!

    March 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Nice outfit, those jeans look great on you! I love darker denim best. I live out of a suitcase twice a month for work so I know it is not easy, but it does make you be more conscious of being versatile with your garments, which I love! All the best with the move! :)/Madison
    FASHION TALES recently posted..Style Flashes and Flavourful Links Vol. IIMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca March 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      It must be hard living out of a suitcase twice a month! But I suppose if you do it a lot you must be very good at it. I’m always taken by surprise. Right now I’m trying to figure out what to keep with me in my very limited closet space, and what to pack. It’s hard! I don’t really have a mix and match wardrobe. Everything is different.
      But I’m glad you like my new jeans!

  9. Shanti March 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Keeping things simple when living out of a suitcase is essential! jeans, tshirts, maybe a hoodie, a neutral pair of boots. Love the bag you have in these photos!

  10. Stacey - Total City Girl
    March 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    Glad to hear the first move went smoothly!
    Stacey – Total City Girl recently posted..52 Week Photo Challenge – Week 9 – IlluminateMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca March 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

      Thanks Stacey. Part 1 finished. Now on to part 2, and three…


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