Thursday, September 1, 2011

packing light(ish)

As I set forth on the always daunting task of packing a suitcase for an extended trip, I think it would be prudent to share with you some packing tips that I have created myself or gleaned from friends. It's no secret that I love clothes; I'm talking true L.O.V.E. This makes it hard for me to pack a suitcase that is anywhere near reasonable. I'm on my way to Ireland on September 15th for three weeks, and need to employ some serious conservation tactics in my preparation. 

1. Make a choice: brown or black?

I came up with this packing tip all by myself and I am very proud of it. It's actually quite genius. I find that most of my "holy crap I did not pack the right things" catastrophes come about because I don't have the right shoes, belts, and accessories to create full outfits. How to avoid this? Pack only outfits that go with black accessories, or brown ones. I find this to be much easier with all black, as I have gone with for my past two major trips. This way, I was able to pack only three pairs of shoes:  black flats, black boots, and black wedges. Also, a black belt, black skinny jeans, black scarf... you get the picture. This doesn't mean you have to look like a goth or disenchanted emo kid, there's plenty of room for colors; black is just the backdrop. Examples from my first trip to London:

2. Invest in a garment rack, or set aside some closet space.

This tip came from my friend Lauren, who is just as much of a clothes-whore as I am. She has to travel frequently for work, and found a $20 clothes rack to help her pack efficiently and appropriately. If you don't have space for another piece of furniture, just empty out a space in your usual closet rack. This way, you can put together all of the outfits you will need in an easy, visible way; you can see exactly how many pants or skirts you need to match the exact number of tops, etc... While you aren't preparing for trips, you can take a tip from Cupcakes and Cashmere, and put some of your favorite items (or clothes you realize you really should make better use of) on display.

3. Avoid packing items with only one use.

For example, I try to avoid packing a lot of "sleeping" outfits. They take up a lot of unneeded space. Instead, I sleep mostly in leggings and tank tops or t-shirts that go with my daytime outfits as well. And, hey, what's wrong with looking decent when you roll out of bed? 

4. Don't travel like a bum.

This little tip came, believe it or not, from my fiance, who thinks that dressing like a bum sets the tone for the whole travel experience. I have to agree. Every time I skip the makeup, have nasty hair, and wear my sweatpants, the travel process always seems gross and exhausting. Instead, I have started dressing cute but comfy, and wearing some of my larger items to avoid taking up suitcase space. For my first London trip, I literally wore a t-shirt, cardigan, jacket, scarf, leggings and boots on the plane (exact travel outfit below). Maybe a bit overkill, but you can bet I saved space, and used the jacket and scarf as a blanket/pillow combo.


  1. This is so true! I'm also packing for a road trip with my boyfriend, and if you don't know how to be organized it can become an impossible task!