I promised to share my packing secrets. In a previous blog I mentioned that I always start with my shoes. In reality, easy packing starts in the store.
There are some basics you need. First, comfortable but classy shoes. I prefer a metallic because they are versatile and look great. Personally I have pewter, bronze and a soft gold. On any given trip, one of those 3 will be one of my 2 allotted pairs of shoes (yes, that is my maximum per trip – they are heavy and take up the most room).
Next, go sort your closet. If you don’t have your clothes hung my color within a group (ie: pants, tops, jackets) do so. You will immediately see what your “go to” colors are. Mine are charcoal gray, chocolate brown and navy blue. All of these are neutrals and work well with a wide variety of colors for accents.
For many people, their neutral is black. That works fine in NYC or gloomy Seattle, but most other parts of the country it looks severe. On your next shopping trip, try a dark navy, deep brown or charcoal gray. You will find them every bit as figure flattering and easier to work with for travel.
You will need a couple of jackets to use when you travel. Unless you are going to a “cold” destination, a jacket can be layered and eliminate the need to travel with a coat. I have an ivory/gold boucle blazer that looks equally good with skinny jeans as it does over a sheath dress. The knit “jacket” sweaters also are versatile as are some of the longer, flowing open sweater jackets.
T-shirts are the travelers friend. No, not the ones that have destination logos on them, but good quality tees in a variety of colors will give a new look each day to your basic bottoms whether a skirt, pants or jeans.
Lets talk skivvies for a minute. Most women have bras and undies in a rainbow of colors but in reality, nude and black are all you really need. Nude becomes invisible under every color except black (especially white!). Invest in a couple with removable and/or convertible straps and you can get by with a lot less undergarments. Save your lacy, fancy color sets for special occasions at home unless it’s your honeymoon or anniversary trip.
Pack only one color family per trip. I do “charcoal trips”, “brown/khaki trips”, “navy trips”, “white trips” and occasionally, a “black trip”. That means my that is my base color for each outfit. The tees or a scarf are where I splash my color. If you don’t have enough items in your color family to do a trip of your average length, that’s what should be on your shopping list.
Example, a “navy trip” would include my dark wash skinny jeans or dark denim pencil skirt, a navy sheath dress, navy/white striped nautical tee, lime green polo shirt, white off-shoulder sheer knit top with camisole, ivory tee and my ivory/gold jacket. My shoes would be the soft gold flats and perhaps a nautical wedge. My costume jewelry would all be gold and I’d also take along a bright yellow/white print wrap/scarf. The jacket and the wrap both work with the dress. The tees look great with the denim and with metallic shoes or fun wedges no one will think twice about the fact that they are jeans.
Grab a calendar or lined paper. For each day you are going to be gone, write down what you know you will be doing. You may not know every day’s activities in advance, but you probably have some idea that you will be going to see a show, shopping, lounging by the pool or visiting long lost relatives. Then write below the outfit for that activity.
Use that as your guide for packing. Remember you can reuse pants, skirts, shorts, jeans, jackets and outer sweaters. Plan a fresh tee or shirt for each day. Most evenings you can alternate between a couple of different outfits since they won’t be worn as many hours.
When you get home, note any unused items from your trip. This will help you to not over pack in the future. With a little planning, packing can be a breeze making traveling more fun and less hassle!