Sunday, June 13, 2010

Traveling stylishly!

A few posts ago I offered to put together a "guide" for packing light but still being stylish. I put "guide" in irony quotes because, well, what do I know, really? But I do travel a bit for work, typically 3-day trips, so I decided to document what I packed for my latest trip - hopefully there will be some nuggets for you! Or, if you're just into voyeurism, then I guess this post will be cool for you too.

Also, a caveat: I realize "packing light" means different things to everyone. I mean it in a "carry on size suitcase that I can easily lift into the overhead bin without making straining noises and hurting myself" kind of way.

1) Make a list. I like to look back at past outfits that made me feel awesome (easy to do since I take outfit pictures a few times a week) and see which ones have overlapping pieces, such as one cardigan that looks great with three different dresses. Then, I bring all three dresses, but only the one cardigan, etc.

I tend to steer clear of new pieces that I haven't worn yet, or more adventurous looks, since I want to maximize the wearability of every item I'm bringing.

(double layers of poly chiffon = too adventurous/not versatile enough, so it doesn't make the cut despite being super cute!)

2) Start to lay out essentials. For me, this is:
- plastic baggie of toiletries (no more than 3oz of each in a clear ziploc bag please!)
- non-liquid toiletries, such as toothcare essentials, hairbrush (I've bought so many $1 hairbrushes at 7-11 because I always forget mine), bobby pins
- any jewelry or belts/accessories that I'm taking

For this trip, I'm bringing sweater clips, 2 brooches, pearls, and two pairs of glasses (one of which I'm wearing on the plane):

Pro-tip: does static cling get you down? I find that my dresses are static monstrosities when I pull them out of the suitcase at my destination, so I pack 2-3 dryer sheets in my suitcase with me. They make the clothes smell great, and you can use them to rub down the insides of your skirts/pants/whatever is clingy. Voila!

3) Don't forget those underpinnings!
(no, you don't get a picture)

4) The nice clothes: I put hangy-things in a hangy-bag, but I don't fold it up and put it in my suitcase until right before I leave, which helps with the wrinkles somewhat.

Three dresses for three days (one of these I'm wearing on the plane):

I also stopped putting cardigans in the hangy-bag, I find they get more wrinkled that way, Instead, I fold them and put them in the suitcase with my other clothes.

Two cardigans for three days (wearing one on the plane):

5) Select footwear - I usually wear my heaviest shoes (boots in the winter) on the plane. For this trip, the weather will be in the 70s, so no boots this time! For a 3 day trip I'll probably bring an extra pair of shoes, and wear my most comfy shoes on the plane. I ended up bringing a pair of peep toe flats, and wearing my new canvas skimmers on the plane. Two pairs of shoes for three days.

6) Any other clothes you need?
- pajamas
- workout clothes (none for me, thanks)
- t-shirts, tanks/camis, any folded outfits that don't go in the hangy-bag like a favorite jersey skirt?

Pictured here (clockwise): Cardigan, pajamas, petticoat/tank top, canvas skimmers, red peep toes

7) Load that suitcase.

We got this one as a wedding gift, it has tons of compartments and things, which totally makes things easier packing-wise because there's a place for everything. Even secret underwear compartments!

All loaded up!

8) Other accoutrements:
- To keep under the one carry on/one personal item limit, I use this huge old satchel that I got at H&M that fits my laptop, a scarf, and my entire huge purse inside of it:

Do any of you find it kind of nerve-wracking (in a totally "1st world problem" kind of way) to be away from your wardrobes? I definitely do - that's why I have to make myself pack light and plan my outfits when I'm away, otherwise I just try to bring as much of my closet with me as I can fit into my suitcase.


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