Pack Up Your Troubles
I travel quite a lot and even though I should know how to mix and match to create a capsule wardrobe, the varying events that make up my itinerary can make this virtually impossible. My trip to Hawaii for instance, included 3 days in San Francisco – cold weather – with a meeting, sight seeing and a couple of ‘posh’ meals. Hawaii itself, tropical climate and very hot, included 6 business seminars (2 of which I was presenting), a gala dinner, meals out with other image professionals, shopping, sightseeing and sun bathing. There was also travel between the two states and the two countries. All this in a luggage allowance of 23 kilos. My shoes alone could weigh that much.
So, here are my tips:
1. Put some thought into your trip well in advance. If you have a clothes rail, start to hang all the clothes you’d really like to take. Don’t worry if there are too many as you’ll weed them out later. Include accessories, shoes, bags, jewellery, underwear, nightwear and sock/tights/control wear. Lay out on your bed items difficult to hang.
2. Think about the type of holiday you are going on. What is it likely to include? How long are you going for? What is the weather forecast? Are there any shops nearby? Does the hotel provide hairdryers, toiletries, alarm clock radio etc? Check out the luggage allowance for your airline as it can vary from one to another.
3. Make a list of other necessary items such as insect repellent, passport, tickets, currency/credit cards/travellers cheques, plasters, cosmetics, toothpaste/brush, hairdryer, shampoo/conditioner and shower gel, medications and supplements, sun tan creams, spectacles and sunglasses. If possible buy, or decant, liquids into smaller, travel size plastic bottles so they don’t weigh too much. Alternatively, buy at the airport or when you arrive at your destination.
4. Get a notebook and write down each day and a possible itinerary e.g. Monday am -breakfast plus sunbathing, pm – lunch plus sightseeing, evening – dinner at hotel
5. Go back to your clothes rail. Sort out an outfit for each of the occasions, doubling up whenever possible on swimsuits, shoes, bags, lingerie and so on. Use kaftans and overshirts as cover ups for beach wear once you’ve worn them with trousers so they have a dual purpose.
6. Concentrate on basic neutrals. Dresses are great but are more difficult to wear more than once or in a different way. Tops and bottoms tend to provide more variety and flexibility and allow you to layer more effectively in case of a weather change and to combat the air conditioning on the plane. If possible. find a theme using 2 or 3 colours so that pieces coordinate with each other. If something on the rail ‘clashes’ or doesn’t fit in, don’t take it unless it’s a cocktail dress or something you need for a specific occasion. Try to match each shoe selection with at least 3 outfits per pair. Ditto with your bags to cut down on overall weight. If you are going to a very hot country, remember that feet can swell so don’t take shoes that may pinch.
7. Put the remaining clothes back into the wardrobe.