Outfit: Packing for long trips

Splendid skirt
LnA tank top (n/a)
Inhabit NY cashmere cardigan (old, n/a)
Francesco Biasia Brooke Tote (courtesy of Forzieri)
No6 Clogs

Clearly, I’m doing it wrong; most of what I brought is hanging in the closet completely unworn because it’s too cold here to wear it. For SOME reason, I thought it was going to be mid-60’s and sunny while I was here, but it’s more like low 50’s and not sunny. So I end up wearing the same things all the time, or really, the same THING – this Inhabit cardigan.

I endeavor to pack smartly, and I try not to concern myself on shorter trips with wearing the same thing more than once or twice, but I had a near panic attack trying to pack for a 2.5 week visit to Atlanta. Especially since I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging without an outfit picture that long! Anyway, we drove, so I figured I could bring as much as I wanted. Which was true, kind of, but I definitely brought way too much. In this case, it’s not a big deal, because we had the space, but I still wish I could do a better job paring down my travel wardrobe.

I also kind of think the things you take with you when you travel are your favorites; you know that you’re comfortable in them, you know that you look good in them, and you know that you can mix and match all of them for as many outfits you need. I did bring all my favorites with me, although I could have used a few more white t-shirts (the one time I don’t bring too many white t-shirts…).

Some day I hope to have my travel wardrobes perfected. If I were at all organized, I’d create a collage with everything I’ll need for 5-6 days including outfits, how to mix and match, etc. I’d have spreadsheets with capsule wardrobes depending on the weather where we’re going, and not have to think much about what to pack at all. But I’ve never been one for doing things ahead of time. Or planning, for that matter. Perhaps this is the year…

How do you pack for travel? Do you have lists? Or do you stress out about what to bring up until the last minute?

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  1. says

    I usually go with one pair of jeans, one sweater that goes with everything, a big cashmere scarf that can be both blanket and scarf, three pairs of washable tops, one pair of shoes (flats or boots depending on season) that is actually walkable. I look up other bloggers’ packing list to see how they pack, too. I like to leave space in luggage so I can fit some travel finds and bring it back with me.

    Hope you’re enjoying Amsterdam though! It is a nice place. The flower market on the boat is stunning.
    Nanashi´s last blog post ..On the Urge to Purge

    • says

      i’m not in amsterdam yet – i’m in Atlanta right now for an extended visit/Thanksgiving!
      i’d love to pack like you! my problem is i have “moods” for clothes. i may “feel” like wearing a certain thing so i try to pack those certain things…which ends up being too much stuff!

    • says

      that’s what i did this time – i tried to be systematic and pack only necessities, but since i didn’t have to worry about space so much, i just brought half my closet 😉

  2. says

    I totally have lists, but mostly for things like cosmetics, skin care, etc…I always take too much of this type of stuff. I also consider where I’m going…if I’m staying with friends or family, I usually will have access to a washer and dryer, so I take washable (not hand wash or hang dry) but fewer items…
    Joyce´s last blog post ..Closet Trend-The Peplum

    • says

      true – i’m at my mom’s so i’m doing laundry as often as i need to – but still, as i mentioned to nanashi below, i have “moods” when it comes to what i want to wear, so i worry about not having something i’m in the “mood” to wear. which is ultimately very silly…

  3. Sophie says

    I’m a light packer and take carry-on luggage only even for long trips (2 months) as I’m usually really on the move. Have it pared down to a lot of James Perse (the maxi skirt with a shirred waist/hip is genius as it can be pulled up as a a knee length tube dress too with a cool belt), T by Alexander Wang, a Rick Owens leather jacket that goes with everything. I usually pack one dress and one or two really different/cool tops so I don’t get bored. Jeans. HL leggings. Done:)
    BTW I’ve come across quite a great post — think she calls it her capsule wardrobe, I don’t know I’ll have to look it up — on this blog called “les anti-modernes”. She’s all about cool classics and no excess so I love her for that. Oh, and for a fascinating post about her Jimmy Choos that got butchered by the shoe repair she brought them to get heel protectors put on. Astonishing!)
    FYI while she is Sophie and I am Sophie, we are not the same and I don’t know her/not plugging her blog. But check it out:)

    • says

      i love miss sophie!! she was one of my very first online blogger “friends”, i’ve been reading her blog for many years – i’ve always thought we were separated at birth, she, i and nanashi are style triplets 😉

      she creates great posts – i loved when she wrote about what she took to china. i don’t think i could have pared down my wardrobe so much, but i always love the idea of it LOL

      what kinds of shoes do you take when you travel? mostly flats? boots? tennis shoes? that’s my main concern every time….

  4. Sophie says

    No wonder you’ve already heard about her ! I never post a message there, but I read it a lot. Yeah, that packing list for China was amazing.

    For me, shoes — they take the most room because I am unfortunately size 12!! Yes, you read that right, You cannot imagine what they look like in my carry on luggage LOL (which is why I guess my wardrobe is so tight). So I bring ankle or midcalf boots (love my Blundstones) and wear them when I’m on the plane and travelling between places as they take up one full side of the suitcase. Gack. I also pack 1 pair of comfortable flat sandals, and 1 or 2 pair of fashionable sandals (think Chie Mihara although sadly, endless,com stopped selling size 42s awhile ago so I’m down to my last sole) that are also flat. Heels take up too much room, at at nearly 6′ tall I suppose I don’t need to be 6’4″ in heels.
    BTW I don’t bother with shoes if I have my boots with me — the outfits look equally good with either, so I consider having both redundant. As for the comfortable sandals, I learned my lesson on Rome’s cobblestone streets where I was actually crying my feet hurt so badly. Ran into a men’s store, came out with giant Birkenstocks, and was thrilled for the rest of the trip. Funny enough, before I went, I had been warned against Birkenstocks (even the un-ugly ones) as apparently would have been laughed off the continent for such gauche fashion sense. Never got any side-eye for it though, so the rule is “be confortable”. Well, if I were you and had normal feet, for Amsterdam I’d probably bring something like Rachel Comey’s Penpal, maybe some ballet flats. That should suffice — plus you can buy some there if you want. How long are you going for?

  5. Mamavalveeta03 says

    I’m a compulsive list maker (There’s the “teenager, please clean up this filthy black-hole of a room” list, the “husband, I’ve loved you for 30 years, but if you don’t get this done NOW, you’ll be pushing it!” list, the “Family TO DO (in caps, always)” list, because we work together to make this family work!) Oh, and I throw a list in for myself, just so everyone else doesn’t feel like I’m getting special treatment, even though I am since I’m the list maker. Usually, it’s a shopping list 😉 Besides packing my basics, striped tees, camis, a cardi, yoga pants for when I’m lounging, 2 prs. of shoes, I always try to wear shoes, like ballet flats, that are easy to slip off at security. And my scarf/blanket. And I always pack a tote with magazines, a book, and snacks.

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