I just returned from a fantastic vacation to London and Paris! Both cities are full of so much history and architectural style, yet worlds away when it comes to climate. When we travel, we like to limit our luggage to carry on only, so this trip posed a packing dilemma from the start. How to pack for both a cool, damp climate and a warm, sunny climate in two carry-on bags.
I’ll admit, I may have a bit of an unconventional packing process, but it works for me. I’m a visual learner, so I need to see all of my packing options together in one spot before I choose what I will actually end up bringing along on my trip. In this post, I’ll explain how I go about selecting my travel clothes and also provide some basic packing tips to enable you to fit all of your clothes in just one carry-on bag. (I use my second carry on bag for toiletries, guide books, electronics, etc.)
The Closet Walk Through
I begin by walking through my closet and pulling out a few pairs of my most comfortable dark colored pants and a few of my softest neutral sweaters, tees, tanks, and blouses. Next, I select a mid- weight black jacket, rain coat, little black dress, and grab a few belts and scarfs. I also select a few cardigans, a few camisoles, and two pairs of black tights. All of these items get placed on the bed. And indeed, they do actually fill up the entire bed. Sadly, they cannot all make the trip. I must select only a few for the journey.
The Mix and Match
Next, I narrow down the selection. Now that I have all of the clothing laid out, I can see which items can be paired together. The keys to remember during the mix and match are 1) selecting items that can be layered, 2) selecting mostly neutrals for tops and bottoms, and 3) selecting a colorful accessory or two to add interest to your outfits.
The Final Selection
Note: Please bear in mind that the final selections were ironed and cat hair removed before packing. I’ve never known a cat who can resist a bed full of clothes 🙂
Here are the results:
Three pairs of pants (dark wash skinny jean, black skinny jean, black above the ankle trousers)
Three sweaters and one print scarf (heathered gray, heathered blue, beige sweaters)
Three tees and two tank tops (dark grey, light gray, apricot tees/gray and black tanks)
One print blouse, two Camisoles (black and beige), and two belts.
One peach colored cardigan and one beige cropped 3/4 sleeve cardigan, and one more printed scarf (why not, it doesn’t take up much room and can change the look of an outfit instantly).
The following also made the final selection:
One little black dress
One black jacket
One rain jacket with hood.
1) Choose dark colored bottoms to hide any stains that you may encounter during the course of a day of sightseeing and eating.
2) Choose mostly neutral tops. This will ensure that all of the tops can mix and match with the dark bottoms. Choose one printed blouse for some added color if you wish.
3) Add color to a neutral wardrobe with accessories. I chose printed scarfs and metal adorned belts. The print scarfs can be worn with any of the tees, tank tops, sweaters, or cardigans. The silver studded and gold metal disk belts add a bit of pizazz to the neutral tops and bottoms.
4) Always pack a little black dress. A simple black dress can be worn alone or paired with scarfs or cardigans to change the look of the dress instantly. The black dress even looks great with the beige sweater layered over the top if the evening turns chilly.
5) Bring along small packets of hand washing soap and a portable clothes drying line. You can always hand wash items in the hotel bathroom sink and hang to dry in the hotel bathroom. (Be sure to give yourself enough drying time and always dry your items in the bathroom so you don’t get the hotel carpet wet.)
Once I narrowed down the clothes, it was time to move on to the most important items in the suitcase…..the shoes!
Stay tuned to my next post for my selection of what I consider the most comfortable travel shoes. The shoes that will keep you on your feet for miles and miles of sightseeing each day. You actually may be surprised at one of my selections. I was!
Until then, stay stylish and comfortable.