I recently took a 4 day trip with husband to see his family. As I’ve mentioned, I believe in a core wardrobe and core packing. My approach for packing is to choose a color scheme of 3 colors. For this trip, I chose grey, cream/white and purple. This is what I packed:
This is everything but my bra (which I was wearing), undies (6 in total) and toiletries that went into my carry-on. It comes to a total of 23 items. I know it seems like overkill for a 4 day trip, but it was my first chance to personally test my packing theory. The batman t-shirt and grey shorts are my pajamas. I wore the grey jeans, cream colored lightweight sweater and pink espadrilles on the plane. So really there were 18 rolled (I use the roll method) items in my suitcase (including 5 undies). I slightly strayed from my 11 item core packing beliefs by 2 or 3 items (3 solid tops, 3 print tops, 3 bottoms, 2 dresses).
Something told me to grab that white tank for layering and to bring an extra lightweight long sleeve top (the grey graphic one). Northern European summers are a strange thing, one day it’s sweltering hot, the next day it rains and is cool all day, then you have a quite chilly day, then back to sweltering or pleasant or any of the above. Basically, you can’t plan for nothing but hot or nothing but cold.
Anywho, so yeah, this is what I packed for a 4 day trip. Except the 4 day trip turned into a much longer trip due to a family emergency. Over a month. With my little carry-on and 23 items. I can tell you I learned some things.
- IT WORKS!!!
Sticking to a color scheme and packing things that will mix and match really works. Here are all the outfit combinations I had:
My one dress and if I got really desperate outfits:
I even had layering options!! (you wouldn’t think you’d need to layer in summer but you’d be surprised).
There are 16 outfits here, not counting the “I’m desperate because everything is in the laundry” outfits which adds another 4 outfits. That’s over 2 weeks of clothes and there are only 4 weeks in a month so I should have been fine right? That brings me to my next lesson.
2. LISTEN TO YOUR OWN DAMN SELF!!!
If you go back to my 11 item list, it has 6 tops, 3 bottoms and 2 dresses. I really, really, really wish I had brought that other bottom and dress. I justified not bringing them when packing because I figured I was swapping them for the 2 lightweight long sleeve tops. I’m really grateful I brought those too to be honest. It got pretty chilly some days and down right cold at night. Which brings me to lesson 3.
3. ALWAYS BRING A JACKET OF SOME SORT
Don’t get me wrong, I love my poncho thing.
It can be worn as a poncho or a scarf or as a cardigan. It’s really versatile and great. But it’s thickness as a poncho or cardigan is more for those crisp spring type days. I ended up wearing it more as a scarf and ended up buying a thick hoodie, so note to self, start packing a hoodie. I hated buying it as I have a nice deep purple mid weight one that would have worked great. It’s definitely thicker than the poncho and if wearing it over some layers with the poncho as a scarf, I would have been fine…if I had packed it.
4. IF YOU WEAR CONTACTS ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS BRING YOUR GLASSES!!!!!
I don’t usually wear my contacts, but as we were seeing family and friends and I knew there would be photos taken, my vanity got the better of me. I have extended wear contacts so for the first week I was ok. Then the headaches started kicking in from straining through dirty contact lenses to the point that I was trying to figure out how to get my glasses from one country to another. I even thought about going and buying new glasses while we were there. Lesson learned.
So. I think I got this packing thing figured out for myself. 11 core items chosen from 3 colors that work together plus a hoodie/jacket – which you can carry on the plane, you don’t have to pack it in your carry-on – my glasses and I’m good to go!!!
I do think I need to add some pattern into my wardrobe though. I don’t seem to have a lot of patterned tops. Anyone seen any pretty long sleeve silk lavender or pink tops in a print?