Tuesday 3 August 2010

Tuesday Ten

The problem with having a wardrobe full of fabulous clothes is that, when I go on holiday, I want to take everything with me. It seems unfair to the dresses to leave them behind, you know? But with weight limits and shopping opportunities ruthless choices have to be made. I travel a lot and have come up with some good packing tips I always try to stick to...

Ten Top Tips for Packing

1. Make a list. I like to divide mine into categories - dresses, tops, bottoms etc. Be ruthless and think about what you need.

2. Look over your list carefully. Make sure that everything on your list can be worn on at least two occasions - those will depend on your trip. Count up outfit combinations to check you have at least 1.5 times the number of days - so, 10 days = 15 outfit combos (for wriggle room).

3. Shop for any obvious gaps. If you have no gaps but still want to shop, pick garments that will really work for you. This year my two favourite multi-purpose garments are this dress/skirt from Freemans, which I have in marine blue, and this last minute tea dress style red kaftan from Marks and Spencer, which I bought today. Both can be worn on the beach or out to dinner or whilst shopping or sight-seeing so they are both big box tickers for me.

4. Cut down on creasing. Unless you have an iron, my best advice is to pack clothes that don't wrinkle, or that shake out: jersey is good. When you pack, roll your clothes. It's a better use of space, anyway.

5. Make smart underwear choices. Don't just fling in the entire contents of your knicker drawer. Try to pack neutrals and things that are suitable for the climate, and think about what bras you will need for the clothes you are wearing. I always pack a strapless bra.

6. Think carefully about shoes. They are heavy and bulky; consider wearing your bulkiest shoes on the plane. I always pack flip flops, even when I'm going skiing, because they are small and light and good for when I'd normally be wandering around bare foot. My best advice would be to find smart flats that are comfortable enough to wear around all day and pretty enough to go with evening outfits.

7. Allow one vanity item. Assuming you have followed 1-8, you should have a little room in your suitcase, unless it is very small - now is the time to pick one item you previously weeded out of your list for some reason. This trip, I have allowed my denim skirt suitcase room, although I think it may be a little warm for denim. But I wear it all the time, so I don't want to leave it behind.

8. Evaluate your packing. It's the most anal part of the process, but when you come back, go back to your list and make sure you wore everything on it. Add a little note if you needed something you didn't pack. Then you will be able to pack even more smartly the next time you go away.

(oops, only 8, ran out of time and can't go missing my flight for it!)

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