Friday, March 23, 2018

I Want to Pack ALL of my Clothes!


All of my clothes are lovely - why can't I take EVERYTHING with me on vacation?

Well... of course this isn't going to work, but it's a legitimate question that I think about every time I'm going out of town - if I take everything that I own that I really love, I'm just going to end up moving away. (don't tempt me - I LOVE to move...)

But let's be adults about this for a few minutes; choices are hard, but must be made. Let's walk through an example to see 1 way to make these decisions rational, if not any easier!

Start with the spring into summer wardrobe:

Spring into summer capsule wardrobe
all garments - Lands' End

The first thing you want to do is get EVERYTHING out in front of you, or at least on a list. Visibility is really key to see where redundancies lie...

Then start sorting things out by type of garment - when I do this, I always see that I have about 50 tee shirts to pack, and maybe 15 cardigans! That's a clear sign that I should start some serious pruning!


spring and summer capsule wardrobe sorted by type of garment
all garments - Lands' End

It's also well worth sorting things out by color. This will reveal garments that you might love, and that might work well for your "normal life," but which might be a bit "orphaned" for travel...

spring and summer capsule wardrobe sorted by color
all garments - Lands' End

Maybe at this point you've got a color scheme in mind...

wardrobe color palette in navy and white with lavender and teal accents

Maybe you want to take another look at everything, and thing about a few other considerations. I'm always pretty careful about not packing anything that might get utterly filthy after a day or two and be expensive to have cleaned - that might make a white cardigan risky...

And I really don't care to pack things that are too memorable, unless that's really a goal. (a special dinner?) So a shirt that's a bold or unique print might not be worth the space.

Here's another chance to think about how much you might want those "color orphan" pieces. I could see a good defense for wanting a red dress for a special evening, but the lovely blush top just doesn't blend, nor does it contribute anything truly unique to your travel capsule wardrobe.

Here's where to look for redundancies again - how many navy tunics will you REALLY wear in a week or two? And is something simply too casual to bother? Sweat pants are great at home, but depending on your destination, they might make you feel under-dressed... There are no right answers, only things to consider!

evaluating a spring capsule wardrobe on the basis of soiling, redundancy, or lack of versatility
all garments - Lands' End

After a bit of pruning, you can take another look at pieces by function and see if you've overloaded with tee shirts, or if you just can't see a need for THREE dresses... Try to envision how your time will be spent (maybe write out a tentative schedule?) and what you will wear when you're having all that fun.

It's also worth considering if you want more printed and patterned bottom layers, or if you'd prefer to take a printed shirt-jacket and 2 or 3 tee shirts that will go under it. Thinking through your outfits ahead of time will give you both versatility and a lot of ease getting dressed when you have more entertaining things on your mind!

a spring and summer travel capsule wardrobe sorted by type of garment
all garments - Lands' End

This might be a pretty good time to decide what you're wearing to travel - depending on your mode of travel, you will want 2 or 3 garments for the trip. And then take a look at your luggage and see how well you're going to be able to fit things. One of the joys of packing for warm weather is that clothes are a LOT smaller. One of the headaches - things need to be laundered more. There are always trade-offs...

After all of that editing, sixteen pieces remain. Depending on the length of your trip, if you're going for a week or longer, this isn't excessive (to me). I would take fewer pieces in colder weather, but when the weather warms up, requirements are different.

a travel capsule wardrobe in navy and white with teal and lavender accents
all garments - Lands' End

This fits pretty perfectly into a 4 by 4 Wardrobe Template, by the way:

4 by 4 Travel Capsule Wardrobe in navy and white with teal and lavender accents
navy cardigan - Lands' End; navy tunic - Lands' End (sold out - similar here); navy capris - Lands End; navy pants - Lands' End; white tee - Lands' End; sleeveless print shirt - Lands' End; chambray shorts - Lands' End; white shorts - Lands' End; lavender tee - Lands' End; floral shirt - Lands' End; teal tee - Lands' End; striped tee - Lands' End; denim dress - Lands' End; maxi dress - Lands' End; teal tunic - Lands' End; paisley polo - Lands' End

After everything's chosen, and you think that you have your final wardrobe in place, take a moment or 2 to assemble outfits using each of the pieces in at least 2 or 3 different ways. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule; if you're taking something for a special occasion, it doesn't have to be versatile AT ALL. But overall you want to be able to have some options - especially with unpredictable weather, and the possibility that a garment might be unwearably damaged or soiled... (once, at the beginning of a SIX WEEK business trip, I tore the DAYLIGHTS out of 1 of my tops - caught it on a construction fence - and literally tossed it in the trash... that's an interesting challenge!)


3 ways to wear navy capris from a spring and summer travel capsule wardrobe
navy capris - Lands End; sleeveless print shirt - Lands' End; chambray shorts - Lands' Endlavender tee - Lands' End; floral shirt - Lands' End; teal tee - Lands' End

3 ways to wear chambray shorts from a spring and summer travel capsule wardrobe
chambray shorts - Lands' End; sleeveless print shirt - Lands' End; teal tee - Lands' End; paisley polo - Lands' End

3 ways to wear white shorts from a spring and summer travel capsule wardrobe
white shorts - Lands' End; striped tee - Lands' End; lavender tee - Lands' End; floral shirt - Lands' End; paisley polo - Lands' End

3 ways to wear a denim shirtdress from a spring and summer travel capsule wardrobe
denim dress - Lands' End; navy capris - Lands End; white tee - Lands' End; lavender tee - Lands' End

2 ways to wear a maxi dress from a spring and summer travel capsule wardrobe
navy cardigan - Lands' End; maxi dress - Lands' End

3 ways to wear navy pants from a spring and summer travel capsule wardrobe
navy pants - Lands' End; navy cardigan - Lands' End; sleeveless print shirt - Lands' Endwhite tee - Lands' End; floral shirt - Lands' End; teal tunic - Lands' End

Starting with the same garments, it would be possible to create any number of travel wardrobes, if you make just a couple of different decisions along the way! Different trips, with differing priorities and activities, will change everything...

love,
Janice

p.s. Would you like to see accessories for this wardrobe? let me know...

p.p.s. If you like floral tee shirts, get thee to Uniqlo NOW, because these are going to sell out SO FAST...
I Want to Pack ALL of my Clothes!
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19 comments:

  1. These are my colors! Yes please to accessories!

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  2. Lovely wardrobe...and I'm looking forward to see accessories you've selected! Seeing only the clothes feels like seeing only half of the story.

    My personal rule of thumb for travel packing is that I want to make do with 12 items of clothing (not including sportswear, sleepwear, underwear, accessories and such). So far, this has worked for me though often it means that I've got to consider how to manage laundry. While 12 items does not sound much, I always return home with two or three items that were worn just once or twice.

    Speaking of accessories, I feel you all need to know that on eBay, stunningly beautiful, drop-dead gorgeous (and very affordable for the quality)shawls and scarves will be found by those who type pavlovo posad to the search field. Pavlovo Posad is an old Russian shawl and scarf manufacturer (NOT a style of shawls, I did spot some fakes though not many) that makes stunning fine wool and silk shawls, mostly in traditional floral and paisley prints that come in all colors imaginable.
    I got my shawl from the seller soldyaris. Now, if only I could decide what to get next...

    Sara K.

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  3. One thing I've learned when packing for my vacations is that one outfit needs to be versatile. It's quite likely that we leave our room at midday and don't return until night. During those hours we could play miniature gold (or some other casual physical activity), wander through museums or boutiques, and get dinner at a unique restaurant. So, what I put on and what I can put in my bag when I leave has to be appropriate for whatever comes along. I've found that longer shorts with classic tops and slip on sneakers or walking sandals work well. Throw a cardigan and scarf into my bag, and I can accommodate just about any eating establishment. (I should mention that we vacation in very casual spots, either the beach or the woods. We're not really city people.)

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    1. I love the fact that you've figured out what works for you! Different destinations have very different requirements, and you're wise to be attuned to what's best for your favorite places; I'm still always alert to how I feel in what I wear on my vacations. (well, okay, for a few minutes and then I plunge into the fun!)
      big hug and love,
      Janice

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  4. This is lovely and helpful. I am confused about the “not too memorable” pieces. What does that mean exactly? Why should I not pack memorable pieces? Thanks!

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    1. You should pack whatever makes you happy! But if you're going to want to wear something repeatedly on your trip, you might want to choose something more "neutral," and change the look with accessories. But if you enjoy wearing a bright striped shirt, wear it with joy and make your own rules!
      love,
      Janice

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  5. Hello Janice, I've just started following your site and I was wondering about something that might be just personal preference or not--the navy top in position #2 on your matrix..is there any reason you choose that top over the navy top with the ties at the sleeves (which I would prefer, on appearances alone)? Was it that it's a different tone than the long cardigan, or more easy care? Rhonda Stroud/FB

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  6. Janice,
    What I’m loving about this post is the inclusion of both printed or patterned tops , along with both solid and neutral ones ! It makes a versatile , interesting formula ! You also include light , medium and dark garments, lots of mix and match options ! Loving it !

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  7. Thanks a Janice I always love the packing posts. My issue when traveling is limiting my style of pants, I don’t wear dresses or skirts. For instance I would like to take a slim pair of trousers and a wide leg pair but they require different tops. So silhouette is another consideration when packing. I am traveling to the UK, The Netherland plus a quick trip to Paris in October so have the time to consider all options before deciding which route to follow. Maryann

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    1. I don't travel with skirts either; I too take slim and wide leg pants, and for me, a just-below the waist top works with both, somewhat fitted. (That cut also takes less space in the suitcase.) In the fall in Paris I find Eric Bompard's ultrafine cashmere, which I buy in the v-neck, the perfect weight. Wear with a camisole under- that extra layer is the key to just enough warmth.

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    2. Thanks Duchesse, I will look for the cashmere when in Paris. Maryann

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  8. I was wondering about something that might be just personal preference or not--the navy top in position #2 on your matrix..is there any reason you choose that top over the navy top with the ties at the sleeves

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  9. Brilliant post! As useful for a spring closet reckoning as trip planning, because yes, I love my clothes, even the occasionally-worn like a leather t-shirt. My personal weakness is buying near-duplicates, like v-neck cashmeres. When packing for a trip I set the palette, then put the items on a bed. Three to four days of outfits is plenty as we either rent an apt. or have access to a laundry and have no need for formal stuff.

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  10. Janice, I've been reading you for years. And I love what you do -- the palette, the capsule, the editing discipline, all of it.

    But I just can't pack like this! When I travel, I don't want to wear the same three colors (or two). I want so much more variety in my vacationing life than denim, mint green and lilac, or whatever the palette allows.

    Having whined the above, I admit that I spend a lot of time on cruise ships for 2-3-4 weeks at a time. And assuming I can lug all my stuff on-board and find places to hang it all up I do have much more packing leeway than if I were hauling my clothing, makeup, skin care products, hair care products, shoes, electronics, medicines, underwear, outerwear, etc. -- packed preferably in a single small wheelie-dealie carry-on suitcase -- down to the local train station every 2-3 days to head to the next country or two over.

    Still, I sometimes feel like a travel packing failure, like I'd better drop the course before I get an F. All the cool folks seem to be doing it so differently than me. ;)

    Ann in Missouri

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    1. OH NO!!!!
      If you're happy with what you pack, then you're packing the right way! I write for the people who hate having a lot of luggage - they're in a tiny French hotel room, or they're hopping on and off of trains, etc.
      So if you're happy, you've succeeded. Never think differently...
      big hugs,
      Janice

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    2. OK! I won't drop the course. :)

      And one of these days I'll get a Eurorail pass again. And I'll know how to pack for that trip.

      Are you still in Ireland? I'm headed there in three weeks myself. Big shocker: I'm going on a cruise ship that takes 16 days to get there. :) It's the journey, not (just) the destination, right?

      Ann in Missouri

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    3. Ann, my husband and I travel for extensive lengths of time, as you do. To keep boredom from taking over I bring very small accessories, light weight scarves, earrings, bracelets in totally different colors than my primary accent ensembles. Almost any colors work with the neutrals and mentally refreshes my reflection in the mirror while dressing and my outlook for the day.
      Have fun on your next adventure.
      Pat

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    4. Thank you, Pat. :) Yes, accessories are worth their weight in amusement -- especially (for me) earrings. And an outstanding scarf or shawl can turn any LBD or even a pair of beige slacks into a fresh new outfit.

      I am so looking forward to my next adventure. And the one after that. And the one after that one, too. :)

      Ann in Missouri

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  11. I love a 4x4 wardrobe for travel! But I couldn't personally pack just one garment that qualifies as an outer/warmth layer. Especially since that cardigan is so long. I don't see how it would work with those short shorts. - nancyo

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