September 28, 2018
I’m still out of town, and working on a laptop – if the images here need some work, please let me know!
A 10-Piece Packing Template
Let’s imagine that our heroine is coming to Chicago for a week, and is planning to pack 10 pieces of clothing. She doesn’t necessarily know why, except maybe the idea of having 13 total garments feel about right to her… It’s the way she’s packed for years, and she has a pretty clear plan!
First, she chooses what she’s going to wear for travel. It seems rather monotone, but a pretty scarf makes a lot of difference!
Next, she pulls out her template for the 10 garments to pack:
Because grey has been her wardrobe signature neutral for a long time, and because she wants to include blush as her accent to bring a touch of spring to the cool autumn days, she chooses this to pack:
She hangs everything together on her portable hanging rack (aka where the laundry dries!) to evaluate her overall look:
Just to make sure that she hasn’t gone awry with her planning, she plots out 16 outfits, which for seven days feels more than ample. While it might seem like a lot, she realizes that the weather is unpredictable, and that she might want to change for dinner once or twice…
Of course, she hasn’t picked her accessories yet! Should we take a look at those too?
With all my travel – this is an excellent starting point.
Your new website with all the adds at the bottom make for a very unpleasant experience.
Your content is lovely; you are so talented and gentle and caring. Its a shame that someone has talked you into this new format.
Please remove the adds that appear at the bottom of the screen. I am spending less and less time on your site.
I find it annoying, too, but a blog has to make money somehow if it is the full time job of the writer. Nobody works for free. I think we can live with it.
Just click the close button and they go away.
The ads were driving me blinkers too… so I installed an ad blocker (there are lots of free ones out there). Poof – no more ads, just pure gorgeous VF posts! (And I click on lots of the clothes and accessories links – so much temptation! – so I’m hopefully still doing my part as a supporter.)
I, too, put an ad blocker on my computer. I learned about them from some of you on this blog. It has the capacity to allow ads on certain websites if I so desire. I do allow ads on a couple to help pay for their free content.
Alison M Gunn says
I just go into my browser settings and decommission Java script for the time I want to spend on any site that is so full of moving parts that I can’t even see the text (I’m using Chrome, and you go into “content settings” and switch off Java until you’re ready to move on). Thankfully, this site isn’t Java-dependent; there are sites where you can’t even read the text if you disable Java, and Facebook, for example, doesn’t work at all if you switch off Java. I too find ads on these websites beyond annoying, but there are work-arounds.
The first slide reminded me of an e-mail I sent you a while ago explaining that I had bought a Vince Camuto silk scarf in a sale with a colour scheme outside my usual colour palette of coral almond roses against a black background with flashes of grey and taupe. You suggested I wear the scarf against a backdrop of my cool toned greys, either charcoal or lighter silver greys, which I have done to great success – thank you.
Regarding the rest of the blog, can you just explain the relevance of a 10- piece, 9-piece or 13-piece capsule for packing. I generally prefer even numbers (don’t know why), so I like the 20 4 x 4 capsule for my fortnight holidays or 10 for shorter breaks and also for seasonal wardrobes (plus an extra French-5 piece for colour and trend updates).
And as always, yes to the accessories please.
There’s really no rhyme or reason for the number of pieces one packs – it’s a matter of preference, mental comfort and luggage space! Sometimes you just find that something “feels” right – like you and even numbers. I’m just trying to respond to a variety of requests and to give options for those of us who have a wide range of travel needs.
While my need for variety would require me to introduce another, perhaps lighter or darker neutral into the mix, the number of pieces for a week is perfect ! I am loving how you have taken each of the bottoms and shown 4 different outfits for each one, mixing and matching the tops and toppers ! And the “ All the Clothes “ section is laid out in lines of category of items, making this whole demonstration simple to absorb ! While gray is not one of my colors, this lesson is easily transferable to the colors that do work for me ! I love your work, Lady !
Carol Melancon says
Yes, please! Accessories.
Yes, would love to see how accessories change the vibrancy of this selection!
Margie from Toronto says
I could quite happily live with these pieces for a month – just lovely. And yes, please to accessories.
I have to say that I agree with SF – I hate all these ads at the bottom and each time I click on a link. I understand that you need to make a living and I don’t mind the ones on the side at all but these ones that pop up constantly while I’m reading drive me crazy.
Nancy B. says
Yes to accessories, please. This is my palette and I’m looking forward to seeing how accessories can change things up. I like the idea of 10 pieces as it seems what we are allowed to bring on board gets smaller and smaller.
Dear VF friends, I click on View Post and then click on Reader View Available at the top of the screen. It takes out all the ads so I can view pure VF. Reader View doesn’t show the comments or let you click on a link but after I have had the pure pleasure of enjoying the post, I click off the Reader View and check the comments or links.
Thanks for another great post today, Janice. I’ll use it for an upcoming family trip in November. Better get started! ?
Lisa Ham says
Lovely clothes! Yes, please to accessories!
I love your blog and all the creative work you put into it- and I’m so frustrated by the constant pop-up ads that keep appearing all over the site – they are very annoying and distracting. There is
probably a simple solution to get rid of them – can anybody help?
And I just read through the comments (sorry, should have done that first) and installed an ad blocker – back to enjoying your posts so much! This is a great one. Grey/pink – right up my alley!
Thanks for all you do!
Such a lovely wardrobe, Janice! I’m heading out for a conference next week and I’m going to use this as a template! I only need three days of outfits, but this is easily adaptable. Love your work!!
In our more variable climate in New Zealand, a coat/jacket would often be one of the bottom three. A very workable template.
Susanne Chandler says
Love your work, Janice. It has been so helpful in my travels. Not sure why people think they should be able to enjoy such high quality work without viewing an ad or two. I’ve had no problem scrolling by or closing out the ones that aren’t useful, but some of them are actually useful! Thanks again, for all your great posts.
Love this palette and would appreciate seeing your choice for accessories too please. ??
I’m off to NYC for 10 days in a couple of weeks and am now working off this template. Brilliant! Of course I was being tempted to take all my lovely things (cos it’s NYC!) but I know that having too many clothes choices will make my mornings more stressful. Accessories would be so helpful.
I have just packed for a month in Europe. My carry-on case weighs 6kg and my little backpack 2kg. A big thank you for all your practical advice. You beat all the “What to pack” blogs and sites hollow!
For me this time it has boiled down to a black/grey/mid-blue colour scheme
2 x shoes
2 x pants
2 x woollens (1 cardigan, 1 crew neck jumper)
4 x tops (2 skivvies, 1 t-shirt, 1 print shirt),
4 x underwear
1 x pj’s (I’ve checked where nearby laundromats are)
Books on iPad mini
Scarves and jewellery
And to wear on top, warm waterproof coat, gloves, scarf
Regrettably the opera glasses have to stay at home – with their case they just weigh too much! But I’m very happy with my options for dressing every day. Many thanks again, Janice. A bientot xxx
Janice, thank you SO much. I love this new template, it’s the perfect capsule for my packing style, since I do a lot of carry on only style of flying often followed by a 10 -14 day cruise and this is exactly how I pack, I travel to colder destinations as well, Alaskan cruises are a favourite and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this template.
I really like the way you laid that 10 item mini capsule on the grid. Makes it so easy for me to slot my stuff in. I’m going to print up a bunch of that grid for that exact use.
For longer trips (we have enjoyed some 3 and 4 week cruises) I add another pair of pants, 2 more tops (even on the month long cruise last year I didn’t use more than that, -we got the laundry done a couple of times) along with some bathing suits or overcoats, depending on the weather. I often travel with a navy trench coat thrown over my shoulders (so I don’t have to pack it in my carry on case) in Spring and Summer, and in Fall/Winter, my black and taupe trim overcoat.
The other thing I appreciate is the grey base, it’s incredibly versatile. Grey is such a great mixer with Navy and Black which are the 2 other neutrals I love to use. In fall and winter, it’s black and grey with white, cream and ivory with a pale icy taupe, and for spring and summer I swap out the black for navy. Even the camels, browns and rusts of autumn blend well with it although I don’t use them much at all outside the fall.
I keep my colours separate from my main core capsules in my closet and sprinkle them in as needed. Your 5 item French wardrobe posts have been incredibly helpful with pulling my colours into separate groups of their own. I can also spot when I’m buying too much of one accent colour.
I really love that soft blush that you’ve got this mini capsule with. Just enough colour and pattern to liven it up and I am looking forward to copying this over and over again with my other colour groups as well as the blush. Gorgeous.
Thank you for all the work that you put into these, over the years (and thru some large weight losses that I’ve maintained thankfully) your posts have been so helpful. During that stressful Spring and Summer this year I really appreciated that Grey Stress Free Dressing post you did a while back.
I think Tim Gunn called the science of using wardrobe to speak with, semiotics. It’s an expression of self, but it’s also a soothing structure when all else is getting a bit chaotic. It helps when you look pulled together, even if you don’t feel it.
There are a lot of books on wardrobe building, but till you see it all together,–visually– like you do it, it’s hard to picture. But once I’ve seen it in some of your posts, it’s been like, yes!!!!! That is exactly what I like, and exactly how I like to be seen.
And I will wait with bated breath, to see the accessories!
That’s pretty efficient packing.
This is my first visit.I hope to look through your previous posts and follow along to see what I can learn. Paring down the packing lists has been on my mind for ages.
Can you really get all these pieces into a carry on bag?
I’m interested in what fabrics are represented in your choices and what are the differences in the pants. They all look the same to me (gray) and I’m wondering why you didn’t add a different color, say black.
Thanks for an interesting article.
The least I can do is to click and open ads several ads from time to time, and if I don’t feel like doing so, I can allways close that one at the bottom. I am following for 3 years now and no ads can make me forget how usefull this experience has been, to say the least! (Not to mention the money I saved.)
Yet I understand that someone would prefere ads free subscription.
Cynthia Baker says
Thank you! I travel to Chicago frequently and am glad that my wardrobe choices align with yours — perhaps I’m more put together than I think!? Thank you always for your lovely blog.