May 19, 2021
She Knew It…
As soon as she handed her 2 (very large) suitcases to the airline staff, she knew she wasn’t going to see them again ANY time soon…
But she’s an inspired woman!
Because she’s taking SO much stuff with her, she doesn’t really have a clear palette for her entire travel wardrobe, but for her carry-on, she has ideas…
After she thought about it for a few days, she realized that she could, in her carry-on bag, bring along enough clothes to get her through a few days if (when?) the rest of her bags go roaming without her…
So she started by establishing a color palette for this segment of her overall travel gear, and chose lightweight clothes and flat shoes to pack more easily.
This isn’t all of her undergarments – there are still plenty in her other bags! But this, with some judicious hand-washing, and maybe sending something out to be laundered, will keep her dressed for at least 3 or 4 days…
note that she could wear her black cardigan and green sleeveless top for travel, and pack her green shirt and black top, which would probably buy her a little bit of space in her bag…
She follows the Six-Pack formula (which I’m just now sorting out!) Assuming that you wear a 3-piece outfit while traveling, you then pack:
1 Second Layer +
1 Dress +
1 Bottom +
3 tops =
She figure that she can get quite a few outfits from these garments – certainly at LEAST a half dozen, eh?
Back in the “before” time, a friend of mine was stranded in Berlin for DAYS WITHOUT BAGS….
Of course, Berlin’s not a bad place to have to shop!
And a quick question – does anybody else wear more than 2 earrings at a time? I wear 4 – 3 in my left ear and one in my right. For no good reason!
p.s. Not exactly 3 years ago, I packed a wee backpack for a trip to Florida. Small packing is a favorite obsession of mine!
Elizabeth Ellen Carter says
Bravo! I love this capsule. I packed something similar for an eight-day driving holiday in the Australian Outback – using the technique I learned from you, Janice.
The appeal of this wardrobe is the versatility of layers. They are so important, including having one slightly ‘heavier’ layer, particularly for evenings where it was bordering on cold, while the days were tank top and shorts weather.
Elizabeth Ellen Carter says
I wear four earrings most days. I have a lovely arrange of studs which I wear along side more dangly earrings.
I adore the picture and the wardrobe colours! Definitely something I would wear.
I only discovered the Vivienne Files in the “after” time and have fantasised a lot about packing for trips using your principles. I have committed to a trip in August once I’m fully vaccinated and am SO EXCITED about doing it for real. If only I could justify buying a travel bag in every colour to match my outfits ;)
Just to add – I have one piercing per ear but also wear a small stud in my left nostril. I don’t feel like “me” without it.
This heroine needs to view “ The Vivienne Files” so that she can be freed of the two large suitcases that she’ll have to struggle with when she leaves the plane ! Thank you for being specific as to what the 6 Pack entails . In lieu of a dress , could she substitute another top and bottom ?
I am loving that Standard backpack in your look back !
No, I am so traditional — just the standard 2 earrings as usually worn .
That bag really looks useful. Don’t think I have ever worn my olive with black–must try this! Even when you use colors that I can’t wear, I get ideas that I can modify for my use.
Beautiful wardrobe! I have primarily worn 2 hoops in each ear for almost 40 years!
vi herron says
when my mom died, i was given a lot of her ‘only’ earrings, ones that she’d lost the mate to… so i got a second hole in my left ear to wear my mom’s onlys……. i would probably have gotten more holes but i have such tiny ears that the person doing the piercing told me it wouldn’t be a good idea.
as too the 6 pack, i am trying to put together something like that for hospital stays which have become all to frequent in the past few years, either for me or my husband. your blog has helped me immensely in doing this
thank you so much
That’s such a lovely way to remember your mum :)
Sally in St Paul says
I like this color palette and all the linen, even though it is the opposite of what I’ve come to think of as travel fabric!
Book Goddess says
What a lovely and sophisticated capsule! However, I’m staggered by the idea of choosing linen for most of a travel wardrobe. Linen is so beautiful, but I would be a wrinkled mess for the entirety of the trip.
I wear five earrings – three on the left and two on the right. The two bottom earrings on each ear are usually matching hoops. The other three are generally a tiny diamond stud my mother gave me (I lost the other one), a heart, and a little star that I bought from a street vendor in Florence.
I love being able to wear smaller earrings on my upper piercings. I have some lovely small earrings that would look insignificant worn alone, but look interesting in this context.
Could you please throw in an occasional 3/4 sleeve for those of us who prefer longer sleeves? So many cute short sleeved or sleeveless tops and dresses, but not for me.
What wonderful colors and a great travel capsule plan!
Sara K says
In addition to a standard pair of earrings -nowadays usually simple small studs-, I also wear a pair of small gemstone-embellished barbells in my inner conch piercings. Usually these are colorless crystals that go with everything I wear…changing barbells is a bit of a procedure compared to changing normal earrings. I have had this setup for 15 years or so, and have loved it all the time. Inner conch piercings are rare where I live, and I have never seen another +40 woman rock such.
(Since I know some of you are curious: no, having cartilage pierced was not very painful, and I’m also able to wear earbuds without problem. I’ve heard that some people have had difficulties with earbuds, though, so I guess it depends on anatomy. Main difference compared to a regular lobe piercings is, that cartilage piercings take about a year to fully heal.)
Yes indeed, my first thought was curiosity about the pain – I fainted just having ordinary earlobe piercing done when I was in my 20’s so I guess cartilege piercing would definitely have not been for me!
Janice, I love the wardrobe and am so envious of those that can wear that beautiful olive green. Unfortunately, like book goddess wrote, I look like a wrinkled mess in linen when traveling; heavens, even when not traveling. like Noelle I am always substituting sleeveless for something with a 3/4 length or long sleeve and would love to see more of those included in the wardrobe plans. Tanks and sleeveless tees are always worn as a base layer not as some thing that would ever see the light of day. Only one earring per earlobe for the past 55 years. Guess I’m kind of boring.
I love love love olive and black; thank you! This so reminds me of one of my fav outfits from the past: black shorts and olive shirt – I know what’s on my shopping list :-) As for earrings; I’ve spent the pandemic getting all sorts of odd ear piercings and I love all 9 of them!
BTW, my motto is: If it wrinkles, it’s real.
Amanda Hudson says
Living in a really hot humid climate for much of the year means linen for me! I don’t care at all that it wrinkles and also go with the “it’s real”. Fingers crossed that we will be traveling this fall so I’m studying all combinations/lists. Janice has many. I will not be taking 2 huge suitcases!!!
For many years, I wore 3 earrings in my left lobe and 2 in my right. The third piercing on the left was indeed great for wearing those “onlies” that had lost their mate. I finally got the matching 3rd piercing on the right a few years ago. I generally prefer to wear small studs in the 2nd and 3rd holes.
Love it! I packed a similar bag a few years ago for a whirlwind 5 day trip to Scotland that included a graduation and some sightseeing. I would probably trade the skirt for a light pair of jeans but other than that it would be perfect.
Renee D says
Always 6: 2 in my traguses (tragi?), a pair of studs, and usually a pair of hoops. Sometimes I add an extra set of danglies in my had-since-babyhood piercings that ended up uneven as I grew.
Fun fact: The “tinsel” shawl is also known as assiut or tulle bi telli. It’s net with tiny strips of silver hammered into it to make patterns. It got really popular in the 1920s with the whole Egyptomania fad, and sometimes you can find amazing vintage pieces at thrift stores “grandma’s old piano shawl”). You can find newer pieces for sale in all sorts of wild colors on eBay, but the drape of the original stuff is unsurpassed.
This is so interesting! I was thinking that this heroine really needed a tinsel scarf! – nancyo
Irene Sutton says
This 6 pack so speaks to me after my luggage went AWOL in Jordan when I was a pretty inexperienced packer. We had a busy touring schedule and I had to survive with just what I wore for 3 days… washing undies and top at night, borrowing toiletries from fellow travellers etc. Eventually I got shopping, bought a basic survival wardrobe…and lo and behold the next day my luggage caught up with me!
Love the pack and colours… might have been chosen for me!
Beth T says
Thanks Renee D for sharing the origins of the ‘tinsel shawl’. Quite fascinating. My favourite photographs of my grandmother are of her wearing a shawl or wrap.
If you can’t afford an original piece then you can find modern versions of the fabric in scarf shops and fabric shops. I love the paisley wall covering behind her.
The colours are not me but I love the look and the wardrobe. I live in wide leg linen blend trousers in the summer. As for earrings, I wear clips or screw fastenings.
I REALLY like the idea of the 6 pack! It could take you anywhere. As to earrings, because my hair is almost shoulder length and my ear piercing took forever to heal, I only have the 2 holes. But they have some really great, high quality ear cuffs out there that look like the real deal if I ever decide to show more ear! My daughter wears multiple cuffs all the time.
Lovely, as always! And I enjoy the clarity such a small pallette brings. I know you are not, overall, a fan of leggings, but I find leggings under a long, lighter weight skirt is a fabulous hack for cold-warm travel. I wear them doubled with a sweater on the plane, and then slip off the leggings when we land and tie the sweater around my shoulders, and I’m ready for tropical weather. The leggings then function as loungewear or are laundered and packed until my return.
Actually, I think leggings are really useful – I’m wearing them now under a short-ish summer dress. I just HATE seeing women wear them in place of proper pants. I personally find them far too revealing…
I would switch out the cream for a bright coral or pinky plum (azalea?) both colours look stunning with olive. Even red or clear, true orange is amazing though some will balk at mixing it with black… Find a scarf that blended black,olive and my third colour as the two toned one is rather blah for me. Olive is a really good summer neutral and transitions well into the fall with bright orange. Its not a colour I wore very much of in the past as mostly those ‘army green’ skew yellow. That doesn’t work for my high contrast complexion but adding the clear shades next to particular olives always nets compliments. The azalea pink and olive combination is very beautiful and would work for those who might feel that olive/cream is not for them. I find its the colour you wear next to your face that enhances or not. The rest doesn’t really matter as much.