Friday, September 3, 2010

Yes, I am anal ...* (briefly updated)

INC Silk Motorcycle Jacket - Macy's
I'm bringing a jacket like this when I go to Paris - but how will it fit in with my overall wardrobe? Let's see...

Whenever I'm packing for a trip, a grid like the one above helps me figure out if I'm bringing enough - or too many - articles of clothing. The goal is to get wear out of every item packed - and more than one wearing is optimal when it comes to packing economies. Packing light means giving each item a thorough evaluation for:  versatility, comfort, ease of care (doesn't need ironing, etc.) and very importantly if you feel good wearing it.

So when I had a pair of blue slacks in the mix and saw that I'd only wear them once, I decided to nix them because I already had a pair of grey pants on the list that I was planning to wear only once. Now I can (well, might have to) wear the grey slacks twice. The one-time-wear rule doesn't always have to apply. For instance, the LBD (little black dress) listed for Day 4 free/dinner (free means we don't have a planned activity; we're free to go wherever we want for dinner) is a one-time thing, but I still want to have it with me as an option because it's versatile. And it's good to leave a little leeway in your wardrobe planning for the unexpected (something spills, rips, you just don't feel like wearing again, etc.).

Even though the items I've listed to pack can be mixed several different ways, my list gives me a good overall picture of what should be in my suitcase. While many of you are seasoned travelers who know how to pack light, here are some helpful packing tips for those who are not so experienced ...

1) Create a list/chart like the one I created above and take it with you - pack it right in your suitcase - and this way you will know what you were thinking when you decided to bring each item.
2) Another good idea if you're bringing separates is to try each outfit on so you can see if you're making good pairings. You can also experiment putting different pieces together and see how they look. If you're packing something you haven't worn in a while, by all means do try it on to make sure it still fits AND inspect for missing buttons, etc.
3) Will you be bringing new walking shoes with you on your trip? Be sure to break them in BEFORE you go. You can wear them around the house if you worried about scuffing them up.

P.S. After I posted a photo of the sweater with the ruffles in grey after I bought it in teal, I kept wondering if I should return it to get the grey! But after mapping out my wardrobe with the grid above and trying it on again, I think the teal is lovely and shall remain a keeper!

P.P.S. See my comment in the comments section - the packing list continues to evolve!
Until Paris ... only 19 days!