What is your wardrobe?
When I look at photos of myself at 18, 28, 48 or even now, I still dress the same: sporty tailored is my fashion style. A long time ago I read that one should only ever wear two colours at the same time - and that formula works for me. The colours have adjusted a little over time: I may have started off with black + another colour; these days I wear grey + another colour as the grey complements my hair colour.
If you don’t know what colour suits you, don’t worry, that won’t make planning your travel wardrobe more challenging: there’s help at hand. Back in the 1980s, there was a trend to ‘colour your style’. The thinking was that everyone’s colouring is one of the following seasonal palettes: ‘winter’, ‘summer’, ‘spring’ or ‘autumn’. Each ‘season’ comes with a colour selection that is ideally suited for your particularly ‘colour style’. This seasonal palette is based on your hair, eye and skin colour - and believe me, it works.
This colour styling has survived the fashion years. I recently completed a Personal Styling course which recommends the colour styling theory. If you need help identifying your own colour style, I can help. Contact me at Planepack.
Once you know what colours work for your particular ‘season’, packing for your trip becomes so much easier. You choose a foundation colour - mine as I said is either black or grey - to build your basic wardrobe. And then you add touches of colour based on your seasonal palette. It is easy and practical, very much like my Planepack clothing list: simple, stylish and practical. If you prefer to travel with a wide range of frills and ruffles, Planepack might not be for you.
When I visualize days and weeks, I see them as rods, each one representing a day of the week. The rods are all different colours while the weekend has the same for both days (Saturday is a little darker in tone). If that sounds strange, I’d be interested to know what your days and weeks look like. In my mind, days and weeks are neat and orderly, following the same structure. Mr PetMan has a different view of future time: his is nowhere near as structured as mine. I suspect his days are shrouded in mist . . .
Having this kind of view of the near future helps me to prepare for my trip: I visualize - fairly broadly - what I’ll be doing on each of the days away. lay out my whole travel wardrobe on my bed before I pack. That way I can see what I’m taking with me as well as identifying what I’ve forgotten. I check that everything works with everything else.
For example, during my recent trip to Europe, I knew that I’d be in Belgrade for three days where I’d be visiting family, walking, exploring the city. Knowing that, I am able to visualize the clothes and combinations that I need for that part of my stay. The latter part of my stay (13 days) was spent in Montenegro. I knew that I’d be going to the beach, but I’d also be walking, exploring ancient cities, going on a boat, dining out and strolling in sophisticated Porto Montenegro. So while I don’t visualize each day’s particular wardrobe, I know that I need a mixture of casual with slightly smarter clothes. When I eventually pack for this kind of trip, I only take clothes that I will wear: I never take along any impulsive packs or items that I think, ‘Oh, it would be nice to wear that’. I’m restrained in picking my wardrobe: each piece of clothing has to work; nothing comes along for a free flight.
A good way to test your planning, packing and wardrobe skills is to trial the theory on a short trip: a weekend away might be the start of a new habit. I recently spent a few days in Melbourne, flying down on Friday evening and returning on Monday morning. I needed a mix of warmer and summer clothes as the weather was a bit fresh. I packed day wear for gallery visits and smarter casual for evening dining. I took one pair of unstructured pants, one T-shirt, one smarter blouse, one waterfall jersey, one long-sleeved pullover and two longer T-shirts. I took along two pairs of footless tights, but only wore one of them. I travelled with just one pair of shoes and one pair of sandals. I left home with 6.8 kgs of luggage. Sadly when I came back I had to buy extra cabin luggage allowance - not that the extra weight was due to clothes, but to Christmas presents from the Melbourne family.
‘I hate packing,’ my friend Shelly recently acknowledged.‘I take hours agonizing what jewellery to take with me,’ she said.
My advice is to take a small selection of favorite pieces that you can wear for any occasion during your trip. The trick is to take along jewellery that you really like and are happy to wear every day. My standard jewellery is one pair of earrings, one ring (in addition to my wedding band), one necklace for everyday wear and one standout necklace for the evening. Believe me, it works! And once you've decided on your basic jewelry, you never again have to fuss about taking a whole lot of stuff that you’re not going to wear. In addition, you’re not going to worry about losing or having jewellery stolen during your travels - because you’ll be wearing your jewels all the time. Planepack is all about simplicity, style and ease of travel.