Traveling Light: Packing Like a Pro
Before I was a Carmel wardrobe stylist, I used to think the more you travel, the better you are at traveling “light”. This theory does not hold up when you consider my oldest brother, a flight attendant, who carries the largest roller luggage possible even for short excursions. He once lost a bag with nine pairs of shoes inside! Nine. Pairs. Of. Shoes. Let’s not follow his example.
I do believe the more you travel, the better you can get at packing light. Packing light simply needs to be something you want to do. Taking the time to plan is key. I recently returned from a work trip to the Dominican Republic where two people on separate occasions remarked, “Is that all you have?” when they saw my bags. Glad to know I took my own advice. Without further delay, here are your top tips for traveling light:
- Determine Your Travel Outfit– When flying (or driving), wear the same outfit going and returning. This eliminates the hassle of deciding what to wear on the way home. By the end of the trip, you’re tired and the last thing you need to do is make one more decision.
- Pack Two Pairs of Shoes (Maximum)– If you are dining in nice restaurants or attending a special event, pack one pair of “dress” shoes. The second pair I recommend packing is a walking-around shoe that you can rotate between the pair you wear during travel. If you are exercising on your trip, make that shoe your alternate pair. During travel, as a Carmel wardrobe stylist, I typically recommend wearing your bulkiest (hardest to pack) shoe on your feet.
- Layering is Key- Weather can change on a dime. You don’t want to be caught at your destination without enough clothes to wear in case the weather turns cooler. If you intend to take a bulky jacket, carry it on the plane (or in the car) to save precious luggage space. If you are certain a jacket is not needed, carry an oversized scarf or a wrap in your hand carry bag. A light layer on one’s shoulders helps immensely in cold restaurants and theaters. Scarves make nice travel accessories in the place of jewelry, which you may decide to leave at home. Lastly, pack one or two camisoles and cotton t-shirts (long or short sleeve depending on climate). These quick and easy layers might be just what you need under your other tops/sweaters.
- Create a Capsule- It is important to lay everything out on your bed or in your closet to see how pieces work together. Ideally, every top goes with each bottom so you can interchange pieces. This step is very important– don’t skip it! Otherwise, you may find yourself at your destination with too many “odd ball” pieces that don’t go with anything. Before creating your capsule, decide on your trip color story, and pull pieces in those colors. Remove colors that don’t work well together.
- Simplify Your Makeup and Skincare Routine- Pair down your makeup to the bare minimum. I often fill a small container with my foundation to avoid carrying the larger size. Decide on ONE blush and THREE eye shadow shades to carry. For lips, pack one color in your purse and two colors in your luggage. For skincare, carry a cleanser, a serum and a moisturizer for evening and a sunscreen for daytime. Masks, toners, etc. are okay to abandon for travel.
Looking to change your wardrobe? Let’s work together! Work with Beth Divine, a Carmel wardrobe stylist, to elevate your style today.