Shopportunities: Packing Right
Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month.
My husband retires this year, and the first thing we’re doing is taking an extended vacation. I’m so looking forward to the trip, but I dread packing—I always take far too much. As we’re traveling by air to all our many and varied destinations, I’ve got to get it right. Any tips to make me an expert packer? —Nancy, Estero
In the last decade airlines have reduced luggage allowances significantly and with charges for a second check-in bag commonplace, skillful packing is essential.
Destinations: Although it may seem obvious, do your research and know what awaits you at your various destinations. Knowledge of local customs, climate and activities, will all assist your packing decisions. Write a list of all likely events or activities and visualize what type of outfit you’ll wear for each occasion.
Color:Stick with a base color palette that you can build all your outfits around. Versatile neutrals are your best buddies here. Don’t even think about packing any outfit requiring its own special color shoes and accessories (unless you’re attending a wedding or other very specific occasion on your travels).
Editing:Lay out everything you plan to pack. Then take half of it away again. You don’t need three black sweaters, but you’ll probably need more underwear than you think. If necessary, repeat the process. Take out anything that you know in your heart will only be worn once or is high maintenance. Unless you’re traveling somewhere truly remote, only take travel sizes of toiletries you’ll need for each journey.
The heavies: Shoes can be heavy and quickly change your baggage to “overweight” status. Be brutal in the selection process and choose pairs in neutral colors to go with most of your clothing with heel heights you can walk in, plus a dressier pair for evenings. Stuff out the shoes in your suitcase with small items that can be rolled up without wrinkling, such as scarves and sleepwear.
Double check:By making sure you love everything you pack and that it’s just right for your needs, you’ll take half as much and look twice as good.
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Feel like you shop too much and still have nothing that looks right together? It may be that the clothes you already own are all you need to create plenty of chic, versatile looks. Stop by Marilyn’s on Fifth Avenue South from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 13 for an in-depth seminar on building a complete wardrobe out of just five essentials. Or, if you can’t make it in person, pick up some helpful tips from owner Marilyn Hellman—on a variety of topics, from how to choose the right earrings to how to tie a scarf—anytime online at her YouTube channel, youtube.com/marilynhellman.