Thursday, February 21, 2013

Packing Tips: Part 4, The Clothes

What to wear, what to wear.  What a dilemma!  What you wear while traveling really is an important consideration.  The right clothes can affect your confidence, your comfort and, in some cases, even your safety.

Whether you’re traveling somewhere you’ve been 100 times or a place that you have previously visited only in your dreams, the considerations are the same.  When choosing your travel wardrobe, you need to know the following:
  • What is the weather prediction at your destination during the days that you will be there?
  • What activities will you be participating in?  Will you be sitting in a theater, sunning on the beach or hiking in the mountains?
  • Are there restrictions at any of the sites you will be visiting?  Some European churches forbid bare shoulders and legs.  Some restaurants dictate that gentlemen wear jackets and ties.  If you are a woman, wearing overly revealing clothing in some countries could endanger your safety.
Once you have armed yourself with knowledge of all of the above, you can narrow down the things you need to take. 
First, to get the most out of everything you pack, pick a color theme offers versatility and pack only clothes within that color scheme.  Use lots of separates that can be mixed and matched with everything else.  Each top should go with more than one bottom.  Pick sturdy, stain resistant clothing that can be worn at least twice without washing or that can be easily hand-washed in a sink and quickly air-dried. 
Next consider your comfort.  Try to select outfits that are just as comfortable as they are stylish.  You don’t want to endure a nine-hour flight to Europe in tight fighting clothes that make it impossible for you to move around easily. 
How many outfits should you take?  It depends on how many days will you be traveling and what activities you will be participating in.  The availability of laundry facilities at your destination will influence the number of pieces you need to take.  When we do our spring break trip to Florida, I take just three days of clothing for a six day stay.  We stay at my mother’s house and do laundry every third day.  Traveling light leaves plenty of room in the car for all of the mouse ears, whale-shaped lunch boxes and seashells that my grandkids want to drag home.
Today I am taking off for  a five-day trip to California to see my brother.  On this trip, I’ll be taking a little more clothing than I normally do just because of the variety of activities we have planned.  We’ll be hiking and biking, which means I’ll want my toughest, most casual jeans and tees.  We’ll also be dining out a lot, so I’ll need better jeans and nice tops.  Although I could do laundry at his house, I don’t foresee having the time to.
I usually travel with black, grey and beige or white pieces.  Each piece can easily be matched with everything else in my suitcase.  Here’s what I plan to take with me on this week’s trip:

Two pairs of jeans, one dressy and one sporty.  I love these NYDJ jeans. 


I also packed a gray turtleneck from Chico's.  The list also includes two tees, one black and one white, like these from Chico's.  I always take my black button-down shirts.  It can be worn alone or as an extra layer on top of the other shirts. 
Of course, I've pack socks, underwear, sleepwear, etc.  I'm taking my sneakers for hiking and biking and my driving mocs for sightseeing and to use as slippers. 
On the plane, I'll be wearing jeans, a black turtle neck and my Michael Kors coat that I wrote about in a previous post.  I'll top my outfit with a colorful pashmina that adds both style and warmth.
All of these pieces allow me to mix and match as my whim and our activities vary.  Each piece is lightweight, sturdy and wrinkle resistant. 
It's time for me to head to the airport now.  Come back to this site in a few days and I’ll tell you how I packed all of these things into my little carry-on bag.

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