Friday, 20 May 2011

To pack (or what to pack)

The weather has been horribly rainy this week. I've been reading Tina Fey's Bossypants (very, very funny) and trying to figure out what to pack. I am leaving for Finland tomorrow, and will spend the next three weeks there. For whatever reason, packing for three weeks seems to be particularly difficult. It's a long enough time to be left wondering if any selection of clothes will prove satisfactory, but short enough to make one feel silly to want to pack all contents of one's wardrobe.

I usually go along a rigid ten-step process when I pack. It goes as follows:

1) I write a list of clothes I think I need.
2) I lay out clothes on the bed and cross things off the list as I go along until the list is complete.
3) I look into my wardrobe and pick at least twenty more things I might want to take. Many of these are shoes.
4) I realise that I can't take everything, and start putting clothes back into the wardrobe.
5) I notice that after a lot of culling, I am left with a pair of jeans and two t-shirts. In a moment of intense glory I claim out loud: "I CAN PACK LIGHTLY!"
6) I feel silly, because of course I can't just pack a pair of jeans and two t-shirts.
7) I re-consult my list, and decide that the whole list thing is stupid. Then I repeat step 3.
8) I go back and forth between steps 5 and 3 for as long as possible.
9) I freak out.
10) I settle for whatever step I am stuck on when it's time to close the suitcase. Usually that's step 3.

The end result is almost always bad. I am never happy with the clothes I have packed. You know what I say to that? Oh well.

This is what I wore today. The tee is an old H&M animal print one, the jeans are from Gap, the cardigan is old, too, I think I bought it in Zara ages ago. The denim jacket is from a flea market, the vintage boots are from Etsy. Moth necklace is a present from Dana and Chuck, the earrings are from Rosie.

This is what I wore yesterday. The tunic is second hand (Plato's Closet), denim jacket is from a flea market, jeans are by Denimbirds, the Converse are from a yard sale. Second hand earrings are from Etsy. Scarf is a present from Chris.

And this is what I wore on Wednesday:

Silk top is from Salvation Army, cardigan is from Urban Outfitters, jeans are from Gap, vintage boots are from Etsy, the Mexican vintage necklace is from eBay.

Next time I'll see you, I'll be in Finland!


Cynthia said...

I love that silk top in the last outfit. So pretty.

I recently packed for 10 days in Europe and fit everything into one carryon and one laptop bag. I went with a strategy of minimizing my options on the bottom (I packed only pants, and one pair of versatile boots) and allowing myself a lot of on-top options. I had trousers, cords, jeans, a full suit, several fancy blouses, tees, cardigans, and three casual jackets in a standard size carryon. If I had it to do again I'd probably put in one other pair of shoes just to give my feet some relief, but it worked pretty well. Unfortunately I didn't document all the outfits I wore, but I only repeated an item once, and felt like I had plenty of choices.

Shey said...

Have a safe trip Waves! You look beautiful in all of the outfits! I love those estatement necklaces too! As far as packing, I'll have to do my own in July when I go to MX, I usually pack light because I hate dragging a big suitcase, I take the good enough clothes to get dirty in and that I don't mind if they will get wet or washed and stretch by the very old machine washer. I pretty much take classic clothes that will go with anything and I just take the number of outfits for 7 days so I will have to wear everything twice or three times. I get pretty tired and bored but by the end I really don't care anymore about what I wear. =) I hope you have a great time and find something amazing you can bring back. This year whn I go to Mexico I plan to find something wonderful, maybe a purse or jewelry I can bring back instead of wasting my money in junk. =D

Frankie said...

Haha. Your 10 step process made me laugh. I practically live out of a suitcase with my job and after 3 years I am still incredibly indecisive. I have to pack a day or 2 before I go away and have everything planned out. Even then, I usually spend my whole 10 day trip wishing I had packed different clothes. I pack enough clothes so I do not have to wear the same thing twice but I always end up washing one or two tops in the hotel basin while half my clothes remain unworn.
Have a wonderful trip.

Anonymous said...

Haha, I can really relate to this. I once heard someone talking about taking pieces of clothing you know will match and with which you can mix and match. The idea sound wonderfull. You can look different everyday but still pack light. In reality it just stresses me out because I feel I need to pack the bestest, cutest, prettiest combinations possible, which of course is impossible.
Ah, the tragedy of packing...

Love your blog!
Have fun in Finland!


Anonymous said...

Hello, sorry I missed you on Friday. Hope you have (had) a safe journey. Can't wait to see you when you get back. Hope you have nice weather.

chouette22 said...

Your list totally cracked me up and it resonated completely with my packing nightmares. I will be packing soon for a 6 week stay in Europe and just found out that even international airlines have you pay for the second checked-in piece of luggage. This will make things so hard, as I am also dealing with different climates, etc.

Gracey said...

I am the absolute worst packer in the world and I've never had to go anywhere for three weeks. I always feel like I need to add pops of color and forget that those pops of color don't actually go with anything else I've packed. I think I use only about half of what I pack almost every trip.

Carolyn said...

Hi, I only just discovered you blog. You have an amazing sense of style; and so inspiring. I love your way of mixing colours and layers!

tinyjunco said...

i vastly overpack by nature. on family vacations growing up, there's be howls of laughter at my huge bag. then, one by one, my family members would slink into a room with me and ask for a tee, a washcloth, toothpaste, itch cream....ha!

i went to my mom's for a week recently, it's only 40 minutes away by car. so i threw literally half my closet in the back seat, and took pix of what i ended up wearing everyday. i may POSSIBLY have come up with a good travel wardrobe out of this experiment, but maybe not. i'll blog it anyways!

Bon Voyage! and have fun!! steph

Anonymous said...

Some time I could easily relate to that. Now, fortunately/unfortunately - depends how you view the fact - I travel a lot and hence my suitcase-packing skills improved greatly. I keep a list of the very essentials that I still sometimes forget - things like soap, toothbrush, towel - but apart from those, I never make a list. It distracts me too much. I tend to pack fewer bottom articles of clothing - one skirt is enough to last me a week. Tops - as many as there are days plus one spare in case of some mischievous food landing on your top. Shoes - if it's over one week, I take two pairs. If it's shorter, it's usually martens. Always an extra cardigan. Additional scarf to make outfits less boring. A few pairs of earrings. And still, when I'm travelling, I'm travelling. 'Stylish' is not the priority. 'Comfy' and 'relaxed' are.
Have a safe trip!

IrishRedRose said...

Your packing problems list made me laugh so hard. That is EXACTLY what I usually do. In recent years, though, I finally figured out a few things that help a WEE bit:
1. I choose a color scheme--and bloody stick with it. Last trip was shades of red/burgundy/pink and silver. Black or burgundy/red footwear. Worked great!
2. Eliminate ALL bulky or especially heavy items. So NO jeans. I'd change that if jeans were all I ever wear, or make 1 pair my only pants to take, or wear 'em on the plane. As it is, though, I take cotton pants and skirts instead. Also: I choose lighter layering items instead of heavy, thick wool. If I am going someplace really wintry I just wear a down coat on the plane--weightless and doubles as a body pillow. Crushes well too if I wanna stuff it under my seat. Then all I need in my suitcase is a lightweight cashmere cardy and a tank top or two to layer.
3. ONLY lightweight shoes--any space-eating/heavy boots must be worn on the trip to avoid lugging them around or letting them crowd out TWO pairs of shoes from my bag.
4. I happily OD on lightweight scarves and especially jewelry--they can make the same outfit feel soooo different and really help w/boredom.
5. Even to a warm place, no white or super-pale colors. They can usually only be worn once and often require more of a thorough wash than a hotel sink can provide.
6. No unnecessary items like robes, bulky slippers etc., even if I always wear 'em at home.

Have fun in Finland! I love your blog!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi sweetie pie!! :) oxox, CR

Eyeliah said...

ohh, have a great time! I have a few list templates (beach day, camping, travel, yoga class teach). They save me lots of list making time. :)