Friday, June 14, 2013

Leaving on a jet plane with just one suitcase

I don't blog much about fashion, though if you follow me on Instagram, you may see a little more. My style is pretty basic. I'm not trendy. I don't do designer anything. And any purchase over $50 is a total splurge. Back when I did the Get Dressed Challenge in November of last year, I noted that when you work at home and you're doing messy things like baking and painting, getting dressed in anything except t-shirts and yoga pants is pretty challenging so mostly I don't do it. I'm better than I was before the challenge, but I have pretty much reverted to my former t-shirt and shorts.

That said, I do read a couple of fashion blogs. Mainly J's Everyday Fashion and Outfit Posts, two highly practical, down-to-earth and easy to imitate fashion blogs. I also love Atlantic-Pacific, but face it, this is my real life:

Floaty skirts, midriff tops and four inch heels? Probably not this century.

Which is why when MK of Outfit Posts started doing this series on One Suitcase travel wardrobes, I was totally on board. Simple? Check. Easy? Check. Lots of options? Check. One suitcase? Hell to the Check Check Check.

Photo courtesy of Outfit Posts

Also, read this and you will totally fall in love with MK. So. Freaking. Funny.

Anyway, when my parents took us on a Caribbean cruise in December, I knew I didn't want to bring a ton of clothes, but I am a notorious over-packer. The cruise ship doesn't care how much luggage you have, but the airline was charging for baggage (natch) and it galls me to spend money to take clothes I already own on vacation with me. So keeping outfit options at the maximum and luggage at a minimum was a priority and this packing scheme totally fit the bill. I was astonished at how many options I had for getting dressed and I got so many compliments on how pulled together I looked that when I booked a trip home to California to see my folks, I knew I'd be heading back over to this series to guide my packing decisions.

MK describes it better than I could, but the general idea is that you choose eight basics in two neutral colors that match each other and then add eight more coordinating pieces in prints, patterns or other complementary colors to spice things up.

So here's what I'm bringing to California (plus PJs, toiletries, undergarments & workout clothes which are not pictured, but all totally fit in the suitcase):

2 shorts (green and white)
2 skirts (khaki and pink)
4 t-shirts (green, white, navy striped and grey)
1 dress (navy)
2 button-down shirts (polka dot chambray and white)
2 long pants (white and khaki)
2 sweaters (navy and yellow)
1 pashmina style wrap (teal)
2 shoes (gold sandals and brown deck shoes) plus sneakers, which I'll wear on the plane
assorted jewelry

My wardrobe differs slightly from MK's. First, I'm more of a skirt person than a dress person so I included fewer dresses. Second, despite the fact that my parents live across the street from the beach, the water in their part of California is usually around 55 degrees and it's generally foggy in the summer so no bathing suit/cover-up/beach wear for me. This is only a "beach vacation" in that I'm going in the summer as opposed to the winter. Third, we're not going anywhere particularly fancy that I'm aware of so I included just one casual dress and shiny sandals that can go anywhere in their beach/college town.

And in case you need proof of just how many outfits I can generate with these 16 pieces, here are 5 right off the top. I'm only going to be gone for 8 days, so the possibilities, though not precisely endless, are copious.

Finally, here is everything packed into my carry-on sized suitcase.

My work-out clothes/pajamas/etc. are in there too. This particular case has an expanding option, which I have not utilized here. Depending on how much thrifting I do while I'm out there, I may on the way back though!

My bag is packed and I'm ready to go!

How do you pack for a trip? Are you a planner or do you just throw stuff into a suitcase at the last minute?

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