Monday, May 14, 2012

Minimalist suitcase: Tips on packing light

I am not even close to a minimalist in the way that I live (I love having options! And I love shopping), but I do a very good job packing light.

People who see my suitcase (I usually use a small roll-y red soft-sided case) are always surprised that I can get all my stuff in there.

When I pack, I really plan out a capsule wardrobe. Nothing that only goes with 1 outfit. No shoes that match some clothes but not others. Everything has to be versatile and matching.

The easiest way to save space is to choose your shoes first.
Think about the weather, the amount of walking you'll do, the events you will be going to.
Are you going to be hitting a lot of museums and seeing city sights? Then you'll need comfortable but sophisticated flats.
Are you going to be hiking and running outdoors? Boots or sneakers will be essential.
Are you going to be mostly taxiing around and going to fancy dinners? You will want nice heels or shoes.
Beach? Flip flops or water shoes.

Shoes are the most space-expensive items, especially for women. Men can usually get away with one pair of casual shoes/sneakers and one pair of city shoes. Women might need (and I really mean need) casual shoes, heels, boots, and flip flops.

Once you have your shoes sorted, then you need to choose a colorway.
Do the shoes that you picked go with black/gray clothes or brown/tan clothes?
Any other color can be matched to those, but you should not be packing both blacks and browns (unless you are a very advanced color matcher).

Here is a good example of a black-based women's wardrobe:

And here is a good brown-based men's wardrobe:
Note that all the accessories match the color palette as well.

I find that my packing usually consists of: a casual dress, jeans, cardigans, shorts or skirt, leggings, camisoles, a bathing suit, a necklace, a shawl/scarf, stud earrings that I never take out, underwear for the # of days +2, and tee shirts.

You can wear the leggings and tee shirt as pajamas, too, so you don't have to pack extra things. Leggings are also great comfortable plane wear.

As long as you choose a dress that can be fancy or casual depending on the shoes and accessories, then you don't have to bring something just for one night out.

When I buy dresses, I like to look for versatile ones and fabrics that can be scrunched without wrinkling, like silk jersey or rayon.

While packing, fold your stuff inside each other instead of folding or rolling each piece separately. Here's a good example:

You can see how well this works for one woman who tried it in this post.

What other tips do you have?

1 comment:

  1. Hi rebecca could you please expand on the minimalist closet tips for men. I am a blue jeans white tshirt kind of guy. Touring on my motorbike and writing. Thanks


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