Friday, September 3, 2010

Yes, I am anal ...* (briefly updated)

INC Silk Motorcycle Jacket - Macy's
I'm bringing a jacket like this when I go to Paris - but how will it fit in with my overall wardrobe? Let's see...
Whenever I'm packing for a trip, a grid like the one above helps me figure out if I'm bringing enough - or too many - articles of clothing. The goal is to get wear out of every item packed - and more than one wearing is optimal when it comes to packing economies. Packing light means giving each item a thorough evaluation for:  versatility, comfort, ease of care (doesn't need ironing, etc.) and very importantly if you feel good wearing it.

So when I had a pair of blue slacks in the mix and saw that I'd only wear them once, I decided to nix them because I already had a pair of grey pants on the list that I was planning to wear only once. Now I can (well, might have to) wear the grey slacks twice. The one-time-wear rule doesn't always have to apply. For instance, the LBD (little black dress) listed for Day 4 free/dinner (free means we don't have a planned activity; we're free to go wherever we want for dinner) is a one-time thing, but I still want to have it with me as an option because it's versatile. And it's good to leave a little leeway in your wardrobe planning for the unexpected (something spills, rips, you just don't feel like wearing again, etc.).

Even though the items I've listed to pack can be mixed several different ways, my list gives me a good overall picture of what should be in my suitcase. While many of you are seasoned travelers who know how to pack light, here are some helpful packing tips for those who are not so experienced ...

1) Create a list/chart like the one I created above and take it with you - pack it right in your suitcase - and this way you will know what you were thinking when you decided to bring each item.
2) Another good idea if you're bringing separates is to try each outfit on so you can see if you're making good pairings. You can also experiment putting different pieces together and see how they look. If you're packing something you haven't worn in a while, by all means do try it on to make sure it still fits AND inspect for missing buttons, etc.
3) Will you be bringing new walking shoes with you on your trip? Be sure to break them in BEFORE you go. You can wear them around the house if you worried about scuffing them up.

P.S. After I posted a photo of the sweater with the ruffles in grey after I bought it in teal, I kept wondering if I should return it to get the grey! But after mapping out my wardrobe with the grid above and trying it on again, I think the teal is lovely and shall remain a keeper!

P.P.S. See my comment in the comments section - the packing list continues to evolve!
Until Paris ... only 19 days!


Linda said...

wow I thought I was anal. lol What a great idea this is! I will have a washer in my apartment with no dryer, so I'm a little worried about this. Hopefully there's an iron!

Honeygo Beasley said...
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Je m'appelle Cynthia said...

This list has already changed since I followed step 2 - three items went back to the store, and I am having a hard time justifying one of the jackets. Thank goodness I did step 2 - I noticed my pants needed hemming since I was going to be wearing with flats and walking (I usually wear them longer with heels.) So to the dry cleaner I went this morning and all they needed was to be taken up 1/2 an inch. I also tried on the black skirt with flip flops - and as I was getting out of the skirt, I tripped and pulled a few stitches out of the skirt near the end of the zipper, so that is being mended at the cleaner's too - and the skirt was brand new! Live and learn.

James said...

Wow and I thought my wife was anal with her packing lists. I wonder how long it will be before she starts one like yours. Thankfully we back very light.:)

I think you are going to have the time of your life in Paris. I love the city of lights and I depart in 36 days for my 5th visit in the last 6th years.

I hope you post lots of pictures.

Je m'appelle Cynthia said...

Funny follow up to this post - I haven't worn the teal sweater yet. I brought it to Paris. It was the one thing I never wore there, and haven't worn it yet at home either.


The Clever Pup said...

I just realized you are already following me. Thanks.

I see from your chart that you are as obsessive about packing as I am. I had splendid weather the whole time. Lucky.

Je m'appelle Cynthia said...

The weather in Paris prepared me for the fall that started when I came home. I left Pennsylvania, USA when it was still hot in Sept. (we were having a heat wave) and when I came back from chilly, rainy, cloudy (on a few days) Paris, it was that way here. But a bad day in Paris seems to beat a sunny day anywhere else - it seems. Glad you had beautiful weather. I'd love to go back in the spring. Wouldn't you???

From the BBC series on Paris, Blood and Chocolate (Part 2 of 3). Enjoy!

Streets of Paris - I shot this the day I left Paris, on a rainy September morning.

Small group Paris tours for women