If you are a just-in-case-packer like me, you will understand the difficulty in choosing what to pack for an iffy climate. Over and above that, I do have an intimate relationship with my clothes and miss them when I’m not surrounded by all my favourites.
After scouring the internet and finding a heap of ideas for backpackers, I realized that there are no suggestions really, for a fashion conscious, almost always stylish (we try), non-backpacking 40+ woman, who prefers to hide her slightly lumpy legs and jiggly upper arms and do not like T-shirts (that bra-muffin on the back is one of my least favourite looks).
Considering that the autumn (or spring) weather in Europe could be fickle, it was daunting to decide on what to pack and not look like a slob and scream “Hello, I’m a tourist!”
And so my own traveling wardrobe was born.
Jeans: this is always a staple and if you have a pair that you’ve broken in, they are super comfy when travelling.
Black Pants: I chose a pair of palazzo pants that fits snuggly in the waist. These I can either dress up or down.
Stone Pants: My only concession to not only pack black & white (my favourite combo) and the neutral colour will go with everything.
Black & White Pants: ‘Cause we all need a pair of skinnies in our favourite colour, when we see the world.
10x Tops & Shirts
Now, if you like colour and patterns this is where you can go wild and unleash the multi-coloured demon. Me, on the other hand, prefer the classic black & white with a splash of grey and if I’m feeling terribly exited, I indulge in a dab of brown. Whatever your poison, make sure that all the tops can be worn with all the bottoms and that the whole shebang, work both on a sightseeing trip or spoiling yourself at a fancy eatery. These tops should be a combination of short and long sleeves as well as a sleeveless number for those extremely hot days – who knew Berlin can get to 36° C in September??
This was a waste to pack and my old just-in-case self, made a guest appearance. I was thinking that I could wear this to dinner once or twice, but with the black pants already packed, this was a complete waste.
Yup. I am very often cold and would almost always prefer to glow than to shiver. Plus, I was taking the layering thing very serious.
These are lighter weight than the jerseys above and were perfect to ward off the chill in the morning when I was standing like a working woman, on a street corner outside a hotel, having my coffee and fag.
The leather jacket I travelled in and was great towards the end of trip when it became quite fresh in the evenings and when it drizzled. The grey jacket was perfect as a lightweight extra layer for the in between weather.
3x Pairs of Shoes
Can I please have applause for limiting myself? I stopped counting my footwear a few years ago (you know you have a serious addiction when they total over a hundred). To only choose 3 pairs took immense self-control.
I settled on a pair of white All Stars for traipsing around, a pair of red pumps for the dressier affairs and lastly, a pair of black ankle boots for the chillier days and for travelling.
4x Scarves that served both as an extra layer of warmth, as well as to jazz up an outfit.
2x Handbags – one that I travelled with (read ginormous), seeing that I forego the hand luggage and a daily cross body bag that could convert into a shoulder bag.
Uhuhm…both my own designs (perfect product placement!!)
All of the above gave me at least 25 different outfits – if I did some laundry in between – that was comfortable, stylish and age/agenda appropriate. More than enough for a 3 week holiday.
All in all, everything worked out perfect, even more so when I started to shop. Seeing that my wardrobe was very much mix-n-match already, everything that I bought, looked pretty spiffy with what I had already!
I left with a suitcase weighing a mere 14kg and came back with only 10kg extra. A definite first for me!
• Pack for a week, regardless whether you’re travelling for a month or a year. If you really need a warm coat or a pair of slinky summery heels, you have the excuse to shop!
• Layering is key to autumn/spring traveling wardrobe.
• Make sure that each piece of clothing can be worn with everything else.
• You must feel comfortable in everything. Don’t pack skirts if you mostly wear pants when you’re home.
• For us normal people: do not pack active wear – you’ll get enough exercise by walking everywhere…my lycra tights, top and tekkies came back home, without ever leaving the suitcase.
Love & Light