I was recently going away for a long weekend to stay with friends in the UK and travelling by train. This was late April. The last thing I wanted was a cumbersome suitcase which I would only trip over or bash into a fellow travellers legs. I wanted to arrive refreshed and unencumbered with luggage.
So – what to take; bearing in mind my small ‘cabin size’ suitcase and the unpredictability of our British weather? I set myself the challenge of creating a suitable range of outfits from six core pieces. Not including my underwear as this takes up little space (I’m not yet at the stage where my underwear is about the same size as my outerwear!)
White jeans (packed)
I tend not to travel in white as I seem to be an absolute magnet for dirt, coffee stains …… you get the idea. For comfort I travel in posh leggings, in either black or brown, of which I have several pairs. Making sure at all times my bottom is covered. I’m blessed with a small backside but if it isn’t covered I feel I look as if I have forgotten my skirt.
Flat ankle boots (to travel in)
I really can’t travel in heels so I always wear flats. There is nothing worse than arriving at your destination in pain!
Tunic top (to travel in)
This is a key piece for me as it goes with virtually all leggings and pants/jeans. It also has the advantage of keeping me warm. I usually wear a vest or camisole underneath. Unless the item is going to be on show (perhaps some lace or trimming) I buy cheap. Asda and Tesco do very cheap ‘basics’ as do H&M. For packing purposes I class vests and camisoles as underwear.
Plain vest (Asda) and Lacy trimmed camisole (H&M)
I really don’t ‘do’ cold so, apart from mid-summer, I travel with a fairly large scarf to keep my neck and shoulders warm. This also has the advantage of adding some colour to my travelling outfit.
Rarely without a scarf
Sleeveless coat by Mango (to travel in)
Some time ago I discovered the advantage of a sleeveless coat – particularly for travel. You don’t feel so encumbered and they can look stylish.
Blue skinny jeans & long white shirt (packed)
The blue jeans work with the white shirt, tunic, sweater and the coat. Plus they look good with the ankle boots and sneakers.
I learned how to pack from my Mother who in her youth had a job which involved a fair amount of travelling. She always used to roll up knickers and socks and put them inside shoes. She also said you should never wear the same footwear two days in a row. The reason? To allow the footwear to dry out! Our feet do to some extent sweat.
Light sweater & bold tunic top (packed)
So, there you have it; 6 key pieces and still space for toiletries and cosmetics. The key is to lay out your six pieces to be packed on one side of the bed and on the other side the items you will be wearing when you are travelling. They should all form a small capsule wardrobe.