Sunday, 3 March 2019

.How to Pack for a City Break

Packing can be fun, or it can be a nightmare, as you wrestle with different colours, patterns, items, shall I pack that purple sweater and will it go with anything else?  This is always compounded, for me at least by airline restrictions particularly when I only want to take a carry-on bag - one of the decent sized ones for goodness sake.

So I have come to the conclusion that for travel I need to edit, edit, edit, because who among us doesn't pack 'stuff' they end up not wearing?  All that wasted space that can be taken up on returning by a little judicious shopping.

I spend quite a lot of time travelling from city to city via train or plane and I've come to the conclusion that there are only a very few items that are totally indispensable.  Here are my essentials.

Let's start off by including a little black dress.  Preferably one you really love to wear, that flatters your figure, gives a bit - think of that feast you're expecting to enjoy, and won't need ironing.

Secondly pick a little grown up jacket. These have come to me to be absolutely necessary city dressing. LK Bennett is brilliant at these and this season has them in various different colours from bright red to white with black trim and navy with black trim.  Here I've picked the navy with black because it'll work perfectly with both my black skinny jeans and with my LBD.

Then there are the jeans themselves.  Indispensable, that you'll wear pretty much every day and in the evening when a dress isn't required.  If you can, include both a black and a blue denim pair.

And to end my first group a lightweight flattering fine knit swing cardigan for casual drinks or just lounging about.  Perfect.


Simple rules for a capsule wardrobe or when you have to pack light - keep your colour scheme to a minimum so that most pieces work together.  Don't pack heels you can't run for a cab in, wear your heaviest pieces travelling, particularly if you're going by plane, and hang everything up the minute you arrive.  

Capsule collection item no 5 - an easy but smart little off white shirt that you can wear under your jacket or swing cardigan - this bridges the gap between smart (LBD) and casual (t-shirt and jeans).

Karen Millen's collarless leather jacket will be great to travel in, wear over your jeans or turn your chic little black dress into something a little more rock'n'roll.  It's another work with everything piece no wardrobe should be without.

Inevitably you have many variations on the white t-shirt in your cupboard and this is just one example to say that this will be one of your best travel friends, so pack several as you'll want to lounge in them, wear as an extra layer and under any of your jackets.

Finally that most important of items without which I am never to be found - a scarf, whether in cashmere or linen blend, with tassels, sequins or just plain, scarves are incredibly useful, not the least to keep you warm when it's a little chillier than you expect.  Oh and did I mention they can be decorative as well.  Think scarf/shawl/wrap and you'll  have the idea, preferably take one printed and one cashmere and you'll be totally covered.

I find that if I'm disciplined about packing and stick to a capsule that works together I seem to have a better time.  Less time unpacking.  No hard thinking about what to wear.  Nothing brought back unworn.  It works.  And I know these things.........