In my ongoing education in strategic packing (you wouldn’t believe my inner turmoil over making a packing list for Camino), I’ve managed to narrow it down to about five clothing items I take with me on every trip. It’s hard for me; I adore adore crazy patterns and bright colours.
On the other hand, pattern mixing tends to be the trend these days. I figure 20 years from now I’ll look back and wonder what the hell I was doing with my life. Stripes and polka dots in one outfit?! The madness! Perhaps it’s the equivalent to tear-away pants and platform sneakers in the 90s. I so wanted to be a Spice Girl.
I try to categorize my outfits into Comfortable Items Suitable For Endless Walking, Appropriate Dinner Attire for Surprise Dates, and Comfortable Lounge Wear For When I Don’t Give a Damn.
The Appropriate Dinner Attire for Surprises Dates is the most laughable of these categories. In all my years of travelling, a Surprise Date scenario has only ever happened once with a cute German man in Montenegro.
Lyst.com, a fun shopping app, asked me to write about my five key clothing items for travelling. These are my “must have” items, no matter the season. Rain or shine! Maybe not a raging blizzard, though.
A Colourful Shirt or a Casual Dress
In a world of solids, be a crazy colour coordination mess. If you were ever to take a look inside my closet you’ll probably observe how much bright clothing I own. It’s a curse.
But for shorter trips I pack solid colours. Usually. A little bit of colour “pop” goes a long ways.
Perhaps even throw in something with a little cleavage for that Surprise Date with the Aussie guy you met at the hostel bar while throwing back Jagerbombs like it’s your 19th birthday.
I knowwwww. Black is so boring, right?
I think shoes are my biggest enemies while travelling. I’m never quite certain how shoes will deal with hours of walking until I actually do hours of walking, ya know?
And I am certainly, certainly not a heels person. I look like a newborn fawn teetering on shaky legs when I wear heels.
I usually go with black flats for my shoes of choice. I can wear them with anything – dresses, jeans, leggings, shorts, etc. They never let me down.
On the other hand, flats are also not an item you wanna be picking up at Ardene’s for $10. Make those babies last.
In the winter months, I go for tall boots or wedged heels. Tall boots are just the greatest thing ever.
I hate pants with a fiery, passionate rage. Likely because I can’t afford good, comfortable jeans.
Black leggings are my saviour. I don’t mean those leggings that are transparent every time you bend over, either. That just won’t do.
Invest in a good pair of leggings and you’ll be happy for life. Diamonds are not a woman’s best friend, leggings are.
Mine are more like a leggings/dress pants hybrid, so they’re suitable for fancy dinner parties and endless walking. I don’t even need a long shirt to cover my behind because the pants aren’t transparent. Huzzah!
A Fancy Scarf
I have maybe a dozen scarves I’ve picked up along my travels because I’m always drawn to their insane patterns and colours. If I’m travelling light with plain t-shirts and tank tops, a nice scarf can really sexify things up a bit.
Plus they serve a more practical element when it’s chilly out. And I think a bright pop of colour peeking out of the neck of a jacket is rather fetching, isn’t it?
A Light Jacket
A nice jacket can take a plain outfit and turn it into something more classy and chic. But in a world of endless jackets, how do you choose?!
I actually prefer a light leather jacket or a solid blazer. Actually, I like bombers too. And everything. You can even pair it with the scarf and a nice shirt, and voila, you look more like a presentable professional.
However, you should take everything I say with a grain of salt because I certainly am no expert in being a presentable professional (see Comfortable Loungewear).
If it’s colder, I’ll probably pick a long-sleeved blazer and wear it underneath a heavier jacket. Layers, my friends. Listen to the Canadian.
These are a few of my favourite things. What packing items can’t you live without?