Day 6. When traveling, usually you want to wear your most comfortable clothes … maybe looking a little disheveled every time you get out at a rest stop or run in somewhere for a bite to eat. Limiting my choices was a good thing: I couldn’t fight with my head that says. “wear those super comfy pants even though they bag at the knees and look horrible.” I was happy to put on my static wardrobe and jump in the car.
Right off the bat one kid felt car sick, so running in and out of rest stops, I did not feel compelled to comment to the check out clerk that we were traveling. Usually I do (or I just try not to make eye contact for fear I will have to explain): “I look so bad because we are traveling.” So this wardrobe was a win-win – I felt good and I looked good and it took very little time and very little space in the bag. The outfit was perfect for visiting family, hanging on a playground and even dinner out. Usually I come home from a trip with half a suitcase of unworn clothes that need to be rehung and put back in the closet. This time I only had one item I did not wear: those white sneakers of growing internet fame. I guess I did not need to bring my three pairs of shoes after all. (Shhh … don’t tell Tim I said that, or he’ll gloat.)
My packing method did not come without some drama. Since my children were used to having a wide selection of clothes to wear, I had 2 out of 3 children pouting about the clothes they had to wear and that , nothing else was packed to change into, that was after they logged their complaint with customer service (me). I made the error of not trying on the new Easter clothes before, packed them, so two out of three were a little big (I was buying up in size knowing that they are going to grow). They were fine and will eventually adjust to our new family packing methods, and it is a good thing for them to adjust to less choices. As mentally scarring as it may be, I am confident after laughing and telling the story someday, they will thank me.
When you are building your travel wardrobe, you really do not need more than three complete outfits even if you are going on a month long tour of Europe. Three shirts, two bottoms and two toppers(cardigan or jacket). Don’t forget two necklaces and two pairs of earrings (dressy and casual, one of each). If you like scarves, substitute one of the necklaces. This can be a great look for dressy or casual. I love shoes, so I would have three with me: the ones on my feet (comfy), one dressy and a casual pair (see statement above: I really did not need to bring three pairs). It is very doable, however, to just have a dressy and a casual. If you are going on a beach getaway, you can easily pare down even more to accommodate for swim suits and coverups. The numbers might look like this: 1 sundress, 2 tops , 2 bottoms, 2 swim suits and 1 cover-up. I am sundress crazy in the summer so I would just do two, maybe three, sundresses. Yes I am the person you see hiking in an athletic looking sundress. Sometimes it’s not even athletic looking, but they sure are comfortable. Minimizing to three outfits you will be able to fit everything in a small rolly bag or backpack. But don’t forget the underwear … you for sure should have 7 pairs of those. Send me pictures of your concise travel wardrobe! If you already have a static wardrobe it makes packing for your trip that much easier.
Years ago on a short term mission trip to Morocco I packed so many clothes it was insane and I remember dragging the duffle in and out and onto the subway in NYC when we left and when we arrived. It was sheer misery lugging all that stuff and sure enough, I wore the same 3 outfits almost the entire time I was there. One of my friends, who was much wiser than me, had one shoulder bag with everything she needed. She was for sure the one in the group that always looked fabulous and stylish, so we thought she would bring her steamer trunk. Many on our team were asking if she had already checked her bags and where was her stuff. For such a fashion diva, I really thought this was an incredible feat. Sure enough she out styled all of us, looked fabulous the whole time, wore everything she had and was not wearing herself out or any of the people helping us with a duffle bag the size of a small car like mine. It only took me about another 20 years to learn my lesson. Packing light does not mean you have to sacrifice style. Pick the versatile pieces that you really love and I assure you, you will not miss laboring over the choices or the weight of the suitcase. The way the airlines are charging for the weight of luggage these day it will also save you money.
We have been so conditioned to think that having more choices rather than less quality choices is somehow better and will somehow bring us more happiness. These messages are all around us in advertising. Especially the way the fashion industry produces must-have collections 4-6 times a year. Their messaging says you will feel better, more beautiful and more confident (while at the same time expressing your individuality) if you get these new clothes every season. Target and other inexpensive cheaper quality companies have killed the way people dress. It is so cheap and quick to grab a few tops and a few new bottoms each season, then you end up with a closet full of cheap clothes that wear out and you have to spend more money next season and y0u’re left wondering why you can’t get out of Target without spending less than $200, as well as wondering why your closet is stuffed to the gills and you feel like you have nothing to wear. Classic pieces should last several seasons maybe more, and updating can be a simple 1 or 2 new pieces to freshen the look or adding a new necklace. You don’t need more choices, you just need the right choices, quality choices.
Tomorrow pop back in for my Static Wardrobe Cheat Day.