packing in a pinch


I'm headed to Melbourne and Adelaide to visit friends in about a week's time -- and to catch Adele in concert (!!!).

It's meant to be a nice, chill break, during which I'm not going to try to hard to "see" stuff (eg, no Great Ocean Road drive for me since I can't drive and I think it's a little too much to pack into a short trip). Instead, I'll just enjoy the great quality of life both cities are known for (coffee! brunch!) and visit some markets and art galleries.

Short trips make packing a super breeze, plus for the first time in ages I don't have to pack with extreme weather, work needs, diving or trekking in mind. So the list for now is:

White cotton short-sleeved tie-waist top
White cotton long-sleeved shirt
Navy merino wool sweater

Navy and white polka dot pants

Navy and white striped midi tank dress (great for layering)

Navy long cardigan (coatigan, some call it)

Pale blue-grey leather sneakers
Flip flops

Camel leather satchel

Light canvas tote for shopping
    Plane outfit
    Black long-sleeved top
    Grey sweatpants

    I reckon I can throw in another dress, but this seems like a pretty ok list for a seven-night trip. I'm also amused that it's more or less what I packed for a trip to Europe two years ago. After years of honing my holidaying "skills", I've unconsciously come to subscribe to a few rules when packing.

    1) Limit my colour palette, not that it was that dynamic to begin with. Navy seems to work for all seasons - it feels nautical in summer, and sober for fall and winter, and it makes simple accessories pop. Grey is also a pretty good travel colour, being a colour that hides dirt (a white t-shirt gets really dirty when you travel in hot, dusty places).

    2) Keep to two pairs of shoes. I'm lucky in that trainers are part of my daily style vocabulary, and I pretty much don't need anything else when I travel. I almost never bother with a "dressy" shoe for example, because I don't really do fancy, whether I'm on holiday or not. My second pair of shoes are usually flip-flops - I find that I always end up wearing them, even if the weather is cold - sometimes hotel room floors are dodgy, sometimes you just need to run around the corner for a quick errand.

    3) Pick a "tentpole" item or two and build your packing list around it. For a city holiday like this where I'm likely to wear some kind of light outerwear daily, I pay more attention to this item: it needs to have a distinctive look, but also be versatile enough to wear every day. In this case, I went for my COS cardigan, and after that it was pretty easy to pick items that I know go well underneath it. I also tend to pay attention to the trousers or jeans I pack, because I usually only bring one pair, and the style I pick (skinny or slouchy, clean or distressed) pretty much sets the tone of all my outfits.

    4) Always bring a warm layering item. I often underestimate how cold I'm going to be, and so I've made it a rule to always bring a thin merino knit pullover, or at least one in a linen knit, no matter where I am going. They hardly take up any space and 90% of the time, I've needed it!

    5) Bring one small, frivolous item. I'm not exactly a luxury traveller, and I try not to travel with expensive items because I don't want to risk losing them. But I like bringing at least one thing that isn't a necessity, like my roll-on perfume oil from Maison Louis Marie. The bottle is tiny and hardy and the scent lasts forever.  Or it could be a pair of nice socks, like ones from COS, which are often made of nice materials (ribbed silk, light merino wool, fine cotton) and have cute touches (metallics, dots, subtle patterns, interesting colour ways). Even if I'm packing and staying in hostels with shared bathrooms, these things make me feel a bit indulged.


    Pret a Porter P said…
    When I read Adelaide immediately HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE!!! starting playing in my head, I had to make sure I read the rest of the sentence twice. I see what Adele did there with her concert. lol!

    All sensible packing options. What travel luggage do you use?
    SA said…
    I love #3. That's new to me. I will try to use that on my next trip. May I ask where is your satchel bag from?
    lin said…
    For a short trip of about a week - I use a cabin-size wheelie, an inexpensive hard case that I got from Tokyu Hands.

    Anything longer that also requires me to take public transport with my luggage, I usually take my 55-lire backpack. If I'm being luxurious for a change and checking in a suitcase, I use a Delsey hard case - you can find some chic options that are also super durable and lightweight. I always make sure to get the kind where they promise to replace wheels and other movable bits for life and so far my experience with Delsey has always been faultless.
    lin said…
    I find my life so much easier once I pick the one item that everything has to go with.

    My bag is from APC, the Sac June I think it's called. Good size, hardy, goes from day to night.
    Johny said…
    nice post

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