Our three weeks in Italy are coming up very soon. So, obviously I’ve been musing about my travel wardrobe. That’s nothing new. What should I wear? And, how should I decide what to wear? These are perennial questions for me.
|Still musing about what to pack for three weeks in Italy|
I’m pretty methodical about wardrobe planning for travel. I always look at climate, the predicted weather conditions for our destinations, how many different “seasons” we’ll be experiencing. In South America we went from the chilly, late fall conditions of mountain mornings in Patagonia and parts of Peru, to tropical, high summer temperatures in Buenos Aires and Lima. I look at the type of activities we’ll be doing. Are they likely to involve lots of exercise in the heat, or might they instead require gloves, a waterproof jacket, and maybe even a toque? Even the location of the activity makes a difference. For instance, if we’re walking, will it be on trails where I’ll not have to worry about looking good, or in a city necessitating an outfit that’s comfortable, but still somewhat smart? So many variables, so many decisions. I call that last one the fleece or no fleece decision.
I remember the stressing I did before we went to France in 2015. I was worried, in particular, about what to wear in Paris. Silly me. Everything was fine. But I remember one friend commented on Facebook that I should toss in a few tee shirts and a pair of jeans, carry a mostly empty suitcase, and shop in Paris. No, no, no… that would never work for me. It may seem shallow, but I always have a better time if I feel comfortable in, and confident about, what I’m wearing. And what Hubby would say if he had to trail me around Paris, while I shopped for those things I hadn’t packed, doesn’t bear thinking about. Ha.
Packing for South America last year required lots of lists, much editing, then more lists. It was a complex trip requiring a variety of clothing, all packed into the same size suitcase I always carry. We spent some of our time in cities, some hiking in the hinterland, some in tropical climates, and some at elevation with pretty chilly temperatures. The range of activity, plus the need for a more complex “medical kit,” and inclusion of bulky hiking boots and poles, meant that I only had room for a few outfits for each stage of the trip.
My trip to England last fall should have been a doddle to plan by comparison. Most of our time was in cities and towns, one season only, no hiking or outdoor activities except city walking. But oddly enough I made better packing choices for South America. For England, I packed several pieces I could easily have left at home, and even a couple of outfits which I regretted bringing. That’s partly due, I know, to my state of mind last September. My brother had just died after a long and difficult battle with deteriorating health, and we all felt kind of wrung out in my family. As a result, I was stressed and not making good decisions. In retrospect I guess I should have delayed or even cancelled the trip. But… water… bridge… you know. I’ll move on and learn from the experience.
This morning I dug out my lists for both trips and annotated them, highlighting those items I could have easily left at home.
|Annotated packing lists for South America and England|
In the final analysis, I could have packed five fewer pieces for our South America trip. Not counting the flip flops I never wore. Not bad for a six week trip that spanned numerous activities and conditions. According to my lists, I could easily have left five items home on my England trip too. That does not include the outfits I hated. Not to mention the couple of unplanned pieces I squeezed in at the last minute… thank goodness. So, not great planning for a fifteen day journey.
This year I’m trying to learn from past mistakes. I’m identifying a colour palette to work with right from the beginning. Boring it may be, but I’ve decided to go with black, grey, and white. I plan to bring as “toppers” two black jackets, one casual and one a bit more dressy. And as much as I love it, I’m leaving my Veronica Beard navy blazer at home. It did yeoman service in England last year, but as a result I hardly wore my black Lafayette 148 zippered sweater. I’m going to substitute my black Helmut Lang blazer, instead, which will work with the same bottoms and tops as the Lafayette sweater, giving me more outfit variety with fewer pieces. Hopefully. We’ll see.
|Italy travel wardrobe planning. A work in progress.|
To that end I’ve been playing around with combinations. Like my black Helmut Lang jacket, white jeans, and my black Stuart Weitzman loafers. Layering the jacket over this grey Aritzia hoodie and a short-sleeve white tee.
|My Italian palette: black, white, and grey.|
|I wore something similar in France in 2015, and last year in England.|