December is the peak of the party season which means for many people traveling to parties, dinners and get-togethers and spending weekends away. I’ve always loved going to these events but used to dread packing for them. A chronic over-packer, I would bring far too many clothes “just in case” (in case of what? That I needed to change outfit five times a day?), not only that but each set of clothes had its own specific shoes/accessories I simply had to tote along too. The end result was a lot of creased, unworn clothes and one very heavy bag.
Recently I’ve taught myself how to streamline my packing by planning outfits in advance and taking only what I need. I’ve also learnt that if I base my outfits around a neutral colour pallet with a few items to add a pop of colour, that pieces can be easily mixed and matched for maximum wear. When a friend invited me to a dinner party in Edinburgh last weekend bookended by dinner and drinks in the Scottish borders and a day of sightseeing in the city I packed just twelve items of clothing and accessories, neutrals in shades of black/grey/cream and some stand out pieces in my favourite jewel tones. This is how I paired them to create outfits for each of the three days:My first outfit for dinner on the Friday night was my Miss Selfridge tweed grey shorts, a cobalt blue satin cami for an injection of colour and a tailored black blazer generously loaned to me by my mum (thanks mum!) for the occasion. To dress it up a little I wore my black peep toe stilettos, silver leaf necklace and this gorgeous beaded clutch from Dune. The subtle touch of sparkle stops the outfit looking too plain or too dark.
My outfit for dinner on the second night was this emerald green silk dress from Oasis. Part of the reason I chose this specifically is that it’s super lightweight and folds up incredibly small, taking up virtually no space. Yes, it can crease but simply wrapping it in a couple of sheets of tissue paper will ensure it arrives wrinkle free and ready to go! I deliberately kept the accessories minimal and very simple to let the dress shine, wearing my peep toes from Friday night and carrying this Accessorize embroidered/clutch purse which was all I needed to hold my essential items, lipgloss and a comb.
My final outfit for the weekend which I wore for sightseeing/shopping in Edinburgh on Sunday was this River Island purple wool coat paired with my tweed shorts, my favourite cream jumper (I love the cosy cowl neck!), fleece-line opaque tights and my Topshop ‘Adore’ ankle boots from last season.
So there’s my complete weekend-away-wardrobe, three outfits that fit neatly into a carry-on bag. Do you find it difficult to pack for winter breaks? Do you have any packing tips or tricks?