Suitcase packing 101: you are not In Style’s fashion ed

Today I’ve been in the process of packing a small carry-on suitcase for a three-day trip with Mr.4.  I started packing around 10.30am this morning.  At 7.29pm, the situation looked like this

Mr.4’s clothes are all neatly folded in the suitcase.  His stuff took me all of about, oh, 5 minutes.  The dilemma was of course, my clothing.  All for a short trip to Canberra.  Fashion capital of the world.  Where we are meeting up with…. my parents. 

Despite the fact I am not flying to some exotic destination to attend a fashion show – and instead am attending a flower festival* with my parents and son, in a city where the leaders of our nation regularly commit fashion faux pas – I still find packing a suitcase extremely difficult. 

I simply detest packing.  Most of us do. 

I know why I dislike it.  It’s because I am not an “Outfit Planner”. 

Planning and co-ordinating outfits has never been one of my strong points, and it’s safe to say never will be (won’t be turning into a fashionista anytime soon with two young kids demanding my attention!)

You know these sorts of pages in magazines?

I look at these, and I’m  always left feeling full of hope and inspiration.  They make it all look so easy! 

But do I ever actually co-ordinate my earrings with my scarf with my bag with my shoes with my bra with my lipstick colour?  No I do not.  Firstly, I don’t have a $2K-per-outfit budget (minus the bag).  Secondly, I am time-poor and so inevitably stick to what I know best.  

However, I also believe that people either have an innate ability to throw together an outfit….or they don’t.  Regardless of your financial status.  I don’t think this is an easily learned skill.  No matter how simple those magazines try and make it look.

Kind of like how some people are just really really naturally good at running.  And others have to work hard at it, and it will always feel like hard work. 

Personally, I think we should all stop trying so damn hard!

By the time you get to your mid-thirties**, I reckon the solution is to have a “uniform” of sorts.  For me, my uniform is jeans & t-shirts: with boots or merrells in winter, thongs in summer.  Maybe the odd cargo pant or summer dress thrown in to mix it up a bit (I like to live on the edge).  You can still experiment with your uniform – but the basic concept remains the same.

Yep, before kids and after kids, jeans & tees have been my wardrobe staples.  Not even t-shirts with frills or details on them.  Nope, just plain fitted t-shirts.  As for jeans, in the 90’s I did Levi’s to death of course, but in the past few years have moved on, mainly preferring 7 for all Mankind jeans.  Pricey perhaps, but being my uniform of course, the cost/wear calculation is impressive!

So you’ll be pleased to know that I did finish the packing, at 8.12pm to be precise.  Once I stopped trying to be In Style’s Fashion Editor and instead remembered my trusty uniform, the packing wasn’t too hard after all.  Funny, that.

*Floriade.  Thankfully their website assures me there is wine tasting and a “Garnier World” – complimentary massages, facials and hair styling.  And gnome painting…for Mr.4 of course, not me.  Like I’d want to paint a gnome. 

**I am 34, so technically not in my mid-thirties precisely, just yet


10 responses to “Suitcase packing 101: you are not In Style’s fashion ed

  1. I’m so bad at backing too, I never wear half of what I bring, but I have a bad case of the ‘What ifs’!
    My early twenties uniform is knee length skirt, leggings and cardi. I should remember that next time I need to pack!

  2. First off, thank you so much for your comment on my blog! Second- I think the EXACT same thing when looking through a magazine. I even sometimes think I can mimick (sp?) their hair and makeup and then I wake up and realize the little one is most likely going to allow me a mere 30 minutes to get ready and that gets thrown out the window. And like you- jeans and a t-shirt work just fine. 🙂 Hey, at least we look like fashionistas in our heads for a short time being.

  3. I have heard about 7 for all Mankind jeans. Do they really make you look svelte as a Gisele Bunchen? do tell. I have great legs and pretty good upper part but due to too much cake addiction not much of a waist so I am really all about skirts and dresses with leggings and fabulous mules too of course. Regarding packing I’m hopeless at it and always take way too much.

  4. Oh, um *looks down at her t-shirt, jeans and converse uniform*, are we girls in our early 30’s ** supposed to be wearing something a little more stylish? 😉
    ** 33 is still early 30’s, yes? 🙂

    • Sadly I think I’m mid-thirties now. I know, I’ve tried the stylish thing, like a skirt….but…I just cannot do them! For work – ie. a skirt suit no problem. I have serious issues with ”casual” skirts.

  5. I am just a hopeless, hopeless outfit planner. Which is weird because I’m so good at planning everything else. Could it be that I just don’t care enough and secretly wish we all wore a uniform (preferably something reasonably stylish, but samey same same for everyone). x

  6. I find the kids clothes take up 80% of the suitcase space (easily packed like you as they’re all clean and folded in the wardrobe). I scrounge through laundry baskets and ironing piles for my stuff to jam it into the left over cracks of space in the bag, then at the other end I’m either freezing as I’ve packed all summer clothes or boiling as it’s all woolen. The good thing is that I’m usually too sleep deprived to care. 🙂
    Have an awesome trip – I think you’ll beat the fashion of the Canberra pollies and gardeners hands down 😀

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