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