Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The June Packing Edit

Hello everyone and happy Summer Solstice! What does the month of June mean to you?

I have been thinking about this since I read Vogue's latest "Body Issue" (aka getting in shape for summer beach vacations). I then realized that to me, June always means packing, and not in a good way. It means packing to go to at least two climate zones, and three different environments, in Europe. This year, it is still the case, and on a much larger scale. We are moving back from Europe to Canada after a year-long stay. Think nine suitcase, three pieces of hand-luggage, and goods to follow.

A lot of people travel in the summer, and posts about traveling and packing abound. I take a slightly different approach than most, and I think it may be helpful to you how. From my experience, the key to packing is to realistically think about two things: 1) what you will be doing at your destination, and with whom; 2) what is the key item to anchor your clothing choices.

The first point goes beyond the family vs couple vacation issue. Even if you are going on a romantic vacation with your hubby, you need to consider whether you'll just relax on the beach for the whole time, or you'll hit clubs as well in the evening. What you will be doing on vacation will also depend on the weather, and that is always the first thing I check. Although obviously weather forecasts can be wrong, average monthly temperatures are a good indication about whether you'll actually use those summer dresses.

The second point is the best packing advice I have ever come across (from a source unfortunately I do not remember). For me, it translates into identifying the shoes and handbags I will wear on the trip, and then matching everything else to these two choices. (When traveling in fall or winter, the other key anchoring item for me is outerwear). This method has avoided me to carry things around that I end up not using. Once you have chosen your key items, most people will then advise you to identify clothing that you can "mix and match". I am not good at mix-and-match dressing, as you may remember from this post. Hence I have developed the opposite strategy: I plan and pack complete outfits. In fact, I pack outfits for my son as well, and I think it makes life easier for everyone. This is especially the case now that he starts getting dressed by himself.

Last but not least, be honest with yourself. Are you going to do some shopping at your destination? If yes, don't be ashamed to leave a bit of empty space in your suitcase. Nothing worse than not having room for that beautiful pair of Valentino pumps you found on sale :-)

Photo: Net-a-Porter.

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