Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Pack the Perfect Bag for Vacation: By Color

How to Pack the Perfect Bag for Vacation: By Color

My favorite way to pack for a trip, whether it's of a few days or a couple weeks, is by color. Bringing all one color grouping (think black&white, shades of orange, whites&brights, greens&blues, red, white, and blue, etc) means that everything is interchangeable. Your shoes will go with everything; your makeup will work no matter what you wear; and all accessories will work no matter which outfit feels right during the day or night. Not only is it a fun, creative way to pack, it results in a low stress way to dress during your vacation.

I know myself and know that I have a lot of black&white clothing. But, if you're not sure that you have enough clothing of one type, take a look through your drawers and closet and pull out everything that's the same color family. Then, organize it on your bed or floor by category (remember short sleeves, tank tops, a long sleeved top for nighttime, dresses, bottoms for summer).

Here, I went with black&white. I started to think about bright red or coral lipstick, about painting my toenails a color that would pop, and about the brightly colored sandals I could bring. This would be a fun trip to take pictures all in black&white, wouldn't it?

A few tips:
see those wound up pieces of fabric along the bottom edge? They're the sashes from two of the dresses on the right. Remove them as you pack so you can think about using them as a belt with a different dress (maybe the basic black maxi on the upper right corner?) or to tie around your head at the beach or while walking around town. Having them separate helps me to remember that I'll be taking them anyway so I should consider them part of my accessories pool.

I also put in a pair of leggings (laid out over shorts on the left lower corner) for two reasons: I love to wear leggings to the airport so that I don't set off any metal detectors, and it's wise to bring something to cover your legs if you might be hiking or out in long grass where there are ticks.

Next, I got inspired by the idea of touches of red and coral to pull out anything and everything in the orange family to add punches of color to my black&white base. Here's the result!

A few tips here: I like to lay out necklaces with the tops or dresses I could see wearing them with rather than in a big bunch. That way, I don't bring more (or less) than I'll need. Since accessories take up so little space, I'd always rather have more choices. It goes without saying that you should mostly pack cheaper jewelry in case anything ever went missing.

For a beach trip, I'd put in sandals and some slip on sneakers (not shown) as well as a pair of heels. I don't often wear heels anymore, but I think it's important to bring something showstopping on every vacation-something you wouldn't normally wear in your regular life.

Let me show you that process again, this time using a different color palette.

First, pull out a bunch of clothes in a color group, like all white. Organize by tops and bottoms. 

I had a white load of laundry in at the time, which meant that my pickings were slim. Then I noticed how nice the oranges I'd had out looked with the whites. What about whites and brights? I went on a rampage, pulling out every brightly colored piece of clothing and accessory I could find and laid them out by category along with the whites (dresses (including a showstopper), tanks, bottoms, t-shirts, long-sleeved something for nighttime).

This time, I broke my rule and put all of the necklaces together for you to see how that looks. I prefer them with the top or dress they'd go with, don't you? One last tip: wear your straw hat on the plane so that it doesn't get crumpled.

This looks so much like vacation to me! I'd love to arrive and pull these things out of my bag and hit the beach!


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