By Roxy Rowton
The attraction and magnetism to travel is strong. The intense desire to experience unfamiliar cultures, explore unknown destinations, and wander faraway paths beckons to adventure seekers, globetrotters, sojourners, travelers and wanderlusters. But even the road warriors and the jet setters have to pack.
While traveling, luggage becomes your closet. When dressing from the contents of your luggage, you must condense personal style and the entire wardrobe down to a complementary amount of clothing and accessories befitting the activities and settings of the travel itinerary. With preplanning, preparation and research, the model travel
wardrobe emerges from a master plan.
Begin assembling the contents of the travel wardrobe by having all the necessary information and appropriate parts of an extensive travel itinerary. As each trip calls for a well-defined approach to dressing, extracting information and details from your travel itinerary helps you to group your travel wardrobe into essential clothing classifications.
To determine the minimum amount of clothing and accessories required for the varied activities of any given trip, a wardrobe packing chart can serve as an effective visual aid. Use a vertical format to map out what to wear for all appointments or activities. Note the clothing, accessories and gear needed. Designate on the packing chart the first through last days of your trip and any other days en route to travel. An example of a packing chart can be found online at princewilliamliving.com/category/fashion/.
While filling in the packing chart with appropriate travel clothing, think versatility and variety. Choose clothing and accessory items that are comfortable, functional and adaptable. Keep the color palette to a consistent neutral scheme with a few accent colors—two or three colors including neutrals. Build a core travel capsule from wardrobe essentials, staples and separates that can be worn for multiple activities and interchanged for various looks. Think in terms of layers—base, mid, and outer. Clothing layers allow for packing appropriately in multiple climates and expanding the outfit options of the travel wardrobe. Pick textiles that are wrinkle resistant, breathable, lightweight and comfortable and that fold compactly. Use outfit formulas, such as mix and match, spectrum, pyramid, and capsule, to pull together a minimal
Make copies of your wardrobe packing chart. Keep one copy at home and carry a copy in your handbag. The wardrobe packing chart is a reminder of which outfit to wear when, a tool for weeding out the “not needed” from the indispensable,
and a good checklist if it becomes necessary to file a claim due to lost or stolen luggage.
Master the Ws of Packing
Who: Who is traveling? Solo? Family members? Business colleagues? Group Tour?
Where: Where are you traveling? For how long?
Why: Why are you traveling? Weekend getaway or a business trip? Family vacation or guided group tour? Romantic escape or girlfriend retreat?
What: What are your activities? What type of garments should you include in packing for these activities?
Weather: What is the climate of the travel destination? Temperature? Are you traveling to more than one destination?
Wardrobe and style consultant Roxy L. Rowton (firstname.lastname@example.org) spends much of her workweek in the closet or the fitting room helping women look and feel their very best. She has two-plus decades in the fashion, apparel and beauty industries.