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the author & her mother in morocco. they look chic in their scarves.

in the next couple of weeks, i have a bit of upcoming travel—spring break and a quick trip to new york. amy and capi have been in new york for the past couple of days, and are going to europe soon. in light of this travelling—some glamorous and some not-so-glamorous—i called my mother, cindy, who is an expert packer and whose expertise i rely on when gathering my things for a three-day wedding weekend in north carolina or a trip to morocco. we’ve put together the ultimate guide to packing light on a five-day trip. only carry-on bags allowed. cindy’s genius plan is a multi-step process, and it requires a few days to compile and edit. this is how the packing extraordinaire broke it down:

 preparation time: pre-packing

1. most importantly: check weather for the five days you’re staying at your destination. you never want to be surprised.

2. figure out what you’re doing. do you need a swim suit? sneaks? cocktail dress?

3. lay your clothes out on a couch, floor, or any uninterrupted space three days before you depart. make sure everything is clean. lay out whatever you want, but it must all match.

4. walk away from your packing project. reflect. think. compose yourself for a few days.

cook time: packing

1. each piece you’ve chosen, excluding formal wear, lingerie, tights, and socks must serve at least three functions. (i.e. a pair of white jeans must be worn three times in order to justify packing them) if a piece doesn’t fall into that category,  you must take it out of the pile. you don’t have a choice.

2. edit, edit, edit your clothing and jewelry so that each piece matches.

3. select your piece of luggage. if the trip is 5 days or less, carry on. never pack bigger than that.

4. gather a few drycleaner bags. fold your garments that wrinkle easily into these bags—they keep them wrinkle-free and make them lay flatter!

5. put all shoes, socks, small jewelry bags, and rolled belts at the bottom of the bag.

6. for t-shirts and workout clothes: roll ‘em up tight and fill in where there are pockets of free space in between shoes and aforementioned accessories.

7. once you’ve leveled the bottom layer, place your heaviest items first, like jeans, light sweaters, and heavier tops.

8. the lightest or most fragile articles of clothing like dresses or linen shirts at the top.


always accessorize with scarves—they can function as a wrap and look chic. voila! you’re ready to go. 

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1 comment

  • What is a dry cleaner bag? Can you provide a link?

    lindsey on

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