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Pack It In

Going on a trip this Eid? Fashion stylist and writer, Irene Feeney Steele offers-up all the insider tips and tricks to get you on the plane, perfectly packed

I’m an over-packer. I used to love having every eventuality covered for trips and completely over-pack, without any notion of pre-planning and just hoping for the best with the smug knowledge that most of my wardrobe was stuffed into my expanded luggage. The result was, I would bring back items in my suitcase unworn. Even though, I would still classify myself as an over-packer (you just never know if you need that insulated fleece jacket in Spain in June!), I’m trying to be better. I’m learning the best methods to avoid bringing everything but the kitchen sink, and actually plan my outfits (instead of dealing with it when I get to a particular destination). It’s been quite liberating, so here are a few tips that have made life easier when travelling.

Decide how many outfits you need:

The number of outfits depends on the type of travel you’re about to embark on and for how long. Each day has its own needs, which must come with accompanying outfits. One of the worst feelings is packing for a trip with the realization you forgot something. This can be avoided by PLANNING in advance. Decide which clothes will match each day’s activities. For example – will you be spending a lot of time walking around a city? You’ll probably want to wear a comfortable pair of trainers that will match the rest of your outfits. By planning your daily outfits, you avoid having to buy something last minute on your trip.

Consider the weather:

Quite an obvious one, but it’s easy to get caught out – hello Ireland with your ‘four seasons in one day’ weather! For cold destinations, your outerwear such as coats and jackets are the main elements here. Choose outfits that work well with your outerwear. Warm destinations require less bulky clothes and lighter items. It’s much easier to over pack when travelling to warmer climates as you may think you have more room in your luggage.

Pack staple clothing pieces to mix and match:

Basics and staple items are quite essential when planning a trip. For example, you can just pack a single pair of denim shorts or jeans for a week long trip. Neutral vests and t-shirts go along way to create multiple outfits plus a white shirt goes with everything – steal the husbands if you have to.

Choose a colour palette:

This isn’t an essential tip; it’s more of a nice-to-do tip. It also helps with packing. If you’re struggling to narrow down your options, then sticking to a colour theme will help you made decisions. It will also make mixing and matching much easier.

Preparation is key:

Once you’ve decided on your colour palette and which staples you would like to bring, you can start planning your outfits. The best way to do this is to lay your possible outfits out on the bed and play around with mixing and matching them. This is a great step to help identity the unnecessary items that you’ll likely bring home unworn.

Accessorise on repeat:

Accessories can take an outfit from day to night. Whilst outfit planning (on the bed), think about how your outfits can be dressed up for the evenings with some clever accessorising styling.

Shoe limits:

Think carefully about your footwear. They say its good to limit yourself to three pairs (to cover all eventualities) – a pair of heels, a pair of sandals and a fun pair of flats. Remember you will probably wear your trainers whilst traveling to the airport.

Photographic evidence:

Once you’ve planned your outfits, photograph each one on your phone and pop them in a ‘holiday’ folder so you have them for reference whilst away.

Don’t forget to pack...

  • Flesh-coloured underwear. These are a must-pack item especially if you’ve packed white trousers and skirts

  • Take one multi-way bra (in a skin colour) that will cover you for all necklines

  • A bra clip – this is great for hiding your bra straps if you do not want them to be seen under racer back tops

  • A travel sewing kit and a few safety pins

  • A small tube of washing detergent


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