Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What to Wear? My Packing List for 2012

Good afternoon! It's a lovely 90 degree day here in Phoenix. The windows are open, the fans are running, and I'm enjoying a nice, cold Corona Light. I'm feeling pretty accomplished today. I've finally conquered one of the most daunting aspects of travel prep: packing my clothes for the rest of the year!

Stuffing your life into a backpack is difficult when you're used to having a walk-in closet. How am I supposed to pick out a minimal set of clothes that are suitable for a variety of temperatures, look presentable (not too "outdoorsy"), and are easy to wash and wear?!? On top of that, the clothes need to be plain enough to mix-and-match so that I don't go crazy wearing the same outfit every day. Oh, and don't forget, shoes are heavy, so the fewer, the better.

I started my wardrobe planning with the shoes. I knew I'd be bringing a pair of sneakers (low-profile, stylish ones, not those big, white American-style cross trainers!)  as they are my footwear of choice for flights.  Next, I needed a casual pair of shoes to wear with skirts. Something that didn't require socks, didn't have a heel, and were easy to pack. Ballet slippers! Perfect! And lastly, since we're chasing an endless spring/summer during our travels, I can't forget a pair of flip flops. Three pairs of shoes: done!

Tops and bottoms were a little more tricky. I love to wear jeans, but they're heavy, take forever to dry, and I can't get too many days of wear out of them before they need to be washed. Jeans were out.

I decided on a mix of skirts and yoga pants. Why? They're comfy, easy to wash, dry quickly, and don't require ironing. Keeping these bottoms to basic black or white further simplifies my wardrobe. I also snuck in a black cardigan and white hoodie to coordinate with the pants and skirts. No brown, beige, or navy for me... not until I get a more permanent closet!

I decided to use shirts as an opportunity to introduce some variety and color into my wardrobe. They were also part of a bigger strategy: to get more life out of my outer shirts by wearing tank tops underneath them. The great thing about womens clothing is that it packs up much smaller than mens! I was able to squeeze 6 tank tops, 2 t-shirts, a henley, and an activewear shirt into my packing cube while poor Jim was struggling to get 3 or 4 shirts into his.

All in all, I feel pretty lucky about the fact that we'll be heading into mild weather for most of our travels. Not having to plan for cold weather is saving us a ton of space in our backpacks. Thank goodness we won't need gloves, scarves, hats, and winter boots. Vive le printemps!

My packing cubes. (Thank you, Bev and Jim!)

The last major battle was selecting a jacket. This was the most painful choice for me. I had to limit myself to only one multipurpose coat to save on space. So, in went my winter coat (with a removable liner) and all of my windbreakers, sporty jackets, and long button coats were to storage. *sniff, sniff

I did a nice little drawing of my 2012 travel collection, just for you.
My travel wardrobe. No zip-off pants or Tevas here!
Stay tuned, we've still got more packing to do before we leave!

Also, for those of you who are interested, here is the link for Samsonite Luggage 3 Pack Packing Cubes, Black, One Size.