How to Pack 72 Outfits into Carry On Luggage

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  • Great video, and hope to incorporate these tips in a couple of days time and for other trips.
    However, I normally only wear trousers (skirts are an issue as I need to cover up my legs) how would you incorporate pattern – in tops instead ? Not sure about patterned trousers, as I’m short. Any thoughts ?

    • You can just wear trousers rather than skirts, you could wear pattern in your tops of course! It’s actually easier that way as they don’t have to go with each other!

  • I have a question that relates to this topic. One of the challenges for me with packing is finding enough tops and bottoms in my existing wardrobe that coordinate the way you suggest. This is especially true in the Spring and Fall, when many of us tend to travel – I’m just now getting to the point of having enough transitional pieces to get me through those seasons. I’d love to see some suggestions on how to choose colors for those transitional pieces to go with both summer and winter clothes. For example, a neutral navy cardigan looks great with my summer pieces but looks dull with my dark rinse jeans come fall. What are your thoughts?

    • A navy cardigan is great to go with your jeans as it creates a column of colour, just mix it with a top in an alternate colour or pattern to create the right contrast and interest for you.

    • Im not Imogen and far from an expert, but It seems like you dont like monochromatic or “tone on tone” outfits, Kerry. Dark rinse jeans and a navy cardi would technically go together like Imogen said since both are quasi neutrals (navy, blue denim, dark shades of blue that can be treated as neutrals because they goes with everything and which eachother), but not everyone dont like (and some despise wearing same or similare color on topper/completer piece and bottom because its too “business-y”.

      Layer a long sleeve shirt (i.e. a solid flannel/woven cotton shirt) underneath the cardigan and then roll up the shirts over the cardigan’s to add some interests between the jeans and the cardigan is one way I often do during fall/spring. This is not me, just an example: Imaging the cardigan is navy and having the shirt open with a top underneath. (too country/eclectic for some maybe?)
      Layering tops (woven shirts, pullovers, undershirts, long sleeve etc depending on what you are layering) is a great alternative to change up your outfits during the colder months. 😛

      But really just knowing or being aware on what you prefer to wear can make a huge difference.

  • My tops need to be cleaned after a day of wear when I travel, so every top = 1 outfit, even if in theory it could be combined with other stuff into 5 more. Unless I anticipate down-time for laundry, I pack enough tops for every day, plus an extra couple for evenings. Jackets and bottoms I make sure are versatile, indeed.

  • Imogen, I Love the small wardrobe idea for travelling! I’m going to try creating that wardrobe in my colors -,black, purple, royal blue, red, teal and dark grey.

    I also think a nice pair of tights would make a great accessory and will create a whole new look when worn a couple of times during the trip.

  • Editing is my biggest problem when it comes to packing – I find it so difficult to leave the “just in case” pieces at home. I should really say to myself that if I get whisked away somewhere I can buy something to wear if I need to, then it would be doubly exciting! I’ll definitely remind myself if your tips next holiday. Thanks! Rachel ☺

  • Minimalistic traveling is definitly not for me. When I was travel to Croatia for a week last month with my family, I packed FIFTY pieces and 6 shoes in a medium to large sized carry on suitcase,
    but the ironical thing with this is that I wore everything except 5 tops….because I wash and dry them several times and that I was sleeping in my dresses after they are off duty :-P.
    ….though, I wish I had pack more warm clothes because I was freezing during the night and on the plane….

    I think I changed my outfits four times a day (breakfast bar, shopping or beach, lunch and dinner out/cocktail bars etc), because when traveling, I love to have more variety with my outfits, rather than mix & match same things over and over again. Because my lifestyle at “home” is so limited. You cant exactly go eat out everyday when you live in a forest-suburb area 2 miles from town and has travel with bus an half hour, so thats why I take oppunity to get wear of my clothes when traveling, but to each of their own! 😉

    Capsules wardrobes are however create to add some structure in your wardrobe and when being in a pinch when you cant decide what to wear. Being a “camelont” dresser who love every color and most type styles (has a eclectic style with a classic twist. I mix & match different styles together, like dramatic and natural, rather the typical eclectic mixing prints are not my cup of tea), its tough to create capsules based on my activities. Apart from a dozen fancy pieces, most can be dressed up and down, but I cannot mix & match most of my wardrobe, because I prefer alot of style and color variety.

  • Love that! Lately I’m travelling a lot and do a similar thing, although I often go away for only three or four days and thus bring a smaller capsule. With two bottoms, two pairs of shoes and a couple of tops I usually have all the options I need. I roll everything and use small packing cubes that fit into my new 30 litre backpack. When I went to London the other day, the friend I was staying with was surprised about my different outfits and wondered how I could have brought all this with so little luggage.
    Some tips:
    – Think about the predicted weather and the things you are going to do and chose the shoes accordingly. Then bring garments that go with the shoes. If you wear trousers AND skirts, bring shoes that look good with both. (I learned that the hard way…).
    – Plan in advance, tweak during some days and then stick to the plan. I use Gochicorgohome for my planning. The few pieces that I end up not wearing are usually panicky last minute additions.
    – Imogen suggests bringing separates, and I totally second this idea. Of course you could bring some dresses, if that’s what you mainly wear, and layer for different looks, but separates are much more versatile. In two of my recent travels I had some fancy-ish going out plans for the evening and was about to pack a dress or my elegant black romper. I decided against it and saved some valuable luggage space . Instead I brought my black skirt and an elegant top. The last time I even spend the whole day in the skirt and a casual sweater and then changed into the top at a restaurant restroom before going to the theatre, so we didn’t have to go back in between. I would not have felt so comfortable wearing a chic dress during the day

    • Don’t forget that convertible options exist for dresses, for those who prefer/like dresses. They tend to come in light to medium weight fabrics. The best length is probably mid thigh so you can wear it EITHER as a top or a bottom! I prefer a print to a solid for this option.

      I have a few dresses that aren’t convertible but are easily layered. I have this amazing off shoulder LBD… It has a sequinned collar so no need for neck jewellery. It has a sheer asymmetrical cape like component but the main dress part itself is a comfortable, smooth, spandex, not too tight light weight body con dress. The sheer panel of fabric drapes over the tummy disguising bloat or lumps n bumps. I LOVE that l can just belt it and get another look. Or layer a full circle skirt (activity: ballroom dancing on a cruise ship) or a Maxi skirt over it.

      Another dress l would recommend is a sleeveless sheath dress. For warmth and/or modesty just wear a plain or patterned turtleneck or halter top underneath. If the dress isn’t too tight a thin button down blouse can be worn underneath as well as a conservative business attire look. The classic sheath dress always pairs well with another classic, the cardigan. Worn on it’s own of course, the sheath isn’t out of place at a cocktail party with the right accessories.

  • Hello,

    thanks for the wonderful video, but you know my problem is that I will be travelling in the winter (real cold, snow, 3 to 4 days) and I only can bring one Carry on luggage and I really don’t know what to do, in the summer it is easier.

    kind regards

    • Have you got a down jacket that can roll up really small? Same principle – chances are you only need 2-3 bottoms not 4 (plus remember you can wear one of your ourfits – often the heaviest), For 3-4 days you don’t need 12 items, you can pack with half of that!

  • I love this post! I am off to Europe for 3 weeks in a few weeks with temperature -2 to 2 degrees so would love to see some Winter options! I just bought the travelling light ebook so hoping it will help me!

    • Same concept, you will just want to take long sleeve tops instead of short sleeves, and a big coat (cos they tend to heat inside and you just need a coat for outside)

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