We’ve all done it. We pack for a trip to find it either doesn’t fit in the suitcase or just seems like too much. So when this happens, what to do?
To start, don’t bother restricting yourself. Pull out everything you want to bring so we can get a better sense of the starting point. Editing is always easier with limited options, so better to just grab everything from your closet first and work with those options rather than everything.
Be Realistic about your Schedule
Now that you have everything you “want,” start thinking about what you “need.” How many different events do you need outfits for? If your trip is as simple as one outfit per day, great! But if not, really think about what you’re going to need. Now that the events are clear, start listing what you’ll need for each day.
Pair it Down
In step 1, you have the desired “list”. Step 2, you have a move towards reality. Now start aligning the two. If you listed only 3 days with fancy outfits, make sure you’re not bringing 5. You shouldn’t need to decide in the moment if you already know what events you’re attending.
Now, the harder step: time to summarize. Re-evaluate your “schedule” for the trip. How many events require “unique” outfits? How many are you in something all day or getting sweaty/dirty? If most of your events are business meetings or dinners, there’s an opportunity to narrow the list further.
Are there things where you can reuse items (e.g. one tie for different clients)? If you have two “fancy” evenings, do you need one dress/suit or two? It’s time to prioritize and make the tough decisions. Multi-purposing is OK. Maybe a top works great for day and can be dressed up for that client dinner as well. Also look at items that can pull double duty, like a wide scarf: perfect under a coat between chilly destinations, but also a great shawl at dinner.
Now that you have just the necessities, does it all fit? If your trip is less than a week, it should, you just might have to learn some efficient packing strategies first. If it’s longer, consider doing laundry, we’re not miracle workers!