I am so excited - we are going on vacation in Portugal in 25 days - I can hardly wait. We have the simple things figured out already - like plane tickets, accommodations, sightseeing planing - but now it is time to address the hardest part - travel wardrobe!
So I have been agonizing over my travel wardrobe for a couple of weeks now and this is why:
- we will be away for 17 days including flights;
- it is early March so weather can be unpredictable - from dry and warm to cold and rainy;
- I need to be able to fit everything into carry on bag!
The last point really makes it hard but it is a necessity for me - mainly because we will be moving all this time, staying in one place for a couple of days and then moving again. The least I want is to lag a huge suitcase with me all the time. Add to the mix the local flavor - hilly walled medieval towns where you cannot even drive sometimes, old houses with steep stairs and no elevators, using trains and buses for moving around...small carry on is the way to go!
I definitely will be able to do laundry after the first 5 days but not sure I can do it for the next 10 days so I need to plan for at least 10 days of wear.
After a week of agonizing I decided to play a challenge with myself: I selected the things I planned on taking with me and decided to wear them for 2 weeks for work and weekends to road test. This was week one and this is what I learned:
1. I started with footwear because it will define the rest of my travel capsule. I need footwear I can walk in for 16 hours - cobblestones, uphill and all. - so it calls for my most comfortable shoes or boots. I have 3 contenders:
- tall black Blondo boots;
- brown combat boots;
- grey flat oxfords
I am taking 2 pairs only due to the luggage limit so I think it should be either tall boots and oxfords or combat boots and oxfords. I am leaning towards the combat boots because tall boots feel more limiting in bottoms selection: it is either skirts or skinnies.
So this is my first 5 days of rehearsal. I decided on 3 bottoms - skinny jeans, BF jeans and taupe slouchy trousers.
#1 felt OK. I am not sure about practicality of white sweater though but I hope I can wear it twice in the first 5 days and then wash it and wear 2 more times at least.
#2 I felt good about this one too except I am not sure if oxfords look OK with the trousers - they are close in color but not the same. What do you think? (python booties were really worn to work but they are not an option for the trip, they are no 16h shoes for me)
#3 This was a disaster. This Gap striped tee stretches like crazy and I don't feel good in it Also this jacket while comfortable knit has this ruched short sleeves which are a pain to layer under a trench or to layer over long sleeve tops. However I am thinking that BF jeans and boots may work.
#4 I thought to take my 2 BR non-iron shirts with me but I am hesitating now. They feel too short to me, especially with skinnies, I was pulling it down all day. I think I would need an alternative to shirts for this trip. I may still take this BF cardigan though...
#5 This felt OK but again this t-neck feels too short for skinnies. Is it?
I am limiting myself to 15 pieces of clothing - not counting underwear, socks, trench and scarves. So far the following verdict out of my experiment:
- I am definitely taking t-necks, maybe more than 2 if I won't take the shirts;
- leather jacket is coming with me, it makes me feel good :-)
- if you approve these oxfords with the taupe slouchy trousers then the trousers are coming with me
- animal print blouse and white sweater are big contenders, they both layer well.
- undecided on skinnies, BF cardigan, and grey jacket
- definitely NO to striped grey tee and this button down shirt.
- not sure how combat boots look with tucked in skinnies and BF jeans - thoughts?
I am going to continue my experiment next week as well: I think it is really helpful to get the sense of outfits I want to wear in advance and living the whole day in them. The only danger if I get sick and tired of these clothes before I actually go on a trip! :-)
Wow, that was a novel! If you are still with me thank you for the effort to read it!
I would appreciate any suggestions and advice you may give me - after all you may know my closet almost as well as I do by now :-)