When I was choosing what to bring to Italy, I had to make sure that everything was worth the luggage space. I had to pack light but still bring enough clothes to go through both winter and spring. We left for Italy during an ice storm, and when we return it will be warm enough to swim.
I fit everything of mine in half a suitcase, and the kids filled the other half. Instead of my wardrobe feeling spartan, I still managed to bring a little more than what I needed, but I’m heading in the direction I want with “fewer, better” clothes.
To bring more style to an otherwise basic and small wardrobe, these are my techniques:
* Use the 3-piece rule. – People look so much more put together in the fall than in the summer, don’t they? It’s because they’re wearing 3 pieces: a shirt and pants with a jacket, cardigan, or scarf to complete the outfit. Even in the summer you can put on a lightweight scarf for more polish.
* Good quality. – When it fits well, the fabric is nice quality, and it’s the right color for me, I don’t mind wearing the same clothes over and over again.
* I forfeited my casual clothes. – A long time ago I realized that casual clothes such as t-shirts make me look too casual instead of cute. I don’t have a set of casual clothes for staying at home and dressy clothes for going out. I just have one set of “comfortably dressy” clothes that I wear all the time.
* Wear scarves. – If there is one common fashion style in Italy, it’s that everyone is wearing a scarf. I have a couple of different scarves that I wear to bring welcome color to my otherwise neutral outfits. Plus they are so comfortable and soft.
Curious to know what I brought with me for this trip?
pants: 3 (1 dark denim classic boot cut, 1 dark denim trouser cut, 1 white)
blouses: 6 (2 for winter, 4 for spring) – It was easy to bring lots of blouses, they pack up so small!
sweaters: 6 (4 for winter, 2 light cardigans for spring) – I think I brought too many sweaters.
tank tops: 5 (for layering)
shoes: 3 (boots, heels, and flats)
coats: 2 (a wool winter coat and a spring rain coat)
dresses: 2 (both black) – I couldn’t decide, so I brought both.
accessories: 3 scarves and a necklace
It’s not the ideal wardrobe. It would have been nice to have one more long-sleeve shirt for winter, and a skirt instead of an extra dress, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still more than enough for what I need, and I’m not trying to pursue perfection. I just want to have a set of clothes that I feel confident and comfortable in without having to think about it when I get dressed each morning.