A few days ago we gave you our hot tips on how to avoid frantic, last minute packing and almost guarantee you don't forget anything. If you haven't read that one yet, you can find it HERE. The follow on from that is the really hard part: packing a cohesive range of clothing and accessories that maximises outfit choice while you're away from home, but minimises weight and bulk in your suitcase (and the awkward pleading with the airline to let you on when your suitcase is 7kg over weight limit....)
How do I tackle that? OK, here we go, I have put considerable effort into this over the last few years and I think I have pretty much nailed it (as much as my post card on my refrigerator would indicate I have not - refer to previous post if you don't know what postcard I'm talking about).
1. Find your favourite places to shop and stick with them!
This may sound stupid. Who wants to be restricted to one or two places to shop? But there is method to my madness. Whether it's an independent retailer, or one of your favourite high street stores, we all curate our seasons. Everything goes together. It looks better on our websites, it helps us make stunning outfits, and we're obviously just drawn to that aesthetic at the time. This is one of our key jobs - we’re doing the hard work for you! We’re making sure everything goes together so you don’t have to. And we each have a unique style of our own which transcends seasons so you will end up with a cohesive wardrobe season to season. All of this helps you when you’re trying to pack minimal items to make maximum outfits! If you buy a couple of pieces from each season, from the same retailer, you are going to end up with things that go together. That helps you when it comes to packing a suitcase that magically has outfits that all work together but it also helps you when you're not going on holiday. How many times have you bought something you absolutely just had to have because it was incredible and you'd fallen in love (jesus, this sounds like the same problem I have with men - make better life choices, Courtney!) and then it sits in our wardrobe with tags on it for months because you can't find anything that goes with it? How horrible is that?! If it's that incredible and you LOVE it you should be wearing it! Which means your wardrobe needs to be cohesive at all times. It means buying a few things each season but buying them together and from the same retailer so you know they all go together and can work with the basics in your wardrobe as well and create many, many outfits. A good retailer will even help you with this! All you have to do is ask. If they don’t offer helpful assistance then they don’t deserve your hard-earned dollars.
2. The new Sports Luxe look is your friend!
Aside from the fact we are just loving this look anyway, the new sports luxe look is perfect when it comes to packing for a trip because it means your gym clothes/activewear can now mix and match with your casual clothes to create casual or dressy outfits. Check out our fave PE Nation leggings and crops worn with heels and a leather jacket for a super fun dressy look! And here we have mixed a PE Nation tank with fab linen pants for a streetstyle look we love.
3. Mood boards are not just for decorating!
My hot tip for packing is laying it all out on your bed before you put it in your suitcase. Group things together and next to the other outfits they will create. You will start to see random items that aren't helping and stand out pieces that are making you 2-3 great outfits! Keep those, turf the randoms that aren't going with anything. They're just wasted space in your suitcase and take away your freedom of choice when you're away and wanting to look and feel you best!
4. Select your shoes after everything else and then refine your outfits again
Shoes are heavy and difficult to pack around. Once you have all your outfits laid out and grouped together it will become very easy to pick only a few key accessories and shoes that will go with all of them - you will be seeing a need for tan heels or black! Maybe both if you're going on a longer trip but for a shorter trip, choose one pair and then turf the outfits that need the other colour and add a few more things to your suitcase that will go with the colour you chose and the outfits laid out on your bed. This is how you maximise choice, minimise weight!
5. Choose your accessories wisely!
Accessories are an excellent way to add more choice to your suitcase without stuffing it full of even more clothes. A hat or two (depending on length of trip) is a great way to change the look of two outfits completely! My go to accessories for a trip away are hats and a pair of statement earrings. Think of it this way, this stunning Thurley dress worn with a hat and sandals is a fabulous casual outfit for strolling down the Venice Beach to Santa Monica boardwalk. But add statement earrings and heels and you're set for that fancy sushi dinner in downtown LA.
An additional tip on travelling with hats, put them in your suitcase first, with underwear stuffed inside them to protect their shape, and then place your otehr clothes around the hats to further support their shape - no dents!
So those are my hot tips on how to pack a cohesive suitcase where everything works together and creates maximum outfits from minimal items. Works for me every time. I still come home from trips with items I didn't wear because I had so much choice. And last time I went to the US for three weeks with a 55cm carry on bag only! That's how many outfit choices I had crammed into one little bag just by using the steps above to plan out my outfits, shoes and accessories accordingly.
And when I'm going to a cooler climate, or will be moving around climates and may need a jacket sometimes and not others I use the same approach as the shoes step above. Choose ONE jacket that goes with everything. Jackets are bulky and heavy. Never take more than one.
So now you have our full artillery of packing know-how from how to throw together a suitcase full of everything you need in 20 minutes that also maximises amazing, cohesive outfits and minimises weight, we hope you have the most amazing Easter break and look forward to seeing all of your holiday posts on Instagram. Tag us! @mikoandmollieonline, we'd love to see how you've spent your well-earned break and how you're rocking your Miko + Mollie. Show us how you're packing as well! Did these tips help?