I don’t know about you, but I am not a light packer by nature. I plan for the most while usually experiencing the least. Nevertheless, I like to be prepared. A weekend trip to Los Angeles typically involves multiple trips to the car to unload all of the preparedness. A panic sets in as soon as I realize I’ve forgotten my heels, or enough socks or pajamas, or, god forbid, hairspray (thank you multiple Target locations for having my back on that one).
Pre-planning the packing always involves a rather long and extensive list of all things possibly needed for the impending voyage. Bathroom essentials, makeup bag, sock selection, shoes, day wear, evening attire, jewelry, snacks and miscellaneous. Packing jewelry tends to be the most difficult for safety reasons. Not only due to it’s often delicate nature, but because I never really know what I’m going to pair with what until the last moment. What pairs well in my head does not always translate perfectly into real life. The same goes for clothing, but I’d rather be underdressed than underjeweled. The other difficulty to packing jewelry for a trip is that one never knows if something might turn up missing or left behind. Better to leave the diamonds at home than risk the potential loss.
All this being said, I feel most comfortable over packing, but what happens when the most sensible option is actually under packing?
This weekend I embarked on a last minute roadtrip across multiple states to a tiny town in the lower corner of Utah. This was my first time in Utah, and also Arizona, if you count the pit stop for gas and a photo op with a fiberglass dinosaur. I traveled about twenty-four hours in two days, leaving me more time for road snacks than wardrobe changes.
The weather gods gods blessed my passage with good weather, sandwiched between not so good weather. I was able to get away with a neckerchief and two lightweight cashmere cardigans. This is pretty normal considering I almost never bring a jacket because they’re bulky to pack, a pain to carry around and I rarely get chilly. Cardigans are just easier to shove in a purse if need be. Aside from the cardis, I decided to bring just a single pair of jeans, two camis, two button up plaids and the boots on my feet. However, I did bring extra socks, because old habits die hard. Conforming to a uniform of sorts makes it easy to accessorize. I wore a few beloved talismans for emotional solace and traded contacts for spectacles to allow for napping minus the dry, irritated eyes.
In spite of my attempt to pack lightly, my duffle still weighed more that I anticipated. It was as though my emotional baggage had manifested itself and padded ten extra pounds of physical weight to the duffle. Maybe it was just in my head. Maybe I should be adding more resistance to my workouts. Who knows, really? I do know that I was able to get by on less. I was able to forego a steamer because I de-wrinkled my shirts beforehand and rolled them up in a Kondo-esque style I’ve been implementing for a some time. For the first time, I packed for function over fashion.
What did I learn in this experience? A few things:
A uniform removes guesswork and stress
Most skinny jeans look the same—no need to pack multiple pairs
Cashmere is king—but, we already knew this (also makes and excellent addition to your pjs)
One can actually survive on one outfit a day (I hear people do it all the time)
Last, but not least:
No matter what, it always feels nice when grandma complements your sweater