Musings on holiday packing

Posted by Ron McQuade Oxfam fashion blogger

2nd Aug 2012

Inside of a Suitcase

With summer comes the season of packing, and with a good portion of my suitcase dedicated to gifts for my family I've had to be careful in choosing every item. To complicate matters, I'm facing polar extremes; midwinter in the southern hemisphere and tropical beach conditions. To keep my suitcase from overflowing, I set down some ground rules. I based these on the 30 for 30 challenge, split roughly in half for each climate. The concept was simple; I thought I would be done before the hour was out. It was only later the next day that I finally shut my suitcase. The act of choosing a small sample of my clothes - the representatives of my wardrobe - became an act of self-control and spring cleaning.

Although it may seem cliché, the act of packing this 'capsule wardrobe' was eye-opening. It wasn't until I tried to find a red skirt that I discovered that I had several, and not one was quite right.  This brought up several questions about the quantity of clothes I'd been hoarding for so long, holding on for sentimental reasons. So I emptied out my entire wardrobe onto my bed and picked out the weakest links to be sent to charity. It was only when I felt I had rid myself of my excess baggage (pun not intended) that I could really step back and choose the right things to pack.

To create a cohesive mini wardrobe I restricted the colours that I allowed myself to chose, tobacco and navy with yellow and white highlights for winter and red substituted for tobacco for summer. I also made sure that most of my tops and a dress were appropriate in both climates, with slightly different styling; a coat and a pair of tights make all the difference when it comes to the warmth of an outfit. As is to be expected, a few sacrifices had to be made; no ridiculous shoes, no oddly patterned tights that only look good worn one way, no bulky jumpers, the list goes on. On the other hand I felt I had to remain true to my own style rather than becoming another 'staples' person, wearing a pair of dark trousers and a white blouse for the entire trip (although I do envy anyone who can pull of staples in their own way of dressing).



With a suitcase in one hand and few bags of clothes on their way to Oxfam in the other, I depart on my adventure. I'll be documenting my steps along the way and following up on the failures and successes of my capsule wardrobe.


Blog post written by Ron McQuade

Oxfam fashion blogger

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