Musings on holiday packing
Ron McQuade Oxfam fashion blogger
2nd Aug 2012
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.