That’s a funny joke…packing “light” for a trip. I always tell people I travel with that they can all pack light because I have enough clothes for the whole gang. My luggage looks like a body bag and it is filled to the rim. Whatever. I don’t want to hear it; I’m prepared for anything!
Melissa Gay, a local wardrobe consultant, mentioned to me recently that she helps people pack for trips. I was amazed and baffled, all at the same time. I mean, who needs help packing for a trip? Just take the contents of your closet and dump them in your biggest bag. Right?
Melissa let me tag along to a packing session for her friend Sarah Johnson, who was going to Hilton Head for a week. Melissa was packing her DAYS IN ADVANCE, so that Sarah could be finished and able to concentrate on packing her three kids for the trip.
Let me restate that: She packed days in advance.
I would have to move mountains of laundry, Rubbermaid storage bins and general hoarding paraphenalia before Melissa could come pack me in advance. I usually start doing laundry about six hours before I’m wheels up on the plane. But, if I could plan better, oh how my life and my trip preparation would be different.
Let me set the scene first. If we lived like Sarah Johnson and Melissa Gay, then packing would only take an hour. Look at her closet, for crying out loud:
Melissa begins by sitting down with each client to talk through the trip. She always asks the following questions:
- How many days?
- What will the weather be like?
- What will you be doing?
- Will you be going out at night?
Here are the general guidelines that she follows for a beach vacation:
Melissa recommends four to five suits for a beach vacation, as that is considered an outfit. She also mixes and matches all swimsuits, so that you can yield seven different looks.
After she gets the swimsuits taken care of, she gets down to business and hangs up her outfit display rack (aka a baseball hat rack purchased at Walmart) to hang up outfits and take pictures.
Once she nails down an outfit, complete with jewelry and shoes, she takes a picture of it. Then she hangs up multiple versions of those outfits to show you how to mix and match them.
We open up the jewelry drawer and have that loveliness out and ready to play.
She starts generating outfits.
She recommends that your coverup be worn as a tunic with skinny jeans for dinner at night.
She limits the shoes to three pairs: metallic pair, a casual slip on shoe and sneakers. Here she has picked a pair of comfy metallic flip-flops and a pair of Tory Burch wedge sandals in a nude color. They will go with every outfit.
She also packs a “tool kit” which is invaluable:
Tool kit contains fashion tape, Shout wipes, wrinkle release, static guard and spray tan for legs.
AND, everything was done days before rather than hours before she left on her flight.
Let’s make a summer resolution to try this Melissa’s strategy. I’m going to, and see how I do. I cannot promise to pack days in advance, but I can promise to pack light. Oh Lord, I might have to take a Xanax now to travel lightly anywhere.
Melissa Gay, Wardrobe Consultant, can be reached by calling (502) 794-4849 or by e-mail at [email protected]. Melissa offers many other services besides trip packing, including closet and wardrobe consultations and personal shopping.