Thursday, April 3, 2014

Packing tips from an over-packer...

Okay, so one thing that probably defines me, is that I am always over-prepared.  Not just with my tire chains in my car and sleeping bag and extra windshield wiper fluid and plastic utensils and mini first aid kit and...well you get the point.  I like to plan ahead for every possible situation which is downright stressful sometimes.  I do it, because I believe that if you are prepared for anything to go wrong or change, then most likely nothing will go wrong.  And I'm starting to drift off topic as per usual :).  So back to the point. When packing I do something similar.  I think about every type of weather situation...will it rain, snow, be 100 degrees, or only 20 degrees?  Will we go hiking or ride bikes or kayak or exercise or who knows what else we could end up doing?  Basically, I have ALWAYS been known to over pack and I'm trying to learn not to do that anymore.

So let's start with this trip.  Usually, my first offense is shoes.  I LOVE SHOES!  My family called me Imelda growing up (after Imelda Marcos, wife of a former President of the Philippines who owned over 1000 pairs of shoes).  Okay, so I'm not that bad, but I'm pretty sure I have at least a hundred pairs of shoes, boots, sandals, slippers, heels, etc.  And to the point again...I just love taking different pairs with me on trips to give them all their turn in the lime light.  Well, for our Denver trip I technically took four pairs of footwear total.  If we had flown, I would have taken only three, but since we drove we had plenty of room for that extra pair of actual hiking boots (just in case).  So the "shoes" I packed were a pair of boots (which are bulky, but I just love boots!), a pair of Tom's, and a pair of Mary Janes.  The most important part of all of these choices is that I can walk for hours in every pair without pain or blisters.  I also took neutral colored footwear to make sure that they could all be interchangeable with every outfit.  Now, a couple of my friends (okay, mainly you Izzy) will die when they see what I mean by neutral.  Yes, I took brown boots and brown mary-janes and wore them with black and gray and I'm not ashamed!  I once believed that black and brown could never be worn together, but I am quickly overcoming that belief and moving forward with more pairing options than ever.  Well enough about shoes, let's move into the actual attire.

A Christmas present from myself and my mom (since they were pricey) and so worth it. These Born-Montana boots have some arch support and are incredibly comfy, so they are perfect for a days worth of walking

I love Mary Janes! They are so comfy and can be dressed up or down.

And the Tom' easy and comfy, but not the best for rain. Perfect otherwise!

Here's a list of everything I packed:

  • 8 underwear (sorry, but my dad's theory about only needing two pairs total and all you have to do is wear them forwards and backwards both inside-out and rightside-out just doesn't sit well with me--No, he does not actually do this either, but is quite the joker!)
  • 4 pairs of socks (3 long, 1 short)
  • 2 bras (1 neutral, one black--you probably only need one depending on the colors of tops you choose, but I like my black push up, so that's that!..and I think colored bras under light blouses usually look tacky--sorry, that's my opinion)
  • 2 pairs of jeans (1 blue, 1 pumpkin)
  • 2 shirts (1 black lace, 1 peach striped)
  • 1 shirt/dress (green and too long to be a shirt but too short to be a dress)
  • 1 green dress (I was lovin' on the green this trip)
  • 1 pair of light gray leggins
  • 1 pair of dark gray tights
  • 1 cardigan (purple)
  • 2 undershirts (1 gray, 1 cream)
  • 1 skirt (striped)
  • 3 pairs of shoes (boots, Tom's, mary jane's)
  • 1 set of PJ's
  • 1 hoodie
  • 1 pea coat
  • 1 winter jacket with liner
  • 1 set of workout clothes (worn only in the car)
  • 1 pair of hiking boots (left in car entire trip just "in case")
  • 2 pairs of earrings
  • 3 rings (including wedding ring)
  • 2 purses (one large one I always carry, and one smaller)
  • 2 belts (one decorative, one for pants)
  • 1 scarf (can be used as a shawl, hood, or decorative)
That just about sums it up besides toiletries.  I know the list looks long, but all of that fit inside a carry on sized bag. Which I might add, was not packed well and had my boots packed in it which I would obviously wear through security at an airport, because they are heavy and take up so much room.  I also brought a traditional workout outfit because I like to be comfortable when I drive, but that's the only time I wore it.  To be completely honest I could totally get away with bringing four t-shirts and 2 pairs of jeans and a pair of tennis shoes or just the Tom's and be completely good to go.  But not really, because as my mom likes to say "I'm her little fashionista" and I HATE sticking out on vacation. I have been on enough trips that entailed tennis shoes, jeans, and fanny packs (not me wearing the fanny pack, but a professor on a trip to Ireland I went on).  It's just so embarassing to instantly be recognized as an American tourist and the way I have decided to delay that judgement is by wearing boots, leggings, and dresses.  No, I'm not a shallow person or care what people think of me!  I love all of those garments as much as my jeans, but they automatically look more put together than jeans and a t-shirt.  Besides that point, if you take leggings and tights, they can be used as another layer under jeans if the weather has a tendency to get cold.  

Okay, so enough of me trying to explain my decisions.  I put together as many outfits as I could think of using the items I packed on the trip and I'll add them below.  I hope this is helpful to anyone trying to learn to pack lighter.  I plan on continually refining and decreasing what i take.  Oh, and a couple more things...all the advice I have read or heard says to wear neutrals and not colors as neutrals can all work together, but I love me some color and I just can't do you will see by my pictures!  Lastly, this packing list is for spring in Denver (or any other state that experiences winter), which means temperatures ranging from 20 degrees to 70 degrees...all of which I prepared for by bringing articles that could be layered or not.  That is the key to a variable climate vacation!


And there you have 30 outfits and I realized I'm missing at least two, so an ENTIRE MONTH! Wow!  I never thought about it that way, but I had the ability to not wear the same outfit for an entire month out of a carry on suitcase.  Well, until the next big adventure (and I'll be prepared!)...

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