Over the years, I have done a fair amount of packing. My understanding of the importance of packing was the summer I was 5 and I went to stay with my aunt and uncle and 15 cousins. My mother packed all of my clothes in a big suitcase with lists attached to the lid of all of my outfits. I had so many clothes I don’t think we had to do laundry for almost 2 months. However, at 5 I only had 3 pairs of shoes and the clothes were so small I only needed the one bag.
These days I do my own packing and make my own lists. My clothes are bigger and shoes more plentiful. So, the lists truly come in handy. I have told several friends about my lists. They think it’s obsessive. Here’s how I look at it, if you take the time to do the lists, it keeps you from asking yourself why did I bring this later. Organization and planning are the keys to your packing success.
- Pre-packing list – this is the list of all of the stuff you want to take. You know, your favorite shoes, shirts, accessories, everything. It’s fashion week so you’re going to be tempted to pull out all of the stops on your wardrobe. This is not about editing. Write down whatever comes to mind.
- Grocery List – this list is divided by type; shoes, tops, pants, dresses, etc. So, you are just taking all of your items from the first list and re-listing them here. Again, we’re not editing here, just ordering. This is the list that will prevent you from having a separate bag for your shoes. (I did it for my first trip to Milan Fashion Week, seriously).
- Calendar List – Now you have to look at your calendar to determine how many foreseeable outfits you are really going to need. How many times in one day will you change your clothes? Are you really going to go back to your room and change between morning and afternoon shows, probably not. This is just a number for each day you will be traveling.
- Tentative Outfit List – Start putting outfits together. Look at your grocery list and calendar list; pair tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories; creating a specific number of outfits. I have found this really helps with paring down my shoe list. Often you can duplicate items in multiple outfits, especially shoes. For each item used in an outfit, cross it off of your grocery list.
- Outfit by Day List – Now we start getting serious. You MUST look at the fashion week schedule here. What you are going to wear for certain shows is important, mostly because of who else will be in attendance. You always want to look like yourself. You also want to do it in a way that people take notice. Some shows, some days you want to be more visible. Don’t get too specific. Only choose specific events, you must still have some freedom to allow for whim, bloating, weather and other factors for some days.
- Contingency pieces – these are pieces that go with everything. In a pitch you can turn that skirt into a dress, create sexy out of preppy with a belt and heels, etc. For me, almost all of these items are matte jersey. They take up the least amount of room. They are also items that don’t have an assigned outfit, but are such staples you can’t leave them behind. This is where your “go to” LBD goes. There are a maximum of 5 items on this list.
- Semifinal packing list. This is the first packing list. This is the list of everything you “think” you’re going to take. I guarantee, once these items start going into your bag you will quickly realize that it’s not going to all fit. This list allows you to make last minute adjustments.
- Final packing list – this is what will really fit in your bag, without going over weight limits.
I know this seems like a lot. It actually doesn’t take that long. It also allows you to be less impulsive and emotional about your packing. Your emotions only cloud your judgement.
And consider this, you’ll be in NYC for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Do you really think you’re NOT going to go shopping? Exactly.
So tonight my favorite orange Tod’s are going on the list. I’ll let you know if they make it to the tents.