Minimal packing for Italy

June 9, 2016

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I’m finishing off this post at the Hotel Kleopatra in Napoli, Italy. Yup, Cleopatra with a “k”. K as in klassy. Now that my two-week Amalfi Coast trip is over, I can tell you how successful or unsuccessful my packing plan was (see below).

Call me crazy, but packing for a trip is my favourite part of trip preparation. Actually, it’s more about planning the packing. My pack plan is where it’s at. It satisfies need for organization, careful planning and efficiency.

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There are a gazillion great packing posts. In fact, my dear friend Jess Hunt of Rose & Fig just published a wicked packing post a few weeks ago. But every trip is different, and I hope you get a few tips from my experience.

For an incredibly in-depth packing blog, we’re talking detailed packing lists depending on your destination, time of year and length of stay, then check out Her Packing List. Two American women told my mom about it just last night while we were out eating our last dinner in Ravello.

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I wear this Everlane top once a week if the weather permits. I paired it with these new Levi jeans I got recently whenever the weather was cooler.

In summary, I brought six too many clothing items and two too many pairs of shoes. I needed a sweater for the cold weather, something I didn’t pack and ended up having to buy, and I left room in my bag to pick up anything that suited my fancy, i.e. custom-made leather sandals from Ravello.

You’ll see from my packing list further down that there were a few items I only wore once. This is fine if you’re talking about one fancy dress for one planned fancy night out, but there were one or two things that I could’ve just done without altogether.

Looking back on my packing process, I could’ve pushed myself a bit more to downsize on top options and dresses. A big part of a successful minimal pack is planning ahead.

Below is a loose timeline you can use to get your packing started early.

1 |
MONTHS BEFORE YOUR TRIP: 
Take stock of your current wardrobe and note anything you might need

2 |
A FEW WEEKS BEFORE: 
Browse street style shots for inspiration; buy key pieces you are missing;
only buy pieces that’ll make the most of your current wardrobe

3 |
A DAY OR TWO BEFORE DEPARTURE: Laundry

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4 |
PACKING DAY

Lay out all pieces you might bring

Write down your trip excursions and take note of weather conditions

Put outfits together for those excursions first

Use as many of the same pieces for each excursion as possible

Start with these outfits and add pieces to them to make more outfits

REMEMBER: YOU CAN WEAR THE SAME THING MORE THAN ONCE!

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My flight outfit. I always go for long-sleeved shirts in case the cabin is cool, and stretchy jeans for comfort. COLD FEET TIP: If wearing sandals on the plane, bring a pair of socks in your carry on when your toes get cold.

 

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I brought this new Devlyn Van Loon shibori dress that I bought precisely for a fancy night out on this trip. Of course, it’s versatile enough to wear at work with a belt and a cardigan or to wear out running errands with sandals. I bought the red sandals in Ravello, in a family-run shoe shop that makes everything locally.

I PACKED |

TOPS
1 white linen, short-sleeved button-up shirt from Everlane – wore often
1 orange t-shirt, second-hand – wore twice
1 black t-shirt, second-hand – wore to bed
1 grey t-shirt from Everlane – never wore
1 red button-up shirt, second-hand – only wore once
(yes, two too many shirts)

BOTTOMS
1 pair of khaki shorts, second-hand – wore twice
1 pair of blue jeans from Levin’s – wore twice/good for flights
1 pair of white jeans, gifted – only wore once
1 pair of denim culottes, Need Supply  – wore often
(yes, one too many pairs of pants)

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This Everlane linen top is one of those pieces that I bought after browsing street style shots and realizing that I never had a nice, versatile white shirt for spring and summer. I love, love, love the boxy silhouette of this top and that it’s long enough to tuck into high-waisted pants if you want some shape.

 

DRESSES
1 denim shirt dress from Everlane  – only wore once
1 red tunic dress, gifted – only wore once
1 white cotton sun dress, previous Italian purchase – only wore once
1 green jersey maxi dress, borrowed – only wore once
1 silk dress from Devlyn Van Loon – for a special night out
(yes, two too many dresses)

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This crazy red crop top is from the Salvation Army. I know, it doesn’t go with any of my other tops, but it goes will all of my bottoms and it’s a cute top to wear in the warmer months when you’re in the mood to show a little tummy. I paired it with these cropped, white Michael Kors jeans that my sister passed onto me.

 

OUTERWEAR
1 jean jacket, second-hand – for flight
1 cropped jean coat, H&M’s Conscious Collection – for cooler nights

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This Elizabeth Suzann top is my first purchase from the Nashville designer and I had my eye on it for more than a year. It came in handy when going to the beach and to pair with any of my bottoms. The fact that it can be worn two ways makes it a key piece for travel.

 

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Everlane can do no wrong! Linen always looks great, even wrinkled up (as shown here) so it’s a no-brainer for travel.

 

OTHER
1 bikini from American Apparel – wore a lot

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I paired my Elizabeth Suzann top with a dress loaned to me by my lil’ sis. It’s quite revealing and this top made it a tad more appropriate. Italian men don’t need a lot of skin to get talking.

 

FOOTWEAR
2 pairs of sandals, second-hand – wore a lot
1 pair of walking shoes from Keds – wore a lot

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ACCESSORIES
1 sun hat – useful
1 pair of sunglasses – useful
bobby pins
three pairs of stud earrings
one bangle
one ring

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TOILETRIES |
sunscreen
toothpaste
toothbrush
dental floss
lotion
nail clippers
nail file
cuticle cutters
scrub glove
eyelash curlers
mascara
eye shadow
eye concealer
tweezers
lip stick
lip gloss

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MISCELLANEOUS |
passport
wallet
Tide To Go
eye mask
ear plugs
phone
phone charger
adapters
laptop
laptop charger
water bottle

WHAT I BOUGHT FOR MYSELF

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1 blouse
1 pair of shorts

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1 pair of linen pants
1 sweater (a few cooler nights)
1 pair of leather loafers (birthday gift from my mom)

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1 pair of sandals
1 tunic dress
1 bottle of perfume
1 pair of sunglasses (lost my others!)

ALL IN ALL, I COULD’VE DONE WITHOUT AT LEAST SIX FEWER PIECES OF CLOTHING


FOR MY NEXT TWO-WEEK TRIP IN LATE SPRING |

TOPS
1 short-sleeved button-up blouse
1 long-sleeved shirt
1 t-shirt
1 cropped tank top
1 v-neck sweater – for cooler nights

DRESSES
1 shirt dress
1 tunic dress (formal)
1 beach dress

BOTTOMS
1 pair of shorts
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of linen pants

OUTERWEAR
1 spring jacket

FOOTWEAR
1 pair of walking shoes
1 pair of beach sandals
1 pair of sandals
1 pair of heels

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