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How To Pack Light Without Sacrificing Style Or Comfort: 4 basic rules

Learn how to pack light while maintaining style and comfort: A guide for women, who want to look good during their travels.

By Annie André ⦿ updated January 10, 2024  
4 Rules to help you pack light and fashionable
4 Rules to help you pack light and fashionable

If you’ve ever over-packed your suitcase or packed things you never wore during your trip, don’t feel bad.

There’s actually a kind of science to packing light and fashionable, and it’s not that difficult to do if you follow these four very basic rules.

4 Basic Rules To Help You Pack Light AND Fashionable

infographic: 4 Rules to help you pack light and fashionable

#1) Pick clothing items that match your travel location, its culture, the weather and activities.

Packing clothing items to match your location isn’t just about checking the weather. You have to consider your activities. Will you be going out on the town, working out, doing lots of walking or going to the beach?

If you are travelling someplace very different from your own culture, you should do a little research to make sure you don’t dress inappropriately unless of course you want to draw a lot of attention to yourself.

For example, I have a friend who went to Egypt and wore a spaghetti strap top and shorts, not realizing that this was a no-no in a land where women dress very conservatively and do not show skin for religious reasons. She was getting catcalls and getting stared at a lot until she finally figured out that she stood out like a sore thumb.

#2) Choose a simple colour palette and lightweight layer-able clothing.

Choose a simple colour palette and bring clothing that matches that palette. Like magic, the 5 shirts, 4 bottoms and 3 dresses you packed for your trip turns into over 23 different outfits because everything you brought can be worn together (thanks to the colour palette). 2 weeks’ worth of clothing in one carry-on. Nothing will clash, and you’ll look effortlessly stylish.

If you need help choosing a colour palette or want to learn more about this, check out this link. http://into-mind.com/blog/2014/08/25/how-to-choose-a-versatile-colour-palette-for-your-wardrobe-incl-36-sample-colour-palettes

Another trick is to choose items that are lightweight so you can layer them. This way, you can just layer up for warmth if you need to.

#3) Choose Versatile, comfortable shoes

Shoes weigh a lot and take up a lot of space, so make sure you bring shoes that are versatile and can be worn with multiple outfits. Take ankle boots. They can be dressed up down worn with shorts, jeans and a dress.

To cut down on the amount of space shoes take in your luggage, try wearing your heaviest bulky shoes rather than packing them. Also, don’t let those nooks and crannies of your shoes go to waste. Pack your undies and or socks in them to maximize every inch of space.

#4) Use accessories to add colour, bring to life and expand the looks of your outfits.

Scarves are an easy and lightweight way to add punch to your outfits. Plus, they can also do double duty as a sarong or a shoulder wrap for the evening. I use them on planes to cover up when it gets chilly. I often bring scarves in lieu of necklaces. I always have two pairs of earrings.

One last thing about how to pack light

Try to plan your packing ahead. Don’t wait for the last minute.

It never ends well, and you’ll end up with clothing items that just don’t go together.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a 'petite commission' at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my links. It helps me buy more wine and cheese. Please read my disclosure for more info.

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Annie André

Annie André

About the author

I'm Annie André, a bilingual North American with Thai and French Canadian roots. I've lived in France since 2011. When I'm not eating cheese, drinking wine or hanging out with my husband and children, I write articles on my personal blog annieandre.com for intellectually curious people interested in all things France: Life in France, travel to France, French culture, French language, travel and more.


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