How To Pack Light Without Sacrificing Style Or Comfort: A Guide For Women Infographic

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If you’ve ever over-packed your suitcase or packed things you never wore during your trip because they were so badly mismatched, 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 4 very basic rules.

infographic: 4 Rules to help you pack light and fashionable

4 Basic Rules To Help You Pack Light AND Fashionable

#1) Pick clothing items that match your travel location, it’s 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 inappropriate 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 cat calls 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 light weight 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 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.

Another trick is to choose items that are light weight 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 nook 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 light weight 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 2 pairs of earings.

One last thing

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.


Photo of Annie André:

Annie André

About the author 

I’m A Bilingual North American With Thai And French Canadian Roots Who's Been Living In The South Of France For Over 10 Years. I Love Writing Weird, Wonderful, Interesting, Forgotten, And Fascinating Articles For Intellectually Curious People Amazed By France, French Culture, And World Travel.


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  1. I usually just bring a pair of jeans and 2 pairs of shorts to lessen the heavy stuff and load on comfy but stylish tops. I find hi-cut sneakers my staple, because they’re good for long walks yet they can give any outfit the extra oomph.:)

  2. The biggest issue we have when we travel is the shoes. It is usually some where warm so they include sandals, runners and dress shoes for dinner. The issue is we are both very adventurous and we usually decide not to pack shoes or hiking boots to save on room and weight. On several occasions this has become a problem, but how quick we forget and just recently we did it again.
    I have however convinced Yvonne to pack less cloths and buy local attire. I am the best husband ever, she loves to shop.
    This also helps at home as she is not wearing styles that are easily found here in Canada.
    Are enjoying France, great for kids to experience that.

  3. Love the tips and graphics. Last summer I spent a month in Europe and managed to get everything in a single carry-on. Of course helped that it was 100 degrees and most of my outfits involved sundresses and shorts. It helps to remove the mentality that you have to wear something new everyday.

  4. oh wow. nice one! i totally need this. seems like whenever i travel, i always ended up wearing the same shirt in each photos. sucks! LOL

  5. Hi Annie,

    When I travel I tend to bring too many pieces of clothes. I have always loved to dress well, because my mom used to be a tailor and my whole life until I was at least 35 my mother dressed me to my specific measurements.

    So, I had cloth no one else, ever could have. My own private tailor :)

    My mother stopped sewing when she started showing signs of this ugly Alzheimer disease.

    I still love clothes, but now I’ve got to buy them, and I miss having them made for me :)

    Thanks for your packing tips :)

  6. I have very large feet so if I need to pack more than a couple of pairs of shoes it requires a larger bag.

    But since I really don’t like dragging a ton of luggage with me I try to minimize all that stuff which is really just a long way of me saying I am happy not to need to be “cute and fashionable.”


  7. I’m not really an accessories kind of guy but I like comfy shoes and I’m sure the other things can apply to me too!

    I don’t have an extensive wardrobe so I don’t have too many problems packing light.

    This will be really useful for my wife though!

    1. No Tim, you don’t strike me as an accessories kind of guy. I am sure your wife might be more interested in things like this.. LOL

  8. I’m fixing to tell on myself here Annie but I’m horrible at this. Want to know why? I’ve never been into clothes.

    I’m shaped really weird so it’s hard to find clothes that fit me so I tend to wear the same things all the time because of this. I don’t wear a lot of color so my outfits are so boring. Yes I admit, I could use some fashion police visiting my house and I keep telling myself that one day when I’m rich beyond my wildest dreams I’m going to hire someone to dress me. Give me some “zang” and “pow” ya know!

    I’m just glad I don’t have to pack for a year long trip or my goodness, whoever traveled with me would really get bored looking at me quickly. I know, I’m pretty pathetic!

    Great tips though for those who could use them. I know I could if only! ;-)


    1. I can totally relate Adrienne,
      Growing up, my dad raised me mostly alone and I had horrible fashion sense plus i was a tomboy so clothes did not really matter to me. These basic colour rules and layering rules for matching clothes do come in handy for all types of dress codes. And i’m sure you dress just fine. We all tend to be harder on ourselves than we should be… :)

  9. Oh man, you’d so hate my packing Annie! 3 pairs of jeans, Thai fisherman’s trousers, hiking shoes, flip flops, vest T shirts and a few long sleeved shirts to keep the sun off/cover shoulders, fleece, long sleeved top, swimmers, rashie, sarong, nice underwear, I do like nice underwear. Done! I don’t do dresses and skirts.

    1. Hate it? naaa, froum the sound of it, you’re packed clothing items still follows one of the most important rules which is to choose clothing that matches your destination.
      When we do our own backpack trip hopefully through thailand i’ll just make sure everything matches. I might skip the pumps though in place of bedazzled sandals for the beach.. Fisherman’s trousers can be dressed up you know with the right set of accessories. :)

  10. Important post Annie!

    Each time we are out travelling, more than anything else it’s the huge baggage we carry with us, and though it’s withing the country and for a long period of time, we still need to learn and travel lighter :)

    More so with two teens it gets pretty tough for them to decide what to take and what to leave out – I am going to forward them this post of yours.

    Thanks for sharing, and have a great weekend :)

    1. Packing light definitely is an art. I mean, it is easy to pack light but it’s the looking cute and fashionable and packing light which is tricky. I would tell your teens to pick 5 shirts and three bottoms that all go together. One dress up dress and a couple of light weight sweaters or knits for layers.

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