Yikes! We’re less than two weeks out from our departure, and I’ve hit that frustrating stage of travel wardrobe planning: too early to get an accurate weather forecast, but late enough in the process that I need to hone in on which pieces will best work together.
I know from past trips that there are a few types of items I can rule out right off the bat.
- No-close cardigans…while these are often my go-to’s at home, they are harder to make work as an intermediate layer, and often not warm enough as a top layer.
- Dresses. While knit dresses are GREAT travel pieces for many people, I find they often require specific footwear that won’t be worn otherwise.
- Anything too warm or bulky. I’m much better served by multiple lightweight layers than a single heavy piece.
- Clothes that are only appropriate for dressy venues. It’s tempting to want to have something “just in case,” but I’ve learned not to pack pieces that may be worn once or twice at most, or not at all. I’ll be bringing some dress-up/dress-down options that can go from day to dinner.
I’m planning to take at least one pair of ankle boots, as I’ve found them to be comfortable and versatile. The other pair (or two) of shoes will depend, again, on weather. We’ll be spending the first week in the Loire Valley, which will include lots of time outdoors visiting chateaux and gardens, local open-air markets, a winery or two and hopefully some lovely strolls through the countryside. Then we’ll have a few days in Paris. (!!!) This means I’ll need shoes and clothing suitable for both rural and urban environments and activities. Though I’m mentally building the wardrobe around 12 pieces (plus “underpinnings” and outerwear), I may end up with more or fewer pieces, depending on weather forecasts and what my carry-on bag will accommodate.
How do you handle packing for a variety of activities and levels of formality?
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