Over the years I have had a fair amount of practice packing for long weekends and have realized the less I pack, the better! And all it takes to minimize the amount you pack, without sacrificing style, is a bit of prior planning and thought. Here are my quick tips for packing a stylish and well rounded weekend get away wardrobe (without bringing along your whole closet).
1. Decide on a color scheme for the weekend - Start with a base color (I usually go with black or brown) and add on that. This will make mixing and matching a cinch and reduce the number of items you need to bring, while simultaneously increasing the number of outfits you can make out of your pieces.
2. Pick between silver and gold accessories - Again, sticking with one accessory hue will allow you to bring less and have more options. I am a bit of a silver and gold purist, so usually make sure my accessories, shoes, and purses have the same hue (be it silver or gold).
3. Limit yourself to one pair of casual shoes and one pair of dressy shoes - This is hard to do, but shoes are heavy and you will thank me when you are carrying your bag with ease. Throw in some athletic shoes as well if you are feeling inspired to get your work out on.
4. Mix and match - The easiest way to pack the least amount of clothing is to combine different pieces together to make numerous outfits with just a few items. Bring a cotton mini skirt and add a striped tee and sandals for a daytime look and then whip out a lacy ruffly top and heels at night - day to night with the swap of a top!
5. Splurge on swimsuits - Swimsuits take up barely any room and are light and easy to pack, so pack a few...one per day if you please. Us Seattleites need to take every opportunity we get to wear our suits.
6. Check the weather forecast - For the bachelorette party weekend in Chelan I had initially packed extremely warm weather wear, but when I checked the forecast I realized I needed to adjust my attire. Make sure your clothing and the weather are compatible.
7. Material matters - I don't know about you, but I am not really into ironing and that's the last thing I want to do on a vacation (or ever really), so unless you have a thing for ironing (in which case, my door is always open) make sure to bring clothing that won't wrinkle in your bag.
8. Stop, drop, and roll - The same advice you learned for putting out a fire can be applied to packing your bag properly. Okay, there isn't really any dropping necessary in this version. After folding your clothing items, roll them up (like you would a sleeping bag) and pack them together tightly - this will conserve space and help minimize wrinkling.
9. Edit, edit, edit - Pack your bag ahead of time and then come back and think realistically about what your weekend entails and what you will truly want to be wearing and if you will have the time to wear the amount of clothing that you are bringing (you probably don't need 5 dresses for a 3 day get away).
10. Get stoked! - Most importantly, now that you are packed efficiently and fabulously, sit back, relax, and get excited for your vaca!
Image courtesy of USA Today.