0 comment

Travel: Packing, Pre-Shopping, and Unnatural Acquisition

I’m pretty pleased with how a “capsule wardrobe” has worked out for me on this trip. It’s taken me from lunch at a formal New York bistro to pizza on a park bench, and through a 40-degree range of temperatures. I was able to pack minimally, saving luggage space to abuse for other purposes (bringing clothing, book and culinary gifts). And I felt polished and relaxed. Polyvore makes it easy to play with the idea of capsule wardrobes, so it’s great to experience that they actually work well in real life.

This is the tight capsule wardrobe that has served me well: two pairs of jeans (one grey with a pattern), a black pencil skirt, six tops, two cardigans, and a wool ponte blazer. For a handbag, I am carrying an unfashionable, but useful and secure, leather messenger bag. Everything in the “capsule” goes with everything else. Here’s my ‘Polyvore On The Floor’ for you.


Yes, only one pair of shoes! More shoes, and a travel-friendly black dress were waiting for me. One of these pairs of shoes, black leather sandals from Naot, went with skirt and dress ensembles. I “pre-shopped” so that these items were waiting for me at my mother’s address. I’ve acquired some new items from sale racks and consignment stores – the only full-price items I’ve bought have been underwear. (Very good bras, mini-camisoles, and Jockey Skimmies.) Nothing – absolutely nothing – requires ironing. From my newer purchases, another pair of jeans and a shrug cardigan made it into the trip clothing rotation.

Acquiring a good chunk of my wardrobe every two years on trips to the U.S. is a very unnatural pattern of clothing acquisition. Why do I do it? Three factors. I can’t buy petite-proportioned clothing in Wellington, and I have difficulty buying shoes for my tiny hooves. I like the variety and huge range of colors in the U.S. And the tremendous amount of clothing in the U.S. means that those consignment stores, outlets, and sale racks stretch my shopping dollars. This time around, I’ve been shopping from a list, which is also helpful.

I love the advice at the long-term travel site Journeywoman, and their Favorite Travel Clothing stories are spot on.