Travel Wardrobe

So, my brother is getting married in two weeks. In Australia — which is (more or less) where I’m from, although not where I live. So it seems like the time for reflection on travel wardrobes.

Now, I don’t always travel light. When I was 22 years old, I emigrated to the United States with four suitcases. That doesn’t sound like much, but I wasn’t actually intending to emigrate, and four suitcases is a lot when you have to schlepp them up several flights of stairs from the parking lot because your cab driver has peeled out in a fit of pique because, hello? Tipping. Is not a city in China, ignorant foreign woman.

And when I go to stay with the in-laws in Buffalo I take lots of stuff, but that’s because I have to wear ten pounds of clothes because the whole town is surrounded by malevolent drifts of snow and ice.

This trip, however, will be minimalist in nature, mostly because we have a tiny tiny connection window to squeak through in Singapore, and so we’re strictly carry-on baggage only. So this is a packing mission with some structural constraints and some aesthetic aims — really, it’s just like a design project.

Now, I can fill up a carry-on just with things I need in flight. Especially for this kind of long-haul flight. I need a couple books and magazines. And a blanket. And my trusty ugg boots. And a bottle of water. And a change of undies. And a toothbrush, and toothpaste, and moisturizer. And a clean t-shirt. And an eye-mask and earplugs and earphones and an inflatable travel pillow. And a clean skirt just in case they lose my luggage and I need to spend a day stranded in Paris or some other exotic locale. (This never happens. Last time I was stranded for any extended period of time was in Sofia, Bulgaria.)

The first thing to be thrown out is the ugg boots, which makes me weep, because those things are fabulous for air travel, especially if you want to sleep. (You do have to take them off and put on your real shoes for take-off and landing, though, unless you want your ankles to swell up to the size of cantelopes.) So.


Two pairs, tops. One pair of reasonably dressy-but-stil-casual black sandals, which can be worn to the wedding but also can go with jeans. One pair of sturdy walking shoes.


There are two theories of packing separates, both based on the idea that everything should match. One is that you pick a color scheme and run with it. The other is that you stick with neutrals, and accessorize. I’m ignoring both of these, and going with neutrals on the bottom and colors on top. Black pants, couple of bright t-shirts and a dressy black tank. I also have a dress in progress which is completely reversible — one side is black, and the other is a wild blue print which doesn’t match with anything else I’m packing.

Long Haul Flights

I figure that one way to get the most out of my carry-on is to wear as much as possible on the flight, especially the warm bulky stuff. So add to the above inventory a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, some sort of sweater, and a brown corduroy jacket.


I could write a dissertation on packing techniques. Seriously. But I think it’s just one of those things — either you know how to pack well, or you don’t know, don’t even know that you don’t know, and don’t care. But you? You non-packer? Don’t come to me in the middle of the night when you are stranded in a hotel room in a random country and the power has gone out. I will have managed to procure a frosty gin and tonic and will be relaxing over a crossword puzzle, and my accessories will match. You will still be looking for your socks in the dark.


One Response to “Travel Wardrobe”

  1. jerry Says:

    this is ridiculous u should have some more time travelling wardrobes not the other boring stuff that u have in this website

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