This weekend I am flying out to southern France for my friends Sarah and Kawika’s wedding. In traditional US style there is a rehearsal dinner on the Friday as well as a ceremony on the Saturday. So, I need two outfits, both suitable for wearing in somewhat balmier weather than we Brits are used to, all the accoutrements usually needed for my big-event-beauty-routine and the usual weekend away fare.
Did I mention that, thanks to Ryanair’s extortionate baggage handling charges, this little lot has got to fit into my hand luggage and half a small case?
So, how does one pack light for an overseas event? Here are my top tips.
- As is always the case for holiday packing, choose clothes that roll and don’t crease. The rehearsal dinner has a “fiesta” theme, which makes for slightly easier dressing than a more formal event. I chose my maxi dress for this as it ticks all the roll-up, crease-free, easy-to-wear boxes – I’ll just throw it on and go!
- Consider colour co-ordination. If you have two dresses with one common colour running through you’ll only need to pack one pair of shoes. Yes, that was indeed “one pair of shoes”. This is where you may need to be especially strict with yourself…
- Need a hat for a wedding? Consider a fascinator for space-saving reasons. Alternatively, choose a straw hat which you can wear onto the plane (full-brimmed, trilby, boater – all hot shapes this summer) then artfully glamourise with a scarf or sash that matches your colour theme. Personally I would advise avoiding the “easy-pack spring-back” hat option at all costs – they never look anything but cheap and tacky!
- To inject that bit of glitz into your outfit concentrate on perfecting your make-up and top up with space-saving jewellery. A good co-ordinating lipstick can really tie an outfit together, the right sunglasses can create a real sense of glamour and pearls or gemstones can give an elegant sundress a real sense of occasion. Neither lipstick nor jewellery take up much space in your hand luggage. Sunglasses can be worn on your head!
- Ditto a teeny tiny glamourous handbag. Takes up very little room, but the right fabric and finish can make a dress instantly more formal.
- Consider your travel outfit carefully – if you’re going from a cool country to warm it’s an ideal opportunity to layer up, leaving you with less luggage at check-in!
- NEVER board a plane without either a) a cashmere cardi/blanket or b) a pashmina. Air con can be a killer!
My hand luggage. Believe it or not this contains EVERYTHING on the image
below – plus my passport, a spare cardigan and my book!
Smart dresses x 2; smart-casual dress x 1; casual day skirt (to be worn with casual top as worn for flight) x 1; towel x 1; nightdress x 1; knickers x 3; bra x 2; evening bag (containing jewelery & sash) x 1; heels x 1; flats x 1; make-up bag; wash bag; tail comb, bobby pins, hairspray and Mason & Pearson hair brush; flower brooch and fascinator clip combined; neutral (navy) pashmina x 1.
Of this little lot there are two items I could realistically cut down if space required. For one thing I currently have two potential outfits for each day – my three dresses cover all levels of occasion. If necessary I could pick out two of the three and stick to them. Secondly, there’s my Mason and Pearson hair brush. I have smaller brushes, but nothing gives the same level of shine as a Mason and Pearson. I cannot recommend them highly enough… and wish I still had my child-size one for traveling!