How to Pack Smart and Stylishly

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For many students, packing is an issue we face on a regular basis. As a travel maven, I will venture to provide you with an efficient set of tips to simplify this unavoidable obstacle.

“Packing for a trip out of town is the most daunting task,” said Brianna Turner, senior psychology major.

Whether you are planning a visit to another city, attending a festival or just going home for the weekend, packing and choosing clothes to wear doesn’t have to feel like a job.

Packing for a trip is all about perception, and we all know the age-old saying “Perception is reality.”

One of the biggest mistakes people make when preparing for a trip is not having an itinerary or even an idea of what may take place on their journey. The most important step in packing is preparation. To the best of your ability, get a clear idea of what you’re going to be doing so that you make sensible clothing choices that will fit your environment.

For women, this is a huge issue, so the easiest way to solve this problem is to bring a majority of semi-casual outfits. The best bet for men is to dress up more than you usually do.

Weather is also a large contributing factor in the packing process and should be regarded as such. The best way to prepare is to look at the full forecast in your expected destination from several sources to create an accurate account of what the possible weather outcomes could be.

If you’re still unsure after checking the weather, then bring one or two outfits that will work in different weather conditions. A nice, dark denim jean is always the best choice if there is a chance of rain.

The best way to decide how many outfits to pack for a journey is to count the number of days, add one night or mingling outfit, and lastly one extra for just-in-case situations. For a three-day weekend, five outfits will suffice if you’re prepared properly. Also, no more than three pairs of shoes should be brought, preferably two if you can do so.

WOMEN

The most versatile way to prepare for a trip is to bring one item from several separate categories of dress. Ladies, a dress, skirt, blouse, T-shirt, jacket and pair of jeans are all you need to be fully prepared for a trip.

To be more specific, for the weekend of fall break, a fitted skirt, nighttime dress, sheer blouse, tank or camisole, v-neck T-shirt, light jacket, dark denim jean, and a-line or daytime dress are a great set of choices.

In the area of shoes, a black and brown pair of heels and one pair of flats can create a light load when packing. If you’re expecting cooler weather, swap out either pair of shoes for a nice pair of boots.

Accessories can also weigh down a bag if not picked out properly. Bring two necklaces, one bracelet and one accent ring that are versatile and interchangeable with your chosen outfits and can fit whatever mood your occasion calls for.

MEN

Guys have it so much easier in the packing department, although sometimes the real issue they have is not packing enough for the occasion. Being too casual for your trip home can be a flaw when preparing for a trip as well.

For men, although the variety in pieces that you bring is not so broad, you should still bring the same number of outfits. A blazer or jacket, two button-downs, a polo shirt, two pairs of jeans, one casual pant and a v-neck T-shirt are a great versatile combination of pieces to bring on your trip.

The only rule men need to remember with shoes is to make sure they can match whatever you wear. Boat shoes, sneakers and boots are the best bets in packing for any occasion. Accessory-wise, all you need are a watch and hat that will go with a majority of what you’re bringing.

Although these suggestions may seem very restrictive and make you feel limited, they really aren’t. In normal instances, fashion gives us no barriers. Instead of looking at packing as torture, consider it a challenge.

Self-expression can be done on a big scale or a small one; just remember that if you truly know your style, it will be seen in anything you wear.

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