Wales, Aberglasney, September 2005.
I guess this may be second nature to some of you, but it can really drive me crazy. I love to travel and hate to pack. I envy my female travel friends are great at it. I can toss and turn all night before I leave just thinking if I packed correctly. Note I did not say, enough, but correctly.
Winter in Europe is great because the mighty radiator/towel rack means that I can limit my smalls and socks/tights to a minimum because they'll dry very quickly. However, what to wear can be a challenge. I'm not the most stylish girl, but I do try. My coloring and accessories get me mistaken in Italy and Spain as a native, so I guess I'm doing something right.
This trip I have a book release party to attend in Paris, one nice foo foo dinner in Paris, dinner in Rome and a concert in London. I figure I'll take two pairs of crushable light jeans (velvet and something with spandex) and one pair of slacks that look decent with my danskos (the horror, I know) and a pair of mostros and boots. Boots are insane, but moderately comfortable and if I really hate them, I'll mail them back from Paris.
I will take two cashmere tops, both in neutrals, a pashmina like object in a brighter color, one large bag (lancel?) as it is "bright" and a small dinky bag. I'll layer everything with a t-shirt underneath it and realize that one less is okay because I can always do laundry in the middle and besides, for the most part who the heck is going to notice if I'm wearing the same pants three days in a row?
I always carry another bag for the trip home, usually a fold up one. I have a set of those longchamps les pliages that I love, even if ever coed in town sports on or two now. I have a set in "pick up spit and dust" beige (whose great idea was that?) and black. Black is good for travelling. They are not the easiest things to manage with a rollaboard, but they hide a multitude of things -- the latest Hello!, some duty free from boots and an extra sweater and hat. I can't live without them.
So, I'm nearly done pontificating here. Remember, most of us travel to first world countries where we can find almost anything we need, so if you forget underwear, use it as an excuse to buy some. If you are almost done with your anti-perspirant, buy some. If you believe in the wear it and toss it, do it, just don't expect the hotel housekeeping staff to take it as a gift. I can't imagine wearing holey underwear and grotty tshirt to Laduree, but if it floats your boat, go for it.