On Monday Chris and I will be sneaking off for a quick city break in Berlin, and we can’t wait. It was originally supposed to be a surprise for his birthday, but I accidentally showed him the booking when checking in for our recent flights to Iceland. Oops… Oh well, at least he knows what climate to pack for now!
On that note, we’re trying to save a bit of airport hassle by taking cabin luggage only, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to share my secrets for packing lightly. Here’s my tried-and-tested capsule wardrobe, which I use whenever I travel. It easily gets me through a week away and provides all sorts of outfits, whatever the weather in my destination decides to throw at me.
- Two pairs of skinny jeans – I normally opt for mid-blue and grey, as they work with pretty much anything.
- A pair of black skinny trousers, which give a smarter option for the evenings. The legs can also be turned up to create cropped trousers on warmer days.
- Three t-shirts in neutral, go-with-everything colours. I’ve recently started trying to buy organic cotton versions, like these from People Tree.
- A striped Breton top – one of my everyday staples. The one shown above is from French brand Amor Lux, which stocks a great selection.
- A simple white shirt with roll-uppable sleeves, which can be dressed up or down as needed.
- A denim shirt dress – Warehouse has a range of designs, including the one above, which looks equally good with sandals in summer and tights and boots in winter.
- A black t-shirt dress, which can be paired with sandals, trainers and heels.
- A black cardigan and a black or beige mac, providing easy layers for changing temperatures.
- Black leather ‘Flame’ sneakers from ethical Somerset-based label Seven Boot Lane. They’re the comfiest shoes I’ve ever owned and ideal for sightseeing. They look beautiful, too.
- Slip-on leopard-print pumps, which really do go with everything (trust me!). The ones shown here are cheapies from H&M, which I can easily scrunch up in my case.
- A pair of simple black sandals for warmer days. I got mine in Spain a couple of years ago, but Seven Boot Lane stocks a similar design (also made in Spain). For winter trips, I’d swap them for a pair of boots.
- A lightweight scarf to layer over t-shirts and shirts, or wrap around my shoulders on cooler evenings. This one came from Zara, which has a huge range to choose from.
- A slouchy shopper bag, which can be rolled up and squeezed into my case if airline rules dictate one bag only. This black leather version from Warehouse is ideal as it’s roomy enough for the various bits and bobs I have to carry; I can even fit A4 files in it if I’m travelling for work.
- A selection of mix-and-match jewellery to jazz things up – Accessorize’s ‘Z’ range is perfect.
- Sunglasses – essential for me come rain or shine, as I have very sensitive eyes.
All that’s needed on top of that are toiletries (I love REN’s ‘Grab & Go’ kit, which contains everything I need in airline-approved sizes), a foldable hairdryer (this tiny dual-voltage version from Go Travel is ideal), and of course a good book or two!
How about you? Do you have any handy packing tips to share?
Seven Boot Lane kindly gave me a pair of ‘Flame’ sneakers for the purposes of this post, but as ever all words and opinions are my own.
Photography by Abi Dare and the various brands named above