When you have a blueprint for your style, which is really just how you want to look and feel in your clothes, you need less. That blueprint is your style strategy to looking and feeling your best. I’ll admit that in my everyday life I’m more of a maximalist, but when it comes to travel I’m a minimalist all the way.
For me, traveling with little clothing/ smart style strategy, is liberating and empowering. I don’t like a lot of baggage to carry around and keep track of. I don’t know- maybe I’m a bit too protective of my prized possessions when I’m on the road, but I feel best when I travel light and have less to worry about.
I just recently returned from Europe and for this trip we visited the South of France and London. Every other time I’ve traveled overseas, I loaded (fully) up the big suitcase, which of course gets checked. This trip, when my husband suggested we go carry-on only, I thought he was crazy! I mean I’ve never done that before, and anyways there’s all the liquids restrictions with carry-ons, and then how am I going to shop once I get there!!?
For many reasons, the more I thought of it, the more I realized he was right. Especially considering I had just taken the Remake pledge to buy no new clothes for 90 days, I thought ‘what do I really need to be shopping for anyways!? Exactly!! I DO NOT NEED to be shopping at all.
I also thought if I’m only traveling with a carry on, I really don’t ahem space to carry anything more back. I could always ship stuff- but on my sustainability journey, the less stuff shipped around the world, the better. I already felt bad enough about the environmental impact of shipping myself around the world… but sometimes you just gotta live a little
When it comes to having a sustainable wardrobe, the best thing we can do for the planet is to shop less, shop secondhand and restyle what you already own as much as you possibly can.
My suitcase was well stocked with my tried and true wardrobe essentials- nothing else. These may be different for every person- but for me, given the climate and our itinerary, these were the basic of the basics plus some statements accessories.
I filled up on earrings, necklaces, brooches, and some scarfs of different weights, a black mini-dress + lace overlay, long black dress that doubled as a cover-up, lace romper (my very favorite Goodwill find ever!), black pants to go with everything, black leggings, a floral mini-dress, two black blazers, a few blouses, a long black and white print wrap skirt, one bathing suit bottom and two top options, a workout outfit, long sleeve black T, and various black T’s and tanks. I did bring one black mesh turtleneck, which never got worn.
That was pretty much it! And I made it through just fine! Actually, because of the numerous accessory options I brought, I actually felt like I had more than enough, even though I wore many of the pieces multiple times. So there you have it- I may never travel overseas with more than a carryon again!
Most important for me- I made sure to try everything (every- single- thing) on beforehand and take photos of every option I might like to wear. Make sure everything fits exactly how you want it beforehand too- best to avoid unnecessary purchases once you get there.
Appreciating the Old…
Every time I’ve been to Europe I‘ve recognized there is this widespread appreciation for the old. No surprise this vintage and secondhand clothing loving girl resonates with that- and I’m not just talking about the vintage and antique shopping. As luck would have itI, there was a designer consignment boutique close by our hotel called Mademoiselle. OBSESSED! I stopped in four times.
Even though I’m really trying to pare down and shop less- there are certain things of which I consider myself a collector of sorts- like Chanel and gold accessories. I found a vintage Chanel gold medallion (c. 1970s), which I was drawn to right away.
That one piece of vintage jewelry was my one and only purchase of this entire vacation- thank you very much! I’m proud to share that I stuck to my pledge of buying no new clothes. It actually wasn’t that hard- still isn't. When you connect to your values and why you do what you do- there’s no struggle. It’s all in service of creating a better, more sustainable, and just world.