Thursday, 26 May 2016

PACKING: Your step by step guide

From bottom left: Top: £69, Monsoon. Jeans: £255, Paige Denim. Lipstick in 'Luna', £24, Nars. Headphones: Frends at TK Maxx (old). Top: £29.99, Zara.  Bag: £108, J Crew. Suitcase: £129, Muji.  Sandals: £175.42, Eileen Fisher
Packing is without doubt something I know a little about. I pretty much did it for a living for 11 years working in fashion - I'd usually travel with at least 5 suitcases for a shoot and then one tiny hand luggage for myself. I rarely overpack and have learnt from many experiences (i.e forgetting to take a jacket or closed toe shoes and then it rained all week) - so I thought I would share a few pearls of wisdom:


Sandals: £175.42, Eileen Fisher. Lipstick in 'Luna', £24, Nars. Dress: £65, And Other Stories (bought instore but the blue one is available here)
You don't have to be a monochrome lover, it could be brights - but try and stick to 2-3 core colours and then jazz them up with accessories. My favourites are denim, white and leopard print. Or black, white with a pop of colour. That way, everything matches - so if the weather isn't quite what you expected or the dress code is not as 'glam' as you thought, you can always throw your jacket over something or change into flats knowing all your pieces still go together. Obviously, this is great for minibreak packing but I used it for longhaul in LA and it was so helpful - takes less time packing, too - as you're narrowing your choice.

Bikini top: £17, Cos. Bikini bottoms: £17, Cos. Bracelets: Astley Clarke. Book: £15, Kikki K. After sun: £5.99, Hawaiian Tropic 

If you keep your clothing palette minimal, then you can go crazy with the accessories, and that's what we all really care about, right?! Try Pomme Pomme London for some fab pom pom earrings, or these Topshop  lace-ups.

Bag: £108, J Crew. Sunglasses: £118, J Crew. Earrings: £69, Gas Bijoux at Cadenzza.  Nail polish in 'Beach Please', £7, Cheeky


Denim jacket: £59, Topshop. Headphones: Frends at TK Maxx (old) 
You can always wear it to the airport or on the train if it doesn't fit in your luggage. I've been left bewildered (and cold) too many times in a supposedly hot destination without one - make sure it's quite lightweight and will go over something a little dressy if needs be -a khaki shirt, a denim jacket or a silk bomber are good.


I may take one pair of heels, but let's face it - especially on a citybreak - flats are king (and take up less room!). Look for versatile styles like a chic black sandal which you can dress up or down: I love these Eileen Fisher versions but equally Mango have a fab pair here.

Sandals: £175.42, Eileen Fisher. Trainers: £115, Hush

If you're going shorthaul (or even longhaul with most things), then take as many small products as possible. I actually have a box under my bed dedicated to mini travel bottles (I told you I travelled a LOT). That way, I can pack (nearly) all the travel products I need a night or two before without needing them. Most brands do travel versions around 30ml and clever brands like DHC actually do a powdered face wash. 

Face wipes: £1.20, Simple. Wash bag: £20, Elizabeth Scarlett.  Suncream: £8.99, Hawaiian Tropic. Surf infusion oil spray: £22, Bumble & Bumble. Fragrance 'Terre D'Iris': £32.99, Miller Harris. Micellar water: £1.99, Garnier. Day cream: £10, Pure at Marks & Spencer. Face wash powder: £9.50, DHC  

If going hand luggage only (especially on those budget airlines that only let you take one carry-on), always pack an eco back on the top - once you go through security, whip out your bag and carry all your inflight essentials. More legroom and you only have what you need!

Monogram tote: £75, Rae Feather.  Travel wallet: £65, Aurora. Clear cosmetic case: £5.95, Muji. 

I swear by Muji's inflight clear packaging - they're airport approved so you can separate all your liquids before the airport. I take one on the plane with a few inflight 'musts' - Lano rose hand cream, healthy snacks (these from Kind - they stop me eating dodgy paninis mid-flight), Caudalie beauty elixir (makes me feel sane and somehow chic on Ryanair!), Bagsy lipbalm and a new obsession - eye masks. These are good for longhaul flights (I became addicted to Eyeko ones but they were discontinued, and have been promised the Shiseido ones are just as good, if a little pricier) to stop your eyes from depuffing - it feels really hydrating and indulgent (which we don't get much of sitting in Economy). And you don't look all out mad as you would with a full face mask on. 


I'm definitely a folder, not a roller. My belief is if you pack sensibly, there is no need for rolling. I put shoes in first, and place in the corners with the treads facing out, then pack around. As you see gaps emerge - stuff with swimwear, socks and underwear - items that won't crease.

Wash bag: £20, Elizabeth Scarlett. Jumper: £187.75, Eileen Fisher. Trainers: £115, HushBook: £15, Kikki K.
And yes, I know that books don't save space but I love the feel of a real book on holiday -and the memories it creates of that trip. Sometimes you need to have sentiment over practicality.

I hope you found this useful! Here's a little video we shot with Lucky No 13 for our last trip to LA:

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  1. Thanks for Sharing, Packing stuffs ans clothing while travel is always mess. You have given good steps to save time.

  2. A great post! Fantastic few tips on packing- and you're right, colours just need to work well together - if anything, less is more in some ways! Your video is very useful to say the least; there is definitely a good way to fold clothes for the good of themselves (without an iron) and to utilise the space you have available to you when you're limited by the size of your suitcase!

    Keep up the fantastic work Alex!
    Handmade Exotic Leather Accessories: Made in England

  3. I ALWAYS overpack so I read this very carefully to learn what I should do! I suppose I kind of follow some of the rules but just take probably twice as many outfits as I need plus a truckload of full size toiletries. I need a mini stash under my bed too! x Julia @ Rainbeaubelle

    1. The mini stash is a great idea - I even keep spare toothbrush and even cotton wool buds now, so I don't use up all the ones in my house and then get home and have none to use! x

  4. I think this post is excellent and so informative, thank you for taking the time to write it!All the major names offer various tank tops for men in several screen-prints. canottiere palestra Racerbacks, Stringer tanks, and mens y-back are all in the tank top store.


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