The Art Of Packing

With the weather in the UK seemingly determined not to improve, I’m sure there are plenty of you out there who have decided to pack your things and get away for a week or so. However, within that sentence lies the problem – packing your things. Some of you may be better at it than others, and a select few may believe themselves to have mastered the art, but nonetheless it always causes a headache. However, as always, FashionBeans is here to give you a few tips and techniques to ease your pain – like a beautiful sartorial injection of endorphins.

First, let me clarify: This isn’t an article for the over-enthusiastic. For those of you out there who love to over-pack, over-think and be overcharged for extra baggage (God damn you Easyjet) stop reading now. This one is for the people who are carry-on exclusives and looking for minimum fuss and sweating when boarding and leaving for their chosen destination.

Let’s face it, if you are going to take a big old suitcase and struggle with it all the way to the plane, then just do what you always do and pack everything. The rest of us will aim for versatility, simplicity and class.

Key Considerations

That really is what packing for a getaway comes down to – selecting versatile, simple and classic pieces that will see you through any situation, be it sunbathing or shots at the bar. This way you’ll know that regardless of what you pull out of your bag, it will go with everything else and still look great on you. So when packing, try to stick to pieces that are in easy colours – such as navy, grey and white for monochromes and blues, greens and pinks for brighter colours – because they are all simple to mix and match. Sure, you can pack a statement piece or two (maximum) just try to not go crazy.

The next thing to bear in mind is the weather. I always pack the evening before I leave and the first thing I do is confirm the forecast for the rest of the week so I know what to expect. If it’s non-stop heat then you’re going to want to pack shorts, t-shirts, a few pieces in linen or madras and some simple canvas or light leather shoes. Meanwhile, less than ideal whether may call for you to pack a few more trouser and shirt options, with some layers in the mix too. Preparation is key here.

Once you have what you’re taking set out in front of you, start being ruthless! In the heat of the moment those bright yellow chinos seemed like a must, but with a level head they could be the different between closing your bag and not. Besides, do you really need them? Holidays are about relaxing and having fun, not trying to be permanently fashion forward. Simplicity is the height of sophistication after all.

How To Pack

Next comes the hardest part: Packing. First of all, remove the items that you’re going to be wearing on the plane. This is usually people’s first mistake; they pack and then pick some more clothes to wear, but eventually have to pack on the way back. Instead, chose the piece you want to get less wrinkled/beat up and wear them instead. I always tend to take a lightweight blazer in linen or cotton with me, so I wear that along with a white short sleeved Oxford shirt, khaki chinos and black loafers (easy to slip on and off, plus the perfect nighttime shoe).

The next mistake: The way we pack. Rather than folding your stuff, why not try the rolling technique? There are loads of videos on YouTube showing you how, and it is the perfect way to maximise the space available to you in your carry on bag. Just simply fold your item in half length ways, tuck in any excess and then roll from the bottom up tightly. Place inside bag and repeat until done. You’ll be surprised at how little they crease this way and, for larger items such as blazers or knits, just hang them up when you shower to steam out the wrinkles.

What To Pack

Here’s a quick rundown of what I intend to be taking on holiday with me if you need some ideas on how to pack simple, versatile and classic:

Wearing on the Plane
  1. Khaki chinos
  2. Short sleeve oxford shirt
  3. Navy linen blazer
  4. Black penny loafers
  • The Classic Khaki Slim FitThe Classic Khaki Slim Fit
  • Asos Short Sleeve Oxford ShirtAsos Short Sleeve Oxford Shirt
  • Uniqlo Men Premium Linen Jacket AUniqlo Men Premium Linen Jacket A
  • Kurt Geiger Flitcroft LoafersKurt Geiger Flitcroft Loafers
In The Bag

Here are the other items I would pack for a week away, you will find a couple of trend led pieces in there (prints and tailored/slim cargos for spring/summer 2012) but the majority of the list you should already own if you read this site regularly. It should go without saying that toiletries, underwear and swimwear is considered standard:

  • Indigo jeans
  • Navy and khaki chino shorts
  • Grey v-neck jumper
  • Navy cardigan
  • Lightweight jacket
  • White and grey t-shirts
  • Black and navy polo shirts
  • Madras short sleeve shirt
  • Short sleeve print shirt
  • Olive slim fit cargo trousers
  • Brown boat shoes
  • White leather Jack Purcells
  • Espadrilles
  • Dr Denim Jeans Ormond Slim FitDr Denim Jeans Ormond Slim Fit
  • Uniqlo Men Chino ShortsUniqlo Men Chino Shorts
  • American Apparel Cotton Twill Welt Pocket ShortAmerican Apparel Cotton Twill Welt Pocket Short
  • Paul Smith Jeans V-neck JumperPaul Smith Jeans V-neck Jumper
  • American Apparel Knit CardiganAmerican Apparel Knit Cardigan
  • Reiss York Single Breasted BlousonReiss York Single Breasted Blouson
  • Commodity Stock White Basic One-pocket TeeCommodity Stock White Basic One-pocket Tee
  • American Apparel Fine Jersey Short Sleeve V-neckAmerican Apparel Fine Jersey Short Sleeve V-neck
  • Reiss Theif Textured Polo ShirtReiss Theif Textured Polo Shirt
  • Uniqlo Men Cotton Linen Madras Check Short Sleeve Shirt HUniqlo Men Cotton Linen Madras Check Short Sleeve Shirt H
  • Asos Short Sleeve Aztec ShirtAsos Short Sleeve Aztec Shirt
  • Denim & Supply By Ralph Lauren Cargo PantDenim & Supply By Ralph Lauren Cargo Pant
  • Sperry A/o 2 Eye Classic BrownSperry A/o 2 Eye Classic Brown
  • Converse Jack Purcell Leather SneakersConverse Jack Purcell Leather Sneakers
  • Kg By Kurt Geiger Vettel Stripe EspadrillesKg By Kurt Geiger Vettel Stripe Espadrilles

The bag in question:

River Island Canvas Holdall

Final Word

So there you have it guys, a few tips to hopefully ease your pain when it comes to packing for a quick getaway this ‘summer’. Just remember to keep it simple, versatile and classic and you won’t go wrong.

Matt Allinson