I Have Problems Packing...

Much as I love fashion, and spend ages on deciding what to take when I am traveling, I screw up.  Oh man, have I screwed up sometimes. 

Where do I start?  With my pre-college shopping and packing, where I naively assumed that what was in style in my small town would be in style in the big city?  Oops.  Got that one wrong. 

Or how about this time?  Back in the day, I went to a weekend of socializing in Montreal, and everything…..everything!!!….I took to wear was wrong.  I wore a long-sleeved dress to a party when every other female was wearing a summer cocktail dress.  It was early May, and I misjudged which season people would choose.  The next evening I wore a lovely silk blouse and pants to a reception, but was turned away due to not meeting the dress requirements (skirts only for women—I don’t think that could happen nowadays). Then for the final ‘casual afternoon’ picnic on the grounds of a lovely country hotel, I chose jeans and a top, and it turned out that the dress code was ‘tennis club/golf course preppy’.  That weekend was a sartorial humiliation for me.  And apparently, I am still wincing about it.

Here’s another story, where I didn’t actually get the clothing wrong.  In fact, I got it right.  Maybe a bit too right.  I researched what people were wearing in Paris before I went on my first trip there.  Then I packed accordingly.  I did not want to be a ‘typical tourist’ in brightly coloured sweats and running shoes that screamed my ignorance of local customs.  So I wore classics in neutrals and my favourite black.  My boyfriend and I got on the plane in Montreal.  He was wearing a dark wool men’s topcoat, loafers, Levi’s, and a plain dark crewneck sweater over a white t-shirt.  Pretty classic.  I was wearing a tan trench coat, black top, pants and boots.  The flight attendants assumed immediately that I was French and spoke French to me.   But they spoke English to him.  Everywhere we went that month in France, people assumed I was French.  I was even asked for directions!  Since my French is not very good, this was a problem.  It was a case of my fashion choices not reflecting me accurately, although I am definitely flattered that native Parisians thought I was stylish enough to be one of them. 

Every time I go to visit my friend in Halifax, I get it wrong.  You would think, since I have visited at least twenty times in July or August, that I would be able to get it right.  But nope.  I seem unable to understand that I need enough clothing for both heat wave temperatures and chilly 10C thermal sock weather.  I invariably take too much of one season or the other, and end up either emergency shopping or wearing my friend’s pants (which are capris on me!).   And on top of that, I am not one of those people who can get multiple wearings out of a garment either (I am way too messy), so that complicates the packing, especially when I am trying to take only a carry-on.  But I refuse to give up and I am working on a set of packing guidelines for myself.  I’ll let you know how that works….

What are your packing guidelines?  Do you have any good ideas for how to choose what to take? 

Or do you have a story of a trip when you packed the wrong clothing?  Let me know!  I’d love to know I’m not the only one!