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Hand luggage packing

Don't you hate it when you lay out your beautiful outfits for a rare weekend away, perhaps to an interesting city with a dinner out thrown in, and they take up about four times the amount of hand luggage-sized packing space you have available?

You will be stunned and shocked to hear that the solution I advocate at times like this is... yup, a capsule wardrobe. And this really is the ultimate capsule wardrobe, one that can fit into a hand luggage sized suitcase.

First up, you need a colour palette. Hopefully you are a graduate of a personal colour analysis (see here for more information about what colour analysis actually is) which means you already have a palette of colours, but for your weekend away you're going to want to narrow this down even further. For such a short period away, a maximum of five colours should do it:

  1. one dark neutral
  2. one light neutral
  3. two brights
  4. your best metal

If you're going somewhere really hot and feel like you just won't need the light neutral, you might prefer to go for three brights, or if you have a particular classic/neutral style, you may prefer to use three neutrals and one bright (although that really is terribly sensible).

So you've got your colours, now what to pack? Here's my essential guide for ultimate capsule packing:

  1. Split your weekend into chunks. So for a weekend away; travel, sightseeing, evening meal, sightseeing again, second meal out
  2. Try to make your bulkier garments (jeans, jackets, footwear) work across several segments so you need to pack as few as possible
  3. Choose a pair of casual shoes and a pair of smart shoes. If absolutely essential, you can throw in a flat pair of sandals or ballet pumps as an extra pair, but really you can get through a weekend on two pairs. You know you can.
  4. Buy or decant proper travel sizes of all your toiletries - if you want to fly with hand luggage you'll need to do this anyway to meet security restrictions, but whatever the case, to maximise space you need to minimise these things. Also look at make up palettes and travel brush sets rather than taking full size versions of everything.
  5. Make the most of accessories to change the look of your outfit - they take up far less space than further garments, and with the addition of a pair of heels can change a simple dress from sightseeing to evening meal-worthy.
  6. Make sure you add in a print or two - just because your colour palette is limited doesn't mean that your clothes need to be boring.

A simple weekend away wardrobe: