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How To Dress For Every Occasion Without Overpacking

By Aramide Esubi, Tribune Content Agency on

Hi, my name is Aramide and I am a recovering overpacker. When it came time for any trip, I'd get a serious case of clothes and accessories FOMO and I would pack things I would maybe need instead of only what I would wear. I like options and the thought of not having something in another city made me nearly break out in hives.

What did this lead to? You guessed it: an overweight suitcase stuffed with pieces I didn't wear on the trip, that I'd have to check at the airport. More money spent on travel expenses, less room for souvenirs in my bag and more frustration.

In the spirit of doing better, I decided to work on this bad habit and I now have helpful tips to share with you. Your suitcase will be lighter and less bulky, but you'll still be able to dress for whatever occasion is on your agenda - what a concept!

Tip 1: Don't think in outfits, think in items

If your pieces can mix and match, almost each item can be worn more than once without it seeming like you have the same outfit on. Here's a little bit of math to figure out how you can make the most of fewer items: Take the total number of days traveling and divide it by five. Round up to the nearest whole number - that's the number of dresses or rompers you should bring, for example. Take that number and multiply it by three. Bring that many shirts and bottoms. Using this formula, you should have enough combinations to last the entire trip (and that's not even counting the pieces you're traveling in).

That may not sound like a lot of pieces but that's the point. The hardest part of being an overpacker is the fear that you will need something you didn't bring on your trip. This method helps you remind yourself that everything will be fine, and you actually have what you will need.


Tip 2: Create a color and pattern scheme

How do you know which exact pieces to bring? The easiest trick is to stick with one color scheme and throw in one or two complementary hues to break things up. Boring, you say? Well, not if you pack a lot of prints and graphics, too.

The ultimate secret? Matching sets (think pantsuits, skirt suits, skirt and top sets or even a stylish tracksuit): Worn together, they make a fancy outfit for a dressier evening out. Broken apart, they're a bottom and a top that can be mixed and matched with your other pieces.

Tip 3: Accessories are excess-ories. Leave most of them at home.


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