Holiday packing – the fear is real

Making holiday packing easy can seem like an insurmountable problem. Questions stack up, the unknown, the worry and the doubt seeps in.

What to take and what not to take?

How to pack ?

What if I don’t pack that and I need it? What  if nothing feels right?  What if I get there and I don’t like what I’ve packed? What if my bag goes missing?  What if, what if, what if?  This is the exact dilemma that my client Rochelle had. She has a great personal style, loves clothes, but booked me when she realised two things:

  1. She couldn’t cull her pieces to fit in to a 20kg luggage allowance
  2. She couldn’t mix and match all of her items to make them work harder.  She just had a pile of clothes on her bed and they were overwhelming her.
Easy holiday packing
The problem pile – how to start?
The problem pile no 2. Ready for easy holiday styling.
Easy holiday packing
My client Rochelle, ready to start easy holiday styling

Cue booking a wardrobe edit with me – the holiday packing edition (and how to make it easy).  Easy was key. How on earth could I make it easy for her she asked me?  Do you get that easy was the goal here, the all important proposition?

Easy holiday packing

Tackling holiday packing needs a bit of ruthlessness on your part.  Or you can hire me to do the ruthless part and you enjoy the two hours it will take to sort our your style for the holiday.  Then we take photos of the outfits so you have a holiday look book.  Easy!

We started out with the premise to build her outfits for her holiday.  I would take photos of her in the outfits and while on holiday she could make dressing easy, simply by checking the album on her phone and choosing one of the creations.

How we did it

Once we established our goal, we tackled the piles on the floor and the bed and began to create.  Rochelle has a style uniform of Jeans, Tshirts and blazers. But this style wouldn’t necessarily translate to the heat and modesty required in Dubai.  Nor would it help while on safari in South Africa.  But I didn’t want Rochelle to lose her sense of style either.  She’d added a few key pieces for dramatic effect – a leopard print kimono, (yes I may have recommended it.  The jury’s still out if it’s appropriate to wear leopard print in the home of the leopard), a new jumpsuit and a dress.  But 80% of her holiday packing was to come from what she already had.  We just had to maximise it’s potential and ensure it fitted in with the climate and culture of the places she was visiting.

We made tops double-time to wear with both shorts (for day) and skirts and pants (for night). We used scarves to act as shoulder cover ups for modesty when required and double-up as chic plane wear for all the transit flights she needs to take.  We packed jewellery that would last the distance night and day and added two belts (stylists own) to add the piece de resistance to some outfits.  Sisterhood – accessories are life when travelling.  They can add the difference to the outfit to mix it up and make it look like something completely different.

What next?

To help the process along I added in some of my styling tips and tricks (I can’t give them all away here but let’s just saying, knotting a garment can really help improve it’s shape and it’s styling).

We also created two piles – one for keeping, mending or giving away to friends and the other, for me to take with me and donate to charity.  That way, we also created a mini wardrobe edit too.  Rochelle and I will be working together again to stream line her wardrobe and identify any gaps too.

Easy holiday packing
The pile to mend, giveaway to friends or keep


How many outfits then? Go on, tell us.

The restrictions on the internal flights in Africa, meant that Rochelle had to work with packing only 20kg all up.  Handily, I advised her to take a “trolley dolly” small suitcase for hand-luggage and pack 2 outfits in there.  This meant that she cuts out the risk of losing her checked luggage and always has a couple of outfits, plus the one she is wearing, with her.

Easy holiday packing
The “YES” pieces, hung up, ready for packing
Easy holiday packing
The holiday wardrobe, all in the suitcase. Nearly ready.

She’s taking the safari hat on the plane with her (cue visions of Out of Africa and a dramatic entrance).  This is a very special trip she’s going on, not the usual trip to the Coromandel over summer, so making the whole experience exciting and easy for Rochelle was a goal of mine.  You want to enjoy it all, not just the destination!

Lastly, we created all up, a record number for me – 32 different looks.  32.  That’s not bad if I do say so myself.  By mixing and matching tops with bottoms, coverups and shoes, these options will last her her two week trip.  But the best bit, she doesn’t have to stress about what to wear everyday – it’s all in her album on her phone.  Now that is easy. Here’s a peek inside her holiday look-book.  We’ve kept private her big gala dinner outfits and some special one off pieces, just so she can have those for herself.  Thank you so much for trusting me Rochelle and  for giving me permission to share your holiday styling with the sisterhood.




How to work with me

If you’d like to learn more about holiday styling, event styling, personal shopping or any other style related question, then I would love to chat.  I have a free fifteen minute consult that allows to chat and sort our your needs and how I may be able to help.  I’d love to talk to you.  You can find out how to do this here. 

Love EJ x

The mother of the Sisterhood of Style.


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