Action Packed

Four countries.  Two weeks.  One carry-on bag.  One backpack.  Below is how I packed for a Summer adventure in Northern Europe.

Suitcase real estate is valuable.  I wanted everything to be able to be worn together.  So I chose lightweight, colorful items that could be layered, mixed, matched and would take up little space.

It broke down to:  two jackets (feminine and masculine), five t shirts (linen and cotton), two sweaters (cardigan and pullover), three pairs of pants (all skinny/straight cropped - white, black and blue), one pair of leggings, four pairs of shoes (sneakers, heels and flip flops), three scarves and the necessary lingerie and toiletries.   

First I wanted inspiration.  What tone did I want to set for the trip?  Shouldn't dream adventures be colorful and fun?  Thinking only in terms of practicality can make planning travel attire a lesson in some sort of Teva influenced punishment.  Nah.  I remembered a vintage, embroidered Matthew Williamson blazer that channels current Gucci-esque styling that I had in storage.  Building a wardrobe around it would be fun and playful.  Little did I know, it would prove to be highly practical as well.

The vintage Matthew Williamson jacket.

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James Perse and Gap t shirts.

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All of the t shirts would go with the jacket.

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All of the t shirts would go with the white, black and blue cropped jeans.

All of the t shirts and jacket would go with a Cos cardigan.

The Matthew Williamson silk, rocket print scarf would go with the t shirts.

The Paul Smith cashmere scarf would go with the Cos cardigan.

Purchased at the very last minute, this Gap military jacket would look good with everything.  It folded into nothing, so I decided to pack it.

Nordic Summer is colder than L.A. Winter.  It was so chilly, I ended up layering the jackets.  Not exactly the look I planned, but it served the purpose of keeping warm.

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A Frame pullover sweater became part of the workout ensemble.  Again not planned, but it worked.

Voila!  In Stockholm right before going to The Royal Dramatic Theatre.

Freezing at Peterhof near Saint Petersburg wearing all of the jackets, sweaters, scarves and a hat purchased at Zara on Nevsky Prospekt.  Nyet!

Fast forward to an opposite packing plan:  Independence Day in Palm Springs.  Based on the lightweight, mix and max principles - here is what made it into the bag:

Linen Gap and Zara v neck t shirts.

Gap and Mossimo high waisted, structured shorts.  I am not feeling the cutoff, stringy straggly jean shorts.  After three Summers they are played out, ladies!

Gap high waisted, wide leg cotton pants.

For the pool a sexy goop one piece, an Adidas bikini, hat and shades.

Mix the above with Adidas jelly sandals, Stella McCartney tunic and All Good SPF 50 body butter.

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Now you are jet set!