I’m Already Packing

Sunday April 15, 2012   

I’ll be leaving for Japan in a few days and have already started packing. I want to conserve as much room as possible in my single checked suitcase. I was really happy with how things turned out at New Year’s with my carry-on only packing. Really forced me to limit my choices to items that would work with multiple looks. So I’m doing that again. :deco2:

I was frustrated to find that I had lost my packing notes from New Year’s. I really needed them for guidance again and I wanted to see my thought process behind the efficient coordinate choices! So, in order to not lose them again, I’ll blog them.

– Zara Navy Blue Palm Tree Dress
– Zara Mint Green Blazer
– Comme des Garcons Navy Striped PLAY top
– Uniqlo Black Dot White Blouse
– Gap Navy Blue Knit Sweater
– Madewell Dark Wash Denim Shorts
– H&M Thick Beige Pleated Skirt

First I made of list of my favorite clothes. Then I cut out the items that weren’t “multi-taskers.” Like dresses that couldn’t be worn with sweaters or cardigans. Also crossed off any items that just wouldn’t work for the climate. It’s spring with averages between 50F~70F.

I took note of a few things mentioned in Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style that I previously posted.

“Having a narrative is a way to streamline what you are going to bring.”

This was actually a really fun (and surprisingly helpful!) way to decide on what to bring! I gave some thought to my wardrobe and then wrote down a few imagined themes. Eventually I settled on the theme Tokyo Gamine. OK, it’s a bit arbitrary but it meant something to me; in my mind! lolol:deco13: And it really did help focus my choices and keep off-theme items from creeping into my suitcase.

personal thoughts, etc. – I knew I didn’t want to pack jeans, because I rarely even wear jeans at home, and I don’t feel my best in them. I also knew I didn’t want to pack a coat. Even a light coat takes up room. So a spring blazer paired with a long sleeve top is warm enough for chilly nights. Packing an extra pair of the thick knit tights I wore all winter for chilly nights. Also bringing various sheer tights too or I can just go no-tights for warm days. Bringing but not shown is my new rain coat, some thin belts, and a nicely sized but comfortable handbag. I just wanted to be comfortable with uncomplicated clothing that still felt like “me” but that would also be ready for any spring temperature change.

Going to wear the sweater, dress, and knit tights on the plane. I’m always freezing on planes and the tights are as comfortable as roomwear! The sweater I can easily remove if I get hot, though I doubt that will happen.

So 7 pieces of clothing creating a total of 20+ looks not including a change of tights/no tights.

Simple! Add or remove the blazer or extra layer for a bit of a change in look. I’m also prepared for the spring temperature changes from day to night. :P This will be more than enough choices for a 10 day trip.

I still need to go to the nail salon ASAP for a quick manicure. I’m going to bring my bottle of Dior Red Royalty to have used. I’m currently wearing the Chanel Lotus Rouge I got from Yesstyle. It’s deeper rich red. But I’d like to have something more vibrant now. It’ll be a nice stress-reliving treat before I take off. I find most manicures I get done at the salon tend to last a few days longer than my at home ones. Plus they clean up my cuticles and reshape them perfectly. :deco2:

Since I mentioned Tim Gunn’s book (once again) and the style concept of “gamine” I thought I’d include a bit from the “style mentor” chapter and specifically focus on the gamine section. A bit paraphrased. Basically multiple styles along with some examples are listed within his book.


Signature Look

“Ahh, those French. The key to this look is simplicity. For warm weather: a basic shift and ballet flats or leather sandals. And for winter: pretty much the same but with seasonally appropriate fabrics. Flat boots, wool tights, ballet slippers. The gamine is rarely seen in a heel.

Sofia Coppola – Natalie Portman

Classic, feminine, and young. It is the writer and director Sofia Coppola we are discussing. Petite with extremely striking features. In a recent article in The New York Times, she led a walk around Paris in simple black ballet flats, a black pleated skirt, and a navy pullover. In another photo she appeared in jeans and a black crew neck sweater. One does not get the sense that she agonized that morning over what to wear.

Another contemporary gamine is the absolutely lovely Natalie Portman. Ms. Portman, too, is petite, which raises the issue of whether petite-ness is a prerequisite for being gaminesque. The French word as a noun refers to a child or adolescent. However, it also means “mischievous” or “impish.” Ms. Portman manages to look both sophisticated and age-appropriate. She favors simple shapes in a muted color palette. Her choices almost always fall within the realm of classic, while never being stuffy.”


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50 Responses to “I’m Already Packing”

  1. Namie says:

    Wow, over 20 looks from 7 pieces of clothing?! That’s amazing and very nearly genius~!

    I love your style concept, by the way; “Tokyo Gamine” sounds so lovely and chic and… international! (whatever that means haha -___-;;)

    I’ll have to pick up the book sometime — it sounds so interesting so far. I wonder if they have it in the library. /has spent an inordinate amount of money on books this past month.

    I hope you have loads of fun in Japan!

  2. Kei says:

    I love the idea of packing clothing based on a theme, I never thought of it that way. Makes it so easy to pack just a few items yet have a lot of looks that work well together.

    I like your color choice of navy and white together, looks good! Have fun in Japan!! :D

  3. Ru says:

    I like the idea of packing according to a theme! Makes it much easier, doesn’t it? I really like your color palette and choice of prints! :)

  4. Jinny says:

    Omg I’m so excited for you!! I hope you post about your travels in Japan! I always love your Japan posts. I’m also going to Japan in June, and your posts have given me ALOT of ideas on where to go and what to do ^^

    Packing your clothes to a theme is pretty clever! Alot of the time I end up not wearing most of the clothes I pack…so this is a pretty useful guide ^^ Thanks! (I’ll be referring to your notes when packing from now on haha)

  5. Chanel says:

    Oh my ! You are so smart ! I would have never thought of packing only 7 pieces of clothing that can result in 20+ coordinates !

    Those nail polishes are really pretty by the way !

    Have fun in Japan ! :3


  6. Honeydew says:

    Omg I didn’t know you were going to Japan, have fun! How long are you staying there this time?

  7. Kathy says:

    So many coordinates from just a few key pieces! Genius. I love the theme you have going on.
    That Chanel polish is such a nice color toooo.
    Have fun and have a safe flight! *^^*

  8. Tori says:

    So smart, Jenny! It really is amazing how far a few simple pieces can take you… 20+ outfits is amazing!! D:
    I love this concept of ‘the gamine’ too~ Sofia Coppola has always been something of an icon for me, so I really appreciated her mention here :)

    • jenny says:

      It was a really nice write-up. I cut out about half of it because the book goes into further detail. Either way they picked great and current influences as examples for each style mentioned!

  9. slayedoll says:

    lovely! thanks for sharing all your thoughts and tips~

    have a good time there, can’t wait to hear about your trip~ !! :-)

  10. Michelle says:

    Holy. I need to take after you with this packing. I can already see my 1 week trip to San Fran this summer being enough to fit into my hobo purse at this rate, haha!

    • jenny says:

      Ah a summer trip! I think if I had been traveling in summer I could have packed even less LOL. More of a constant temperature then! Now that I’ve done this twice I couldn’t imagine going back to the “old way” of packing. Really my old packing had no rhyme or reason and usually about half isn’t used!

  11. Maye says:

    This is an interesting plan. As I haven’t traveled overseas like that, with such few clothes, what do you do, laundry at the hotel or laundromat?
    Also, you’ve changed your views in style recently. I’d love to read later which items picked your interest and what you will buy. Though of course Rinka-related items will be a must!
    And the items you picked are lovely! Im amazed by your coordination skills!

  12. Polly says:

    I really want to try packing light for a trip one day! Hope you have an amazing and fun filled trip!!

  13. I seriously need to buy his book! You’ve hooked me now!

    Aw have a fab trip, m’dear!

  14. megan says:

    How sweet! I’m saving this post for future packing reference.
    I think you made some great choices (I like your style! :) ). The theme thing is a great idea.

    Question about the shoes: are they flats or do they have a slight heel?
    Thinking about traveling and wearing nice shoes that aren’t tennies, for me: flats would be the most walkable, but they tend to rub my feet badly and make blisters (gross and I bet you totallly wanted to know that, right?)…I guess you would just have to work to find the perfect shoe!

    • jenny says:

      They’re 100% flat, no heel. I actually have a similar problem with flats, it’s why I’m so picky when I buy them. I try them out in stores over & over. I also line mine with padding. Not sure you can tell but both in the above photo have heel grips in the back on the inside. This stops any back ankle rubbing.

  15. Kate says:

    I can’t wait to see your Japan posts, too! They’re so lovely. This book sounds really interesting to me. I may look into it!

  16. Lili says:

    This is such a helpful post! Thank you so much! :D I really have to get my hands on this book soon.

  17. novia says:

    nice post :D i’d probably try this the next time i’m having vacation. btw jen, does the gap sweater fit well? i was gonna purchase it but i hesitated cos some of the reviews on the site say it’s kind of boxy and unflattering? =\

  18. Miia says:

    wow this packing is smart!! :o
    The book sounds really interesting, never saw it here in Europe.
    Where are you going to stay in Tokyo? I would love to go as well. I was there once to visit a friend and loved it!
    I hope you’ll post some pictures and recommendations!
    Wish you loads of fun!

  19. Jackie says:

    Oh, Japan! I hope you have a great time! Haha, and I’m sure you’ll look great as well, seeing what you have here!

  20. cin says:

    Yay! I hope you have lots of fun~~ let me know if you want to meet up :) Love the wardrobe you have too~ So far the weather has been quite cool in Sendai but warm in Tokyo :D

  21. Mary says:

    Damn that is the nicest looking outfits to bring on travels! Every time we go travelling I just bring whatever! Got to learn from you *w*

  22. Linlin says:

    love the packing tips! i just have a question, does the book covers anything on wardrobe organising? tempted to get the book! :D

    oh and have a good trip!

  23. Laura says:

    I’m so jealous you’re going to Japan! Hope you have a wonderful trip~

    I love the idea of packing with a theme, it makes a lot of sense when you think about it :). I may have to look in to this book and maybe it will help with my unorganised wardrobe haha.

    I love all the items you chose too. It’s amazing how many coordinates you can get out of a few pieces.

  24. M says:

    argh im leaving saturday and its only monday but im really bad at packing so i should start
    arghhh T_T why can’t i just bring my whole room T_T

  25. chocoNIKKI says:

    Excellent tips~! It’s good to keep things simple and stress-free~ ^^

  26. Jessica says:

    Wow, make sure to take photos of your outfits in Japan! You’ll look so cute ^_^

    Are you only visiting Tokyo? I hope you get to see some sakura!

    • jenny says:

      I’ll be visiting Tokyo, Yokohama & Kamakura. Unfortunately the cherry trees are pretty much way past peak but it’s OK, DC has beautiful Japanese cherry trees and I got to enjoy them in March :)

  27. kmmy says:

    what caught my eye is…
    Comme des Garcons Navy Striped PLAY top!!!!!!
    love it!!

    I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time in Japan!!
    I can’t wait to go there~~

  28. Kate says:

    Eeek~ Jellyyy
    I like le colour theme you’ve gone with~ always so coordinate conscious
    I hope you have fun 8D

  29. Emelie says:

    Dude, I’m so doing this! I’m just about to go away for about 2 weeks, and this was sooo helpful! Like sheez! It makes so much sense! I’m currently doing a trial-go, and there was so much room left in the bag, and it was so light and oh god can traveling really be this easy? Hahaha

    These two packing entries really blew my mind!

  30. Bianca says:

    you and your japan trips! I LOVE YOUR LYFE!!! :D

    love love love gamine, its the only style I have consistently loved my entire life. You will look classic and chic everyday, hope it never gets super cold or uber hot hot hot

  31. rene says:

    I can never pack light! I’m sure you know I pratically live out of a suitcase. I always can’t help feeling insecure if I bring too little clothes. I will always bring jeans because if whatever outfits that I tried to coordinate at home, didnt work out, I’ll just throw on the jeans.

    And somehow I always seem to underestimate the weather. It always feel colder. Which means I learn to always pack a thicker coat. Maybe because I’m living in singapore.

    Btw, I noticed a lot of blue ;)

  32. Kettuk says:

    I am really amazed by your packing skills :o the “keeping wardrobe organised” really seems to work!! ♥
    I am tempted to sort out cold heartedly my own clothes also ( ;_;) was it a painfully long process to get it neat and ready to mix-match? I’d really love some tips if you have some :D (( I don’t remember a blog entry about it, though I might have missed it :P ))

    The book by Tim Gunn also seems intriguing~

    Have a nice trip! :) I love Yokohama :D

  33. Hannah♡ says:

    Amazing! I’m in the Philippines right now for vacation, and I tried to pack lightly as well, but that failed horribly. xD I must take notes on your mastery of coordinating!

  34. Carmen says:

    Love every single piece you’re bringing especially the flats and the blazer @_@ LOL. I like when you do these traveling/packing posts because it’s such a great help! Every time I have to pack for anything I always end up packing way too much and feel like I’m packing enough to move to a different city haha!

    I really like the idea of packing things with a theme.. never thought about that before. Will try that out in the future~.

  35. Maikue says:

    This is a FANTASTIC idea! I love all your coordinates…

    Your last post with the ‘packing’ quotes! AWESOME!!

    I like the idea of being more REALISTIC with what you are wearing AND going with a theme.. I found myself doing that when I was going to Seattle, and it helped!


  36. Tiffany says:

    I am dying to find this edition of Tim Gunn’s book! Where did you get this gorgeous pink hardcover edition? :)

  37. Courtney says:

    this is a great guide…i’m about to start packing too, so this is good inspiration for me. Thanks for sharing! :)

  38. Jenn says:

    Where are those beige-colored flats from? They are so cute!! I love how the point is a different color from the rest of the shoe. :)

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