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Monday, 11 July 2016

A Forensic Analysis Of My Suitcase

Hi, peeps.  Your Dip today is in bold font plus the pictures. 
Should you have the time and the inclination, then your Dive is all the rest!

Those of you who've got to know me well might have guessed this would be coming up.
Yup, The Suitcase Police making a guest appearance here with a forensic analysis of my suitcase.

I've been analysing holiday pack v. worn for some years.  With the intention of learning from it.  You'd think I'd be good at it by now, then.
But 15 years plus on ...  is it working?   You tell me!!!

What I packed

This lot, plus shoes, 2 bags and 2 jackets.  Oh, and a pac-a-mac.

What I wore

 For Travelling

Grey Peacock jeans (3+), Next grey print sleeveless vest (3), Woolovers grey frill cardi (1) and M&S snakeskin flatties (3+). 
The number in parentheses indicates the actual/guess at number of times I wore the item.  I thought that adds quite a professional little touch to my report!

On Holiday

White Peacock jeans (2), stripey Peacock t-shirt (1), Next navy linen cardi (1).

The long-length top which hides at least some of the multitude of my holiday sins!

White Company taupe trapeze cardi (2), Next grey print top (3), M&S taupe 7/8ths chinos (2)

My throw-on-and-go Dotty P black jersey midi-dress (3), perfect for countryside/seaside living. 

The 3 Stages of a Magasin stripey top (1), (but could have been much more) with those Peacock grey jeans (love 'em!).  Primark scarf (3) - this was the only scarf I used the entire trip, and I wore it only this once as a muffler.  Which was good because, note to self - wear with camisole next time.
Back to the scarf - I used it as a sarong over my "swimsuit".  And it's light, so a great suitcase item.

 Now, the "swimsuit" itself - well, I didn't take one. So I made up a swimsuit with a black long-line camisole and M&S black modal pants.  It worked!  But it was a token gesture as most of the time dipping with the girls was of the skinny type.  As you do.
And you know, apart from wearing my black Next long-sleeved modal top with the 7/8ths chinos and with white jeans, I pretty much didn't wear anything else other than what you see in the pics above.

Therefore, I now give you ...

My Capsule Wardrobe, aka what I should have packed
1 pr grey jeans, 1 pr 7/8th chinos, 1 pr white jeans, black midi jersey dress, black long-line camisole, black long-sleeve top, grey printed sleeveless top, taupe cardi, Birkenstocks, snakeskin flatties.
Ouch, that analysis hurts!

The (Painful) Aftermath Analysis

Things I bought in Copenhagen.  Khaki loose top.  Cream loose top.  2 stripey tops.  Plus the Birkenstocks, not in picture.

Things I wore just once (so needn't have packed).

What I definitely shouldn't have packed

Things I didn't wear (so definitely shouldn't have packed!).  And this is when it becomes truly embarrassing!

In my defence I realise that the three dresses I took were excessive.  But this was because I got rather side-tracked just before packing, having read an article about holidaying with dresses only.  I didn't have time to experiment with the living-in-dresses-for-8-days approach and I am not a risk-taker, so I bunged in the dresses in addition to all the separates.  OK, a pretty flimsy defence, so let's move on.

I've just made a list of the items I didn't wear.  I don't want to publish it. The truth hurts.  So, suffice to say that 20+ superfluous items travelled with me.
Kinda like my Suitcase of Shame, eh?

Going forward?

Again in my defence, I think my issues were two-fold (at least!).
1) is that I evidently packed for a much longer holiday!
2) is that I tend to pack to keep my options open.

But these pseudo-defences do not stand up, as
1) on holiday clothes can be washed so the number of days on holiday is irrelevant, and
2) multi-options are unnecessary - I am more imaginative and wear what I want on holiday (exhibit A, "swimsuit").

Let's move on.  Because rather refreshingly for me, I did have a PEM (a packing-eureka-moment) whilst on holiday - my approach in future should be to decide before the holiday what I really enjoy wearing (bearing in mind temperature and what I will be doing at the destination).  Then pack what I really enjoy wearing.  Alternatively, just pack the Capsule Wardrobe, see  bundle 1 above, m'lord.

And with that, I rest my suitcase.

Please tell me that you overpack too!
Please tell me that my packing for the week was perfectly reasonable, perhaps even capsule ...
Please tell me my defence as above would stand up with the Suitcase Police and m'lord.
Please tell me that I am learning and benefiting from my analyses over the years!
Please, please, please ...

If not, I hope this analysis helps you when packing your next holiday suitcase!

A la perchoine.


  1. Long time lurker - not one to comment often. Your trip sounded lovely and I also like to have options although not everything gets worn. Unfortunately for me, as a resident of rural western U.S. Most of my "trips" are to see my grown up kids and grandkids. I also enjoy seeing the estates and gardens vicariously - maybe someday for real.

  2. It's so great to hear from you, Rhonda. Rural western US sounds so attractive, especially to a girl from a small island!
    As you will have seen from my posts, most of my trips away are family-related too. Whilst here, I love visiting National Trust properties so, rest-assured, there will be more pics coming your way!!!
    Wishing you many happy holidays ahead, with your lovely family and mooching around wherever the holiday takes you!

  3. I have yet to find out on this trip. Today I've been in a swimsuit and lounging around nightdress at different points of the day. I brought shorts and t-shirts that will mix and match and relying on washing. It's evening clothes I may have overdone. I'm picture taking so I can know what to pack another time.
    I was reassured at the airport when I saw other people's luggage. We've got one large suitcase each. Some had 2 each!

  4. Hi Anna, thanks for popping in. I see you're having lofty adventures in the Canaries already! I am well jel about spending your days in shorts, how I wish I had the knees for them! I too overdo the posh pack, though I'm learning. We're ending our 3.5 week holiday tonight, travelling with one check in and two carryons and I still believe I could have managed the entire trip with the capsule wardrobe I identified in the post. You and I seem to travel positively light!
    Please keep posting your adventures from the Canaries - have fun!

  5. Just found your blog so working my way through some recent posts.
    Sorry but I tend to pack light - :-) I do two weeks in Europe with a 20" case and a tote bag and anything less than 5 days means I use a 17" case.
    But - I learned the hard way - believe me. After one horrendous experience trying to get onto my plane in Prestwick I swore from then on that - If Couldn't carry it - I didn't need it.
    Luckily I've always been good at mixing and matching clothes and I love to use accessories to change things up.
    Was the post about travelling with dresses only from "The Vivienne Files"? I love that blog and I've found it really helpful for both day to day wardrobe purchases and how to pack for various types of travel.

  6. Great to hear from you, Margie. I am so impressed by your disciplined approach to packing. I do love your maxim and next time I travel I will remember your words - if I can't carry it, I don't need it. Love it!
    At your maxim's core must be the confidence of successful mix and matching. Do you test it all out beforehand or do you just know instinctively that you're packing right? Either way, I'm impressed!
    I do love the blogs from lovely Janice of The Vivienne Files too. But no, the dresses thing came from, where a super lady called Jane's writes a daily post on OOTDs. Please pop in to her blog. She's going on holiday soon so I will be looking to see what goes in her suitcase!
    Thanks for popping by, Margie, hope you are enjoying my mix and matching of posts!