Like most European cities, Brussels is infused with the old and new. There are chic neighborhoods with modern brands like Prada, Rolex, and Longchamp, but nestled between cobblestone streets just wide enough for one small Fiat and castles from a previous century. You’re not really sure what will be staring back at you with each corner you turn. Is that is the definition of an identity crisis or a melting pot? Either way, it makes for one beautiful city.
I’m leaving for Italy in three short days. Where did all the time go? It’s time to face the music and start planning logistics: calling banks, making copies of the passport, buying toileries, and the most dreaded task of all, packing.
How does one with an absolute affinity for clothing fit four months — that’s two seasons — worth of attire into ONE suitcase? We’re packing for both winter AND spring. Not to mention that those clothes will also be sharing space with shoes, towels, sheets, toiletries, jackets, and personal items. I’m even exhausted just listing what I need to pack.
The study abroad office offered us practical tips to make this process a little less stressful. Take a look at their “suggested list of items to pack” for one semester:
Yes, you did read that right. They suggest you switch off between TWO blouses and TWO shirts for FOUR STRAIGHT MONTHS! I know the whole “pack lightly” thing is words of wisdom
and a foreign concept, but that number just seems a little ridiculous. Who’s to say that you won’t spill or unable to head over to the laundromat on time or I don’t know, just get sick of that one shirt you’ve been wearing for four months.
So, I tried to find a nice compromise between the study abroad’s version of packing, and my
unhealthy tendency to overpack, and surprisingly discovered a happy medium. Normally, I would rationalize that everything in my closet was necessary, throw it all in the suitcase without even thinking of how they would go together, and call it a day. This time, I selected a set amount of pieces and tried to mix-and-match to see how many different outfits it could create. Smartest decision ever. Learn new things every day. (;
JKFACEE tackles “packing lightly. | Here’s what happened:
One maxi dress + One flannel + One blazer + Two scarves + Three necklaces + Four shirts + Four sweaters +Five bottoms = 50+ outfits!
(hey, i know it still sounds like a lot but “packing lightly” is subjective. don’t judge.)
Below are the pieces I choice to include for this challenge and trip.
And these are some quick ensembles that can be created out of those pieces:
Mix and matching different pieces — plus swapping in jewelry — really change both the entire feel and look of an outfit. Expand your closet and minimize your spending by playing around with different items you already own, and challenge yourself to coordinate them in a completely new way that you’ve never thought of. Be adventurous and bold. Play with unique color combos, textures, throw in a scarf, or add an extra layer. You’ll be surprised to see how much more clothing you own; and in my case, the concept of living out of a suitcase for four months will be much easier to swallow.