Perfect Packing for Fall

Are you flying this autumn? If so, minimize  time and money spent at the airport (and look absolutely fantastic the entire trip) with my advice on what to pack in your carryon bag.

We all possess in our natural coloring a unique set of True Colors. These are the tones found in our eyes, hair, and skin, which make us “pop” and look alive when we wear them. By assembling versatile pieces in a tight palette of these most flattering colors, we not only look fantastic but avoid the risk of overpacking. The best and most versatile travel wardrobe is one created with a trio of these “true colors,” consisting of a neutral or “base,” an “energy” tone, and a “dramatic” color.

To find out which neutral color to pack, look at the ring around your iris. What color do you see? It will be a dark neutral, possibly even black. You might see charcoal, olive, navy, chocolate, or eggplant. Use this base color in various shades for the basic wardrobe pieces for your trip such as skinny jeans, a coat, dress, and heels. Remember that this color is a neutral and while it supports and flatters your coloring, it does not “do” anything such as give your skin a glow or pop your eyes. Therefore, you should add two more colors to your travel wardrobe that will do exactly that.

The second color for your wardrobe should be an “energy” color that pops your eyes. Use the darkest color in your iris. Some candidates for this color include slate, rust, grass, butterscotch, and pine. In brown eyes, it is not always an obvious color, so try putting swatches or clothing items up to your eyes to see colors like marigold, eggplant, and olive appear. Use this “energy” color in a sweater, blouse, and scarf or tie. The color makes you look friendly and approachable and takes little effort to wear.

Finally, to add a bit of pop to your basic wardrobe pieces, employ your “dramatic” color. This color is the greatest contrast to your skin, and therefore the most dramatic. It is found by looking at the veins on the inside of your wrist. This color will no doubt be a version of green, blue, and purple and can range from kelly to emerald, turquoise to periwinkle, and royal to grape. This is the perfect color to employ for your most festive “look at me” attire and great to use in a dress, sweater, or jewelry.

The perfect way to pack a carryon suitcase is to layer your items like a Jenga game tower. If you have a soft case suitcase (which will give you a bit more space), you will find a pair of slats across the bottom dividing the case into three sections. Start your packing by “filling in” these sections with small items such as underwear and socks, creating an even surface across the bottom. Then by alternating the waistband ends, layer your pants. Follow with shirts folded flat around 8½-by-11-inch pieces of card stock, alternating collared ends. Add sweaters on top to cushion the items most likely to wrinkle.

A sample packing list for a woman embarking on a three-day vacation, including the outfit worn on the plane will fit nicely between your carry-on bag and in your personal item. In the “base” color, choose two pairs of casual pants or skinny jeans, a basic coat, a jersey dress, a pair of dressy heels (a metallic is great), a pair of flats or boots, a belt, socks, a pair of tights, and a basic purse. In the “energy” color, bring a patterned scarf (also featuring your “base” color in the pattern), a sweater or blouse (maybe a print with your “energy” and “base” colors in it), and a bracelet. In the “dramatic” color, pack a dressy dress, a sweater, jewelry (including a statement necklace), and a scarf.

For a man, I suggest using the “base” color in two pairs of casual pants, a basic three-quarter-length coat, a blazer (textured or with a subtle pattern), a zip-front, V-neck, or crew-neck sweater, a crew-neck T-shirt, a pair of casual slip-on shoes or boots, a pair of dress loafers, a basic belt, and socks. In the “energy” color, pack a patterned scarf (the best is if it has your “base” color in the pattern, too), a pair of casual pants or corduroys, and a turtleneck or button-front shirt (this could be patterned with your “energy” and “base” colors.) In the “dramatic” color, pack a V-neck or crew-neck sweater and a button-front dress shirt.

Have a fantastic trip!


The Radiance Project

I was thrilled to join Heidi Rose Robbins on her podcast with a chat about Authentic Style, True Colors and empowering the True You to shine forth. Check it out here:

Discover Your True Colors!

To help in the discovery of your True Colors, here is a favorite video of mine on the subject, courtesy of Clevver Style!


Shop Talk: Terms to Know

To assist you in the year-round quest to find the perfect items for your closet, here is your shopping vocabulary list courtesy of How to Win at Shopping!

Brick-and-mortar store: A store that has a physical presence; a traditional store.

Cyber Monday: The online counterpart to Black Friday. Cyber Monday happens the Monday after Thanksgiving, and is an extremely busy day for online shopping.

Final sale: A sale item that cannot be returned or exchanged.

Flash sale: A sale with a high discount for a very limited amount of time.

Layaway: A purchasing method in which the customer can put an item on hold and pay for it in installments over time.

Markdown: The amount of money reduced from the price of an item.

Markup: The amount of money added to the price of an item that covers the retailer’s overhead and profit.

Pop-up store: A store that opens and closes in a short amount of time, from a day to a few weeks or months.

Presale: A sale that occurs before items are available to the public.

Price adjustment: If an item is bought at full price and then goes on sale within a short period of time (typically one to two weeks), the retailer may give the customer a price adjustment, or refund the difference.

Private label: A product for sale under the name of a retailer.

Sample sale: A sale of a designer’s samples that were previously used to show new collections to retail buyers and fashion editors.

Shopworn clothes: Items with wear and tear from being displayed or handled in a store.

SKU: Short for Stock Keeping Unit, the SKU is a store’s product and service identification code. Each style of clothing at every company has its own SKU.

Wedding Season!

Tis the season for weddings, and  to decipher what to wear to them, here are some of my favorite tips from How to Win at Shopping:

-Pay attention to the formality listed on the invitation. Black tie means a formal short or long dress. For men, it means a tuxedo.

-Black tie preferred or optional means a formal dress, cocktail dress, or dressy separates. For men, it means a tuxedo or a dark suit.

-Semiformal means a cocktail dress or dressy separates. For men, a dark suit is appropriate.

-Festive attire means a cocktail dress, dressy separates, or any LBD (little black dress). For men, a jacket and tie will do the trick.

-Most importantly, don’t choose anything that will compete with the bride!