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Let the Packing Begin!

T-minus 40 days until I depart for Florence… but who’s counting? While I am excited to spend 7 months in Italy (and hopefully longer if one of my grants comes through), I am a bit overwhelmed by the thought of packing for such a long trip. To make matters more difficult, unlike Florida, Italy actually has seasons (not just hot and hotter). I seriously don’t know where to begin!

So I have taken to the all-knowing Pinterest for some ideas and inspiration. I am definitely intrigued by the capsule wardrobe trend (my favorite concepts here and here), but I am a little weary of having such a limited and neutral wardrobe for such a long period of time. While I admire women who only need 33 neutral wardrobe pieces (including shoes and bags!), that is just not me. While I have tried capsule-like challenges in the past, I am by no means a minimalist dresser! And to be honest, 30 pieces for 30 days is far less challenging than 30 pieces for three months.

What I do like about the capsule wardrobe is the principle that you select only the items you love and everything can be mixed and matched. With that in mind, my plan is to create three capsules, one for each season (winter, spring, and summer). I’m hoping to limit each capsule to 35-37 pieces (30-33 just feels too small for all of the unknown weather conditions I might face). Now there will definitely have to be some overlap between the seasons, but I think this plan will help me build cohesive and seasonal appropriate capsule wardrobes… well that’s the goal anyway.

Each seasonal capsule wardrobe will include tops, bottoms, and dresses. Not included will be my pjs, workout wear, lounge wear, undergarments, scarves, hats, and (this is where my capsule plan is much less minimalist) shoes and coats. I know shoes are typically included in capsule wardrobes, but I honestly can’t bring that many to begin with, and I have carefully selected a shoe wardrobe that focuses on comfort and practicality (so necessary on cobblestone!). I am also making allowances for coats, since when traveling, wearing the same coat gets really old in every. single. photo.

With my comprehensive exams finished (and passed!!!!) I have a little break before final exam grading begins. I am dedicating this weekend to photographing every item I want to pack. While that might seem like a lot of work, I think taking the time to photograph each item will allow me to see the versatility of each piece and better plan what’s worth bringing and what isn’t. I will also get a better idea of how many items I need to include in each capsule. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to fit in shoes and coats after all.

Don’t worry, I will be sharing each capsule wardrobe as I create them!
Have you tried capsule wardrobes? Any words of wisdom?