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Zen and the Art of Holiday Packing

July 24th, 2013 by baoli

Not long ago I read the book “Mommy Dressing” by US writer Lois Gould, recounting her experiences growing up in the twenties and thirties with a fiercely determined, fashion designer mother who travelled to Paris twice a year by sea for the collections:

“Drawers and closets were virtually emptied, their flowing, exuberant contents reduced and forced into hiding inside those rapacious trunks, as though a pack of full-blown, fantastic genies had to be stuffed back inside their magic bottles.”

A former over-packer with nothing to wear, and some time inhabitant of some of London’s more bijoux flats, I’ve learned to love functional items: things that fold up when you’re not using them or can be used in a variety of ways. Think director’s chairs, silky macs with their own pouches or display books for your CD collection, for example. And of course multi-functional pieces have additional advantages – saving both time and money.

But as the summer holidays fast approach multi purpose items are all the more useful. Airport baggage restrictions are the bane of many a traveller’s life, not to mention sightseeing lugging a bag containing every conceivable eventuality on your shoulder.

When travelling the much overlooked scarf is probably your best friend: wear it round your neck on the plane, as a sarong on the beach or around your hat on a stroll. The stylish but practical Grace Kelly even famously used an Hermes silk as a sling; and Liberty’s has some scarf tying tutorials over at Liberty TV.

So unless you’ve got a Hollywood sized entourage to carry your cases, getting more creative in your packing and making the most of multi-tasking items makes for clever packing, lighter luggage and more room for all those holiday souvenirs. Bon voyage!

1. Multi-wear Same Sky Hope Necklace. Hand crocheted from hand blown glass beads by women artisans in Kigali, Rwanda, the Hope Necklace is about 38 inches long and can be worn as a single rope, doubled up, as a bracelet or even a belt – as the demonstration on their site attests.

2. Pachacuti Panama’s - summer in a hat. Pachacuti produces Fairtrade Panama hats, some of which can be rolled and stored in a special box, for protection. This feminine style is just screaming for a scarf.

3. Variable Tulle Dress by Czech designer Leeda at Bohemica. Crafted in stretch tulle with a jersey under-dress this piece can be worn five ways and can be worn with long sleeves and artistic draping, or, with a few twists can be deftly turned into a demure short-sleeved shift. Perfect packing – think cocktails or weddings in far flung places.

4. Holistic Silk Massaging Slippers. Perfect for the plane or for padding around sun drenched streets these ballet flats, crafted from silk created using traditional techniques, contain an in-sole which will massage your feet as you walk.

5. Beach Candy Silk Chiffon Scarf. Ethical beachwear brand Beach Candy produce beautiful, fairly made and traditionally printed silk chiffon scarves which can be worn in a variety of ways adding a touch of colour or maybe even transforming your outfit.

6. Figs & Rouge Multi Purpose Lip Balm. Organic and cruelty free Figs & Rouge Multi Purpose Lip Balms are the perfect travel companion. Use on lips, face or body, on especially dry areas, and even - in the case of the Vanilla Orange - to add a touch of shimmer to your lips and cheeks.

About Helen Davis

Helen is a writer and Holistic Colour and Style consultant with a passion for the wellbeing of women and the planet. Her aim is to lead you on a journey of self-discovery: creating an image which reflects the authentic beautiful you inside and out. Combining wardrobe wisdom, goddess-based myth, tales from inspiring women, with ecological and ethical principles, and spirituality she’ll show you how to shine, Adventuress style. To find out more see:

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