10 Weeks: What To Pack?

One of the more difficult aspects of this trip has been the question of what to take with me.  I want to pack as lightly as possible, for ease of travel on the plane as well as the ground, plus I want room to take souvenirs back with me.  Yet, I’m going to be gone for 10 weeks, so I’ll need enough clothes to see me through (and I don’t want to be unfashionable in Italy so I can’t just take anything).  I’ve been searching through a number of travel blogs trying to figure out what I’ll need to take.  What I took away from all that reading was:

  • Dress modestly — in particular, getting into the churches is difficult if you are wearing anything either too casual (shorts and flip flops) or revealing (shoulders and arms exposed, too short of a skirt).
  • Jeans, flip flops, and shorts are not nearly as ubiquitous as in the U.S.
  • Don’t bother trying to dress as well as the Italians — it simply can’t be done.
  • La bella figura “the beautiful figure” is the Italian philosophy for presentation of oneself.
  • Skirts, dresses, and slacks are preferable to jeans (in general, looking “feminine” seemed to be key).
  • Heels are more fashionable but not at all practical if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking.

So what did I pack?  I present to you now:

Evolution of a Suitcase

(1) Totally Empty.

(2) Layer 1: 2 towels, 1 swimsuit, 5 dresses, 3 skirts, 1 slip.

(3) Layer 2: well, actually, this layer had to be taken out and redone

(after discarding half of the clothes to save space) but it’s a pretty cute picture nonetheless.

(4) Layer 2: 1 pair gauchos, 1 pair jeans, 6 jackets/coverups, 1 hoodie, 11 camisoles/undershirts, 1 pair leggings, 2 scarves, 5 pairs socks, 1 set pajamas.

(5) Layer 3: 9 shirts, 2 belts, 1 pair sweatpants, 2 bras, 17 pairs underwear, 2 pairs pantyhose, 1 pair sandals, 1 pair flats, 1 pair undershorts (essential for skirt/dress wearing because they prevent thigh chafing).

(6) Layer 4: toiletries, 1 pair tennis shoes, 1 pair flat boots, 1 comfy but fashionable sweater.

(7) Did it all fit?  It did.  And it only weighed in at 36.2 lbs.!

(8) And here is my outfit for travel.  I decided against jeans (not nearly as comfortable as slacks). I’ll also be sporting my Jason Wu trench coat and my carry-on (I’ll be packing that tomorrow).

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3 thoughts on “10 Weeks: What To Pack?

  1. I hate the moment of packing up and I try to delay it as much as I can. It’s nice to see you finally got your suitcase done!

    You’re right, don’t even bother trying to look good, they will look 10x better, specially if you’re going to the north of Italy. Milan, basically, where models walk down the street 24/7. The only bad thing of the city haha

    • Haha — I definitely don’t expect to look as good as the Italians, I just want to avoid looking like the usual tourist, especially since I’ll be living in Florence for 10 weeks. 🙂

      I don’t think I could pull off looking like an Italian model even if I had the money to wear their clothes — too short! 😛

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