An expert lesson how not to pack.

Now obviously I'm starting with a whole host of disclaimers as to why I'm so totally and utterly pants at it.  The main one being that for the purposes of this packing occasion, we were heading to the British seaside.  Where, as we all know, one day it could be snowing, the next it could be 21degrees and we all get a sunburnt nose (that'll be today then except it's a sunburnt baldy head in The Husband's case.  Oops) 

I do think it's pretty darn difficult packing for all seasons (when you're not allowed to take a separate car load with your clothes and accessories in).  There is also that voice of dissent (that I clearly ignore) that questions whether there is any reason to really care what you look like when you're just hanging out with the kids.  Well primarily I don't have a whole host of other more casual clothes that I could wear, it takes as long to put on a pair of jeans, top, necklace/scarf and jacket that matches as it does dragging on anything else random and more importantly, I would feel like crud.  And this is my holiday and I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to feel and look like me.  Which I hope is not crud.

My other disclaimer as to why I've made such a dog's dinner of this, is that the holiday was all very last min anyway.  The Husband is moving jobs and after nearly 9 months notice was told he could go a month early.  Hurrah!  But he realistically can't take any proper hols for the first 6 months of the new job and so the week between jobs was all he could take.  (yes those school summer holidays are looking mighty long already...)  School were great about it.  Marvellous.  Booked.  And then on the Tuesday night of last week unfortunately his lovely. lovely granny (at the grand old age of 99!) passed away.  In Ireland.  Which meant that of course the funeral was in a matter of days and so the poor chap and his four sisters had to fly to Ireland on Friday morning, leaving me to pack, load and unload the car, drive here and spend the first 3 days on my own with the kids.  Which was interesting, considering we've only just finished the Easter holidays where they were at home 24/7.  Dear.  God.  To say I have a new found respect for single parents is a complete understatement.  There should be shrines where we can worship you at.  Hats off to you all.

So packing was a rather frantic, throw it all in, kind of an affair.  

Actually thinking about it - I've underestimated myself slightly.  If we were discussing packing for a 2 week, maybe even a month holiday, I would be applauding myself from the rooftops.  Unfortunately I am here for a week.

Here is a pic of the guilty offering.  I should probably have "Never knowingly underpacked" on my gravestone. 


Actually there is method in my madness. 

I always start with how I think the weather is going to be (I never EVER get it right - who could have predicted 22 degrees for tomorrow. Doh)  But it's better to be too hot than too cold.  Nothing more miserable than wandering along the beach getting frostbite on your exposed areas.

I'd anticipated perhaps warm, more likely slightly chilly but hopefully not too hot or too cold.

And everything has to be wearable with something else that I've bought.  There clearly is no reason for this - lots of people pack "outfits".  I do pack outfits but each outfit has to be able to be worn with at least three other options.  Reason behind this - I have been away so so many times with a suitcase full of specific outfits and either a) I don't feel like wearing them once I get there b) I'm not sure what we're going to exactly be doing and so what's going to be appropriate and c) that blasted weather issue again. 

So everything I take can be worn either with sneakers (check me out - I'm so getting with the programme) or boots (I hadn't anticipated needing sandals - and to be fair it's not "that" hot!) , with a scarf or a necklace (I have to do one or the other - or earrings but I restrict myself to just the two for the sake of packing.  Be impressed with my restraint - I didn't have room for earrings.) and with or without a jacket.  I stick to trousers - but do have a variety of options - what we do on hols is much more trouser appropriate even if I were to be a super skirty sort of person. 

As you can see from above pic - complete overkill.  But it all does fit into one bag, we drive and so why the chuffing hell not?

Here's what I've bought - all of which is interchangeable depending on what I feel like wearing, the weather and what we're doing. 

9 thin longsleeved tops and blouses
  • 3 bretons (one blue one maroon one grey)
  • 2 neutral fine knit longsleeved tops
  • Navy sweatshirt
  • Yellow floral blouse
  • Blue and red floral blouse
  • Silk printed tunic
2 oversized tops - one linen, one silk.
5 thin strap neutral vests
1 short sleeved jersey white tee

3 jackets 
  • cream quilted biker jacket
  • floral quilted biker jacket
  • navy blazer 
6 scarfs
  • grey jersey
  • royal blue jersey
  • leopard print scarf
  • off white, black and red linen
  • fabulous finches in owl brown
  • apricot with neutal tassels 
6 pairs of trousers
  • Boyfriend jeans
  • straight leg jeans 
  • distressed skinny jeans 
  • white skinny jeans 
  • pear drop skinny jeans
  • grey jersey harems
5 pairs of shoes 
  • gold ankle boots
  • gold leather sneakers
  • dove grey leather sneakers
  • black peep toe sandal shoe boots
  • gunmetal hi tops
 5 necklaces
  • 2 statement bib style necklaces
  • 1 long statement pendant necklace
  • 1 gold bee necklace
  • 1 gold pine cones necklace 
  • 1 gold leaf short necklace on black chain

1 grey cross body leather handbag. 

Yes it sounds complete overkill. (which should officially read as Is overkill)  But there probably will only be a couple of tops I don't wear.   And some of the scarves as we've been so lucky with the weather (otherwise, I would have worn all of these and would have been beyond grateful for them, ditto the boots) 

And finally, for me the most important thing that I buy every holiday (there may be some new purchases that I've snuck in for this week apart from the last min sneaker buys.....) is new perfume.  For me, the best thing for evoking memories is a scent which reminds me of a specific holiday.  Sometimes it's not always new new, it may be one I haven't worn for years, but I always time the purchase of a new perfume with a holiday. 

This time, I chose one that's been around for ages and I've meant to buy but never got round to - Jo Malone French Lime Blossom.  I will honestly say that it's been years since I have loved a fragrance this much.  It was a total treat to myself and I don't regret it for a minute.  The kids love it, The Husband loves it, it's just perfect.  A light, not overly sweet or pungent floral fragrance.  I won't even attempt to go into any more detail as I am no beauty expert, but suffice to say this is one I shall be buying again and again.  I can't recommend it highly enough.  A modern floral that manages to have a classical edge.

So rounding up with what I've been sporting the last couple of days - all from the above pile clearly!


Wine and off white breton - Massimo Dutti
Grey jersey harems - Toast
Cream quilted biker jacket - Zara
Off white, black and red embroidered linen scarf - Zara (a cheeky new purchase) 
Grey cross body Cherelle bag - Whisltes
Gun metal grey Virgin hi tops - Ash

Right, now the below is an example of how I'm a moron (and negates all my vaguely good points that I said above.  Cretin that I am).  I don't love this outfit.  But it sometimes take seeing something in print to realise that it's not a good idea.  The jeans and the blouse together are just way too twee for my personal liking.  This would have been a boatload better had I paired it with either the grey and off white striped top and the pear drop jeans (and grey jersey scarf) or the blouse and faded jeans (either straight or skinny - both of which of course I have here.  Duh). I also think it would perhaps work better as is with the gold boots but we went on a very long walk and then crabbing and gold boots would have been a bad idea) 



Floral blouse - Forever 21
Pear drop skinny jeans - Boden
Cream quilted jacket - Zara
Dove grey leather sneakers - Gap
Apricot tassel scarf - Mint Velvet
Grey cross body Cherelle bag - Whistles 

Much much happier with this outfit today.  


Navy and white breton - H&M
Straight legs rolled up - Zara
Navy blazer - Zara
Pegasus necklace - Stella & Dot
Gold leather sneakers - Gap
Cross body grey Cherelle bag - Whistles 

An alteration of the outfit for later in the day when I took the kids down to the beach.  Removed jacket and added sweatshirt and scarf.  And flask of hot coffee as it had gone from being balmy to rather chilly.   


Outfit as above but jacket changed for 

Navy sweatshirt - Zara
Royal blue jersey scarf - & Other Stories 

Clearly you wouldn't know it was on the chilly side from this outtake pic where I've been photobombed by my 6 year old.  Yes, that tiny white swimsuit clad skinny figure in the background.  This was taken at 6pm and it wasn't remotely as warm as it looks (to be fair I don't even think it looks that warm!) 


So a different one from me today which has probably been about as useful as a chocolate teapot.  But I had been asked and am more than happy to share my ineptitude at any given moment. 

Working on some more dress blogs - the sun has been a start reminder that I am on a mission to free my legs this summer. 

Hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine, we are having an absolute ball - family now all present and correct (my liver on the other hand.....) 

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28 comentarios:

  1. Great photos, and looks like a glorious place. Love the Whistles bag.

    1. thank you love! I have to say I am beyond beyond chuffed with the bag. Perfect size, really robust, great size, ideal length (and adjustable) for cross body and the colour is lovely. I may well devote a whole blog to it actually as Im trying to justify buying it in the black as well! It is the most stunning place - my favourite place on earth if I'm honest (bar home!) xx

  2. I do the same Kat, I once packed specific outfits for each day, the when I got there I hated them all and it nearly ruined the holiday! Now I just bung as much as I can in and pic and mix, throwing in a few pairs of shoes that go with most things. I never bring heels on holidays so that usually helps free up some space. Love the last outfit, very chic, between you, Sue and Marlene all I want to wear this weekend is bf jeans a T, blazer and simple shoes! Enjoy the rest of your hols! Xxx

    1. Have to say BF jeans, blazer and a tee is my utterly fave outfit at the mo. And yes a mix is definitely the way to go (although I'm looking forward to wearing some different shoes!)

  3. Think you've packed really well actually! Enjoy your hols xx

  4. Kat I have found this really useful, I am holidaying in this country, this year for the first time ever!!! And was struggling on what to pack, you inspired me to mix and match and to use your basics well. Love all your looks as usual, the outfit you didn't like looks very yellow on my iPad. You reminded me of a buttercup!!!!

    1. Oh yay! And yes, that yellow outfit is very very errrr yellow. I shan't be repeating. Yellow needs to be done in SMALL doses!

  5. I'm such a crap packer that the great joy of holidaying in the same country is that you can bung soooo much into the car! I think you were positively restrained with your packing. Love the outfits as always ... only you could manage to look that chic at a country farm lol!

    1. Aha, but you must remember that I have an 8 yyr old who takes nearly as much as I do so there is actually limited room in the car....... I love the farm outfit, v pleased with it actually!

  6. Thank you for helping me decide on my own clothing and packing dilemmas. I'm off to Centre Parcs with the hubby and my two little girls next week and was dithering over what to take etc. All sorted now thanks to you! I think you did really well - I could go waaay overboard quite easily whilst you were relatively restrained :) Enjoy the rest of your break x Mum22Girls

    1. Oh thank you! Have a great time away xxxx

  7. Where are you in the uk then? Its still cold here at 11 to 13 max.

    1. We're in Suffolk. It was scorching for most of the week - hovering around the 20s. The Husband has the sunburnt head to prove it!

  8. This is so not overkill - you only took 1 bag (albeit gorgeous!) - and no heavy overcoat (in fact come to think of it, I've hardly ever seen you in a heavy coat - your world and mine (Manchester) are clearly very different climes! I was back in a black wool hooded coat yesterday to go to work - ridiculous.
    Have a lovely holiday - will definitely take note for my hols in July in west coast of Ireland where the weather will also be v. unpredictable. May have to look into the sneakers, although at 5ft 3, I loathe not wearing a heel!

    1. HA! I've blogged before about my non wearing of big coats - the only one I have is my parka which is warm enough for all occasions. If I need warmer than that, then I will not be going outside! I am also a huge huge layer fan so tend to get warmth from that as opposed to a large coat. Sneakers - why not try a slight wedge? There are oodles of them around now and they're fab if you like the sneaker look but need a bit of height. x

  9. Blimey if I had packed like you my OH would be dancing a jig at how little I'd packed.

    First unbreakable rule of any holiday of ours is how heavy my suitcase is - even when we go skiing I have the heaviest case - and I don't ski, so no boots, helmet etc!

    1. Have to say everything did pack up very small. And to be fair, if I go away for a weekend or a month, I tend to pack the same amount!

  10. Did you holiday in the UK to avoid excess baggage charges lol?

    1. but of course!! (I have actually had excess baggage weight for going to Spain for 4 days. The shame) xx

  11. I'm pretty rubbish at "streamlining" but I am good at cramming it all in :o) so that's my justification. I also have smallish feet so can fit more shoes in - I can do about six to the hubs 2 pairs so if I can, why shouldn't I?

    And you're right - why can't you be you when you're on hols?

    1. I love it - small feet = small shoes = more shoes! Genius!!! xxx

  12. I'm super impressed that you only took 1 bag that went with all of your outfits! You should defo give yourself a pat on the back for that! :) Did you only take 1 set of undies?! ;) Lol! I think you did good & you look amazing as always! Andrea x

    1. noooooo! I took 7 sets of undies! And thank you xxxx

  13. Kat where is your bag in the top pic from (the polka dot one)? Thanks :) ps you may have said and I've just missed it!

    1. No I haven't said actually - it's Cath Kidston - a sort of travel bag on wheels. Very very useful (and I did buy in the sale!!)

  14. Ha! I'e packed more for 2 nights away with friends! And still managed to shop on the way (floral blazer don't mind if I do...).

    1. To be fair, if i'm going away for 2 nights, I would probably take the same amount. And god yes, if there is a shopping opportunity, I DEFINITELY take it!!