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Packing doesn’t have to be done in a panic. For a well packed bag is truly a thing of beauty, ensuring that each piece from your wardrobe is given (almost) as much care as it is at home. To help you save time, space and peace of mind, here are our top tips for preparing for your next trip.
Bag it up
Now, we men are often accused of trying to pack as little as possible while others can’t help but go overboard (guilty as charged). Your choice of bag does away with this issue, setting both the minimum and maximum amount of clothing you need to take before you’ve even pulled a pair of socks from the drawer.
As our Cobbler-in-Chief always says “to do something properly, you need the right tools for the job.” The same logic applies to your luggage. For a weekend break, choose a holdall; a cabin sized case for a short business trip; and a full size suitcase when off on your holidays. Whatever the type of bag, you want it to be snugly packed, not half full or bursting at the seams (just keep an eye on the weight in case of any airline fines).
Plan your looks
Before you start cramming it all in, lay out all the clothes you plan to take. Now ask yourself do I really need that pair of bright trousers? Thought not. This process requires you to be clinical, stripping away any unnecessary garments so that you have space for the things you really need (plus any additions to your wardrobe you discover on your travels).
Look to see that you have key outfits for each occasion. This really depends on the type of trip, for example when going away on business it’s highly unlikely you’ll be sporting a pair shorts (if so, we want to work your office). For a more casual break, packing a blazer, jacket, shirts, t-shirts, trousers and jeans should cover all the bases.
Interchangeability also gets more out of your travel wardrobe, so check that everything coordinates. A blazer that can be worn day to night, smart casual knitwear and trousers that match with your shirts will provide a different look each day. We find this also gives you a bit more freedom to dress how you feel that morning.
In the fold
While no one’s expecting you to master the art of origami, a few simple tricks to folding your clothes properly not only saves on space but also ensures everything stays looking fresh.
Shirts, t-shirts and jumpers can all be neatly stowed away by laying the piece front side down on a flat surface, then bring the arms and shoulders slightly across the back before folding them down, flip the cuffs upwards and finish by folding the whole shirt in half so that the collars are nice and neat.
Another tip is to iron your shirts before you pack - you may need to quickly change when you arrive and plus it will save hassle later on leaving you to enjoy some down time. Ties and belts meanwhile should not be folded but instead rolled to prevent unwelcome creases.
If you’re anything like us, you will be quite precious about your footwear (and not to mention spoilt for choice). Once you’ve managed to whittle down which pairs to take, roll up the socks you are packing and stuff them into your shoes. It may sound simply like another way to free up some extra room in your bag, but this ingenious technique also acts as a temporary shoe tree to help maintain the shape of your shoes.
Next place your shoes in a fabric bag to protect them from marks and scuffs. Any cobbler of repute will supply their footwear with such an accessory, but if you happen to have misplaced yours then a soft cotton tote bag can work just as well.
Some holdall bags have a specially designed compartment to prevent your beloved shoes from being crushed, however, when packing a trolley suitcase put your shoes in first between the runners laid out top and tail. For an overnight bag or traditional suitcase, place them at either so that the bag isn’t off balance when being carried.
Now that your shoes are sorted, you can start to put the missing pieces of the puzzle in place. Pack heavier pieces such as your knitwear and jackets to the bottom in between and on top of your carefully positioned footwear. Your jeans and trousers should come next, with each pair folded neatly over one another to make use of all available space, followed by your sweatshirts, t-shirts and underwear.
It may seem obvious but the more delicate items such as your shirts should always be placed to the top of the bag. Having spent all that time ironing and folding, you don’t want to open your case to find a creased collar.
Forget me nots
When you’re away from home, the essentials become even more essential. Alongside the usual last minute checks - passport, money, travel adapters, etc. - here are a few choice pieces of advice on those easily forgettable unforgettables:
As a rule of thumb, always pack a few extra pairs of underwear and socks than you think you’ll need. No arguments.
Toiletries should be stowed in a wash bag. After all, accidents happen and no one wants to open their case to find their perfectly pressed wardrobe covered in moisturiser. Opting for travel sized versions of your favourite lotions and potions is also a smart idea, especially if you plan to take your wash bag in your hand luggage.
We’ve all got off the plane to find that our bag has magically disappeared on route. If you’re off on a longer trip that requires checking in your baggage at the airport, pack a change of outfit into a cabin size bag just in case. This should include your aforementioned wash bag plus an extra pair of shoes.
To keep your shoes pristine, try our travel shoe care case. Designed to fit snugly in your suitcase, this shoe polish set has everything you need for a quick tune up.
Oh, and one last word of advice, bring an umbrella….because you never know.
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