Guest Room

Six Secrets to Stress-Free Packing

By Charlotte on September 28, 2011 6:34 AM

Bob and I have been housebound most of this year. After months of moving and making over our attic, we're ready to hit the road. We're planning treks to Napa Valley, New York City (to visit our one-and-only-son Cole!) and Gulf Shores, AL soon.

 It'll be great fun ... once I get past packing. (Like many Boomer babes, I have real issues here.) I'll need the giant suitcase that Bob calls "too heavy to steal." It'll take HOURS to choose outfits and jewelry, not to mention shoes! And I'll probably still forget something.


That's why I was excited to hear from wardrobe specialist Carolyn Wang. As a personal stylist, Carolyn offers closet consultations to help women feel comfortable and confident in their clothing choices. And she shared her secrets for packing without pain.



Six Secrets to Stress-Free Packing

By Carolyn Wang


When it comes to packing, there can be some tough decisions to make. But I have a few tips that'll make the job easy, fun and fast ... no matter what the occasion!

Jacket 136.jpg 

Select Smart Separates

When beginning to pack for any trip, I strongly believe in pulling together your key wardrobe staples before selecting any other pieces to put in your suitcase. Whatever your destination, the goal is to always wear everything you pack. A good, multipurpose item is a black blazer. Aside from the sheer versatility black offers, you can instantly change your look from dressy to casual with the help of just a few accessories. Black pants are another great choice because you can dress them up or down.


Choose Travel-Friendly Fabrics

Be mindful of what your clothes are made of and only pack fabrics that travel easily. Three "musts" come to mind: comfortable, washable and wrinkle-free. Look for knit fabrics like 100% acrylic yarn, nylon, polyester and wool. Cotton/poly, cotton/Lycra and rayon blends also work well because they're often made with treatments that help keep your clothes looking just-pressed.


Black 250.jpgSprinkle in Some Color

Don't be afraid of color! Try color-coordinating and laying out outfits before filling your suitcase. I definitely recommend staying with a color family because you never know what you'll feel like wearing at a specific time. You can mix and match easily if you base outfits around one neutral color, such as black or brown...with the most popular being black. Pack a few bottoms that you can repeat; say a jean, black pant and skirt that fit and flatter your figure. Then you'll have more room in your suitcase for adding colorful jackets and tanks.


Repeat the Basics and ACCESSORIZE

With the right key pieces, you can change looks so easily that even your best friend will think you packed more than you really did! A simple black sheath is a must because you can Sheath 355.jpgreinvent it every time you slip it on ... with the help of a few accessories. It can go from dressy to casual, for example, by changing pearls to a chunky, turquoise necklace, pumps to sandals and a silk scarf to a denim jacket. Belt the waist and add fun earrings, a neutral scarf and a killer handbag for yet another trendy look.


Choose your Shoes

It's easy to go overboard when packing shoes; after all, they are a girl's best friend! But my advice is to set a limit of three pairs: everyday, casual and dressy. This way, you'll have all your potential activities covered.


Think Daytime to Date Night

The final key to mastering the art of packing is being able to take your clothes from day to night. A crisp, white button-down shirt is a safe fashion "do" for any occasion. Wear it fitted, closed and tucked into a chic pair of black pants for work then change into jeans for happy hour with the girls. Or forget tucking and leave it open over a natural or colorful shell for a fresh new style.


You can also get some fantastic mileage out of a black, knee-length skirt. Slipping on a skirt is a fast way to appear polished, feminine and fashionable. For work, pair it with a sweater set. Change to a fun, flirty white tee, pearls and pumps and you're party-ready. Want a more casual look? Replace the pumps with flats and add a denim jacket.



Remember to keep it simple, practice repeating and restyling the basics, and use accessories to spice things up. And you'll not only remove the stress of packing, you could just have some fun along the way.



carolynwang 150.jpgCarolyn Wang serves as Senior Merchandising Director for Ming Wang knits, and co-owns Fort Worth's Bridge Boutique. For the past four years, she has worked as a personal stylist offering closet consultations and wardrobe sessions to help women feel comfortable and confident in their clothing choices.


Growing up in Oswego, New York, Carolyn fell in love with fashion and design and began making her own clothing at an early age. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a major in Fashion Design, she began designing for Ming Wang.


In addition to design and styling, Carolyn plays an active role in the fashion community, organizing fashion shows and leading seminars throughout Texas to teach women how to "dress for success" and make trends work for their particular lifestyle.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Red Thong Strong: Girlfriends Little Secrets to Smoothing Lifes Panty Lines
Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

Continue Reading »

Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

Continue Reading »

Follow Us

Follow us on Twitter: @BoomerBrief 

and @CharlotteBoomer

Follow Charlotte on Pinterest:  Follow Me on Pinterest

Follow Bob on Pinterest

Know someone battling cancer? Baylor Health Care System's Sammons Says... cancer blog is a great place to go for help. Here, you'll find information, resources, physicians, support groups and just about everything you need to help you navigate your way through this illness.

Now Trending 

We Like These Sites 

Senior Forums is a great place to get the news and share views on everything from hobbies and healthcare, to food, family & travel. 

Matt Drudge gets the goods and his site ain't bad either.

The Huffington Post is the gold standard of political blogs.

You don't have to live in Dallas to enjoy D Magazine.

More →