My trip is still 5 months away but one night, it suddenly feels critical to decide on what clothes to take.
Online Rick Steves tells me to take only a carry on sized bag, (I would probably still have to check it in, I think, otherwise the toiletries would all get confiscated at customs?). Some sites suggest all dark clothes, others, packing as though you will be sipping vino on Capri in summer, (read white linen caftans and silk scarfs, not hauling a bag on and off buses and trains, through Sicily and Naples in Autumn). A few even get highly technical where the finer theory of capsule wardrobe planning is explained including core pieces, extender pieces and accent colours no less.
I am won over by the simpler suggestions, 4 bottoms, 4 tops, 1 dress, everything goes with everything else, something for hot temperatures, something for cold.
Several hours later, (and several glasses of wine), I have clothes all over the bed. I now have an idea of what is missing and I’ve had a brainwave. I could have a disposable wardrobe!
The idea goes like this: I get my wardrobe at the thrift shop, I take it and I wear it on my travels, wash and wear again, until either I am sick of the items or have bought nice Italian replacement items, then donate them to thrift shops in Italy as I go, (I am assuming their are thrift shops in Italy,…hmmm how amazing could they be, stylie designer Italian thrift shops).
So the following Saturday, in my local hospice charity shop I find some black pants, a grey wool skirt, a red cardi, 2 merino jerseys, 2 t-shirts, 1 black and white striped and one black. After a thorough washing and line dry, and then being left on the line for a couple of days, in they come smelling fresh and sunny and I’m away again, everything out on the bed. There’s lots of trying on and mixing and matching and I decide I’m very clever. Some things look great. I add in a few bits of my own and over the next week or so find the last remaining bits I was missing like scarfs and a warm jacket.
All up I have a 12 piece wardrobe with a ton of variations for $108! Some of it I love so much I am wearing already. (I hope it is all still good to go come October).
A good exercise would be to have a dry run trying to fit everything into a carry on size bag but that’s another wine session.