What to wear/pack....Part 2

Old Oct 10th, 2005, 05:20 AM
  #41  
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Size definitely matters. I'm 5'6" and currently a U.S. size 4. So it's definitely a bit easier for me.

But my husband is 6', and has particularly wide shoulders and long arms (long enough that I can't buy his shirts in a regular store, but have to order them from Lands End) and he also manages to pack in carry-on luggage only, even for week and longer trips to Europe, even in cold weather, trips involving both business and leisure.

Tips for men:

1. Have your dress shirts (assuming you need them for either work or taking your lovely wife out to some really posh place for dinner) pressed and folded and stored in plastic sleeves. They'll be much easier to pack and won't wrinkle (except for the wrinkles introduced by the laundry, which don't show under a jacket or sweater).

2. Don't pack either your topcoat or your blazer/sport jacket. Instead wear them (or carry them if you're flying from a warm location, as we Atlantans often are). Since you've bothered to take them in the first place it's presumably cold enough at your destination that you'll appreciate having them available immediately.

3. Like the women, pick an "anchor" color and stick to it. If you don't know how to do this get help. My husband doesn't mind asking me for help on this issue, and if he can do it any guy can, believe me.

4. Choose plain (rather than patterned) V-neck sweaters rather than crewneck: they're easier to layer under jackets and coats and look nicer. Cashmere's just as great for men as it is for women warmth and bulk-wise, but non-bulky merino wool also works nicely. Very compressible.

5. Undershirts work beautifully, adding a layer of warmth and keeping your shirts wearable an extra day.

I'm actually surprised that other posters find it more difficult to pack for cold weather than warm: I go through clothes much more quickly in warm weather, and can't take advantage of layering, so I find it easier to pack for cold weather.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 07:00 AM
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Therese, Thanks for confirming that your fabulous wardrobe really does fit into a carry-on case. You're got a great packing strategy, thanks for the helpful post. Yours in traveling light... s.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 07:07 AM
  #43  
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Okay, I've practiced packed again for my husband and have managed to squeeze it in a 21." (Clothing for 8 nights in France.) My DH is 6' tall, 190 lbs, rather average. But, boy, is men's underwear (including T shirts and socks) bulky! No microfiber stuff for him.

My question, and I'd like opinions, please:

Can my husband wear a nice leather coat as his "dinner" jacket (with a tie) in nice restaurants? It's cut like a blazer. This would serve double duty.

It's not imperative that we only pack to carry on. But my poor DH was dismayed at having to bring a 26" that we normally use for ski holidays.

My feeling is that we should bring the 26" and use the free space to carry our treasures home. DH, being a non-shopper, doesn't want the opportunity to fill up a half-empty suitcase!!
 
Old Oct 10th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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Therese, I've never been in Europe when it's bitter cold before. What do you think about a pair of yoga pants for Germany in late October? Without long underwears? Bad idea?
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 09:10 AM
  #45  
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Yoga pants, tiaw? You mean stretchy soft pants that you'd normally wear for yoga? They should be just fine temp-wise (Germany in late October should be having fine autumn weather), but I'm not sure they'd be my first choice for touring. I'll barely wear yoga pants to the grocery store, and only then really hope I don't run into anybody I know (though of course I do, every time).
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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the ones I have are very nice. They actually look like nice business pants. So I thought they would make a great travel pants.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 09:20 AM
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I agree, aggiemom, men's underwear is an absolute pain in the butt (well, not really, of course, otherwise they'd choose another style...). My husband requires a certain brand of knit cotton boxers, nothing else will do. Though I may try and switch him to microfiber somewhere down the road---he's liked the microfiber casual shirts that I've gotten for him in the past. Socks also too bulky.

But it still works, I just have to take those items into account.

As for the leather blazer, I'd have to see it to say for sure, but I'd probably say no to wearing it with a tie: too jarring a mix of informal and formal. Unless you're going to very swank places he needn't wear a tie in any case (and the leather jacket can be kept on or taken off as he'd like). And if you're going to places so swank that a tie is required then the leather jacket is not quite right.

Is there a particular reason that he wants to take the leather jacket? Because a tweed sports coat would be a lot more versatile and also nice and warm: dress it down with jeans and a polo shirt, dress it up with wool trousers and a dress shirt and tie (or no tie if it's not all that dressy, and few places are anymore).

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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 09:25 AM
  #48  
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So the yoga pants in question are really only yoga pants because they're stretchy, and so they're fine, and great for travel.

October in Germany will likely be lovely autumn weather. If it turns particularly chilly just run out and pick up a pair of tights or pantyhose to wear underneath.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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In our travels over thousands of years over thousands of kilometers, we have always brought extra clothing with us. Some people trade clothings for other goods in the world. I admonish you to bring something to wrap yourself in, or you might be sari.

Do seek the truth in all your travels and you will never be without, never be overburdened, and will never be alone.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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Re taking the underpacked 26" suitcase to accomodate en route purchases, aggiemom, I'd bring another small bag, either packed empty into another one, or just mostly empty---another small rolling bag would work just fine. Since you're planning to check it for flights it won't hold you up, and if for any reason your husband couldn't handle the large suitcase you'd have no problem handling the smaller pieces by yourself.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 09:53 AM
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Thanks Therese!
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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Therese, I have to commend you on your packing techniques. I pack about the same amount and I have to use a bigger case, maybe a 24". I don't know how you get all of that into a 22"!! You are a size four and I am an eight (or a ten for pure comfort clothes) so I guess those extra inches really make a difference. Maybe I should just cut back on the pasta and chocolate for a while.....
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 10:44 AM
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SeaUrchin, I don't think clothing size will make a difference until one is up around at least a size 14. Remember, my husband isn't certainly isn't a size 4.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 11:11 AM
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Do you compact your clothes in those plastic deflation bags? Or roll them? What am I doing wrong!!!! Can you lead packing classes in your spare time?
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 11:24 AM
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I neither roll nor fold, instead just laying the clothes in the suitcase. Obviously my clothes still need to be folded a bit, but generally no more than once for trousers and once for shirts (with the sleeves then folded in on top of the body).

I don't use any special compression bags (though I might if I were taking bulky sweaters), or even ziploc bags, instead using the suitcase itself to squish everything together at the end. The bags themselves have weight and occupy space, so what's the point?

Be sure to use every last bit of space associated with bulky items like shoes, tucking smaller items into and around them.

I do often use dry cleaner plastic bags to separate clothing items (I cut them into single sheets) and keep them from wrinkling (a trick I learned from my dad, who traveled a lot for his work), but this time I didn't bother to do that for anything but the tailored trousers and blazer.

I never did wear the blazer, by the way---it was too hot in Athens, so I just wore the trousers and one of the black tops.

I also didn't wear two of the tops I'd brought from home, and only wore the skirt and mules once. So I really way overpacked, didn't I?
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 11:25 AM
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Just remembered that there was another top that I never wore, the white rib knit sleeveless that I'd meant to wear under the blazer.

Boy, did I ever overpack. ;-)
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 11:29 AM
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Well, I admire your skills. BTW, you mention your suitcase doesn't zip at the seams, sounds interesting. Is there a curved zipper opening on the top? I have seen these on duffles and I do think that is a good idea, no stress on the seams.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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The main compartment zips closed via a U-shaped flap on the front (the front if it's standing up on its wheels, the top surface if it's lying down to be packed). Not quite so handy as suitcases with the zipper on the seams, where the entire front of the suitcase folds back like a cupboard door, but less prone to breaking under pressure from the contents or to being damaged when the corner of the bag strikes something.

I have a very nice Samsonite carry-on with an expandable section (once expanded it's no longer eligible for carry-on) that I don't use as much as my Eddie Bauer bag precisely because I don't have as much confidence in the construction. It's actually a bit larger, but I still prefer the Eddie Bauer design.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 12:28 PM
  #59  
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Hi Therese

Thanks for the input. I'm still having a tough time, here. DH thought he could wear the leather coat as an outdoor jacket and maybe get away with it as a blazer. But, I gave it a second look this morning and I nixed it. Nice, but not practical if it rains, for example.

I think we'll go with a Ralph Lauren camel hair sport coat. That's probably a little more versatile, as you state. I'll coordinate his slacks with that.

I went out today and bought him a few shirts and a decent pair of comfortable shoes (Rockports). I, too, wish I could switch him to microfiber undies! All that cotton stuff takes up soooo much room.

I like your suggestion of going with a second small rolling bag. I think it's better than a half-filled big one.

Well, I'm off to try another practice pack!

merci,
mom
 
Old Oct 10th, 2005, 12:39 PM
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I think the camel hair coat will work nicely for both warmth and dressiness. Do watch out for the relatively light color, as well as the fact that it's a solid rather than a pattern: a subtle check, or even some texture make the inevitable smudge less noticeable.
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