How many outfits do you really need to take on any trip? After all, you can only wear one at a time!
Since we’ll be teaching during our upcoming stay in China, I’ll need a working wardrobe as well as casual clothes but I won’t pack a top that can’t be dressed up with dress pants or a skirt or down with jeans or capris. In addition, nothing will go into the suitcase unless it can coordinate with several other items so that just a few pieces produce many different looks.
Unlike in Japan where Richard was required to wear a dress shirt and tie to school every day, we’ve been told to dress for the classroom the same as we did in Canada. Our orientation booklet does say that we should dress conservatively, however, so I’ll stick with neutral colours for dress pants and skirts. A pop of colour can always be added with a brighter top or a scarf.
Layering is also key to travelling light. Whether you’re packing for a destination with warm days and cooler nights or expecting a seasonal change such as we’ll experience in China, layers are the way to go. A sleeveless top over a cami and worn with a cardigan will keep me warm in late February when Dalian’s average temperature is around 0°C (32° F). I’ll wear the same top on its own when daytime highs reach the mid twenties in May and June.
Without question, the most versatile piece in my suitcase will be my Jockey Person to Person black modal cardigan.I have yet to figure out all the different ways that it can be worn! Click here to watch a short video that shows just a few of them. And here are a couple of my favourite looks.
So, what will I pack for approximately 4 and a half months in China? The list will probably be refined a bit between now and packing day but here’s what it looks like right now:
- 3 pairs of dress pants
- 2 pairs of jeans
- 2 pairs of capris
- 2 or 3 skirts
- 2 camis
- 2 button up shirts
- 1 long sleeved tunic top
- 3 long sleeved tees
- 2 short sleeved tees
- 3 or 4 sleeveless tops
- 2 cardigans
- 1 fleece hoodie
- 1 pashmina
Throw in socks, underwear, pjs, and a couple of belts and scarves, as well as assorted accessories and I’m almost ready to go. I never travel anywhere without a swimsuit and, of course, I’ll need shoes! I’m seriously thinking about only taking three pairs; a good pair of walking/hiking shoes that I’ll wear on the plane, a pair of black flats and a fairly dressy pair of sandals that are also comfortable to walk in. I’d love to take more and I will if there’s space but I survived childhood with only one pair of shoes at a time so really, anything more than that is luxury, isn’t it?
I’ll also be packing a light spring jacket; one that works well in wind or rain since we’ll be living on the coast. I’ll wear a wool coat on the flight over but when we return in July, I’ll have to try to squash that into one of our suitcases. I’d look a little funny wearing it in the height of summer!
In the meantime, before I start the big packing job, there’s one more trip we must make. Our mountain has moved! Richard picked up our completed medical forms this morning and on Monday we’ll be heading for Calgary to apply for our visas. When we drive, all my careful packing tips go out the window and we usually end up taking way more than we need. This time, I must remember to pack our skates as we’ve promised to take our grandchildren, Drew and Jami-Lee, skating in Bowness Park if the weather cooperates.