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How Many Clothing Items Do You Need?

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  • BWeaves
    For one month in Europe, which included cold and hot weather, I brought:

    1 pair of stretchy knit pants, mostly for travel days.
    1 pair pants.
    1 Macabi skirt (which got worn the most)
    1 long sleeve wool T shirt
    2 short sleeve wool T shirts
    1 lightweight wool shawl that doubled as a scarf
    1 pair of tights, in case it was really cold.
    3 pairs of socks
    2 bras
    4 pairs of undies
    A hooded rain jacket, also good for layering on cold days.
    One pair dressy, COMFORTABLE ankle boots that look good with everything, and are worn, not packed.

    So, I'd count 8 non-underwear items that are just regular clothes for a 30 day trip.

    Oddly enough, I'd bring the exact same items for a 3-day weekend trip.

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  • flitcraft
    This is a real "it depends" question. Am I doing professional stuff as well as touristing? Am I going to be seen by the same people repeatedly in a professional context? Is my fun-time going to be urban walking or serious hiking? Am I staying long enough in one place to be comfortable sink-washing more than just socks and undies? Is it going to be hot and humid, cold and rainy, or some combo of weather?

    For a nearly month-long trip I took a few weeks ago to Wuhan China, then to Copenhagen, and then to Birmingham, England, I needed warm weather professional clothes for 5 lectures and two workshops with partly-overlapping audiences--so a dark blazer and pants and four professional-looking blouses did for that. Another three loose, short sleeved casual blouses finished the China stuff. For Copenhagen and Birmingham, the weather was likely to be chilly and damp, so I added a jacket that packs into its pocket, two long-sleeved silk-knit tops that could be worn by themselves or with the loose blouses over them, and another blazer. Adding shoes, pajamas, a sunhat for China and a warm hat for Europe, and assorted socks and undies and I made it with my Western Flyer and Imago. If it had been much colder, though, I would likely have wanted a bit more warm clothing for the trip.

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  • Traveltech
    This is the kind of thread I love!

    I packed 16 on my recent 3 week safari, which seemed like a lot. But doing the calculation, 21 (days) * 2 (outfits daily) * 3 (pieces) / 4 (days worn between washings) I should have had 32 so I guess I did alright!

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  • ClicketySnap
    I had to go take a quick look at my generic “travel packing list”

    Counting only outer garments, layers (cardigans or blazers), and sleepwear, I usually average 14-16 items of clothing for any trip over 5 days.

    This formula for packing is a really neat way to limit yourself and make you ask “do I really need to take this”. I like it!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  • AlaskaGirl
    Originally posted by ThomGault View Post
    No undergarments, socks, or footwear? Wild! But I travel with shoes and keep my A45. ;-)
    Lol! Of course, but "Vivienne" doesn't include undergarments in her calculations. Oddly, she does include sleep wear in her packing lists, but I have not seen any undergarments.

    For my tally, I'm only counting items of clothing. Undergarments are assumed, as is footwear. Lol. Your comment really struck my funny bone! Thanks for making me laugh! elisa

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  • G42
    On a macro level, it depends on the time of year/weather/events and access to laundry...
    For trips of one week or less, I don't plan on laundry and bring what I need. For more than a week, I plan on laundry every 3rd or 4th day, so I'm bringing about 4-5 days of clothes. I generally air dry my clothes, so I usually plan on one overlap day of drying, even with quick dry materials.

    My work trips (which usually means I'm going to a factory) require safety boots and shirts with no buttons (metal snaps/zips only), so I have specific DriWeave polo shirts that I use for work. The boots are the bulky part. I can wear them during travel, but prefer to pack them and wear sandals or sneakers/loafers, depending on the weather, it's simply more comfortable. Packing those boots means single-bag travel is too uncomfortable/annoying for me to bother with.

    With all that being said, in addition to the clothing I'm wearing, I generally bring:

    -one extra pair of pants (I don't wear skirts/dresses/leggings, I find them uncomfortable & not they're not permitted if I'm working in a factory anyway)
    -4 shirts
    -7 pairs or so of undies (these really don't take much room, I'd rather have extra - remember what Mom always said)
    -1 bra
    -one pair thin nylon long workout pants & workout T-shirt (heather grey, can be worn for other uses)
    -1 or 2 pr calf height merino socks if I'm in a factory wearing work boots
    -1 pr ankle/quarter height merino socks (depends on if I have the other socks and if I travel in shoes or sandals)
    -work boots or sneakers or sandals in addition to what I'm wearing (depends on trip)
    -1 sleep shirt & shorts

    So, that's basically 21ish items, unless the trip is only a day or two (which I never seem to take... all my trips seem to be 5+ days).
    I usually carry an under packed A30 in addition to an S19 or Pilot for the electronics.

    If I'm going someplace cold, I add a fleece and/or down vest, maybe an actual jacket.

    I've been traveling this way for decades.
    Right now I live in casual California, work in engineering, and personally don't care much about fashion... All my clothes mix and match with only a very few exceptions and they are all easy to clean. So I'm rather boring from a sartorial standpoint but inoffensive and efficient

    ETA: I do have an A45, mostly because I just wanted one... so far I've used it for a trip where I brought some camping gear along to Hawaii and for my annual xcountry trip to MA for the holidays where I'm just bringing random extra stuff for family

    ETA: If we're not counting undergarments, then it drops to 10
    Last edited by G42; 11-24-2019, 10:18 AM.

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  • ThomGault
    Originally posted by AlaskaGirl View Post
    there is an article called "How Many Pieces of Clothing Do You Need? TOTAL Clothing Items is 11.2. Most of my travel outfits have four items: a shirt, a skirt or skort, a pair of tights, and a scarf. I've been able to use 12 items of clothing, including 4 scarves, to make over 50 outfits. At this rate I'll never be able to justify getting an Aeronaut45.
    No undergarments, socks, or footwear? Wild! But I travel with shoes and keep my A45. ;-)
    Last edited by ThomGault; 11-24-2019, 08:46 AM.

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  • AlaskaGirl
    started a topic How Many Clothing Items Do You Need?

    How Many Clothing Items Do You Need?

    Over at The Vivienne Files, there is an article called "How Many Pieces of Clothing Do You Need?" Here's the link:
    The question I’m asked the most often: How many pieces of clothing do I need to have in my wardrobe? Nothing like a simple question to keep me thinking! But I’ve figured out, finally, that if you can answer four questions (two easy, two more difficult), I can tell you EXACTLY how many pieces should […]

    The method she developed can be used for any length of time. I tried it for a trip where I'm able to dress mostly casual and not changing for evening.

    The numbers:
    Length of trip: 14 days
    Outfits per day: 1
    Items per outfit: 4
    Wears per item: 5

    The calculation:
    14 x 1 x 4 divided by 5 = 11.2

    TOTAL Clothing Items is 11.2

    I've recorded my outfits daily for just over a year. According to the Stylebook app, most of my travel outfits have four items: a shirt, a skirt or skort, a pair of tights, and a scarf. Only two outfits had three items because I didn't wear a scarf. A couple of my trips were in November, so several outfits had five items when I added a silk base layer top.

    Here is what clothing I logged on my last three trips.
    New England for 3 weeks: 9 items
    Reno for 14 days: 17 items
    New England for 3 weeks: 18 items

    I've been playing with the packing list feature in the Stylebook app. I've been able to use 12 items of clothing, including 4 scarves, to make over 50 outfits. At this rate I'll never be able to justify getting an Aeronaut45.

    I'm curious how many clothing items everyone typically travels with versus what this calculation suggests. Please share your numbers with us. Thanks! elisa