If you're like me and packing gives you anxiety, you've come to the right place. If you're also like me and have been known to overpack, you've also come to the right place. My packing process has always started with a very detailed list and ends with several hours of actually putting things in suitcases. I've never been able to streamline my routine and end up second-guessing every outfit I write on my list and basically starting over. Needless to say, I'm always on the hunt for packing hacks that will actually work. While I usually plan to pack the exact amount of pieces I'll need for a trip, I rarely pack things that can be re-worn, and my shoe and accessory count is typically more suitable for a trip that's twice the length.
Becoming a light packer has always seemed like a pipe dream to me, but I recently came across a simple hack that holds the key to actually being a light packer—hence the title of this story. It's as simple as 54321. (Upon further investigation, I found that it's already viral on Pinterest.) Now, if you're a serial over-packer, this might take some getting used to, but it will change the way you pack.
The 54321 packing method means that all you need are five tops, four bottoms, three dresses, three pairs of shoes, two swimsuits, two bags, and one of each of a few miscellaneous accessories. Obviously, the actual items will vary depending on what season it is and where you're going, but the general number of items should remain the same. The key to succeeding at this method is choosing versatile items that can be re-worn and mixed and matched, so I advise choosing your items accordingly.
Keep scrolling for our version of the visual aid and to shop pieces to pack for each category this summer.
Depending on the season, you'll want to pack a T-shirt, an appropriate jacket, a going-out top, a long-sleeve tee, and a cardigan (or another type of versatile sweater).
Re/Done x Hanes 1960s Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt ($75)
Mango Classic Trench with Bows ($120)
Reformation Canopy Top ($128)
Comme Des Garçons Stripe Tee ($156)
Aritzia Elka Cardigan ($110)
For bottoms, keep things simple and pack jeans, a skirt, a pair of pants, and shorts.
J Brand Jules High-Rise Straight-Leg Jeans ($248)
Rails London Print Midi Skirt ($158)
Veronica Beard Martin Pants ($450)
H&M+ Denim Shorts ($35)
As a rule of thumb, plan on packing a casual dress, a versatile slip dress, and something a little fancier.
Everlane The Japanese GoWeave Notch Shirtdress ($100)
Violeta by Mango Floral Print Dress ($100)
Beaufille Palici Dress ($550)
3 Pairs of Shoes
A pair of flats, a pair of sneakers, and a pair of walkable heels should cover all of your travel footwear needs.
By Far Krista Leather Sandals ($405)
Veja V-10 Lace Up Sneakers ($150)
Reformation Belle Flats ($178)
Even in the winter, you should always pack at least one swimsuit. You never know when a heated indoor pool will grace you with its presence.
Leslie Amon Thea Ruched Two-Tone Bandeau Bikini ($235)
Solid & Striped The Nina Belted One Piece ($168)
Do yourself a favor and pack bags that are big enough to hold your essentials and that you can wear either crossbody or as a belt bag (so that your hands can be free to take photos, naturally).
Faithfull the Brand Paloma Shoulder Bag ($119)
Wandler Anna Small Tie-Dyed Leather Belt Bag ($560)
One of Each Relevant Accessory
The last thing you'll want to spend your time doing when traveling is putting on tons of accessories, so don't bring them. Instead, stick to just the essentials.
Ray-Ban Narrow Icons Hexagonal Sunglasses ($168)
Madewell Short-Brimmed Canvas Bucket Hat ($30)
Alighieri Beacon Gold-Plated Pearl Earrings ($285)
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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