My clothing plan worked! Aside from having to get used to wearing the same six tops every week for weeks on end, with minor variations accomplished through layering and scarves, it’s been virtually flawless.
- two short-sleeved T-shirts
- two long-sleeved knit tops
- two heavier cotton turtlenecks
- two sweaters
- three toppers (for layering): a quilted vest, a light drapey sweater, a wool cardigan
- three pairs of nice jeans: one black, two dark blue
- one skirt and tights, for dressier occasions
- three cotton scarves
- two coats: an anorak with a fleece pullover for outdoor activities and a long, dressier raincoat
- three pair of shoes: walking/hiking shoes, dressier-but-comfortable flats, waterproof Wellies
When we first arrived in Scotland in August, I wore the short- and long-sleeved tops, and put on the toppers as required in the evenings or on a chilly, overcast day. Occasionally (in the Highlands or on Skye) I would need a turtleneck. Note: Never hike in a turtleneck, no matter how chilly you are going out; you are sure to overheat. Use more layers instead.
By the beginning of October I was ready to drop the short-sleeved T’s, unless wearing them under the wool cardigan. The turtlenecks were becoming more of a staple, and the lighter of my two sweaters was introduced.
This week I brought out the skirt, as we were meeting friends for lunch on Sunday, and the second sweater. It felt so good to have something “new” to wear, especially at this stage of the game! And the tights were perfect – everyone in the UK is wearing them, even with summer dresses in August.
The scarves were brilliant too. They go with T-shirts as well as sweaters. Some days you just need to feel a little dressed up, even if you’re hiking in the morning, and they’re much easier to pack than necklaces. Less liability too. Even though they’re light cotton, they add a lot of warmth around the head or neck. Long scarves can be wrapped around multiple times for extra layers.
And get this: I got by with only one pair of earrings for three months! They’re my standard silver earrings that go with everything.
I almost didn’t bring the third pair of jeans, and I’m so glad I did. It’s nice to have one pair of black and one pair of blue to wear alternately during the week, and to have the third pair as a clean backup to wear while doing laundry or when another pair gets muddy on a hike. Note: Always wear a pair of blue jeans when hiking so you don’t get your only black pair dirty.
Most importantly, choose colors wisely when packing so there’s more opportunity to mix and match. When I started pulling clothes from the closet to pack, I noticed a pattern – purple, olive, and black – so I let that guide me in selecting everything else.
And take clothes you love so there’s less risk of wanting to burn them when you get home. ;o)