Kendi and The Giant Suitcase

posted on: 5/26/2010

I apologize for the lack of posts over the past few weeks. I have been a traveling machine. In less than two weeks I went from one coast to the other and while racking up my frequent flyer miles, I have come to a realization. I, Kendi Lea Everyday, am a terrible packer.

This week I'm in Orlando for a marketing convention. That's an easy task, right? Wrong. The minute I pull out my suitcase I immediately forget how to dress well. It's like a vacuum that sucks out all creativity and originality and all I end up with are tops and bottoms. It's literally like I closed my eyes pulled out 5 tops and 5 bottoms and threw them into my suitcase. Case in point:

5.26.10topbottom


Sure I look fine for a convention. A little wrinkly but cute enough, right? But that's not the point. This outfit is just not me. I would have never gone into my closet and put this outfit on. This feels like the "first year out of college Kendi" who relied on pencil skirts and cardigans to cover up a body she wasn't comfortable with yet. Honestly, I just feel bored. This is what packing 41 lbs of my life into a suitcase results in: complete boredom. (At least a cute belt got thrown in.)

Yes, I've always had this problem, if you were wondering. I've never been able to pack well. Even when I say to myself "I'm going to pack well" it doesn't happen. Just like you can't think yourself thin, I can't think myself into packing well. I look in my suitcase and feel like someone else packed for me. Someone I don't know and someone who certainly doesn't know me. And someone who didn't know that Florida had sun and beaches and that packing a pair of shorts would have been a very appropriate choice as would have a dress and a pair of flip-flops. Who is this girl who packed for me? She needs to be fired.

All that to say, I'll be back on Friday with an outfit post. Till then I'll be sitting out by the pool in a pair of jeans and a sweater.

53 comments:

  1. You're so right, work travel does suck the life out of creativity! n Hang in there!

    http://ciupabiksemad.blogspot.com/

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  2. i feel ur packing pain.... i sit on my bed... for hours.... staring, and wondering. Like i have never dressed myself before.

    HA! xo, Kim www.crowded-closet.com

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  3. Kendi, I too am a terrible packer- and even then it's a task that takes me forever. I'm just not comfortable leaving my closet behind...because I won't know my mood, the weather, the activity in advance...I pack an abreviated 40lbs version of EVERYTHING I could possibly need or want into a suitcase with wheels for a weekend (when my fiance brings a bookbag)- and somehow I still forget a crucial piece to an outfit..

    http://maritimeshopaholic.blogspot.com

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  4. You're too hard on yourself. If I saw you, I'd think you had a very cute outfit on!
    But I do hate to pack, too. I always overpack and end up not liking anything or thinking," oh, I should packed THAT!" Glad to know the packing problem isn't only me!

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  5. I totally agree with you. When I pack for a biz trip, I seem to grab the safest and most boring pieces from my closet and throw them into a suitcase. And then when I get on-site, I'm "surprised" that I can't put together a cute outfit to save my life.

    If you ever find a solution to this affliction, I'd love to know it. :o)

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  6. I've become a terrible packer. I'm going to blame this on my long distance relationship. I resent packing. I resent the fact that I literally haven't unpacked since graduation college 3 years ago. I'm at the point where I just throw everything into my bags, many many bags, and end up overpacking beyond imagination. Overpacking the wrong things of course and I end up wearing one shirt the whole weekend because nothing is appropriate.
    Now, with the start of blogging I have to pack outfits for the weekend and then am basically stuck to whatever my resentful self packed on a Thursday night.

    Basically I feel your pain! Now go get some sun!
    www.morganandlua.blogspot.com

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  7. Love this outfit, Kendi!!!! Gahhh, I have so much catching up to do, I'm just back from a vacay and you have not disappointed with your many adorable posts! They are always SO much fun to read, I love how you write and your cute outfit pics.

    xoxo,
    Sandy

    udbo.blogspot.com

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  8. Well, I think the outfit is pretty cute for a throw-in (the suitcase). I've started packing outfits that are repeats (so I know they work) with a few different accessories or shoes. That has taken the pressure off of packing for me.

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  9. woof it happens to me too! i just got back from a trip where i wore jeans and a tee shirt every day.
    but actually, it's kind of a nice break from panicking in front of my closet in the morning.
    xo missed you!

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  10. Oh, I'm so bad at packing that I've started limiting myself to 2 colors: black and white.

    Then I bring the craziest accessories I own (sequined suspenders? Check!), huge earrings, the same 3 pairs of shoes, and hope for the best. Seriously, it's a crap shoot.

    Tamia
    TheStyleSample

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  11. I generally pack my whole closet in my suitcase, then end up wearing only a couple of things the whole trip. I have this huge phobia that I'm going to run out of underwear, too, and pack basically every single pair I have (which is a lot) so that I won't. I'm just a mess when I travel.

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  12. I actually love that outfit! If it makes you feel better, I lay out all my outfits as outfits before I pack them, so I know they'll be cute. Then every time, I forget the "non-outfit" items. Like pajamas, bathing suits, underwear, socks. Having bad outfits is a better problem than no socks and only boots, or no bathing suit on a beach vacay. :)

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  13. So, would now be a silly time to ask advice on what to pack for my first trip to Boston next week???

    :) You look adorable.

    <3 KP
    http://fashionmommaintraining.blogspot.com

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  14. I have this problem too. It's like I can't look into my future and see any of the outfits I would put together. I just throw lots of shit into a bag and suffer later. haha :)

    flnw.blogspot.com

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  15. I do that too! It's like without a whole closet of options, I can't make anything look right!

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  16. I have the same problem!!
    But cute sweater!!

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  17. you are not alone in this problem! when i went on a road trip last summer i realized what an AWFUL packer i am! i felt not myself at all and honestly deleted most of the travel pictures with me in them because i did not like how i looked! it's something i have to improve on!

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  18. I totally relate to this...I am the worst packer ever. The whole time I'm on vacation, instead of feeling fabulous, I end up feeling self-conscious about the un-me outfits I'm wearing. Grr...

    http://406olivia.blogspot.com

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  19. I know what you mean. It's so nice/helpful to have all your options hanging there for you to see and browse.

    The outfit is still lovely though. Simple and classic. And classy!

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  20. I usually just pack repeats of outfits that I know I love to avoid the packing frenzy. I'll usually throw in an extra dress and top just to be safe.

    Sometimes I'll get all technical and specifically make myself try on different outfits and pack the ones I like.

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  21. Ugh, I have the same packing malady. Isn't there a support group for people like us?

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  22. i live in Orlando - not sure if you have time for a blogger meet up but let me know :)

    http://workyourcloset.blogspot.com

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  23. I am a horrible packer. If only I had Sabrina the Teenage Witch's powers. She just points at herself to change her outfit. Yes, please.

    Melanie@Unravelled Threads

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  24. i used to have this problem almost everyday.

    having something similar to a capsule wardrobe really helps.

    I mostly have a lot of neutral bottoms and layers (like tanks or sweaters). and then graphic neutral, or psuedo-neutral tops.
    throw in a handful of dresses and some belts and i can basically close my eyes and pick out a decent outfit.

    i'm also really adamant about only keeping things i absolutely love. If i'm tired of something i get rid of it, and i do my best to not buy anything i'm not 100 percent sure of.

    so it all boils down to packing being a breeze... even if my wardrobe wasn't small enough to fit most in a suit case.

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  25. I always check the weather on the city I'm going to, there are a few good sites about it.
    And in your case, you can always check your own blog to choose great outfits to bring with you! ;)

    Eveline

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  26. Always read but have never commented on your blog. Just wanted to say Welcome to Orlando! I hope you enjoy your stay in Central FL!

    What marketing convention are you at and how did I miss this? Seeing how I manage an ad agency you'd think we'd know about this....

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  27. Outfit issues aside (although I think yours is cute), I need to find a job where I can take trips to Orlando and lay by a pool in the downtime! :)

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  28. When I go to pack I aways have an image in my head of some glamourous jetsetter. Then I try to pack and end up with crazy, hideous outfits. WAY worse that your example (Not to dimiss your discomfort - I see what you mean r.e. not being "you" but really it's not that bad...). Last week, in Nappa, I ended up wearing a pink cardigan, white tank with black cropped pants and white leather sneakers (first off; ew. And boring. but it gets worse...). Unfortunately the cross-body bag I took was the exact same color of pink as the cardi. Boy, I felt like a dweeb in that! The matchy-matchy was sickening! I'm still cringing. Bleh. Meanwhile my best friend with me on the trip looked like a total doll. Argh.

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  29. Haha I had to laugh while reading all these comments, this is so true! I try so hard to pack, making outfits and grabbing accessories and I STILL end up sitting infront of my suitcase thinking "WHERE IS THAT GREY SHIRT!!" and panicking that there is nothing to wear. I even have nightmares about this happening (yes, it is a nightmare)

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  30. Only VERY recently have I discovered that I must try on each and every outfit before packing. Otherwise? I am you at a marketing convention.

    For the record, you still look darling.

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  31. I understand your pain! I'm awful at packing, but my problem is that I'm spastic with packing... and I don't know what to "cut out" of the packing list! And then I still end up wearing the same t-shirt and jeans every day. Thank goodness for sweaters... :o
    However, you still look cute! :D YAY!
    -Aly

    (P.S. Do you still want blogs to read? Even if they're not fashion-related? xD)

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  32. This is cute outfit, but I hear you about how frustrating packing can be. I don't try stuff on the way Sal recommends, but I wish I did, because when I travel, I end up hating what I bring. Why do I pack heels for conferences in walkable cities? Why did I pack my most wrinkly jacket? How come those pants are pissing me off on purpose.
    You can always buy a cheap cotton dress and flip flops. Shopping in another town doesn't count.

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  33. I'm a flight attendant, so people automatically assume I am a master packer. My boyfriend has watched me pack for a trip and can attest to the fact that I kind of suck at it.

    Being a person who does not plan outfits in advance (it's more a process of adding & subtracting items until I'm happy) I think the idea of knowing what I want to wear for 17 hours in Philadelphia & 15 hours in Fargo (and sometimes only having 2 hours to decide!) is just too overwhelming, so I do the same thing of packing tops & bottoms & then I don't feel like myself.

    I have taken to leaving a pair or flip-flops & a sundress packed in my suitcase at all times because the one time I got rescheduled to fly to Honolulu, I had absolutely nothing in that suitcase that could be worn to go sit on the beach and I had to spend about 1 million dollars on those flip flops & that sundress.

    So, I feel your pain. And that cardigan is wicked cute.

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  34. That is a cute outfit, but I understand what you mean about feeling not quite right in travel outfits. I wish I was the sort of person who could gracefully select a half-dozen items and mix and match them infinitely - but I'm not. I rely on the depth and breadth of my entire wardrobe to create outfits, and I feel a bit lost if confined to a carry-on bag.

    I make obsessive lists during the packing process, lay out everything on my bed and play mix-and-match, and pack things in cubes to minimize wrinkling and make small things easier to find. Putting together a capsule wardrobe for a trip is, however, a skill I'm still working on. I'm starting to like the "pack light, then buy clothing while you're away" philosophy, at least for some trips.

    Hope the rest of your travels go well!

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  35. The only thing that works for me, like Sal said, I go day by day and put together outfits for every single day. I even do underwair, etc. It takes a lot of time but otherwise I end up with a suitcase full of unwearable things. Love your blog!

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  36. i do this same thing! even when i get all thoughtful and put outfits on before hand, they always turn out to be the wrong thing! this happened to me last weekend. ugh.

    i think there should be a manual that comes with the suitcase or something.

    i usually end up shopping while i'm there and buying a bunch of stuff i won't wear AT HOME. it's so annoying.

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  37. a tip from one travely texan to another: the day before you leave, before you do all your oh-no-i'm-leaving-tomorrow-and-i-need-to-wash-underwear! laundry, check the weather and then plan outfits out on the floor, accessories and all. and you'll wind up doing a mini version of the thing you did in april; you'll figure out you need two pencil skirts, two cardigans, three belts, a silk shirt, a striped shirt, a denim shirt, three pairs of shoes and you're done for a week.

    miracle of miracles! and roll everything; you'll fit more in the suitcase, mama. be well!

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  38. Oh. My. God. It's like you read my mind. I'm sitting here getting ready to pack for vacation and staring into my vast closet that is suddenly full of "nothing to wear." How do I get dressed every morning, but then can't figure out what to put in a suitcase?? It's good to know I'm not alone. I plan to wait until the very last minute and then stuff as much as I can into a suitcase and hope for the best....

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  39. I have the same problem with packing!!

    I think the problem is that I work better under pressure. Some girls can sit and plan out an entire week of outfits ahead of time, and nail em!! I function much better waking up and picking something out on the spot... when I have T minus 5 minutes to dress.

    Packing makes me try to plan ahead... where's the creativity in that?

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  40. I think you look great, but I hear ya: packing is a challenge! Being in a long distance relationship for the past year has been roughhhh. Weekends with the boyfriend are usually some of my favorite time to dress up (especially as he takes great photos), but planning for them has taken a lot of trial and error packing. Admittedly, since I drive there I usually have the "luxury" of just overpackin' a duffel to the brim so I at least have plenty of options. Still, sometimes I'll be a day into the trip and realize I somehow packed several skirts/tops...but none that really go together. WHOOPS. Having your closet at hand is so much better.

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  41. Yep, I totally hear you. I used to live in Europe and would frequently go on weekend trips or backpacking trips--even with my frequent travel, my packing never really improved. I would pack too heavy, and still not have what I needed. Then I would cut, to get a lighter pack, and bring all the wrong things. I've pretty much done it all, from bringing my long-johns and a ski coat to southern Italy in the summer, to not packing warm enough layers to a trip to Eastern Europe over winter. It sucks, and despite promising every time that "this will be the time! I will pack the perfect items and keep it super light!"...it never happens. :P

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  42. *giggle*

    "ill then I'll be sitting out by the pool in a pair of jeans and a sweater."

    :D

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  43. I'm a terrible packer, as well.
    It's just too hard to imagine everything that I want to wear and then when I get to my destination I'm missing one vital piece of every outfit that I want to wear because I just threw some things into a suitcase thinking "ohhh, this will be fine"

    Good luck to you & your suitcase outfits!

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  44. We all find packing hard! For what it's worth, I think you look really cute!

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  45. I have, through great trial and many an error, learned to pack well. Here's how I get started: I write down a list of each day of my trip and what I will be doing. I check the weather for where I will be.

    Then I pick an outfit for each day, or sometimes two if there is a special activity like jet-skiing or church. I write down EVERYTHING I will need, including underwear, jewelry, etc. I usually go with tried-and-true outfits. (Or what’s clean.)

    I keep a master packing list as a Word doc on my computer so I don't forget PJs or my passport. I can go in and narrow it down to what I need, print it out, and check everything off. I got mine from realsimple.com, but there are lots of travel sites you can go to for a list.

    I also keep a toiletries bag and quart-size Ziploc filled with minis of all my stuff. That way I just throw in my contacts and I know that everything is less than three ounces.

    This system works better for very short trips or car travel because you can end up with a lot of clothes when you do a separate outfit for each day over a long trip. If I need to keep my suitcase lighter, I just plan on wearing each outfit twice and I pack an extra belt or necklace to change things up a bit.

    The most important rule that I never, ever break when packing? Do not pack more than three pairs of shoes, no matter how long the trip is. Once I started limiting myself to three pairs of shoes, everything fell into place.

    Packing now takes a some thinking, but I can do it in less than an hour and still arrive at my destination with everything I want and need 95% of the time. In fact, I’m packing for the weekend tonight when I get home from work at five and we’re leaving at six!

    So not to sound like a know-it-all or anything, but I hope this helps all of ya’ll travelers!

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  46. I've got my packing down to a science! I'm a little OCD about things like this, so I have an Excel spreadsheet template that I put together. One sheet has all the essential items I'll need with a little checkbox to make sure I've packed it. Another sheet is where I list all the clothes, shoes and accessories I'm packing. The last is like a little calendar for all of the days I'll be away, and it has cells where I can input the weather, where we'll be going, and what outfit(s) I'll wear. I know it sounds like a lot, but honestly I put it together once a few years ago and I've been reusing it every since. I also save a new version for each vacation, so if I'm going to a similar climate everything's all done. Oh yeah, did I mention I haven't checked a bag in over 3 years. My most impressive accomplishment was 10-days in Europe (3 countries) with just 2 carry-ons!

    www.closetconfections.com

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  47. The problem I have with packing is that everything looks great when I put it in the suitcase. But when it's time to get dressed, I am not in the mood to wear what I packed or it's just not right for some reason. I have been known to go buy something to wear while traveling. Tell me that's not sick!
    I lived in Florida, there is always a shop down the street where you can get some beach wear.....

    http://toosoonerlatethanbetter1.blogspot.com/

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  48. I suck at packing too. High five.

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  49. You may be interested in this post on Jezebel (a generally really great site)

    http://jezebel.com/5549301/dress-code-how-to-pack-for-your-vacation?skyline=true&s=i

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  50. I just did a post on packing yesterday! Its your lucky day, laaaaady! http://www.anerdlikeme.com/archives/859

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