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How To Pack: The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Guide

Perfectly Packed Jun 11, 2015

How To Pack The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Guide

That carry on life.

As time goes on, I continue to reassess how much you actually need when you’re travelling. My recent ten day trip to Greece saw me take only carry on luggage, quite funny given that I was the fashion blogger amongst a range of different media personalities – most of which had 2 checked bags! But with 7 flights and 3 ferries in less than 10 days, I knew an adaptable wardrobe in a carry on bag was the best option. And man was I glad I did that!

To celebrate the release of a gorgeous new range of silk styles from Grana (check it out, there’s sooo many lovely new styles and colours!), and the fact that many of you are probably planning your summer holiday packing lists, I’ve created a formula for packing light. I based it on the fact that when packing you should try to pick essential and wearable pieces so you have lots of choice – which is exactly the type of pieces you’ll find over at Grana.


The perfect holiday wardrobe is simple, adaptable and streamlined, and these Grana silks are perfect. Because nothing looks as good as carry on luggage feels… Right?


The guide is pretty simple and laid out in the diagram, but here’s a bit more detail for you. Obviously when planning your suitcase these rules still apply (so make sure to think about culture, climate and colours), but the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 formula is a natural progression on from this for this of you who, like me, like to be mobile.

How To: Pack The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Guide 

5 Tops

Choose 5 flexible and adaptable tops which go with all the other pieces you’re taking with you. A couple of silk camis (or perhaps shell styles or a silk tee if you prefer to be a little more covered) are the perfect foundation for a huge number of amazing outfits.  These five include outerwear (which is fine for your summer holiday), so chose a piece that will get you onto the plane and through any chilly evenings in style.

4 bottoms

Throw in 4 bottoms including shorts, skirts and jeans (the spread will depend where you’re going). Make sure to go with complimentary fabrics and colours – I love a soft pair of silk shorts that can be worn to the beach or with a heel for a more evening look.

3 Dresses / Rompers 

Dresses and rompers are the easiest pieces to throw on, although they do limit your mixing and matching options, so stick with a maximum of three of these. For these pieces, you’ll want to make sure they suit the colour palette of your accessories like your bags and shoes, as that’s all you’ll be wearing them with.

3 Pairs of Shoes

Shoes are where a lot of us become unstuck when it comes to packing, but the trick is to pick very, very wearable shoes that go with everything you’ve packed. When travelling you’ll want to opt for more flats than heels, sometimes I don’t even bother with heels at all and just take an extra pair of more dressy flats.

2 Bags

For bags, you’re going to want a large bag that will act as your travel one (backpack or tote is good) when you’re on the plane or wander the markets, and have another smaller one for evenings and when you don’t want to carry too much. Pick these in two different shades, and match each with a pair of your shoes.

2 Bikinis

If you’re heading on a summer holiday you’re going to want at least two bikinis (but not too many more than that), so that you have choice when one set is wet.

1 Hat, Watch and Sunnies

Stick with one of each accessory, . I take a couple of pairs of sunglasses, but in reality only ever wear one or two so try to limit those – it’s less to lose!


For underwear, socks and jewellery, feel free to throw in as much as you can manage, squeeze them into your shoes the other gaps in your luggage!

Read on to see my 5,4,3,2,1 packing guide IRL, including some examples of how you could style your carry on wardrobe. And if you have any thoughts about his guide or tips please do share!


Items in the diagram, top to bottom left to right: Grana silk camis, Grana silk shell top, Topshop denim jacket, Grana silk shorts, Topshop shorts, Club Monaco Lace Dress, Madewell romper, Topshop gladiator flats, Topshop sneakers, J Crew Heels, Topshop Bikini, Marysia one piece, J Crew Bag, Celine bag, Daniel Wellington Watch, Karen Walker sunglasses.

Happy Travels!

Images by Stephanie Teng. This post is in collaboration with Grana

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