Friday, October 7, 2011

Traveling With Vintage by Gail Carriger (AKA How We Roll)

I travel. A lot. This is torture on a clothes horse like me who wants to take everything and plan for every possible contingency, not to mention a shoe lover.

 I'm pretty proud of my packing abilities. That said, it is really hard to travel with hats. (I shell one into the other, stuff the inside with delicates to help hold shape then wrap the whole thing in a shoe bag.)  I tend to pair as much as possible down for longer hauls. This is why I am always so excited when a convention is within driving distance.

This Germany trip is really testing me ~ 10 days including both work and vacation? Eeek! I've managed to only bring two work dresses and companion accessories to mix and match. I hope to have lots of pictures to show you how I ended up wearing them in order to get five looks.

But what I really wanted to post about is one very simple thing, how to pack by rolling. This is the best way to travel with vintage gowns, and often, if I am careful and do it really really well, I don't even have to iron at the other end.

Tips for rolling:
1. Start with the largest and most wrinkle-able items on the outside. In my case, dresses.
2. Stack clothing from biggest to smallest, ending with knitwear/t-shirts at the center.
3. Put bulkiest parts lined up at the roll-starting end.
4. You can roll around items like a corset, or jewelry roll case, to help hold shape
5. Roll carefully and slowly, smoothing as you go from top to bottom
6. Tye with a scarf

I use a polyester Toulouse-Lautrec print scarf that also works really well for tying up my hair for beach/pool/bathing. I will do a blog on different ways to tye a scarf in the future. This scarf also has the right color combinations to go with almost any outfit. Because of the type of material it also does not wrinkle. Wrapping a scarf around the outside also has the benefit of protecting the clothing from travel related stains and other accidents. Particularly inherent if the clothing is in your carry on along with food (now necessary for any plane journey).

When I'm working and vacationing I separate into two rolls, one with the easy fun clothes and the other with the event clothing. That way I only unpack half my suitcase at a time. When I am vacationing in only one spot and have no vintage items I am prone to using the shell method of packing. Since it isn't modular, for me, it only works when I am going somewhere and then unpacking entirely for a single stay.  Also it can get heavy fast.

Save Packing Space by Folding Your Socks Like an Army Ranger

Some dresses will always wrinkle. Heavy satin, for example. I know that I will always have to iron this dress  .  .  .

Tips for choosing outfits for over a week:
1. Stick with neutral basics both in color and fabric for your main outfits (I take a lot of grey and black)
2. One always needs more tops than bottoms
3. Make certain all tops go with all bottoms, one never knows what will get dirty
4. Think in terms of layering, particularly if the weather is likely to be changeable
5. Scarves add color and pack small (they also double as blankets, hats, purse decoration, belts, and wrist decoration if needed)
6. Take statement accessories, they jazz up any outfit and pack small
7. Pack extra sox and undies in your carry on, in case the airline looses your luggage
8. Keep an eye on the things you end up not wearing, for next time
9. Take a slip instead of a nightgown = double duty
10. Put effort into finding the perfect tote and the perfect cross body travel purse (I've, so far, failed at both of these)
11. Cashmere sweaters are an investment but they are warm, light weight, and pack small

Consider buying jewelry or scarves instead of larger object souvenirs while on your trip, something you can wear to remember your vacation. Not logo t-shirts, please, just a small token. I find this put very unique pieces into my collection but also keeps my amount of useless junk down to a minimum. I also try to bring food back for friends and family, not objects for the same reason.

Fashion week survival tips. 


  1. Brilliant! Like usual! (I've even rolled the whole family's vacation-ware just for plain old camping trips to save space and travel "lighter" with 3 kids!)

    GREAT efficiency, Darling! I especially LOVE the idea of buying wearable mementos! Simply BRILLIANT!

  2. Heh, I'm the queen of over packing. Especially shirts and underwear.

    I couldn't do the slip as a nightgown thing. I move around a lot in my sleep so anything sleeveless bunches in the pits. I have to have real sleeves on my nighties.

    The roll thing reminds me of a story mom told me when I was a kid. One of her friends had spent some time out in California and bought a bunch of cutlery type knives. She had rolled them all up in a dirty griddle. The day she left she forgot the knives were in there and put the griddle in her carry on. Security was quite surprised when they x-rayed her carry on.

  3. You are a packing goddess. And I have shoe envy. Hardcore. The green ones caused me to die a little inside. XD


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