Packing Light: Tips that you may not have considered before.

Away Carry On and Brighton Knox Extra Large Nylon Tote

Packing light (carry on only) is hard for many of us. The “what if’s” and “should haves” swirl through our heads. Discipline is really the only way through it.

Obvious tips.

Know your schedule of events. This is key for maintaining the realistic voice in your head. I have yet to need a swimsuit in a city or been invited to a fabulous party on a whim where a black dress was essential.

Know your audience. Few people will notice what you wore yesterday. People are more interested in what you think of them and are not even thinking of your outfit. Looking polished and appropriate is the priority over creativity.

Know your weather. Check the extended forecast of your destination–being comfortable for rain is more important than being cute.

Know your worst case scenario solution. Check your destination for a nearby shopping mall, CVS, or laundry facility.

Pick two or three colors and stick with that color palette only. You need to mix and match. Better yet, go for monochromatic looks and streamline your options.

Pack clothing you actually love. If you are limiting your options, then at least pack the items that give you joy.

Don’t reinvent your style on a trip. If you are jeans person, pack them and skip a the fantasy of what you think you should bring.

Bring a large lightweight cashmere scarf. It is an accessory for warmth, fashion, and a foil to hide stains if they happen. Bring a colorful silk scarf as well, there is always room for a silk scarf to pump up a neutral outfit.

Never pack more than 3 pairs of shoes: one workout shoe if absolutely necessary, one bootie in winter or sandal in summer, and one cool sneaker that can work with a dressier outfit.

Don’t forget a belt if any of your pants need one. It’s not easy to replace on the road.

Use small packing cubes so when you have dirty items they can be separated from the remaining clean ones.

Pack individual toiletries in mini clear containers and use a sharpie to label them. You don’t really need that much product.

Invest in these items that you will use for light travel.

A packable parka for winter or a light jacket that doubles for a rain jacket in warmer months.

Lightest weight athletic sneakers for working out. Leave the heartier ones you use regularly at home.

A lightweight leather or nylon cross body bag that has a detachable strap or fanny pack with minimal hardware that can do double duty as a dressier clutch.

Slim black nylon travel pants that are easy to pack, wash easily, comfortable, and can paired with a finer top for a dressier look if necessary.

A high quality compact umbrella. You do not want to purchase a crappy $5 umbrella during a rainstorm. Hotel umbrellas are usually large and annoying.

A great quilted tote that has plenty of pockets and detachable pouches. If the airline asks you to check your luggage, it can absorb the necessities you may need. An alternative is, a coated canvas tote that has no interior pockets so it will fold up and pack easily if not in use.

Cashmere t shirts are comfortable to wear year round, and they are finer looking than regular cotton ones.

Pack more tops than bottoms, roughly a three to one ratio.

Tips that may you surprise you and/or gross you out.

Swipe deodorant on the inside armpit of your clean workout shirt before you pack it. Once you start sweating during its second wear you will be reassured you didn’t need to pack a second shirt.

Bring micellar water for removing your makeup and it doubles for clothing stain removal.

Use panty liners every day so if you have to re-use underwear for some catastrophic reason, you can rationalize that it’s not that gross.

While dining, use a napkin on your lap and secure another one that you will actually use. Be mindful how you eat. Sit up straight. Your lap and shirt are precious during a light pack, maintain them with care.

Add Art Everywhere

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Stephen Shubel
Ralph Lauren

It is a no brainer to add art to your bedrooms and living rooms. The wall space above a sofa looks barren without it. Too often opportunities for adding art are overlooked– a full bathroom is thought to be too humid, a kitchen too greasy. To this I argue, put less precious pieces in those spaces if you are concerned for their safety or place for optimal ventilation. Whether the space is modern or traditional, it will surely be elevated by a sculpture, photograph or painting.

Questions and Answers about Harrow Style Services.

What are your services?

Style and image assessment consultation in person. A dialogue to reach clarity about your style and how to improve your image through your clothing, accessories, hair and makeup.

Use what you have wardrobe consultation in your home. A visit in your closet to distill what is serving your life and image and how to maximize the clothes you already own in your closet to serve you best. 

Whole closet overhaul including recommendations. A longer visit in your closet, sorting and organizing through what to toss, donate or keep. Figuring out what fits, what needs tailoring, and how to fill in the gaps in your wardrobe with recommendations. 

Personal wardrobe shopping by me delivered to your home. A consultation must precede this appointment.

Personal wardrobe shopping together in store. We meet in store to tackle your shopping needs. 

“Hunting” for a specific item or category. You tell me what you are looking for and I will digitally hunt it down or offer alternatives for you to consider. An example may be you are looking for a suede bootie and don’t know where to start looking.

“Stylecheck”, the ability to text or email an item, outfit or idea to me for a quick response. If you are in a dressing room or are shopping by yourself online, text me what you are looking at and I will give you my opinion or recommendation.

Fees

For most services I charge an hourly rate of $50 with a 2 hour minimum.

For “Stylecheck” and “Hunting” I charge a flat monthly subscription fee of  $50.

What are your credentials?

I was born loving fashion and style. My mother’s and grandmothers’ closets were the first place I shopped.  Post college I worked in retailing, manufacturing and fashion public relations.

How do I pay you?

Venmo or cash.

When does the clock start?

We will have an appointed start time and end time. If we mutually agree to keep going, I charge $50 for each additional hour. As we work together and get to know each other the process becomes more efficient. 

Why have you started this business?

I embrace that beauty comes in all forms. I like the aesthetics of looking good but I love the result of feeling beautiful. Allow me to share with you my ways to reach your goals that are both economical and sustainable. 

What is the procedure for working together?

I conduct a complimentary consultation, usually by phone, to discuss your needs and how we can address them. We will go over your lifestyle, budget and preferences.

What kind of clients do you work with?

For now, only women. All women. Whether they are are fashion challenged, new to careers, pregnant, feeling ugly, new moms, returning to the workplace, feeling overwhelmed, post pregnancy, peri/menopausal, hating their existing clothes, impatient shoppers, empty nesters. In short, any one who cares about what the are wearing and how they look. I can even help someone who dislikes the choice of what to wear. We can create a uniform that works for them so they never have think about what to wear each day. I really love this process and want to help.

Exciting news: How I Can Help You!

Fashion/Style bloggers on Instagram inform us of all the latest trends. But they also are paid to entice us to buy the products featured on their posts, however casual they may seem doing so. I am hyper aware of the sales pitch. Instead of feeling pressed into buying a cashmere sweater with lantern sleeves, or a slingback shoe with a square toe, I play a little game of, “do I have that?” in my closet. Much of the time, I have a reasonable version to update my look. If you are looking for help hacking your closet to work best for you without shopping every new trend, I can help. Would you value a discerning eye to stand back and assess what you have in your closet or what you are trying on in the dressing room? Does your wardrobe work for your current life and body? Did you just have a baby, go through menopause or just feel like you are having clothing issues you never knew you had before? Would it be helpful to have a partner in figuring out how to look your best every day, within a reasonable amount of expense and effort. Please allow me to help. To set up an appointment and learn of my rates, please reach me at 561.313.9955 or karen@harrowmail.com