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Packing is one thing that divides the female population – half of us can’t help but find themselves in hysterics and the other half approach the task with enviable ease and sometimes even military precision. Which type are you? Does the idea of having to pack enough things for that long awaited holiday or last minute business trip send shivers down your spine – how do you ensure you’ve got all the right pieces without having to argue excess luggage at the boarding gate and how on Earth is everything meant to arrive looking neat and tidy! Or do you simply write down a list – or even better, roll out the list you’ve created years ago and simply update it, depending on the destination’s climate. Then do you calmly start folding your essentials, filling every centimeter of that suitcase with something worthy, without having to jump and sit on it to forcefully close it, hoping that you haven’t forgotten what is most important.
At our Studio, we have representatives from both packing tribes. Our Marketing Assistant Sophie takes a very relaxed approached to packing, most often getting the job done the night before and always thinking “Anything I forget, can be bought at my destination. Unless you are going to the jungle, you are fine!”. Our Founder and Head Designer Anya is far more strategic and meticulously organised. All these years of travelling between her native Latvia and London, as well as lots of business trips in between, have thought her that careful planning and execution is the way to go. “I hate to realise upon arrival that I have left the one thing I really wanted behind. I keep two lists – one for holiday, one for business trips – and I just update them depending on the weather. It’s simple and means I can focus on other things than clothes and accessories – often I have to think about bringing samples, lookbooks, leather swatches, so organisation is key”.
We asked the packing supremo that Anya is for her top five packing tips to share with those of us who often face a meltdown in front of a suitcase. You know what we mean – think hand luggage restrictions and conquering them!
Tip 1: Plan ahead. Okay, hardly original, but this is the groundwork that packing is based on. If you don’t know where to start, write down what a usual day would look like – would you wake up, brush your teeth (Toothbrush! Toothpaste!) and go for a swim (Bikini. Flip Flops.) or would you head out to explore the city (Comfortable footwear. A cross body bag to keep your hands free.). Go on and you will see the list will fall into place – it’s easier than you think.
Tip 2: Plan your shopping. It’s better to admit, before you even leave, that you will be shopping, wherever you go. Local handmade jewellery at the street market in Marakesh, espadrilles and kaftans in Spain, designer pieces from Macy’s in NYC, a large straw hat from Sardinia. Every place offers special local items that are worth buying – because they will remind you of your trip and will be truly unique and will also come very handy – we are thinking that straw hat for example. Plan in advance so that you don’t double up – leave a tiny corner in your suitcase for that special treat that you will wear the minute you buy it.
Tip 3. Roll, don’t fold. Your clothes that is. This is something we once read in a Diane von Fustenburg interview and it’s so true. Try it with your dresses, jumpers and T-shirts. Rolling them prevents them from creasing and it also means you can be more organised with the space in your suitcase. Don’t leave any corner un-tucked!
Tip 4: Bagpacking. We are not referring to a gap year backpacking trip but to the bags you will take – because walking around with your belongings in a bum bag is not acceptable! We recommend carrying you day-to-day handbag with you – daily handbags are usually larger and airlines are no longer allowed to ask you to fit them within your hand luggage – which was purely barbaric in the first place! At your destination, you will want something lighter and practical – a spacious envelope clutch like the HISS can fit a lot and doubles up as both a day and evening bag . The Heart Purses can be worn as cross-body during the day when you are sightseeing and then as a clutch when you are partying at night. Their mini size and variety of colours means you can take a few for different outfits!
Tip 5: Congratulations, you have arrived and so has your luggage, hurray! You open your suitcase and find that the one dress you really wanted to wear is creased. Panic! Don’t. Stop, breathe, hang it on a hanger in the bathroom. Now take a very long very hot shower and see the steam iron out the creases. Tried and tested many times. You can thank us later.
Now enjoy your packing and your trip – and don’t forget to take lots of pictures. If you are taking your trusted Anya Sushko bag with you, share your pictures with us and with your permission, we will add them to our Globetrotting Handbags album on social media!