Packing the Minimalist Way and The Return of Kerry

Since I decided to try dressing with fewer pieces via Project 333, I’ve been taking a hard look at my clothes.

My Capsule Wardrobe

I’m working on my capsule wardrobe and decided to use black as my neutral. As I’ve blogged before, I’m going to do my best to buy as many needed items as possible from consignment or resale shops instead of new. To the extent I can’t find what I need there, I’ll do my best to purchase items that are sourced from the USA and meant to last.

I took a trip to Clotheshorse Anonymous, an upscale resale shop in Dallas. This resale shop is one of the benefits of living in a community of extremely wealthy fashionistas with too much money and time on their hands. If you have one in your area, GET THEE TO IT STAT!

I once bought a pair of Ralph Lauren dress pants there. For $40. With the $395 price tag still attached. I shit you not.

This trip I bought three tops for $43.82.


One of them is a cami from Chico’s and, as you can see, it still has the original tag on it. I also got a black tank top and white v-neck t-shirt. All three of these will work with all of the other clothes I’ll be keeping. I’m pretty sure they were all made in the USA for the double win!

On a side note, have you read the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (not an affiliate link)? I did and was shocked about what I read. These days clothes are designed to wear out so you’ll go out and buy more. I guess it’s true that things aren’t made the way they used to. I loved this book. It’s disturbing and thought-provoking. And gave me a good swift kick in the pants.

If you’ve read it, or if you decide to read it, please post your thoughts about it in the comments!

Headed to the Beach and Our Family’s Minimalist Packing Challenge

We’re heading to the beach for a week with Stephen’s family. It’s gonna be a full on Bridges family explosion. Gulf Shores isn’t gonna know what hit ’em. I’m preemptively frightened for the kind people of Alabama.

Since we’re trying to dress with less anyway, we’ve challenged ourselves to get through 10 days with one small carry-on sized suitcase per person and one personal bag per person. We’re driving, so this isn’t an airline imposed limit, and we’ll be staying in a beach house with a washer and dryer, which will make the challenge easier.

But, it’s still a big deal for me. Because I am that person who overpacks. Stephen and I went on a cruise once. A 7 day cruise for 2 people equaled 4 suitcases and a hanging bag. And a few months ago I flew to Houston for one of my BFF’s surprise birthday parties. I was so excited at my packing prowess, I said to Stephen: “Boo-yah. Look at this packing job! Look how little is in there.”

He looked at me like I was nuts. “You have an entire duffel bag and you’ll be gone less than 24 hours.” He was not impressed.

Um, so yeah.

I’ll do a more in-depth post on what we packed and how it went when we get back. But, I do plan on posting some photos on Instagram. If you’d like to follow along next week, please do!

Kerry’s Back Next Week!

In the meantime, Kerry has agreed to blog next week. I’m sure you will be excited to hear how she’s been doing and to get back to her awesome, hilarious posts. I can’t wait to read what she has to say!

Have an amazing week next week!!!

10 Responses to Packing the Minimalist Way and The Return of Kerry

  1. I should maybe preface this by clarifying that, yes, I am a woman, and I am the type of person who likes to look stylish and ‘put-together’. I refused to sacrifice looking good by packing the way I describe below; my goal was to pack smart, not large.

    So, I went on a week-long business trip back in January, and besides my medium-sized purse I brought one carry-on bag that easily fit beneath the seat in front of me on the airplane WITH my purse. The bag I used as luggage was actually a large purse, roughly the size of a mid-size tote bag with the handy feature that I could zip it closed.

    I managed that by bringing only the bare essentials and reusing basic articles of clothing (pants, camisole, cardigan in case of chilly meeting rooms), and by not having a lot of self-care paraphernalia just in general. I didn’t bring extras of anything because I figured I’m only there for a week, and if something really nasty happens to an item of clothing I could use the hotel laundry service.

    It was GREAT. I had so little to keep track of, no need to check bags and wait at the luggage carousel, no luggage to lug or wheel around the airport or attempt to shove into the over-stuffed overhead luggage bins, no thought needed in order to get dressed in the morning. It took me a couple of trips to come up with my bare minimum in terms of needs, but I’m really glad I made the effort and eventually got there.

  2. Way to go K! No one knows better than me (your longest BFF) just what an accomplishment this is for you!!!…that said, if you need classes on how to pack for a week, look put together, and not check any bags- using one wheeled approved carry-on and a purse (personal item), then you know my number 😉 Have a great vacation!!!

  3. I enjoy the blog and learning how you are making the changes in your life. I do have a problem with the unnecessary use of vulgarity, though. Would it not have been just as easy to say, “I kid you not”?

  4. On April we went to visit our family ( we live overseas) and since we had a stopover for a couple of days on the way, we decided to pack only hand luggage (winter stuff!) for the six weeks we’d be away (we were travelling with a 12 month old baby). We had two carry-ons, two backpacks and a baby bag, plus stroller (and baby!).(and part of this included stuff for other people). It would’ve been better if we had just checked in the carry- ons, because we felt soooo weighed down by all our hand luggage ( or maybe it was harder because we had to hold the baby as well). And when we stopped at Heathrow, we faced the annoyance that this airport doesn’t give you the stroller when you get off the plane – you have to get it at baggage check. Try going to baggage check with all that stuff and no stroller – and it was like miles away… Good thing they had pity on us and took us and our heavy hand luggage on a golf car. What a mess just to go get a stroller at baggage check ( because why would anyone with a baby travel only with hand luggage, right?) we barely made it to the next flight.
    That said, once we arrived at our home country, our family was amazed at how little we’d packed. I plan to do it again next year – an improved version… I’m still learning.
    ( If it makes you feel better, I do have some winter clothes packed in my parents’ house so I didn’t need to pack bulky sweaters. Also, on our way back to our overseas home in the tropics, we definitely did NOT limit ourselves to hand luggage! Our baby got gifts, and there’s yummy stuff from our country that we always take back with us).

  5. As a BOM on the Non-Consumer Advocate facebook page, we read Overdressed. It is an extremely inciteful look at where our clothing comes from and where it goes, the costs involved. I am a person who has a closetful of preworn clothing purchased for me by who I call my “personal shopper.” Because of what I read, I am planning to get back to sewing. I am feeling your pain of reduction as my DH of 42 yrs and I have downsized from 1800 to a 600 sq. ft in-law unit. And I still have more reduction to carry out.

  6. have a wonderful trip! for my most recent trip, I limited myself to a carry on bag of luggage and a carry on of books and magazines and snacks, since I was going to fly and take the train several times. I was very proud of myself the whole trip for reusing the same skirts and pants and shoes. I always want to bring more than needed, but really, it worked out this time!

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