The big goal these days is to pack so little that you can carry on your bag. That means doing more with fewer clothes — in other words, it's a question of style. Who better to help than Clinton Kelly, co-host of TLC's "What Not to Wear"? We asked him to teach our editorial production manager, Lauren Feuer, how to pack for a long weekend in the Berkshires.
"I'm the master of the three-day weekend," says Clinton. "I haven't checked a bag in four years!" (With all the traveling he does, he says, the time involved with checking bags was adding up to at least one day a year.)
Enough about Clinton: Let's get to packing. "Well, the good news is, I don't see anything that I immediately want to throw out," he says, looking into Lauren's closet. Read on for a full rundown of Clinton's tips.
Packing with Clinton: The big rule
"Nothing gets packed unless it goes with at least two other pieces. In fact, be careful whenever you buy something that only goes with one thing. You get stuck."
Commit to neutrals on half the body
"Let's do neutral bottoms. We're going to bring one pair of jeans, one skirt, and one pair of trousers." Clinton bails on the skirt when the one he likes doesn't go with anything else, opting for cropped black pants instead. "Gray is the easiest neutral to make work for day and evening. Brown is OK, but it can end up being too casual, especially for men."
Darker jeans are better
He chooses darker jeans because they can be dressed up for dinner. "Straight-leg jeans are preferable to wide-leg ones, for the same reason."
The other half gets patterns
"A shirt with a pattern goes well with a neutral bottom. I'm no big fan of jeans and a solid — even though I'm wearing it now." You can mix prints if they're in the same color family and you vary the patterns' sizes.
Keep secondary colors consistent
He throws in an extra knit (a pink top), because it'll go with the jeans and the trousers. "The fewer colors you have, the more likely it is that different pairings will work."
"The right shoes and jewelry can take an outfit up or down." It's fine to mix gold and silver, but when you're traveling, it's easier to stick to one. "Dramatic earrings like these will make this outfit dressier."
On the actual packing
"Wear bulkier items on the plane, so you have more space inside the bag." He puts the jewelry in Ziploc bags to protect it, then stuffs the bags inside the shoes. Next he packs the shoes, in shoe bags, in the bottom of the suitcase.
An excuse to go shopping
"A cotton or poly jersey dress, like a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, is great for traveling. You just roll it up in a ball." Finally, Clinton says V-necks are better than crewnecks. "They elongate the neckline, which makes you look taller. And that makes you look thinner. I've never met a woman who didn't want to look thinner!"
Check out Clinton!
"What Not to Wear" airs Fridays at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on TLC. For info on Clinton's home-renovation special, visit tlc.com.