How do women in movies have such small suitcases and always have the perfect outfit?

I finally got around to watching Age of Adaline, not because of the sappy story, but to feed my perpetual girl crush on Blake Lively –- not to mention my seething addiction to vintage-inspired fashion. About half-way through, once I realized Adaline was going to start over with a new life I found myself panicked: “What will she do with all her awesome clothes???” I was born in the 70s, and I have acquired some pretty cool pieces (1986-88, notwithstanding) but this woman was about a hundred stuck at the age of 29. Imagine the shoes and bags!


But here’s the real kicker. You know how you’re watching a movie, and you see these kids in their perfect bedrooms which are rarely ever a mess, and they’re so freaking huge you could land a small helicopter in the leftover carpet space? Well, I have the same reaction to women in movies who go away on vacation — a week or a weekend, doesn’t matter — and they bring the dreaded “one small suitcase”. (Usually, the bugger doesn’t even have wheels.) Then, as their stay unfolds, an entire clown car full of outfits emerge, complete with the precise accessories.  It’s fun to watch, but triggers a kind of “packers guilt” only experienced by fashion hoarders like myself.


“Let’s go back to our room – so I can change 16 more times!” Lakeshore Entertainment, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment




How did she fit all that in there???


Behold, Age of Adaline, the spontaneous walk in the woods where she’s donned not only the perfect “it’s kind of rainy out today” outfit, but she’s wearing tall rubber boots! Professional packers like myself know: You don’t pack those. You either wear them on the way, or you forgo the muddy walk all together. It’s that simple.


Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Is this another boring story about packing? I thought WONDERLUST wasn’t going to do that crap.”




Here’s why.


I propose you bring everything. Yup. Why discriminate? Lord knows you have to change at least three times a day to be prepared for every (in)significant event. And I’m actually not at all kidding. So you pay an extra fifty bucks to check your bag, at least you’re prepared and don’t have to buy tons of stuff you already have while you’re on vacation (stuff you want to buy is another story!).


We’ve all learned this lesson the hard way, haven’t we girls?


If I’m away for a weekend, I bring a big suitcase. If I’m away for a week, I bring two. So you have to stand at the luggage carousel for a few extra minutes. When were you planning to check all your pressing email/social media updates, anyway? Certainly not in front of your gracious host or at that all-important lunch meeting (not that everyone else doesn’t). You’re too well dressed for that.


Here’s a checklist of all the possible events which may occur during your visit absolutely anywhere that require multiple wardrobe changes:


1  Running into old high school friend and wanting to look as though time hasn’t run roughshod all over you (you’ll likely need some kind of casual pumps and sleek, fitted jeans for this).


2  You meet your dreamboat. Could be anywhere. Could be anywhere inconvenient. Which is why you’ll need an array of silk scarves, preferably Hermes, to throw around your neck and drape every which way to help your chosen day-look appear that much more refreshed.


3  At least 5 pairs of flat shoes in case you have to walk somewhere.


4  A bikini and a one-piece, no matter where you’re staying. (Mulitply that by 10 if you’ll be anywhere near a beach).


5  If you’re like me and you tend to get cold no matter where you are, you’ll need wraps in several colors and varieties to go with just about everything.


6  If you’re like me and you tend to get hot no matter where you are, you’ll need ten or so t-shirts that you can change at intervals (because who really does laundry on the road?).


7  Spontaneous dress-up events are the whole reason we leave home in the first place, so be sure you have at least one super sassy skirt, a sleek dress, and some sky-high Loubies that are impossible to walk in.


8  As Cher from “Clueless” would say, your most “respectable outfit” in case you want to ask someone for money.


9  You may want to forgo sleepwear to save room.


10  And all the toiletries and stuff you normally need, which, if you’re like me, requires a small-ish suitcase in and of itself.


You’ll thank me later.