carry-onEverywhere I look these days it’s all about the basic essentials:  5 Must Have Pieces for Your Island Get-Away; What To Pack For Your Holiday Vacation; Editors Picks For The Perfect Rendezvous… I’m guilty of it myself…just see last week’s piece, and probably the previous week’s piece as well…!

So how does one go about streamlining the ideal minimalist wardrobe to accommodate all the thrills and spills you’re going to have this holiday season? I’ll use myself as the guinea pig.  I’m traveling to London and Amsterdam this year. I’ll be visiting family, trekking through the soggy English countryside, hitting up a few museums and chic bistros, walking a lot and driving along the M1 with millions of other holiday travelers.  Throw in a handful of “meet the family” parties, a few romantic dinners, and a business meeting and I need a wardrobe that will do yeoman’s duty.

I learned the joy of carry-on luggage last year and haven’t looked back. Everything will have to fit into a bag that will squeeze into the overhead compartment.  Here is my wish list of goodies:

The perfect pair of shoes: They must be chic and make my legs look a mile long, yet be suitable and practical for extended city walks, all day sightseeing and visits to the Pub. Ideally black, they will work with jeans, pencil skirts and shimmery party dresses.

The perfect underwear: My bra of choice will lift, separate and coddle my breasts.  It will not pinch, dig or leave itchy spots on my shoulders or under my arms. It will give me the bust I had 25 years ago, yet not accentuate things so much as to make me appear slutty or cougar-ish.  It will also have the ideal amount of plunge and strap settings to work with racerback tops, low-cut dresses and white T-shirts.  Undies will slim like Spanks, look as sexy as a thong, and be as comfortable as commando…with no VPLs.

The perfect dress: This will come in 2 or 3 iterations, allowing for splashes of color or spilled glasses of red wine.  It is conservative but not frumpy, slightly bohemian but not campy, fits like a perfectly tailored Chanel sheath, and doesn’t show a lump or bump that isn’t intentional. It will withstand wrinkling and messy creases, hold its shape and be lint free all day long.

The perfect coat: Chic and stylish, warm, but not bulky, water repellant, casual enough for a city stroll yet practical enough for crossing a moor…that’s not asking for too much, is it?

The perfect purse: Holds everything, weighs nothing, tucks discreetly on your lap, carries your laptop and hands you your keys and lipstick on demand.

I bet Kate Middleton doesn’t have to worry about this stuff…!

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