Hi Lovers of Lady Lena’s Fashion!
Lena and I have teamed up this week to guest write for each other’s sister missionary blogs. I know I personally am so excited for her to share her fashion wisdom with my readers, as I hope to be able to share something of worth with all of you.
I studied abroad my junior year in college, and spent a lot of time traveling to other countries while overseas. As such… I soon realized that less is more. Trying to drag a large suitcase up and down escalators, across train station platforms, and on and off buses was not worth the luxury of having even half my wardrobe with me. And as missionaries, knowing that we’ll have to pack up and move every few months should be motivation to want to pack light. Plus… chances are you’re going to pick up a few extra items over the course of eighteen months that you’ll want to be able to have room to take home. So after six countries and four too many escalators, here are my tips for packing the perfect (fashionable) wardrobe:
- Start with the practical necessities. A brown, black, or navy skirt (depending on your tastes) will go with just about anything. A white t-shirt is nice for layering under anything that may need the extra modesty, and can be doubled as a casual outfit staple. If you’re going somewhere cold, good boots are a must (and make sure that your boots match whatever your staple skirt is–much good the cute brown boots are going to do with a black pencil skirt…). And if you’re going to be riding a bike, invest in a pair of bike shorts to wear under skirts just so you don’t have to worry about any embarrassing or immodest incidents while riding.
- Add a little bit of color. Cardigans, blouses, a dress and a few skirts in color. Since you’re going to be packing light, you may want to consider picking a color scheme to theme your wardrobe around. It’s going to be a lot easier to mix and match your outfits if all the pieces are coming from a collection of related-color clothing.
- Add the outerwear. Account for the weight and space of even your heaviest winter coat in the total weight of your suitcase. It may have been practical to wear it on the plane the first time you flew out to your mission, but in humid August months, you aren’t going to want to be stuck carrying it around during a transfer because you couldn’t fit it in your suitcase.
- Add something that you love. For the rough days, or the days when you just want to look a little nicer, pack something that you really love. A blouse, a dress. It can get tedious to see yourself wearing the same six outfits over and over. Allowing yourself that one special item will help break up the monotony and give your spirits an extra boost.
- Accessorize! Accessorize! Accessorize! A bracelet, a scarf, or a set of earrings is a great way to add personality to the often otherwise cookie-cutter look of the sister missionary. And having a few staple accessories to chose from will allow you to wear one outfit four or five different ways, giving your look a personal and fashionable flair. (Do note, however, that you want to keep your jewelry professional looking. If you’re worried you might lose it, or that it might be “too much,” leave it at home. It will be that much sweeter when you get back and remember that you have it!)
For the fashion forward, leaving behind a closet of clothes to spend eighteen months in eight outfits can sound unimaginable. However, it can be done, and as the Lady Lena has shown, it can be done fashionably! You might even find you enjoy the challenge of trying to make those few staple items really shine every time you wear them. And trust me, when you’re trudging through airports or dragging your suitcase up a flight (or two) of stairs, you’ll be grateful that you decided to pack lightly.