18 days. 6 countries. 1 bag: Packing the 1 bag.

Can you belive it's all in that 1 bag?
I always aspire to pack light for trips but I've also never been on a 3-week trip that spans different climates.  On a good day I might feel high 60s/70s in a place like Malta but I might also have to brave against a low 40s windy overcast in London.  There's swimming and formal events on the ship and then what about cool-girl gear for hip hop class in Rome?  The outfits! The shoes!  1 bag?!

Why 1 bag?

Did you see that itinerary?  Not only do I want to be lugging bags or huge suitcases up subway steps / buses / cobblestone streets but heaven forbid I check in and an airline loses my luggage?  I'm not even in a country long enough for them to get the bags to me — it'd be a straight cat and mouse game with me and my suitcase.  Being that we would often be flying Easyjet (aka Boo Boo Jet in my book - review to come)  who had a 1 bag carryon policy  I resolved to myself that I would carry 1 bag.

Can E make it Werk?
I did NOT want to look like a bum on this trip.  So I got down to some serious planning because my wardrobe was going to have to do a lot of mixing and matching and I didn't want to be in ALL black and grey and white (boring!). I had a lot of help and inspiration through various Real Simple articles (X pieces X outfits) and sites like Onebag but it's The Uniform Project that really made me realize I could make this 1 bag thing happen (that site is so awesome!)  

So back to planning - the only way to take an overall look at outfits for 18 days without emptying my closet drawers onto my bedroom floor was to see it all on paper.  So I made a lookbook (I'm such a dork - my friends laughed at me for this) but it was extremely helpful!

Outfits courtesy of Forever21, Macys, Google, and Photoshop lol.
I just took screenshots of things that look similar to items I owned and pieced outfits together.  I like that dresses and tunic tops do double duty. Also for the temperature aspect and for the fact I didn't want to lug a heavy coat, I relied heavily on layering.

I only needed to purchase a few things out of fashion neccessity (smile) - one being a soft flat loafer (Sperry are cute!) and also a neutral ballet flat (i initially wanted red but found a cute beige Liz Claiborne alternative). Other shoes that I brought were my knee high biker boots and my black boutique9 Nine west studded black platforms (surprisingly comfy to wear)  After getting my pieces I took one night and tried on every combination as planned out in the lookbook. I found that some outfits looked good on paper and ridiculously tacky or forced in real life so I had to do some tweaking.

The trial run:
I clearly should have done my hair for this test run
 I was cool with how that test run worked out. But when it came to packing it in my suitcase, to my surprise, i had a lot of room. So I threw in a few more cocktail dresses since every night on the cruise was a semi-formal/cocktail-ish dinner. I also threw in a few more thin long sleeve tops, a khaki-ish wide leg pant, and a knit skirt. Then by chance if i wanted to work out (riiiiight) on the ship I threw in performance activewear which would also do double duty if we encountered a ridiculously cold day somewhere and I needed a thermal layer.  This is where I netted out:
All the pieces laid out

And how it fit in the suitcase. Packing tip: Roll your clothes! you'll fit soooo much more in the bag and lessen the chance of having to iron certain pieces.  Not pictured below, the boyfriend blazer that laid on top of everything.

It's all in there!

And there's my 1 bag! I'll try to show my daily outfits as I recap.  It all worked out - I'm pretty sure I may have repeated an outfit maybe 1 or 2x.  By the way - I have to note there was a laundry day in the middle of this trip so even though individual pieces were repeated - they were CLEAN!