As much as I love packing, I have to admit that packing for three months in Italy is hard... and it never seems to get any easier! But I love a good challenge and I always manage to pull it off.
I begin by laying out all of the pieces of clothing I think I want to bring. Once they are all laid out on my bed, pattern and color themes tend to emerge. I try to stick to a color palette and really strive to have one color that every item matches, this is usually navy (as you know, I am a #navyornothing kind of girl). This year my accent colors are green, yellow, and red (I blame J.Crew).
Once I have spotted a color palette, I begin winnowing. This is the hardest part! But you have to make tough decisions and prioritize pieces that are the most versatile and will make the most outfits. You want to think about things like fabric quality (will it wrinkle or stain easily), wearability (sure those sweaters are cute, but if it's going to be warm for the majority of your trip, limit yourself to one), and finally, how many ways you can mix and match each item.
Next, I select shoes. Again, I want shoes that will basically go with everything and handle all possible weather conditions. I also try to select a variety - slip on sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, wellies (the roll-up travel version), etc.
Then I break out the packing cubes. I love packing cubes! They are great for keeping you organized and allow you to find items without unpacking everything. I put all of my shirts in one, all of my dresses in another, and so on. Then it's like the best game of Tetris, ever. Once I find the perfect arrangement, I add in smaller cubes - one for lingerie, one for pjs, and one for workout wear.
Finally, I add my toiletries. I am selective on which toiletries I bring, since many things can be purchased there.
And there you have it, one perfectly packed suitcase, and if you are curious, here is a breakdown of the clothing I am brining (this doesn't include pjs and workout wear):