16 Top Fashion Designers Share Their Best Packing Tips

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Nov 14, 2017

by KATE PHILLIPS, Digital Producer

If anyone knows how to pack well, it’s a globe-trotting fashion industry insider. Here, some of Australia’s most recognisable designers share their best tips and tricks to help you get your packing down pat.  

“My tip is to limit your palette to colours that work across a wide range of countries – this may seem like a grand statement but black, for example, doesn’t work in India because of the heat and the preference for bright colours. I like navy and cream – cream is a perfect day or evening colour and navy works in every country I have ever visited. I wear them top-to-toe or in combination.”

Jacqueline Hunt, co-founder, Jac+Jack

“I like to roll up my clothes – it’s an efficient use of space and I feel like you get less obvious crease marks. I also use clear plastic garment bags to cover my clothes and group them either by style or particular fabrication.”

Yeojin Bae, designer, Yeojin Bae

“I always pack my suitcase, then pull one-third out – it’s all about editing down. You never wear everything and you’ll always shop while away!”

Alex Perry, designer, Alex Perry

“To take full advantage of space, I recommend placing small items like socks and electrics into your shoes and stuffing underwear into your hats – this also helps them keep shape during travels.”

Ainsley Hansen, creative director, Hansen & Gretel

“When travelling, I tend to pack knits, woollens and nylon garments as these fabrics tend to resist wrinkles. More often than not, they’re also quite versatile and can do double duty, such as yoga pants that moonlight as pyjamas.”

Vera Yan, co-founder, Nimble Activewear

“I fly every month for business so I roll as many non-crease items – such as jeans, swimwear (of course!) and knits – as possible into my suitcase. The end goal is to have weight and room for more shopping!”

Rosie Iffla, designer, Fella Swim

“I pack in looks a few days out from a trip and edit down to the key pieces that will work in numerous outfits. I also keep a checklist of travel essentials on my phone so for each trip I don’t forget anything major!”

Genevieve Smart, designer, Ginger & Smart

"My must-pack item is a portable hand-held steamer. It sounds elaborate but often hotels can’t supply irons due to safety regulations so it’s the perfect solution for looking primped and pressed on holidays!”

Jasmine Lindsay, designer, Jasmine & Will

“I swear by rolling my clothes – I can fit more in! Then when I arrive at my destination, I shake out my clothes to get rid of any creases. I also always pack a colour palette – for example grey, navy and light blue. This way, all my clothes match when I’m travelling so there’s no panic over what goes with what.”

Peter Alexander, designer, Peter Alexander

“If you're strapped for space, choose basics and pieces that layer well. Focus on packing a number of statement accessory pieces such as jewels and scarves which are light and create impact to change up an outfit.”

Chelsea De Luca, designer, Chelsea De Luca Jewellery

“I’m usually travelling with pieces from the collection so I need to save as much space as possible – I have rolled up clothes filling every corner of the bag and stuff shoes with underwear and socks. This saves space and it means my shoes keep their shape for when I arrive at my destination.”

Johnny Schembri, designer, By Johnny

“When travelling for business, I need to hit the ground running so I edit my outfits when packing and always lay everything as flat as possible in the suitcase. I also pack a handful of hangers so when I arrive at my hotel I have plenty to hang up all my outfits. When I’m ready to wear them there is usually no need for pressing!”

Gabrielle Manning, designer, Manning Cartell 

“Packing for me is always a stress – I want to take my whole wardrobe with me! I'm a big shoe guy so most of my suitcase weight comes from my shoes, which I then stuff with sunglasses and toiletries to make the most of the space. I also roll my clothing.”

Steven Khalil, designer, Steven Khalil

“I usually limit my travel wardrobe to a few key pieces that can work seamlessly in multiple situations. For example, a wrap dress that can be worn as a cover-up by the pool, or as a dress to dinner. This saves space and ensures I have room for souvenirs.”

Tuyen Nguyen, designer, Her

"I roll everything. It's amazing how much more you can fit in your suitcase when you roll. It minimises creases, too. I also take photos – mini flat-lays, if you like – of my outfits, complete with accessories, so that I can easily pull a look together." 

Lorna Jane, designer, Lorna Jane

“I’m sensible when it comes to packing. I vacuum-pack my clothes to save space – a lot of room in your suitcase is taken up by air! I also pack a change of clothes and underwear in my carry-on, just in case.”

Anna Quan, designer, Anna Quan

"My advice is to pack pieces that work for different situations. A short-sleeved shirt can be worn with a pair of shorts for day or dressed up with denim at night. Also, stuff small items into socks then place them into shoes – it takes up less space in your suitcase!”

Damien Horan, director, Assembly Label

SEE ALSO: To Roll or Not to Roll? The Packing Question Finally Answered