Ok, adopted Parisienne. I have had lessons from some pros, but like a teasy flirt in middle school, I don’t go all the way. The first thing to understand is that les Parisiennes do not see the value of packing light. The concept is as foreign as dipping your not-so-french fries in a McDonald’s shake. It goes beyond their imagination; you will not find articles in Madame Figaro teaching packers to roll their clothes and there is no televised travel guide guru preaching the values of carry-on only.
Packing properly takes considerable advance preparation. When she shops, la Parisienne carefully watches the sales person ensuring her purchase is wrapped in tissue paper. She may even ask for a bit more. Once home she may go so far as to iron that tissue paper. Sounds excessive, but we are talking about a species that irons dishtowels! The tissues are then neatly folded and stored in a miniscule Parisian sized, lilliputian closet, next to all the cloth bags that come with new shoes she has been collecting.
A week before departure, it is time to get everything out of the closet. Taking the time to wash what needs to be washed and do some more ironing. Its is a national obsession. Shoes are shined and water proofed. Lingerie and stockings are matched to the garments and a few scarves are selected.
It is now the night before departure. Those precious tissues finally come out of storage and are used to fold the clothing so that la Parisienne‘s wardrobe does not come out of the suitcase looking like a sharpei puppy. When I say ironing is an obsession, I am not exaggerating. I would not be surprised to learn that Paris was denied the 2012 Olympics because they were simultaneously trying to have ironing recognized as an international sport.
It is now time for things to go into their bags. Not their suitcases, but their bags. Shoes return to the cloth bags that accompanied them on their maiden voyage from Italy on to the shoe store shelves. The carefully folded shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, lingerie (yes, it has been ironed), stockings and fragrances go in to their individual packing cubes and things are kept as light and airy as possible to avoid the dreaded wrinkle.
Its a lot of work, but upon arrival, la Parisienne looks absolutely fabulous wearing the same jeans, t-shirts and sneakers that I have on, but looking so much chicer than the rest of us practical, but creased globe trotters.
I particularly love my gorgeous packing cubes from Sequoia