The Ultimate Suitcase

Aug 18 2014

by Betsy Harter


For me, packing my bag for a trip sets the stage for the whole experience. Those times when I am throwing items into a suitcase at the last minute always leave me frazzled for the entire ride to the airport, not to mention through the check-in and security lines. But when I set aside a couple of hours, blast some great music, and organize my bag well, those trips are almost guaranteed to be amazing.

With the kids starting school this week, plus their activities, I haven’t had one moment to think about the fact that


Yes, you read that correctly. Tomorrow.

For our 15th anniversary, my husband and I are taking a whirlwind trip of a lifetime through parts of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. We have saved our frequent flier miles and our pennies for the last five years in order to be able to afford this experience. Although the tickets and car were reserved six months ago, we have not done much planning for this trip, which is totally unlike us. Maybe it is because the team at Athens BMW did most of the planning for us! Until last week, I had not even checked the weather for the cities that we will be visiting.

The last thing I want is for this trip to feel discombobulated. Because it is such a special occasion, above all we want to relax. In order to go into this trip with the right mindset, I needed help, and I needed it big-time. So I emailed my colleague that I met last April at The Southern C Summit. Lindsay Lucas is the Creative Director at Heery’s Clothes Closet here in Athens, Ga. I explained my situation and gave her what seemed to be an impossible task. “I want to pack light, so I need items that I can re-wear,” I explained. “They need to easily transition from day to night, and they should be able to be dressed up or dressed down. And, by the way, it will be as low as 50 at night and as high as 80 during the day. Oh, and I should probably mention that I am not exactly model thin…”

Did Lindsay call me crazy, or panic, or tell me that I had better take a really big bag? No! She asked me to give her a day to pull some items. I went in today, and within one hour I had fallen in love with 16 items–from clothing to shoes to jewelry–that we mixed and matched to create five full days of daytime and evening outfits.

Now I know why Lindsay’s title is Creative Director. I loved every single thing that she picked out, and I hated that I couldn’t buy everything! She was open and honest about what worked and what didn’t, and she had a handle on exactly what I would need. Here is what she pulled together for The Ultimate Suitcase (all items are available at Heery’s).

Day 1:

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J Brand Jeans in Presidio: They fit like a glove and feel like butta!

BCBG MAXAZRIA Sammie Asymmetrical Blouse: perfect for sunny and 80 degrees!

Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace in Abalone Shell: for a touch of bling.

Cole Haan Bethany Pump: to step on the accelerator on the Autobahn!

Ciao Milano Jacket in Charcoal: for when the sun goes down in The Black Forest.

Rachel Zoe Doutzen Swing Dress: for the evening, with all the same accessories.

Day 2:

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J Brand Jeans, Maria High Rise Cut: Yes, they are like the other ones. I love them so much, I got them in two colors!

Tolani Blouse, Marissa Style: Stylish, yet flowy enough to cover up the fact that I ate my weight in schnitzel and guzzled great German beer!

Joie Dalton Bootie in Cement: no words!

Day 3:

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BCBG MAXAZRIA Doris Sleeveless Draped Crisscross Tank: perfect for layering when the weather goes from 50-80 degrees!

Jeans from day 1: to break up the black.

Dolce Vita Nadie Wedge: comfy and sturdy, yet super cute!

Theodosia Gold Tusk Earrings: love these, but had to pack them in my checked baggage. They could be mistaken for a weapon!

Tibi City Stretch Combo Skirt: a quick change from jeans to the skirt for dinner.

Day 4:

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BCBG MAXAZRIA Cropped Skinny Pant: I have officially returned all other leggings to the mall. These are IT.

Annie Griffin Sadie Blouse: Lindsay said both she and her mother both love this line. Seriously. Her blouses make everyone look amazing.

Theodosia Black and Gold Earrings: because they look great with everything.

Day 5:

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Black is slimming, and by the end of the trip, I will need all of the help I can get. So I am pulling together day four’s leggings, the awesome black top from day three, the pumps from day one, and either pair the earrings. If I eat too many Bavarian pastries, I always have my Ciao Milano jacket!

Auf Wiedersehen, and…

Ramble On!


*Graphic design by Sara Barge


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