Recently I was working with someone who had 3 conferences to go to this Autumn, each lasting 3 or 4 days. The dilemma wasn’t so much about suitcase weight; it was more about having the right things to wear. Lots of us make short trips in the Autumn for business or to visit friends and family. We look at our substantial amount of clothes and feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed! “I have nothing to wear” we cry.

I divide a bit of paper into the days I shall be away. How many dinners in restaurants? Do I need one smart dress? Map out the days, the evenings, the things you will do in detail on paper. Then visualise yourself in the clothes you are planning to pack. Try them on. Take only what you love and need.

Start with trousers if that’s what you wear most. 4 days 4 nights, no need to take 5 pairs of trousers. Or start with dresses and skirts if you are a skirt and dress person. Then build up the right tops to wear them with. This is not a moment to experiment. Only take your best clothes the things you look wonderful in.

2 pairs of trousers is plenty. One smart for the evening, but that can be worn for smart day occasions too. A good tailored day pair. It is a good idea if both pairs of trousers are a similar cut then all your tops will be the right proportion. If one pair is completely different then it will need different tops.

In the Winser London pictures of this season’s collection, as a starting point, I particularly like the picture of the Fisherman's rib with those Winser Trousers and style of shoe. This would be the most casual outfit for sightseeing, shopping or a cosy evening. The same trouser would work with any of the fine cashmeres or jersey tops in black or a colour for work or dinner. A silk shirt and or a jersey dress are perfect for evening. The Milano Jacket in Hollywood red is the right look for business “suit” when worn with a pencil skirt. Gold earrings and bracelets are very “in” this season. The pencil skirt with the leather panel teamed with the Audrey cashmere jumper and boots will be charming for bistros. The Milano jacket and black trousers are nice to travel in. We have come full circle. So it’s not so complicated really.

Make room for accessories, wraps, scarves, jewellery and shoes. Flat shoe, knee length boot, court shoe. Three should be plenty. All in black is best but for the more confident mix midnight with black, an elegant look. Keep it simple and be disciplined.

Then there’s what we can’t travel without. What’s your must have? Mine is a wizard hairdryer.

As the redoubtable Diane von Furstenberg said “If you’ve figured out how to pack you have figured out your life”, quite so.

Shop The Look