Thursday, December 13, 2012

Packing Help with Go Chic or Go Home

A few people have asked for a bit more help with packing, so in light of upcoming holiday traveling I'm dedicating another post to it!

I hate over packing, mostly because I feel so silly when I look at my over packed suitcase next to my minimalistic husband’s tinnnyyyyy little pile of stuff.  (He even said yesterday, “I don’t want to own more than 3 pairs of pants.  I just don’t like having more than I need--and even 3 pairs isn’t necessary."  Not OWN more than 3?  I can hardly pack less than 3 pairs, let alone only own 3!)  But I also secretly love over packing because like I mentioned before, I love to have options!  Otherwise I feel a little claustrophobic.  (Drama, much? #firstworldproblems)  My goal these days has been to find a balance of not over packing while allowing myself to have a lot of options.  My suitcase is where all my learning to remix is put to the test, for sure.

Anyway, for my last 3 trips I've loved what I've packed, and my secret weapon has been Go Chic or Go Home.  I know I talk about GCOGH a LOT, but it's because I really use it that much and find it that helpful!  

Here's how I use GCOGH to help me pack:

Brainstorm: "Create" Tool
GCOGH has a "Create" tool that is supposed to be for you to create and save outfit ideas with your own clothing, but I also use it when I pack.  In brainstorm mode, I drag a bunch of pieces that I'm thinking about packing to the bottom like so:

Mix and Match
Then, since you can move the pieces around in the brainstorm section, I start mixing and matching to see what I can come up with!  I move pieces next to each other to see potential outfits and then I take screen shots of them to log for later.  Eventually I'll end up with a handful of outfit ideas from those pieces.  Here's my collection of outfits with this trip:

Thanks to the screenshots I get a bird's eye view where I can see which items will be used often, which can only be used once, and which ones are really similar to each other and not worth bringing.  I continue working on the puzzle of editing the list, swapping out items, and paring things down. 

Get Ideas & Inspiration
Sometimes in my brainstorm process I have major brain farts and realize it's easier to repeat outfits I've worn in the past.  (Duh!)  I love that with GCOGH I have a "My Outfits" board that quickly lets me see all of my uploaded outfits and an "Ensembles" page where I can see a list of outfits I've created in the past, either that I've already worn or that I was planning to wear someday.  I'll sift through all that inspiration looking for outfits that use common items and drag them into my brainstorm list.  

Explore Feature
As I packed for Chicago yesterday, even though this will be like my 10th time there, I'm there so infrequently that I forgot what it's like to be in 26 degree weather.  GCOGH's "Explore" feature came in handy because I could filter the Fall and Winter outfits and see what other people on GCOGH wear in cold weather.

It feels like a big puzzle, but GCOGH helps me get my head on straight and get organized.  I love that I can see all my outfit options as I take screenshots because it gives me a clear view of what will be used more than once and what won't be.  It also helps me to see that, in this case for example, I will only be gone for 5 days, but I easily have at least 8 outfits with me.  Options for those moody days!  

All in all, I packed 9 pieces (besides my boots and accessories) and I have 8 outfits.  And it all fits in just ONE packing cube.  Feels pretty good!

And the best best best part is that I was able to do it all without having to rip my closet to shreds or having to clean it up later!  


  1. I can see where GCOGH could definitely be a valuable tool to figure out what pieces to pack for a trip! My question for you is how did you go about getting pictures of all your clothing items onto the site? Did you do it a little at a time or did you just spend one long evening doing it? Just wondering what your process was for getting your wardrobe in there...It would be nice if I could just wiggle my nose and it would be done! :)

  2. Hi Audrey, Yes you do talk about GCOGH ALOT!!! LOL! To be honest I didn't get it even though I signed up for it because of your recommendation. That was all until this post. Like you I am a minimalist packer wannabe but this girl's got to have OPTIONS. The 2 concepts really don't mix. I didn't realize all that GCOGH had to offer, I had been looking for a feature like Brainstorming as the visuals really work for me. I can't wait to try it now, thanks for GCOGH clarification. Enjoy your holiday!

  3. @google-82a0e9d5dfde40956d441d5f5612505e:disqus - I can't speak for Audrey, but I can definitely share what people seem to be doing around the GCOGH community.

    Members tend to take one of (3) approaches. Some go section by section (pants, then blouses, then shoes, etc), while others start with frequently worn items and then add additional pieces as needed. For example, new members who live in the Northern Hemisphere might upload all of their winter clothes now and then add their warm weather items as the season starts to change. The third approach is uploading everything at once - that seems to be a popular weekend activity. When uploading my closet I went with the latter. Initially I tried the frequently worn items approach, but as soon as I started remixing my clothes and getting new ideas I wanted to play with everything in my closet. Over the course of a few days I just added the remaining bits here and there in no particular order. Hope that helps! :-)

  4. I LOVE this post. It came in at the right time. I'm in the process of starting to pack for my holiday trip this Saturday, and I'm feeling so overwhelmed. I wish I knew that GCOGH was so useful. I signed up before, I still haven't used it. This post was perfect in clarifying the benefits of the site. I'll definitely make more effort in the new year to make use of it. I was going to try those packing cubes based on your recommendation, but didn't have time to order them. I'll definitely be trying them out soon, because I may have quite a bit of travelling to do next year! Great post, Audrey!

  5. HappinessatmidlifeThursday, December 13, 2012

    I use GCOGH but not as well as you do. Great idea!


  6. Thanks for sharing! I have a GCOGH membership but I totally haven't explored it all properly - you've inspired me! x

  7. Audrey, I found your blog through a link on Pinterest...it came at JUST the right time for me for a little re-inspiration for my wardrobe (through medical school & now residency, I let my 'style' go a bit...add a new baby to the mix & I felt like a frump). It seems, through your posts, like you are a Christian (?)--which is awesome :) I'm wanting your honest opinion on something--& by NO MEANS is this meant to come across in any way but complimentary....

    I'm going to go ahead & assume that your profile statement claiming that you love God indicates a bit about your spiritual stance (& forgive me if I'm wrong). As Christians, we are called (I believe) to simplicity, giving, & humility. I'm struggling with the justification of buying new, trendy clothes & how that fits into the picture of my faith. While my dream closet is filled with cute clothes that match the newest trends each season, I sometimes have trouble justifying new purchases because it *feels* like I'm neglecting some other part of my calling...I'd love to hear your opinion...or tips...or whatever your heart feels like sharing :)


  8. I just joined GCOGH - I'm excited! Thanks for introducing me!

  9. I'm not Audrey, but if I'm reading your comment correctly I think the answer just comes to balance. I'm not certain if you are more concerned with the cost in dollars, time, or just the mindset of caring what you look like instead of the people who are lost. For that last one, I don't know how to answer it other than even the proverbs wife clothed her family in scarlet rather than in serviceable brown. As for the time/money, you wouldn't want to devote every cent/minute to ANY one particular luxury; whether that is unnecessary foods, cars, vacations, CLOTHES, etc. Do you see an occasionally movie? Eat out? Eat dessert? Take a vacation or even just a day trip? Buy a magazine or book that is just for pleasure? I'm assuming you probably do at least one or two of those things, which means you should also be able to find where your comfort level is in buying new/trendy clothes. For me, that is why I love this site so much: I am learning how to update my wardrobe first from within ITSELF and then intelligently add the occasional new/trendy item (or even classic item I don't have). I think if you learn how to stock your wardrobe with mostly classic pieces that are flattering to you, then you will be able to add less to your closet but get more out of it.

  10. I'm curious, have you truly added ALL of your wardrobe items? and I'd like to ask the same of anyone who care to answer :-) For anyone else, what approach did you take? And how LONG did it take?

  11. Thanks so much for this post! I just joined and am in the process of uploading photos of my clothes.

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