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This one packing hack will magically multiply the outfits in your suitcase


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Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

Packing for a trip can be a struggle: Bring too much, and you’ll accidentally turn your getaway into a hard-core workout by lugging around a 50-pound bag. Bring too little, and you won’t have enough options to get you through your vacation (which may encompass lots of different weather and the need for several pairs of shoes). So, what’s a wanderluster to do?

There’s a way to pack less and get more—and all you need to do is little math. Just as you can create a capsule wardrobe at home, you can also apply the method to your vacays.

“The formula is simple: Multiply the number of tops with the number of bottoms you plan to bring and that’s the number of outfits you’ll be able to create, as long as every top coordinates with every bottomThat’s the key.” —Wendy Mak, professional stylist and author

“The great thing about a travel capsule wardrobe is that you can make it as large or as compact as you wish,” Wendy Mak, author of The Capsule Wardrobe, told Afar. “The formula is simple: Multiply the number of tops with the number of bottoms you plan to bring and that’s the number of outfits you’ll be able to create, as long as every top coordinates with every bottomThat’s the key.”

According to Mak, all you need is six tops and four bottoms in your travel capsule wardrobe to create two dozen amazing outfit options. And if you want even more to choose from, add in a few jackets. Voilà! That 50-pound suitcase just turned into a small carry-on.

“Traveling light means you spend less time worrying about what to bring and can literally halve your current packing time. This leaves more time to focus on the fun aspects of your trip,” Mak said.

Less time sitting atop your suitcase while simultaneously wrestling the zipper to shut, and more time planning all the adventures ahead? Sounds like a crime against travel goals to not give this simple hack a try.

Here’s how Athleta’s CMO travels with just a shoulder bag. Also, try out these five rules for minimalist travel from the Marie Kondo of packing.