The Cure For a Recovering Packaholic

My husband Rich and I are leaving for Italy in a week for a long overdue vacation.

We are recent empty nesters and we have an amazing group of talented people who can manage the company while we’re gone.

I appreciate how fortunate we are for this time at this stage in life. We are admittedly middle aged, we have raised two great kids, we have built a business together that still inspires and challenges us every day and now we have time to travel a bit more.

As much as I am excited for this trip, my normal packing anxiety is beginning to set in. I am what you might call a recovering ‘packaholic’. Here’s how things usually play out. I start by rifling through my closet haphazardly pulling out everything I imagine I could possibly ever need. Then I add to that. The result is an overstuffed suitcase I am barely able to lift, full of clothes I don’t even wear.

The irony is that I spend many of my days searching for perfect travel fabrics so that you, my beloved friends/customers, can have versatile, stylish, go anywhere clothing that is EASY to pack and wear and basically covers most travel fashion bases.

This time my packing experience will be different. Instead of packing for myself, I am going to pretend I am packing for you, my dear customer, about to go on a trip to Italy for 10 days.

Knowing that the temps will be in the low 70’s during the day and high 50’s at night, here’s what I recommend:

3 key bottoms with different looks that can go from day to night, won’t wrinkle and look great.


Rayon Jersey Straight Pant – wear anytime with any top, so comfy, with pockets!
Rayon Jersey Flood Pant – slightly dressier fluid shape
Stretch Millenium Ankle Pant -more structured, tapered looking


Everything Tank – the foundation piece that makes everything the right length, wear this under anything to cover just the right amount of hip area. Great with straight pants or leggings.
Shawl Pocket Jacket – throw this “cover my arm” jacket over the Everything Dress or Everything Tank
Rayon Cotton Surplice Button Top – perfect cool “evening out” top, slightly shaped great with millenium ankle pant


Crinkle Cotton Plaid Pullover – light weight cotton with a bit of stretch, perfect daytime top
Crinkle Cotton Variegated Stripe Shaped Shirt – light weight cotton with a bit of stretch, another perfect day time top
Express Travel Cityscape Shirt – the dinner out shirt, slightly dressier in a sophisticated print


Our Everything Dress is the ONLY dress you will need for the trip.
It’s ideal for day or night casual with a jean jacket or dressed up with the shawl pocket jacket.

With the layers above, you will need one simple jacket for cool evening temps. My favorite is our Snap Front Stretch Twill Jacket. Perfect length, goes casual or dressy, and holds its own with everything.


As for accessories, keep it simple. I suggest throwing in a few beautiful scarves to bring in a pop of color. I love a crossbody bag for traveling safely. You’ll want one pair of statement earrings and/or a chunky bangle for dressed up evenings. And most importantly, you’ll want and need comfy day shoes with rubber bendable soles and one pair of shoes for a slightly dressier look.

This all fits neatly into your bag and you will have extra suitcase room for all the great stuff you find to take back home.

Happy sightseeing and shopping!
I’ll let you know how our trip goes in a few weeks.


Suzanne Connelly - Owner, Habitat Clothes

About Suzanne

I design my collection for real women leading real lives. We all want to look relevant and current, but in our own way, reflecting our own sense of self and style. While I’m guilty of pouring over the latest fashion magazines, I’m often thinking, “Who wears that?”. I aim to enhance your style, not dictate it.

  • Comments ( 1 )

  • avatar


    Not only do I feel incredibly fortunate to have found your clothing (shout out to Debra Elizabeth’s in Wiscasset, Maine, for that), but now to have found your website! Am very glad to know that I am not the only one to have this particular packing ‘challenge,’ which has improved greatly since finding your clothing. I love how easy it is to dress your tops and tunics up or down as needed when I’m on the road, and the fact that your fabrics are durable and nearly bulletproof, yet drape beautifully. Thanks so much for all of the care you obviously put into your clothing. Enjoy Italy!

Comments are closed.

Back to Top