Millions of women around the world were moved by Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of healing, self-discovery and so much more while visiting Naples, India and Bali during a year-long mental health break.
Anyone who has gone through an ugly divorce, suffered depression, questioned their faith, struggled with their weight or despaired about finding true love — in other words, just about everyone — could find plenty to relate to in Eat, Pray, Love.
When the movie version lands in theaters on Friday, it will arrive with some seriously heavy baggage — the huge expectations of a devoted fanbase eager to see what Julia Roberts can do with one of the trickiest female film roles in recent memory.
Personally, I have high hopes for EPL: The Movie, and I’m counting on it to help us forget the abominable Sex and the City 2, which coincidentally involved another sort of female odyssey of vain self-discovery. (If Eat, Pray, Love can erase the memory of Carrie and the girls doing their full-length karaoke version of I Am Woman, it’ll have done us all a service!)
Eat, Pray, Love has almost nothing to do with fashion, but its globe-trotting storyline opens up a world of wardrobe possibilities for other women — and there will be many — who decide to follow in Elizabeth Gilbert’s footsteps.
But before you buy a one-way RTW ticket and cash in your 401(k) to finance your wanderlust, we’ve put together a list of fashion rules for the road to help lighten your load. Believe me, if you haven’t done this sort of thing before, you’ll thank us.
And stay tuned: tomorrow we’ll have a second piece on some incredible fashion choices for your Eat, Pray, Love-inspired wanderings. Don’t miss it!
Lingerie Talk’s RULES FOR THE ROAD
- UNpack Before You Go — Yes, you read that right. Take as little as possible. You can buy most clothing items you’ll need at your destination, and much cheaper. Exceptions = shoes (see below) and a Gore-tex jacket.
- Bra Basics — Find a decent travel bra, perhaps even a sports bra that can do double-duty. Must be easy to wash, and quick-drying. Absolutely no molded cups or underwires, because they will get crushed and lose their shape.
- Weight Matters — Everything you take with you will feel twice as heavy when it’s on your back. Pack only light clothing items, and minimal jewelry.
- Think Layers — Tops, skirts, leggings, lingerie …. if you mix it up a bit, you can stretch a small wardrobe a long way.
- Head in Clouds, Feet on Ground — Where shoes are concerned, all the rules go out the window. But try to overcome your obsessive footwear fetish and take only two pairs — a decent-looking set of runners/trail shoes that will keep you moving in all kinds of terrain; and a pair of rubberized sandals like Keens or Tevas, which are absolutely indispensable for beaches, jungles and for when your runners get soaked, and can be hard to find in some foreign ports-of-call.
- Spoil Yourself — But just a little. Pack one elegant piece for special occasions (like that impromptu romantic riverside dinner in Naples with a handsome stranger). A light, wrinkle-free slip dress is all it takes. You can pick up some heels from a street vendor.
- Kiss Your Luggage Goodbye — I’ve traveled a LOT, and I tell this to everyone. The number one way you can minimize travel hassles is to carry everything in one bag, and NEVER CHECK YOUR LUGGAGE. It will get lost, damaged, rerouted, delayed, stolen … you name it. I have a good friend who traveled around the world for 18 MONTHS carrying a knit backpack not much larger than a handbag. Everything fit it — meaning everything necessary. She mailed souvenirs home, and bought anything she needed along the way. And she never lost her bag once.