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Packing Tips from Globetrotting Creative Director, PieterJan Mattan

Belgium-born creative director PieterJan Mattan runs his own creative studio, a job that requires more than a little bit of traveling. Of course, when you’re a creative director, people expect you to dress well too. Mattan has mastered both and was recently kind enough to talk with O.N.S and share his tips for packing light and dressing well, no matter where one travels.

When traveling, what are your must-haves?

I always travel with lightweight, fast-drying, wrinkle-resistant clothing. I dress very minimalist regardless, so it’s not that big of a change. I plunder MUJI for every travel organizer they have to my keep passport, tickets, and wallet. The Japanese know what they’re doing. And I always bring a notebook for ideas and sketches. Also, water. Drink a lot of water!

What technology can you just not live without?

Airplanes! And I would miss my phone camera a lot, I admit. For Burning Man I once got this huge battery that charged my phone seven times. I’m just saying, those things exist.

What’s the ideal way to pack duffel bag? What do you bring?

When I’m traveling for work, my computer and a bag full of chargers. All the tech that needs to come out at security goes on top. I usually pack just one pair of jeans and a lot of T-shirts. I try to pack running or workout clothes as well. And an empty tote bag for my laundry items. And peppermints.

Do you have any tips for packing dressier items? 

I’m not a roller. I usually just fold my shirts and hang them up in the hotel bathroom as soon as I arrive. Jackets I keep out of the bag. Picking clothing with the right fabrics helps a lot. But packing dressy clothes is definitely not my favorite thing to do.

What grooming and health products do you enjoy packing when you’re going on a trip?

Travel size fragrances. My neighbor in New York makes an amazing one. And flossers for every day! Moisturizers do wonders when you get dehydrated somewhere between New York and Mexico.

Do you have any rules for packing your suitcase?

Organization and compression are key. I pack everything in mesh packing cubes by category. That way, when I travel to multiple places on one trip, my bag doesn’t get all messed up. You want everything super tight so nothing moves around. Lint roll your more delicate items before packing. If you pack a limited color palette, everything goes with everything.

What are your do’s and don’ts of packing?

Travel light. Always bring one or two extra outfits and a mini version of your toiletries in your carry-on luggage. Thank me later! Mark your suitcase with a tag or anything else that will help you differentiate it from anyone else’s similar luggage. I try to pack in a consistent way for every trip to save time.

Be sure to follow PieterJan on IG here.


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