I thought of Didion and her list of essentials as I watched TikTok user @Ayeshayeshbaby6 explain the 333 Packing Method—an easy-to-remember rule of thumb that basically updates Joan Didion’s packing list published in the 1979 classic, The White Album. The 333 Packing Method dictates that you should pack only three tops, three bottoms and three pairs of shoes, and you’ll wind up with 21 looks. (This particular creator also splurges on three accessories and wears a coat and T-shirt—and presumably some pants—on the plane but it’s not worth quibbling about the exact math.)
Sure enough, taking in the 21 looks, I am thinking there’s a soothing quality to the pretty young woman’s looks, and that she too could “pass on either side of the culture,” as Didion did. She can look profesh or casual, with room to spare in her carry-on…say, if she wanted to make some purchases on her trip or have space for those cigarettes and bourbon that Didion held so dear in her luggage. We’ve sourced out our own 333 packing method pieces below, but most of them we’ll wager are already in your home closet. Just be sure to keep everything to relatively non-clashing neutral tones, like you are building a capsule wardrobe, and don’t wild out with anything too tight (because comfort is key when you’re on the road) or overly trendy. After all, you may want to blend into the background, as Didion did, to learn the hot goss and become a legend.