I've decided to approach this scientifically.
Last year, when I spent some time shuttling between Melbourne and Auckland, I developed a plan that kind of worked.
1 dress + 1 skirt + 1 trousers + 3 tops + 2 cardigans + 3 pairs of shoes = wardrobe heaven?
For five weeks in Melbourne, I've decided on the following - it's based (loosely) on twice the Auckland Equation, bearing in mind that you can't wear exactly the same clothes week in and week out without getting a leetle bit bored. At least I can't. So I'm going with a two-week, on-again/off-again cycle.
For working -
2 dresses + 2 skirts + 2 trousers + 4 tops + 2 cardigans + 2 pairs of shoes + 1 blazer
For evenings & weekends -
1 dress + 1 jeans + 1 shorts + 2 tops + 1 shoes + 1 casual jacket
Just in case of freak blizzards -
One warm jumper (I can't help it, it's like I hear a choir of Irish mammies in my head asking, 'have you packed your woolly jumper?')
And that's it - I'll travel with my handy dandy trench coat (warm enough for wearing in Ireland on departure / arrival, not too warm for Australia if it gets wet and windy, which it might).
My suitcase is looking a bit more streamlined than usual as I've resisted the urge to pack all of my favourite clothes. I've also kept to a strict every-top-has-to-go-with-at-least-three-other-things rule so I can mix and match. Plus I keep reciting the following mantra: there have WASHING MACHINES and SHOPS in Australia.
So, is this the magic formula? I'll let you know...