Remember that great post on packing a wardrobe for six weeks? Well, dear readers, I’ve lost the opportunity to take advantage of my own advice! Because I’m now 2500 miles from my closet, laid up recovering from my fall, and, instead, stuck with a weekend wardrobe for six weeks. Talk about a fashionista disaster, right?
OK, now DON’T judge me just because I take a lot of clothes with me for one weekend. If it were winter, I’d have fewer items, but it is so easy to pack more in warmer weather. But really, it is not a bad collection to mix and match for six weeks, is it? The crisp white shirt has to be professionally laundered and ironed to look good for more than one wearing and I should have included either more workout pants or sloppy pull-on pants for the work ahead – helping to take care of a first-time mother and newborn and packing – but I can borrow stuff from my daughter for this. Oh.. and I don’t have a light raincoat!
But I know I can do this and it will be an interesting challenge for someone accustomed to a lot of wardrobe variety. And if I get really out of sorts, I can always order something darling and on sale and have it sent to me here! By the way, here is a compilation of tips for efficient packing for your next trip.
Well, first let me say that I’ll never look like any of these women in hot weather.
I’ll be spending five or six weeks between Washington, DC and Knoxville, TN this month and next. I grew up in the humid hot muck that is the east coast in summer so I am not a newbie. But I haven’t been in that weather for an extended period since the days when I wore lots of shorts, sleeveless tops, and cute little sundresses.
I’ve been developing the criteria for my hot-weather wardrobe knowing that I have to fit everything into a 22″ roller bag and a smaller carry-on bag and my trip won’t involve any “dress up” occasions. I, of course, want to take all my favorite cute clothes but there is no way I’ll be able to do that. Here are my guidelines:
Four pairs of comfortable pants – no tight skinny jeans which will just be too hot. But here I’m talking chinos like these:
One pair of cropped flared jeans and one pair of denim midi culottes so I can get my “trendy” on.
Six tees – two long sleeved (good for wearing over exercise clothes to gym) – given my proclivities these will probably be striped or white.
Two dressier tops – I just bought this, for example:
One button front midi dress or a long vest – I can wear the former as a dress, a tunic over pants, and as a duster.
One skirt – probably my Shoptiques version of this one because I love it so much and it screams summer:
One long sleeved crisp white shirt
Outerwear – my light apple green Eileen Fisher anorak
Two sweaters – undecided here but one will be black
Three sets of exercise clothes
I cannot even think about shoes (could take up 50% of my available space!), jewelry, or other accessories – I’ll report back on that next week! What have I missed here? What tips do you have for hot weather packing?
Check out these beautiful on-sale hot weather clothes from Banana Republic and H&M!
I spent many years traveling for business, but I never had to “dress for travel” because I was always in business ensembles. Because of that experience, I continued to think carefully about what I wore for traveling when that part of my career ended. I always wanted to look sophisticated and well-dressed – like maybe I was still a road warrior.
As the years passed, I slowly changed my travel apparel to reflect two things: 1) the fact that most people were dressing down and I stuck out, and 2) the fact that I wanted and needed to be comfortable – you know, i case I had to spend the night on the floor in the airport or really run to catch a train.
Now I follow some simple guidelines which I thought I would share:
Wear clothing that you plan to wear in some combination at your destination. If I wear leggings, I know they can double as exercise tights once I arrive. I will wear a duster sweater (bulky to pack) and then wear it later in my trip. This also presumes that I have picked a base color for my travel wardrobe of either black, navy, or a shade of brown.
Wear cute AND comfortable shoes. Nothing is worse than finding out that your shoes are uncomfortable halfway to your gate. I used to always wear a shoe with a heel (because I wanted to be taller than everyone else), but I have gradually shifted to certain low heels, cute flats, or sneakers.
Organize your clothing layers before you leave. Perhaps, like me, you fly from California to the East Coast in winter. I don’t need a coat on the front end but I’ll surely need one on the back end. So my winter coat is packed with gloves or mittens on the top of my bag for easy access after I land. Then there is the issue of staying warm and comfortable on the plane. I always carry a big scarf, an eye mask and earplugs.
Wear makeup and take the time to look nice! You never know who you’ll meet on the plane and don’t you ultimately just want to look better than everyone else you’re with?
Carry a chic carryall or backpack in addition to your handbag. What’s in mine? Earplugs, eye mask, big scarf, all my medications, my jewelry bag, reading materials, nutritious snacks, water, the newspaper and my computer and mouse. In the handbag (always!): Kleenex, ID, phone with boarding pass displayed, Ibuprofin, mouth freshener, lipstick, credit cards and cash.
Take a look at these great items for your next travel day.
My husband and I are going on a vacation in a few short weeks — not a “sunning in a lawn chair” vacay, but one with a lot of tromping around on quaint Northern European streets. Every trip like this sends me into a paradox of shoe shopping. I mean, it’s easy for my husband: one pair of urban hiking shoes, a pair of Vans and a pair of casual leather slip-ons and he’s ready to go.
For me, it is not so simple. Because I want the perfect pair of black flats to wear on the trip and I have a strict set of criteria:
They must be chic.
They must be extremely comfortable; not sandals (too cool) and probably not boots.
They must be chic.
They cannot be traditional “older woman” walking shoes.
They must be chic.
This is not an easy task. Oh, and I also hope to complete this task online and at a reasonable price. What’s a girl to do?
So I have turned to Nordstrom. Their shoe buyers do seem to get the idea that comfort and chicness can go together without going to Dr. Scholl’s. I had hoped I could model my options for you, but unfortunately none of my selections have arrived yet. I do promise to show you my choice when I pack for my 14-day journey. Fingers crossed and here are the options I’ve been considering:
And one from Garnet Hill:
Which do YOU think will win the Black Shoe Vacation Sweepstakes???
Kate has been covering for me since the middle of December because I was traveling with my husband in Thailand. I learned and re-learned a lot about fashionable travel on my trip and I want to share what I’ve learned (and give Kate a mini-break from the blog).
I was on a (mostly) warm weather trip so I took summer clothes — cotton ankle pants, t-shirts, camis, long shorts, maxi skirts — my normal summer wear. I took sandals and flats and accessories in the form of scarves and a few necklaces. I applied the same rule I apply to short trips — pick a color or two and center all clothes on these colors. So how did I do?
Meh. Lessons learned:
1) Pack light, technical fabrics. I had a lot of cotton. Lots of the time I didn’t look chic — I looked wrinkled.
2) REALLY limit your color palette. For me, this means in the future I will basically take black — tech fabrics in hopefully chic shapes — and then sprinkle in white and a few colorful accessories. I saw my future role model in the Bangkok airport — short, short hair, great contemporary eyeglasses and in black. She looked fresh, stylish, and like an experienced traveler.
3) Prepare for the unexpected. We hit unseasonably cold weather in the north of Thailand. I practiced the art of layering but I really wasn’t prepared and I was COLD. Pack that down sweater from Patagonia. You will never regret it.
I actually grew to hate my clothes so much that I actually left some items in my Thailand hotel. If I had thought through the perfect travel wardrobe, I don’t think this would have happened.
Here are some great travel staples I wish I’d had with me:
How do you pack for a stylish trip? What are your go-to travel staples?
This has been a hectic autumn for us both — for Jeanne because she’s been traveling a lot during her four-month retirement and for Kate because she and her husband are always traveling on weekends for weddings, family visits, etc. Jeanne has the edge on efficient packing after years of travel for business and pleasure. Here are her tips for packing for a one week trip.
Jeanne says: First of all, the goal is not simply packing for seven days, but rather packing for seven days of style and variety. I mean, anyone can throw a few pairs of jeans and sweaters into a roller bag; having a fashion goal is an entirely different thing! Here are my basic guidelines for packing. I hope they are helpful.
Pick a base color for your trip. In all likelihood it will be black, brown, or maybe navy. I nearly always end up with black because 1) my most useful travel handbag is black, 2) black doesn’t show dirt and 3) black goes with virtually everything.
Pull together your absolute essentials: for me that would be exercise clothes (2 sets), shoes and iPod, sleepwear (pajamas and socks that can double as slippers), lounging around stuff (yoga pants and a t-shirt) and basic underwear. Pack them into your bag.
Pull from your closet the items you would like to take that coordinate with your base color. For me, the desired items are generally my trendiest and most recently purchased because I get a lot of pleasure out of wearing these items more often and in a new setting.
Next, think through the events and activities for the time you are away. If there are specific events planned (such as rehearsal dinner and wedding) pull out the exact outfits you plan to wear along with necessary lingerie, accessories and shoes.
Now that you’ve dealt with all the “essentials”, pull four bottoms of your choice — could be jeans, pants or skirts — six tops, two sweaters/light jackets, and two or three scarves. (Don’t panic — remember that you will be wearing some of this on the plane.) If you are traveling in colder weather, you’ll have to allow more space for heavier sweaters, scarves, gloves, etc.
Put together the different outfits you can make from these combinations. Try on the combinations. From experience, I can tell you about the number of times I have packed possible combinations (without trying them on) and found out later that they did not work!
Remember that accessories take up the least amount of room and offer the greatest variety. If I over pack anything, it is jewelry, scarves, and glasses.
Now start the process of paring down your selections: What shoes go with multiple outfits? Which bottoms will wear the best over the course of a week? Can you wear a fabulous outfit more than once?
Now jam it all into your bag!!!
Finally I never travel without the following in my carry-on bag: eye shades and ear plugs, wool pashmina or equivalent, iPad, books and magazines, good jewelry, healthy snacks, bottle of water, essential prescription drugs and ibuprofen, umbrella and printed itinerary.
Up top you can see a few combos I put together out of my travel wardrobe for a recent trip to San Francisco.