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.
Kate says: I’m definitely thinking about spring during this shopping diet. Switching out my wardrobe in a few weeks will give me a good infusion of “new” clothes that I haven’t seen in a while. But there are other items in my closet that I’d like to update, including these black flats.
I’ve been wanting to add a great pointy-toe black flat to my shoe collection. These two d’orsay styles caught my eye recently. I may miss out on the Gap Factory pair before the month is out (only one size left!), but the J.Crew Factory pair is a good second choice.
Jeanne says: Kate is so calm and rational about this diet. I, on the other hand, am not. Since I cannot buy, I am trying to simply stay away from shopping sites — online and bricks and mortar.
I am like Kate in that I always think my shoes for the season before anything else. And shoes are the only items I’ll even consider buying at full retail. So, in the name of full disclosure, I have to admit that I bought one pair of warm weather shoes before the diet began.
Aren’t these gorgeous? I got them in the “champagne nickel” color which will go with everything. Love, love, love.
The other shoes I am tracking are sneakers. I crave these Loeffler Randall sneakers:
but I doubt that they’ll ever get to my $75 price point. So instead I’m actually holding out for this very bright Superga design from last year.
I’ve seen them online in the $40-$50 range so my fingers are crossed that I’ll get them.
Sitting on the sidelines during our shopping diet doesn’t keep us from observing trends (or continually lusting over fresh new spring designs.) Case in point: the continuing craze for sneakers…with everything.
If you saw any pictures of street style during the past month, then you know exactly what we’re talking about. Sneakers are everywhere. When we discussed this trend a while back, neither of us were really fans.
But roll the months forward to spring ’15 and our perspective could be changing slightly. The kicks out now are amazing and, for sneakers, even beautiful. We’re still not sure we’d wear these with anything other than casual pants or jeans, but at least the trend is becoming a bit more tempting!
Here are some sneakers that we may be saving for dress up simply because they are so beautiful!
Jeanne says: OK, you all know my weakness for camo pants so here we are again! And they just happen to go perfectly with my Burberry sneakers — a real splurge! I was dressed for a work retreat so a casual look was in order; ripped boyfriend jeans would have been a step too far. I also love this slightly see-through sweater which goes with virtually everything I own.
But Kate wins this hands down. First, she is so on trend with her kicks worn with a light cotton knit dress. It IS a young look — one I don’t think I could pull off with any credibility. I’m also loving her long rhinestone necklace. She looks fabulous. It will be interesting to see what happens with the sneakers with everything trend once we are back to winter rain and snow, right?
Kate says: First of all, a huge thanks to Karen Price for these professional photos! A huge step up from my usual tripods shots, huh? I love this slightly sporty, slightly girly look I’ve got going here. This t-shirt dress is one of my favorites — perfect for a weekend coffee date — so it was a no brainer to pair with these crisp white slip-on Converse. My pendant necklace (another favorite!) makes the outfit just a bit more put together.
Mom was eyeing some sassy sneakers, and I like these Burberry ones she went with. They seem very her — she wouldn’t be satisfied with a sneaker without some serious personality. They work really well here with a casual camo pant and summer sweater — I would have liked a pop of color somewhere, maybe some red to pull out the red from the shoes?
Never heard of it? Well, neither had we until recently. Basically it is the art or style where one deliberately embraces an average — plain — sometimes out of date — way of dressing. Think acid-washed mom jeans, plain t-shirts or flannel tucked into plain skirts, fleece vests and gray sweatpants. Or as Jeanne says, think of the people one sees at a cultural event in Seattle.
Here are two great articles where you can learn the normcore basics.
Some pundits think the concept of normcore is a massive joke being played on some in the fashion industry, causing some fashionistas to follow the trend — plain, buttoned-up apparel, little make-up, Birkenstocks etc. Others see it as a hipster plot designed to make the rest of us look vain, shallow and overdressed.
Most of us fashionistas would never think of adopting this look — except maybe the trend of wearing bright athletic shoes with everything (which we personally believe is because everyone has sore feet from wearing stilettos!). We say: if you are tempted to try this look, go to the nearest big airport or to Times Square and look at how many tourists are dressed. We guarantee that this will renew your resolve to be truly stylish every day.
If you are casually thinking the normcore look might be cute, here are a few acceptable pieces of apparel you might consider that will still be stylish when combined with other chic items:
Chanel’s S/S 14 couture show cinched it: it’s OK to pair sneakers with ANY ensemble. Take a look:
We’re guessing that this trend started with wedge sneakers which were popular for the past few years and now seem to be on the way out. Perhaps it wasn’t far from that to “I think I’ll just wear my everyday sneakers.” We’re sure it is also tied up with the hipster look — the 21st century’s answer to hippiedom in the 60’s and 70’s, right? Take high-low dressing to new heights that draw immediate attention — sneakers and tulle skirts for example or the return of the overall (shudder). Hear out Jeanne and Kate on this latest trend:
Jeanne says: First of all, sneakers aren’t flattering under any circumstances. They make most of us look like we have no ankles. Wearing them with jeans or for any athletic endeavor is OK. Wearing them with skirt ensembles of any kind is unflattering and ridiculous. On the other hand, I do like the new stylish Nikes in bright colors though I’d still never wear them with a skirt. I’m sure this is a generational bias, but it is how I feel.
Here are some I do really like:
Kate says: I like this trend to a certain extent. I’ve always loved the look of a simple sneaker with skinny jeans, a casual summer dress (like above), or cute mini skirt. It is definitely a casual look though. As cheeky as sneakers are with a long formal dress or bridesmaid dress, it’s not really a look that most people can pull off (or want to pull off). It’s important to note that the example above all feature Converses — the quintessential cross-over sneakers. I like Converses across the casual outfits I mentioned (ultimate summer cool!) or a simple slip on sneaker. Last summer I bought some neon orange slip ons that I practically lived in.
What do you guys think? Do you wear your kicks with everything?