Friday, September 19th, 2014

Travel Wardrobe: Second Round Draft Picks

Image via Pinterest

Hong Kong tram. Image via Pinterest

Thanks so much for all of your feedback on my proposed travel wardrobe for Hong Kong and Vietnam! I’d truly hoped to compile this travel wardrobe without any new purchases, but I think the demands of the climate (heat and extreme humidity) may require some special “equipment” not found in my current wardrobe. From the standpoint of selection it’s absolutely the wrong time to be searching for summer-weight clothing, but from a discount standpoint, if you can find something that works, chances are it’s on mega-sale.

Based on (overwhelming) majority opinion, I’m going to ditch the boyfriend jeans and replace with something lighter. The one pair of linen pants that graced my closet was six years and twenty pounds ago, and has been long since donated. Luckily, a quick search turned up a lot of options, most of which are on sale including some in darker colors. I’ve ordered a pair in a straight leg style in navy, which should go nicely from day to evening.

Eileen Fisher straight leg linen pants

The two skirts currently in my wardrobe are both just-above-the-knee pencil skirts, which are great for evenings but not the best for daytime walking/sightseeing. Both of these from Eileen Fisher have possibilities..

Asymmetrical skirt, Silk skirt

Asymmetrical skirt, Silk skirt (imagine if you can with different shoes…)

I’ll report back after I’ve tried them. I’ve looked at “skorts” online but haven’t seen any that are long enough for my comfort zone. And here’s another question for you…are bare legs with skirts considered acceptable in Hong Kong? I can’t imagine wearing tights during the day in heat and humidity.

The good news is that I’ve been acquiring knit linen tees for a couple of years now, and they currently are available at every price point. This one from Madewell seems to have been designed with tropical conditions in mind: it’s very light and drapes nicely.

Madewell linen tee

Linen swingline tee, available in multiple colors

Last year I purchased this simple white linen tee from Eileen Fisher, and a few weeks ago picked up the striped linen tee from J.Crew (mine’s grey/black). Between these and my silk jersey tanks and tees, I think I’m in good shape for tops.

The shoes are a conundrum. Most of my walking shoes are either boots or sandals. Boots will be too warm, and many of you have advised against sandals. My Taos sneakers are a great in-between option, but I feel as though including a second pair of walking shoes in case those get wet is prudent. I’ve been eyeing these slip-on sneakers from Vince for some months now, and am going to try them out.

I’m hoping the perforated leather will translate to a cooler shoe in the heat. Again, will report back. I will still need some dressier shoes for some evenings (which should not require lots of walking) and am not sure what to include if not the low heels. Some of the planned activities on our Halong Bay cruise (like kayaking) will require sandals that can stand a dunking, so will probably just take my Havianas.

Again, I very much appreciate all of the great feedback and suggestions!

And a general housekeeping note: we’ve had some big projects at work lately that are sucking up a great deal of time and my mental energy, so I haven’t been able to visit your blogs as much as I’d like. We’re nearing the end of the project, and I’m hoping to do some catching up over the weekend or soon thereafter.

Do you have any other tips for putting together an “out of season” travel wardrobe?
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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Travel Wardrobe Planning: A Different Direction

Travel Wardrobe - Hong Kong

So I haven’t mentioned this much recently, but in a few weeks we’re headed someplace completely different from our usual travels: Hong Kong and Vietnam! I’m very excited, as this is a part of the world I’ve always dreamed of visiting. It will be a fairly short trip for us, but I’m finding wardrobe planning for a non-resort, warm-weather destination a bit of a challenge. (We’ve traveled before to sub-tropical climates, but it’s usually to hang out on a beach somewhere.) October is on the cusp of the cooler season there, but we’ve been told not to be surprised by some lingering heat and humidity.

Our time in Vietnam will mostly be spent on a short cruise in Halong Bay which means primarily casual wear, but some activities and venues in Hong Kong may require a bit more dressy attire, especially in the evenings (at least that’s our understanding). We’ve also been warned that a/c indoors can be brutally frigid. Any input from those of you who live in the area or visit Hong Kong regularly is welcome!

Halong Bay, via

Halong Bay, via

The travel wardrobe shown at the top of the post is my “starter kit,” and subject to change as we get closer and nail down more of our activities. I’ll probably throw in some color and print with tops, will add a very lightweight jacket or two, some scarves, and one or two sun hats. The items I’ve shown here may not be the exact ones I’ll be bringing but are intended to give a general idea of the types of pieces that I’m considering. Remembering what worked in Italy a few years ago during one of the hottest Springs on record, I’ve focused on clothing that’s loose-fitting, breathable and washable. As usual, I’m looking to travel as light as possible: a carry-on bag and personal item only. And also as usual, I’ve made sure to include two pairs of shoes that I can walk in all day. (The heels would be for dressy evenings only.)

How do you pack for warm weather, urban destinations? Any tips particular to Hong Kong?

Items shown in collage above:

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Monday, September 15th, 2014

Share In Style: Skirts Or Pants

Well, we know which camp I'm in...

Well, we know I bat for Team Pants…

I was delighted when fabulous Sacramento of MIS PAPELICOS invited me to partner with her for this week’s Share In Style: Skirts Or Pants!

Above is the J.Crew Regent blazer I’ve been raving about for the last couple of weeks. I think this is one of the better jacket styles they’ve offered in years. (And as of Monday Sept. 15 it’s again offered at 25% off with code SHOPFORFALL !)

Jérôme Dreyfuss bag, Tory Burch wrap bracelet

I’ve been looking for a cognac colored day bag for years now and here was trying on this one from Jérôme Dreyfuss.  As much as I love the gorgeous color, design and functionality (multiple pockets plus key fob and attached mini-flashlight!), I’m returning it. It’s not an inexpensive bag; I worry about keeping the suede looking nice, and I don’t want to have to “baby” my bags. (I have not used the bag, only tried it on here, and it still has tags on.) The search continues.

Nicholas Kirkwood loafers

Earrings: Argento Vivo, no longer available, similar // Jacket: J.Crew // Top: Eileen Fisher // Bag: Jérôme Dreyfuss // Jeans: Eileen Fisher // Bracelets: Tory Burch and Stella & Dot // Watch: MICHAEL Michael Kors // Shoes: Nicholas Kirkwood

Sacramento is representing Team Skirts, and what a glorious one she has here!!


Which do you wear more often, skirts or pants?


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Now it’s your turn! Link up here:

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Excellent Boots

So as part of a closet re-organization the other night I did a Boot-ventory. I’d purchased last year’s version of this Paul Green boot in black, and having just tried it on again have to say it’s one of the most stinkin’ comfortable bits of footwear I’ve ever owned. Good looking piece of business too.

My experience with Paul Green is that many styles run 1/2 size large and this is not an exception.

More Paul Green boots here. Your feet will thank you.

Edited to add: my sister kindly offered these lyrics, sung to the tune of “Excellent Birds” by Laurie Anderson and Peter Gabriel…

Hidden boots
Excellent boots
Put them on your feet!  They’re comfy!
But they run a half size large…LOOKOUT!

What’s your favorite pair of boots?
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Thursday, September 11th, 2014

A Taste Of Burgundy

Burgundy accents

Whether you call it Burgundy, Bordeaux, Merlot, Cabernet, Oxblood, Maroon…it’s a color that seems to make a fresh splash every Autumn, and is hailed under whatever moniker the fashion editors (or Pantone) have chosen for that year. There’s a reason for that: it’s a great color that works well with almost any neutral, and its earthiness can ground a colorful outfit (I especially love seeing it paired with bright pink). But it can be a hard color to wear, especially near the face where it can turn harsh and unflattering. Adding Burgundy as an accessory or accent is one way to incorporate this sumptuous color without angst.

1. Clarks Bootie // 2. DKNY Watch (love the pewter face with the burgundy strap!) // 3. Essie “Burgundies” polish // 4. J.Crew Double Zip Loafers // 5. Rebecca Minkoff Bucket Bag

Do you have any burgundy in your wardrobe? How do you wear it?


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