Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Travel Wardrobe Recap

After a long flight (12+ hours in the air total) an early evening stroll through Paris was just the thing.
Blustery Sunday morning in Jardin de Tuileries

Above are pictures taken on our first and last days in Paris. Le monsieur snapped a few more of me in between but I’m wearing the same thing in all: slim pants (skinny jeans or ponte knit), boots, grey scarf, black leather jacket (and two or three layers of tops underneath). It was cool and intermittently rainy in Paris, and I was glad I’d swapped out my lightweight coat for my leather jacket at the very last moment after one final glance at the extended weather forecast.

In Provence, it was a bit drier and a few degrees warmer, so was able to shed the jacket periodically.

At the seaside in Cassis 
Market day in Aix-en-Provence

Overall, I was very pleased with how my capsule travel wardrobe worked out.

What worked:

  • The Naot mid-calf boots were a good choice; coordinated with all of my pants whether worn inside or out and they never gave my feet cause for complaint. 
  • I always had something to wear that was appropriate for the weather and venue, even if that meant wearing some pieces almost daily. 
  • I appreciated having a small and relatively lightweight suitcase while in transit (especially navigating up and down a narrow flight of curving stairs on the TGV train) and realized one more advantage to packing light when we arrived back home: less to unpack!

I did “sink laundry” for a few items twice on the trip and almost everything dried overnight, even with the cool and damp conditions.

Didn’t wear: 

  • the polka dot dress. I wore the other one (above) on our second day in Provence, but the weather didn’t cooperate past that point. Too chilly/windy/damp even with leggings. 
  • most of the jewelry. 

Wish I’d brought: another 1 or 2 mid-weight scarves with some color.

In retrospect, I do think this was my most workable and best travel capsule wardrobe yet.
~

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29 thoughts on “Travel Wardrobe Recap

  1. Tabitha

    Looking good Missy!
    I would love to wear more dresses and if I lived anywhere other than Northern Europe I would but like you, I can’t abide exposing my legs to rain and cold.

    Reply
  2. Judy

    Missy I have to say I am so happy you just did this “what worked and what did not!” It is easy to find posts on what to bring, but harder to find out what the outcome was.

    I love your posts and am enjoying your pics. Thank you!

    Judy

    Reply
  3. Duchesse

    Well done! (And, as you did, one can always buy scarves there.) Am interested in hearing abut another strategy, how you coped with jet lag (12 hrs is a lot of time zones) when only there for a week. You seemed to hit the ground running and never let up!

    Reply
    1. déjà pseu

      Duchesse, I’ll include some of my jet-lag tips in a post later this week. (Short version: fresh air and movement.) I did buy scarves there, but everything in the stores was spring/summer collections, so too lightweight for my ensembles.

      Reply
  4. hostess of the humble bungalow

    It sounds to me like you must have slept on the plane to be able to pop out right away for a stroll.
    Jet lag must not have been much of a factor.

    Your packing skills get better with each jaunt to Paris.
    Like Duchesse mentioned you could always buy scarves!

    Reply
  5. Lisa

    Hello….Thanks to you and to your pal at The Vivienne files…I have begun to embrace the capsule wardrobe philosophy and the French chic style. I so love your blog!

    Reply
  6. mette

    I too have noticed the same thing about jewelry on trips. The extras don´t get worn. Arriving from California, the weather must have felt cool, if not cold. A good thing, that you had your leather jacket along!

    Reply
  7. Claire R.

    Thank you! This is very inspiring! I always wear the same thing at home. I am working to learn that I also wear the same clothes when I travel!

    You are an excellent example! Thanks again.

    Reply
  8. materfamilias

    Clever and chic! I’m finding a bit more challenge in making my carry-on last a month, especially given the changeable weather: low teens and windy in Amsterdam; low 30s in St. Emilion last week (and people were swimming in the ocean at San Sebastian yesterday!). But isn’t it great how easy it is to get around with only a single rolling bag? Worth the extra planning. . .

    Reply
  9. Lisa

    Thanks for the recap. It is good to know what works and what doesn’t. I’ve often heard people always pack more than they will actually wear. It is helpful to know what worked and what didn’t work for you. :-)

    Reply
  10. donnieb

    Nice going…really appreciate the commentary too! Love the first two photos best, chick, sophisticated and cool. Something about that dress–dowdy, but love all else. Great hair cut as well.

    Reply
  11. BigLittleWolf

    This is a great idea – recapping what you did and didn’t wear. (I always forget to remember what I didn’t wear… which would be so useful when packing the next time around!)

    Love these pictures! You packed so smartly and you look so French! And oh – seeing Aix brings back very sweet memories for me… A lovely place.

    Reply
  12. catherine

    Esp love the first photo. Can you show us the actual luggage you used. Also, did you carry it on? I just cannot figure out how to not over pack.
    Ps love your blog.

    Reply
  13. Leslie

    You look very chic and I love your clothing choices. I was taking note of your shoes as I would like to wear something attractive and don’t want the track shoe look. We will be there in July so the weather will be warm (swollen feet!). I’m considering a flat and wedge.

    I think you look wonderful after the 12 hour flight. I’m dreading that part..

    Reply
  14. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen

    Looks like your planning paid off. I wish I was as organized as you.

    When we were in Provence several years ago, it was colder than I had planned on. I picked up several very nice scarves and have thoroughly enjoyed wearing them here at home and they kept me warm and chic while I was there. Didn’t take up much room in the suitcase either.
    Sam

    Reply
  15. LunaStitches

    I have enjoyed your travel posts so much. I don’t travel that often, but when I do I try to pack sensibly and sparely, but always start too late and take too much! These pictures are proof that planning and sticking to a carefully thought out capsule wardrobe pays off – you look very chic.

    Reply
  16. Marie-Christine

    Don’t fret about the dresses, if the weather had been more seasonal you’d have gotten plenty of wear from them. In fact you’d have needed sandals too.
    It’s true that you can never have too many scarves in Paris, and they extend any vacation wardrobe. Fortunately, you can easily pick up a couple extras on location :-).
    Sorry you had such a cool time, you were only off a couple weeks from the first glorious spring. Sigh. One would never go anywhere if was necessary to wait for the ideal weather, exchange rate etc..

    Reply
  17. Marisol D.

    I love your site, no fifty but heading there eventually (39)it’s very inspirational and i love the pics, they are great. You look elegant in each photo and the light packing looks to be a highly developed skill. I am taking note! One day i will visit there in the mean time you can be my guest here in Toronto- Canada

    Marisol D.

    Reply
    1. déjà pseu

      Hi Angela – the jeans were NYDJ and 7 For all Mankind. The black ponte knit pants, black and blue cardigans, and the tees and tunics were all Eileen Fisher. The dresses are from Karina Dresses ( http://www.karinadresses.com ). The one sweater tunic was Helmut Lang. Boots from Naot and shoes were OLD Ecco’s. Hope that helps!

      Reply

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