Warm Weather Travel Wardrobe: Lightweight Layers

if there’s some warm weather travel in your future…

linen tunic shirt

I’ve been working on a more comprehensive Spring/Summer travel wardrobe post, but wanted to share a couple of good options that I’ve seen recently. Some of my best summer-weight clothes were part of Resort or early spring collections which are available this time of year, so it’s a good time to start planning (and shopping, if you have some gaps).

We’re off to Las Vegas soon to celebrate our anniversary, and from the latest weather forecast, looks like we’ll have some heat. But I also plan on bringing a couple of lightweight outer layers to combat the sometimes aggressive air conditioning, and for evenings when it cools down.

One piece I’ve come to rely on is a collared button-front linen tunic. Mine’s a few years old from Eileen Fisher, but this one from J.Jill is also nice looking, and could be worn either buttoned as a tunic or open as a lightweight jacket. It’s available in Misses, Petites, Women’s and Tall sizes too. For those who worry about linen rumpling, I turn that bug into a feature: after washing, don’t put in the dryer. Twist it up like we used to do with those “broomstick” skirts (leaving the collar flat) and let it sit twisted overnight, then put on a hanger to complete drying. The “wrinkles” will now be “pleats” and look intentional. If you prefer a regular length shirt with some color, there’s also this option.

I’ve been looking for something like this new Eileen Fisher kimono jacket for years now.

short linen jacket

Yes, I snapped this one up, and yes, it’s going with me on this trip. Even during the warmest conditions, there may be times when you want or need something over your shoulders and arms, either to keep the sun off or just to ward off a/c drafts. In many parts of the world visiting churches / cathedrals / temples requires a certain amount of coverage; this would be perfect for that. This fabulous little jacket weighs nothing and the fit is flattering too. (Also available in Women’s.) If you prefer a longer cut, here’s an option for you in the same fabric.

I’m also taking my stretch crepe ankle pants, my white jeans, one black and one white linen tank, and this jersey maxi dress, in its debut appearance. We have a couple of nice dinners planned, still figuring out what jacket and/or top to bring for those. I’ll also use this trip to test-drive a few pieces and outfits that may go to Europe in July and Japan in September.

Do you have some warm weather travel on your calendar this year? What pieces do you rely on?

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  1. Tricia
    March 17, 2016 / 6:13 am

    We’re headed to Las Vegas next week, so this is very timely! I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating your anniversary. We were there in January and enjoyed a lovely brunch at Giada’s. Our favorite restaurants are Mon Ami Gabi for breakfast (we usually go every day we’re there!), Spago, and Joe’s. Joe’s has the very best key lime pie anywhere, and we have done extensive research on that subject!

  2. sandypatti
    March 17, 2016 / 6:24 am

    I have the J Jill shirt and it is so versatile. I wear it biking, working, lunching – all the good stuff we do. It gets softer and slightly wrinkled when washed, but all the better. xo


  3. March 17, 2016 / 7:12 am

    Happy Anniversary. I use the Jjill shirts all the time. I love them. Great idea about the pleats. I also like maxi dresses very much. Jjill has a couple I like this spring. I’m thinking about getting the one with stripes for travel this summer.

  4. Kathryn
    March 17, 2016 / 7:58 am

    I’m always interested in what you are packing – helps me to scrutinize my own suitcase! I am happy to report that my packing becomes more streamlined every time I travel.
    I have just ordered a pair of Eileen Fisher pants, ( I believe you have reviewed the slouchy knit pants in an earlier post), because of the ‘repeat views’ in your posts of your favourite pieces and reasons why E.F. clothes work for you. The two pieces that I have at this point are a pleasure to wear.
    Thanks for your comprehensive reviews of E.F. clothing.

    Joyeux Anniversaire!

  5. March 17, 2016 / 12:54 pm

    I’d like to get a maxi dress for the warmer months but want one more ankle length. I’m sure that Eileen Fisher dress you linked to will look great on you but I’m too tall and fear the length would just be a frumpy, neither-short-nor-long look. Maybe you could do a post on maxi dresses for casual, summer wear.

  6. Jannie
    March 17, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    For spring/summer I tend to shy away from too much black. I love white/ecru and soft summer colors. Love the longer black Eileen Fisher dress…need a LBD and may have to order that one. Agree with Cathy Mc. about maxi dresses but I am only 5’3 so must be careful about maxis. Thanks for all the suggestions. Anyone else have ideas for Italy in late August/early September (Venice to Positano)!!

  7. Judy
    March 17, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    I enjoy your blog. You have great ideas. Have a wonderful trip to Vegas. I have been there many times and have seen almost all the shows. Food is great in that city!!
    As for your thoughts on clothes. I have to be honest in saying the price point on many items like Eileen are most unaffordable for many. I love French Kande but that too is up there in price.
    In the real world where we don’t get freebies, it is not an option to spend this kind of money. I have no problem but many women cannot.
    Thanks though for the outfit ideas. Best for many to look and then find cheaper options that look similar.
    Thanks again.

  8. Louise
    March 17, 2016 / 7:34 pm

    Love your blog so much! I am an Eileen Fisher devotee. I am planning a trip to Georgetown, DC, and all the pieces I bring will be hers as they are so easy and functional (except for the linens). Particularly love her tunic-length silk tank camis for layering. Have had no luck with linen/travel. I’ve not figured out how to keep it from looking like a rag . . . even the best linens that Eileen uses. Please share any secrets re traveling with linen! I love the way it looks on the models but it always looks frumpy on me because it tends to lose its shape easily.

  9. Pamela
    March 17, 2016 / 10:37 pm

    The only time I’ve ever taken mostly black clothes on holidays was for our visit to Poland just after the dreadful plane crash (2010) in Russia that killed the Polish President and his wife and all the other Polish VIPs. I’d already packed our bags with my usual happy colours when it happened. I felt it wouldn’t be appropriate to wear pinks and reds and oranges at a time when the grief stricken nation was in mourning. It was the right decision. Everyone was in black, people were very emotional, still weeping in the streets, there were large photos of the dead along park railings and building facades, wreaths of fading flowers and huge candles everywhere, not only in churches.

    But otherwise I never take such sombre clothes. Usually one pair of black pants and jacket and maybe an all white set. Otherwise, colour. Have been to too many funerals to like black. Last summer in Paris, you could identify the Americans from the French because they almost all were in blacks or neutrals. Why do American women like black clothing so much? Cheers, Pamela

  10. Maria
    March 18, 2016 / 8:10 am

    Such a nice, versatile blouse and love your “twisting” suggestion. Thank you!

  11. Deborah
    July 23, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Love your blog- I am going with Sharon on a brocante tour in September, so I’m very grateful for your travel wardrobe suggestions. Especially because linen is on sale right now. Nordstrom is a good place to hide out from the heat dome!

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