Packing For Paris And Provence: Baker's Dozen - une femme d'un certain âge

Packing For Paris And Provence: Baker’s Dozen

Not all black this time…

Two more sleeps before we leave, so it’s time to make the final cut! Extended weather forecasts still seem to be on the coolish side so I’ve chosen my dozen pieces accordingly. I’ve decided to leave sandals at home; if I find I really need them I’ll buy some there (hello, Arche!). My goals for this travel wardrobe were a) to keep the clothing capsule to an even 12 pieces, and b) break up the black with some lighter neutrals and color. I think I’ve accomplished both, while still creating a capsule that allows for optimum mixing, and should cover any venue appropriately. The neutrals are all interchangeable, and the pieces with color go with each other and everything else. I’m not counting outerwear in my 12 item capsule nor shoes, underwear, hosiery, accessories.

Here’s what’s in the dozen (and this includes what I’ll wear on the plane):

  • 1 pair ponte knit black slim pants
  • 1 pair bootcut jeans
  • 1 pair skinny jeans
  • 1 black silk jersey tunic
  • 1 grey short sleeved silk jersey tee
  • 2 long sleeved silk jersey tees: 1 black, 1 grey
  • 1 teal long cardian
  • 1 grey tunic sweater, textured silk knit
  • 1 black long cardigan
  • 2 Karina Dresses: 1 sleeveless paisley print (darker and deeper color IRL than it appears in photo) and a 3/4 sleeve black/white polka dot.  Both dresses can be layered over silk jersey tops and leggings if weather stays cool, or worn  alone on warmer days. 

In considering whether to pack the dresses vs. the pencil skirt originally planned, I ultimately decided a) the dresses are easier to walk/move about in than the skirt and b) should the weather turn unexpectedly too warm for tights, their length would allow me to feel comfortable going barelegged. The sweaters are all lightweight (two with a more open weave) and great for transitional weather and as I tend to run cold, will probably wear them in temperatures well into the mid-70’s F/ low-20’s C.

    Everything above except the jeans and pashmina can be washed in the sink and hung to dry overnight if needed. And absolutely everything can be rolled up to pack, no pressing required upon arrival.

    Also shown:

    • Naot short boots
    • ECCO Mary Janes
    • 1 taupe pashmina
    • 1 taupe lightweight silk/cashmere scarf (J.Crew from a couple of years ago)
    • 1 raspberry pink cashmere lace scarf (Eric Bompard)

    Below are the jewelry selections, to help simple ensembles look pulled together:


    Scarf same as in top picture
    • my Eileen Fisher raincoat which also serves as a lightweight jacket
    • an ancient cashmere hoodie, should I need for extra warmth (which some wouldn’t count as outerwear, hence the “Baker’s Dozen”). 
    These are the handbags I’m taking. 
    The small red bag which can be used as an evening bag also is a wallet and with chain tucked inside fits easily inside the larger cross-body bag on the right. Last year I made do quite nicely with a single black cross-body bag, but wanting to add more color and break up the black, thought these were the best choices currently in my closet.

    À demain, I’ll share the packing list I put together for le monsieur, and also some strategies for packing skincare and cosmetics given the current carry-on restrictions on liquids.

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    1. April 17, 2012 / 11:01 am

      Ah I’m just back from a crazy three night trip, so have fun, you’ll be gone before I’m back at the blog.

    2. April 17, 2012 / 11:31 am

      Whatever you do, leave that hoodie in the mix–I’ve been living in cashmere this past week, and quite happily so. It’s not miserable out, but it’s definitely still chocolat chaud and trench coat weather here, at least for now. Fortunately, Paris knows she looks good in grey, and so will you.

    3. April 17, 2012 / 12:20 pm

      I’m with Rose, would add or sub a white or other pale colour tee/tank. The south will be milder and there is such intense light; your choices are dark for there. But then, maybe you can pick one up if you agree. Have fun!

    4. April 17, 2012 / 12:49 pm

      A smart and attractive wardrobe grouping. Have a wonderful time!

    5. April 17, 2012 / 1:02 pm

      As you probably know France has been hit by some freak storms this week. Right now it’s raining and in the 40s in Paris. You’ll definitely want the boots, and maybe a lightweight vest, a soft cloche/skullcap, and a pair of gloves. Bon voyage!

    6. April 17, 2012 / 1:32 pm

      Your colors have shifted so! I love that dress – so fun to wear in France. And I sense that you may in fact pick up a small back in that new palette – a pinker, purple, bluer, tauper sort of color:). I am also thinking I need to give Naot a try.

    7. April 17, 2012 / 2:18 pm

      Wonderful, Une Femme! I love the addition of the Karina dresses – so versatile. Everything looks chic, comfortable and very “you”.

    8. April 17, 2012 / 2:25 pm

      Wonderful choices–I also love the addition of the colorful dress. And those pearls are yummy-looking.

    9. April 17, 2012 / 3:03 pm

      You’ve put together a practical yet chic capsule, and I’m sure you’ll love the ease of the dresses over the skirt. For the punch they pack, they really earn the small space they take up. (& I’m thinking I need to get myself a cashmere hoodie. might have to pop into Bompard’s this trip . . .)

    10. laurieann
      April 17, 2012 / 3:20 pm

      You have put together an excellent wardrobe Pseu; the deviation from all black works! I’d love to see a photo of how you pack it all in your carry-on as I still have trouble with that. Have a wonderful time! I can’t wait to hear from you and see any photos you care to post.

    11. April 17, 2012 / 3:24 pm

      PERFECTION! I’m saving this polyvore for reference for my next trip. Have a great time!!!

    12. April 17, 2012 / 4:26 pm

      Such versatile choices! (And I love the jewelry selections. Classic.)

    13. April 17, 2012 / 4:27 pm

      What a great selection! You’ll be beautiful dressed for any occasion. Bon voyage!

    14. April 17, 2012 / 4:44 pm

      I think I would take the skirt and leave one of the dresses. And, I like the idea of a lighter colored top.

    15. Zuzu*s Petals
      April 17, 2012 / 10:10 am

      I love the palette of your travel wardrobe. You must be so excited! *understatement*

    16. Pam @ over50feeling40
      April 17, 2012 / 10:49 am

      Looks like you are ready! Great job of thinking through your pieces. Have a marvelous time!!

    17. April 17, 2012 / 6:04 pm

      Think you’re right to choose dresses, so much easier to wear – and that Eileen Fisher raincoat is absolutely perfect. Have a fantastic trip. Bon vacances!

    18. RoseAG
      April 17, 2012 / 11:19 am

      A good looking selection. The only thing I think I’d trade out is the gray ss t-shirt for a white tank. I’d love it under the gray loose weave sweater.

      Fingers crossed that the weather stays just as it is for your trip!

    19. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
      April 17, 2012 / 11:21 am

      Looks like you are set and ready to go. I have a question about jewelry. Do you leave the good stuff at home or take it? Or is you jewelry more about a fashion statement and color coordination?

      • April 17, 2012 / 8:05 pm

        Sam, most of what I have and wear daily is costume jewelry. The selections here are pieces that I wear frequently at home, so it’s really just about what pieces I know will easily coordinate.

      • Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
        April 17, 2012 / 10:00 pm

        Thank you. I appreciate your reply.

    20. samantha
      April 17, 2012 / 11:22 am

      Wow very nice collection of clothes i like the scafe jacket ..

    21. Anonymous
      April 17, 2012 / 6:52 pm

      Looks perfect! Sorry we’re having such crappy weather here. I wish we could go back to the lovely weather we had a couple weeks ago, but such is fickle parisian weather. Some of my colleagues have brought back their winter coats, but it’s not that cold (although I seem to run warmer than my officemate does, so we sometimes disagree about the radiator setting…). My leather jacket + scarf has been fine. But definitely no sandals. 🙁 Two weeks ago when the weather was sunny, I got a pedicure and I swear the weather changed the next day and I was back to boots. I only get to admire my lovely coral toes in the shower! Bon voyage et à bientôt, j’espère! Karen

      • April 17, 2012 / 8:09 pm

        Karen, will email you. We’ll be back in town from Provence a week from Thursday. I hate it when the weather turns cold right after I’ve had a pedicure!

    22. Golla
      April 17, 2012 / 11:57 am

      Sensible and chic, very nice!

    23. April 17, 2012 / 7:19 pm

      Your choices are good, the outfits are nice and you hit your goal of no checked bags. But the time you spent getting to this point seems excessive and perhaps equal to what you would have spent if you had checked your bags. Talk about sucking the joy out of life . . . . not sure less prep, less angst and a checked bag may not have been the way to go.

      • April 17, 2012 / 8:16 pm

        Neats, no angst here. I actually enjoy this part of the process; it’s like putting together a puzzle. And it’s not just about flying, as we’ll also be taking trains to and from Provence and having to do some shlepping of our own bags (no checked bags on trains); not having a big heavy bag really does save some hassle. I know that’s not everyone’s thing, and some people are fine with taking more and checking bags.

    24. Anonymous
      April 17, 2012 / 7:33 pm

      Very nice! I’m traveling the end of May and am very inspired by your thoughtfulness to wardrobe and having it all fit into a carry on. My husband has always travelled with only a carry on and loves being able to zip right through when he travels.

      Well done!

      Safe travels. Post photos for those of us still dreaming of a trip to Paris. 🙂


    25. Frugal Scholar
      April 17, 2012 / 1:17 pm

      Beautiful as always. I think one dress would suffice, however. i would also try to get by with just one pair of jeans. The vest idea is a good one also. I just got back from Boston–in my 5 days, it went from low 50s rainy to mid 80s. Even so, I overpacked.

    26. Anonymous
      April 17, 2012 / 8:31 pm

      This looks like a really workable, non- boring wardrobe. There are enough basics to play it safe but enough interest to change up depending upon the weather and your whim. I tend to over-do the black for travel and this is giving me some really great encouragement to bring in some color. Thanks!

    27. pinkazalea
      April 17, 2012 / 2:08 pm

      So thoughtfully done. I really like the two dresses and the pink scarf. Looks like you have plenty of options, depending on weather. Have a wonderful time.

    28. sisty
      April 17, 2012 / 2:24 pm

      With all you’ve got to do, you’re still making time to give us your terrific packing tips! Thanks so much!! Everything looks wonderful. Have a great trip.

    29. April 17, 2012 / 11:29 pm

      If I may ask a question – I travel about 50 weeks out of the year, and based on your love of them – I purchased the Eileen Fisher Silk Jersey Tunic – but now I am not sure how to wear it except as a slip under dresses or skirts – it’s almost more of a mini dress on my limited height – but I would not wear it that way as I am not comfortable enough with the length – any help would be great – so far I love it but am thinking perhaps the t shirts or tanks would have been a better purchase….

      • April 18, 2012 / 1:05 pm

        McKristie, I wear my EF silk jersey tunics over slim pants, pencil skirts and jeans. But I also find that a “long over lean” silhouette works with my proportions. And I also do use them as a “slip” under my dresses for warmth. But the short sleeve tees are great too, and right now available in several colors (hint, check too).

    30. mette
      April 17, 2012 / 5:06 pm

      One can see, that you have paid a lot of attention to your wardrobe. Good for you.
      Maybe one pair of jeans + one dress would be enough? I´d also reduce the amount of jewelry, and buy something from the trip instead :).

      • April 17, 2012 / 8:08 pm

        mette, don’t worry, I won’t be wearing all of the jewelry at once! 🙂 I rarely shop for jewelry when we travel. And it doesn’t take up much space in the bag…

    31. Couture Allure Vintage Fashion
      April 17, 2012 / 5:33 pm

      Have a wonderful trip!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for your Paris posts and will also eagerly await your follow up post to see how this capsule worked for you.

    32. pinkazalea
      April 17, 2012 / 11:03 pm

      You will probably address this in your next post, but I am wondering about makeup. When traveling, I change my makeup and skin care to a simplified routine. I like the Olay cleansing cloths instead of my usual liquid cleanser. Do you do make similar changes? Again, have fun.

    33. Susan Tiner
      April 18, 2012 / 12:47 am

      Susan, I hope you have a beautiful trip. It looks like you’ve put a lot of thought into what to pack and I’m sure it will work out well. I am a little surprised that the weather is this cool/rainy so late in April. When we were there March 9-23 the highs were in the mid 60s and two days the highs were over 70. It rained only one day. You’d probably prefer our weather but I’d prefer yours!

    34. Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell
      April 18, 2012 / 2:25 am

      I think you will look fabulous. I hope you take some pictures of your outfits while you are there.
      If I ever go overseas, I’ll be asking for your help to pick what to take!

    35. Terri
      April 18, 2012 / 5:27 am

      I so envious…and I cannot see anything you’ve forgotten. We will miss you at the pajama party…

    36. April 18, 2012 / 1:41 pm

      Seems like you are about as ready as one can be for all that’s on your agenda — how wonderful that you’re going to Provence as well. Hope the trip is a wonderful one!

    37. Marie-Christine
      April 19, 2012 / 7:58 am

      Very good, except the pink is a bit passe this year.. Don’t you have a light green or turquoise scarf that’d still match your print? How about coral instead of pink? I know you have every color :-)..

    38. Michele
      April 27, 2012 / 10:48 pm

      I am madly in love with your grey sweater, what is the brand”

      • April 28, 2012 / 6:03 am

        Michele, it’s Helmut Lang from last fall. That line seems to always offer some very nice sweaters.

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