Thursday Miscellany: Packing Tips and One Last Chance…

avoid these travel wardrobe mistakes

Packing Tips

It seems many of you are planning to travel this year; I’ve received a lot of questions lately about packing for various destinations. Sometimes, the best way we learn is from our mistakes; here’s a post that gives you an opportunity to learn from mine! 😉

For more packing tips and travel wardrobe ideas, click HERE.

Sock It To Me

Striped wool socks for travel. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’ve also received some questions lately about socks for travel, specifically for Europe. I don’t know how it started, but we in the U.S. seem to have developed an aversion to visible hosiery between shoes and pants. What I’ve noticed on our last several trips is that Europeans (including Parisians) have no such hang-ups. They often wear textured, patterned, or colored hosiery, usually coordinated with the rest of their outfit.

For most travel, I’m a fan of lightweight wool socks. They let my feet breathe, don’t hold odors, and are comfortable in a range of temperatures. If I want a no-show sock, my favorites are Smartwool Secret Sleuth shoe liners. They stay put, and wear well. If you’re in between sizes, size down. If you want more coverage, go with something like the crew socks above.

My Stylish French Box: La Parisienne

Today’s the last day to enter the giveaway for the fabulous February My Stylish French Box. The theme of this box is La Parisienne, and Sharon has selected some very special (and romantic) items to include in this box.

The winner will be selected at random, and I’ll be contacting that lucky person in the next few days. Once we have a confirmed winner, I’ll share here. If you aren’t the lucky winner, there’s still time to order the February box HERE.

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.


  1. January 17, 2019 / 1:39 am

    I have received comments from friends when I’ve worn ballerinas without socks in spring. Like it wasn’t warm enough yet and I was going to catch cold. Bare legs are seen as irresponsible.

  2. Ramona
    January 17, 2019 / 3:44 am

    I love that 5 Packing Mistakes post! The footwear mistake resonates deeply with me. Make that mistake once, and you’ll never make it again! I will be keeping this list top of mind as I plan my wardrobe for 2 weeks in Italy in May. If I’m being honest, the task feels more overwhelming than planning the vacation!

  3. Catherine W.
    January 17, 2019 / 5:36 am

    Thank you for the link to “5 Travel Wardrobe Mistakes”! I will be traveling to both Croatia and Scotland in June. I have been worrying about clothing options since I will be visiting countries with entirely different climates (on the same trip). I certainly don’t want to overpack but have been wondering how to make wardrobe choices that will work for both countries. Your suggestion about packing light layers is the answer to my struggle! (Phew!). Now, I will focus on your “cohesion” tip so the “layers” will work together. Your post has given me a renewed excitement about packing! Thank you!

  4. Belinda Manley
    January 17, 2019 / 6:01 am

    Love packing tips. Any chance of seeing your wardrobe actually packed in suitcase.
    I love Costco’s merino wool socks.

    • Anon
      January 18, 2019 / 8:35 am

      Me, too. I’ve worn them on winter trips and spring vacations. Never have I gotten cold feet or a blister. They are elastcized in just the right laces to support my arches. My feet love those Kirklands.

  5. Liz
    January 17, 2019 / 6:10 am

    My go-to footwear for travel is the Mephisto loafer. Super comfortable and goes as well with jeans as with dress pants. Can be purchased in France for much less than in the US. They last forever and will be re-soled by the company when needed. If the terrain is going to be a bit off-road, I opt for ankle-high, low-heeled leather boots—I can walk for days in them.

    • Jean
      January 18, 2019 / 5:20 am

      Liz, can you tell me the style name of the Mephisto loader that you wear?

  6. Linda
    January 17, 2019 / 8:33 am

    Thank you for the packing reminders. I’ve been traveling internationally for forty years and last week had a short break at a resort. When I opened my bag I saw I’d really blown it to the point that I wondered who’d done my packing!
    After four months of feet in warm socks and sturdy shoes I promptly blistered the bottom of a toe in my old faithful broken sandals with bare feet. The brand new pair taken as my third pair of shoes didn’t even make it out of their shoe bag and I wore slip on sneakers everywhere.

    I didn’t check the swim fashions I’d be seeing. At least where I went, only a very few U.S. women of a certain age wear one piece bathing suits. I’m older and not fond of showing my body but stood out much more in the yards of fabric trying to hide style of my suits. ALL other women, whatever their age, size or shape, wore two piece suits without so much as a second’s fussing.

    Same problem with my cover up. I went with a comfortable but not terribly flattering muu-muu type dress. Ugh. Many others had lovely cover ups AND they cover a multitude of that which you don’t want to parade.

    Not remembering the rules about trying everything on together and making sure you have multiple outfit options. Just since last summer, my body proportions changed enough that I did not like the fit of some tops I brought, but they were the only thing that went with a specific bottom.

    All that AND one day I went out without sunscreen. I never went into direct sun, always staying in shade, and still my pale face burned, probably undoing a very expensive laser treatment.

    Sometimes you live but don’t learn.

    • Ramona
      January 18, 2019 / 3:49 am

      Ah, but you are still learning. And that is the most wonderful aspect of travel! And I love the honesty about your experience. Sometimes, travel is perfect and all goes well. Sometimes, not so much. But it’s always worth doing.

  7. Kathy Garcia
    January 17, 2019 / 9:25 am

    Would you be able to tell me the brand and name of the travel mirror you recommend previously.

      • Kathy Garcia
        January 17, 2019 / 7:34 pm

        Thanks so muc. There were also waterproof short boots you have recommended. I am going to Spain in May and am wondering about comfortable shoes. Love you posts!

  8. Helene G.
    January 17, 2019 / 10:32 am

    Your post is VERY interesting, Susan.
    Goog, too, to read again the links of your previous posts on the same (or quite the same subject) with the comments.
    Thank you, also, to the persons who added new comments on these subjects.
    The ideal, finally, for experience, is TO SHARE…
    On my side, I always put in my suitcase ISOTONER ballerins / sleepers, to rest at home or at hte hotel after tourism during the day – they have an ergonomic model wich is also very light, and pretty.

  9. Stephanie J
    January 18, 2019 / 6:48 am

    I just ordered the wool socks for me and my mom for a spring trip to England. I love your posts, Susan!

  10. sf-dre
    January 18, 2019 / 8:09 pm

    Wearing the Smartwool crew socks right now! Got wool blend socks from Kohl’s for Christmas and while they have less wool than Smartwool , they are pretty cozy.

  11. Isa
    January 22, 2019 / 12:49 pm

    I LOVE smartwool socks. They are fantastic. Also, the singular best purchase I have made for travel and just every day, and it was on your recommendation, were the Eileen Fisher slim cropped crepe pant. They are expensive for me. I had to save. But they were worth every single cent. And you can get them on sale during various times of the year as well as on ebay gently used. I bought a second pair on sale and I am hoping to get a third pair as well.

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