travel wardrobe recap – UK May 2013

I was generally quite pleased with how this travel wardrobe worked out. (You can go here for a list of the individual items.) The limited palette made putting outfits together almost effortless. Outerwear was a daily necessity, so lack of variety and repeating outfits was a non-issue. I purchased one lightweight utility jacket and one silk scarf on the trip; both were worn frequently our last few days in London.

I did sink laundry a few times for underwear, tops and the ponte knit pants (more to restore shape than because they were dirty). Everything dried overnight, especially when draped over or near heated towel racks. I indulged in laundry services once for the two pair of jeans (and some of le monsieur’s clothing).

MVP’s

  • As always, the Eileen Fisher silk jersey tanks and tees were the perfect travel pieces, thanks to light weight, wash-ability and ease of layering.
  • The ponte knit pants worn with one of the longer cardigans passed muster for evenings that required dialing it up a notch or two from casual.
  • The jeans were appropriate for everything else.
  • Also a key player in casual outfits, the v-neck navy cashmere cardigan was perfect for daytime/outdoor activities on those days when temperatures fluctuated from wintery to almost warm (which was just about every day of our trip). It kept me warm enough layered over a tee or tank but I was never overheated, even when very active.
  • The wedge ankle boots were a perfect choice for all daytime activities. Comfortable even all day on my feet.
  • The raincoat was indispensable. We had plenty of rain, and wind+rain especially in Scotland, where I was periodically quite glad to have the hood as well. In colder northern cities, the wool lining kept me plenty warm, but I removed it once we hit the Lake District and milder conditions.
  • Those fingerless gloves that Rubiatonta knitted for me kept the chill off my hands while leaving me full use of my digits for snapping pictures.
  • The scarves added some color and much-needed warmth.

 

Future Season Trades

  • The Arche nubuck ankle boots were comfortable and a nice style for dressier looks, but scuffed up easily when walking around and had to be brushed before each wear to keep them looking presentable. Also, the nubuck covering on the heels tore in a couple of spots, not sure how, as I was pretty careful with them. Next time I’ll stick to smooth leather.

Benched

  • The grey cashmere cardigan was a bit too heavy and warm for most days outdoors, and was definitely too warm to wear in heated interiors.
  • I didn’t wear the printed tee but once.
Wish I’d Brought
  • A skirt or dress, which I would have worn for some evenings in London.
  • My cashmere hoodie instead of the grey cashmere cardigan. Would have been nice in some circumstances to keep my head warm, and is a lighter weight so more layer-able and versatile.
With this capsule, I had the highest percentage yet of items in the MVP category, so am quite satisfied with my choices.
Have you traveled lately?  What did you bring and how did it work out?

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21 Comments

  1. May 22, 2013 / 11:44 am

    Great recap – we’re headed to NYC next week and I am paying close attention : > Hope I don’t need to say as warm, but I do pack a mix of great neutrals like these, with colorful carves.

  2. May 22, 2013 / 12:11 pm

    This is so useful – thank you for the update!
    I won’t be traveling until Summer and trying really hard to improve my packing skills.

  3. May 22, 2013 / 2:26 pm

    Did you wear the white/ecru EF sweater/jacket mostly in the evenings? I’ve been curious about that piece and how you wore it while traveling.

    • May 23, 2013 / 5:07 pm

      Susan, yes, I saved it for evenings out and wore several times. Especially when I added some jewelry, it dressed up well.

  4. May 22, 2013 / 2:41 pm

    You do this so well! I’m almost ready to post my packing — 6 weeks is a challenge, especially since I hear it continues to be cool in Europe but could burst into serious heat through June and July.

  5. Pam @ over50feeling40
    May 22, 2013 / 11:31 am

    I am planning outfits right now for a week in Chicago…this was very helpful…thanks!

  6. May 22, 2013 / 7:35 pm

    What a great recap of your packing! Stylish plus carry on bag = success!

  7. May 22, 2013 / 7:42 pm

    I love the boots, I love the jeans – I love all of this for you because it is all SO you. When you’re traveling you want to be comfortable without looking touristy.
    I took my first trip in 13 years last October and the only neutrals I packed were accessories. The color palette was dove grey, royal blue, purple, and red. I packed a black rain slicker but didn’t end up needing it. It all fit in my Louis Vuitton Carryall thrift store find.

    Spashionista (Alicia)

  8. Lane
    May 22, 2013 / 12:55 pm

    Love what you bought! You covered so much ground that the relatively few pieces and the ease of mobility compensated for choice. I have a black cowl neck short sleeve dress that travels well; MLane does not notice I have the same thing on every dinner. Not sure that’s good…

    Which ponte pants have you found stand up?

    • May 22, 2013 / 1:11 pm

      Lane, the ones I have are the Eileen Fisher ponte knit jeans. They seem to be almost sold out everywhere now, but here’s a link: http://bit.ly/14x9VyE

      Hopefully she’ll bring these back again for fall. They really are superb! You can also get the regular non-pocketed style here: http://bit.ly/16O48Z6. Both are same fabric, I think.

    • Lane
      May 23, 2013 / 5:04 pm

      Thanks! The pocketless ones look good, too.

  9. Lady of Style
    May 22, 2013 / 2:39 pm

    I took plenty of clothes on my recent trip to Portugal. Admittedly, I didn’t wear everything but I always want to be prepared… And I came back with even more stuff… 2 pairs of shoes, 4 dresses and a couple of bottles of Portwine 😉
    Packing light is something I’ll probably never be able to!

    Annette
    Lady of Style

  10. Thea
    May 22, 2013 / 5:05 pm

    Must invest in those EF Tees. They sound wonderful. How did the bag work out for you? That necessary item seems to always pose a problem for me.

  11. vicki archer
    May 22, 2013 / 5:27 pm

    You did brilliantly to have carry on only for your trip… There is nothing that feels as good as travelling light! xv

  12. Madame Là-bas
    May 22, 2013 / 6:09 pm

    Your packing expertise is amazing. Too much luggage really limits your travel choices. Weather in Europe has been a challenge this year. I didn’t wear a lot of my spring clothes.

  13. Merry Wife
    May 23, 2013 / 2:49 am

    I can’t tell you how impressed I am with your packing! I’m a terrible packer. I always pack too many clothes, but then forget to bring a toothbrush. 🙂

  14. Nancie B.
    May 24, 2013 / 12:22 am

    Very smart wardrobe.lve your selections. Now-if only I had a place to travel to…..

  15. Allthatglitters
    May 24, 2013 / 10:00 am

    Thanks for this fantastic post. I love any posts about what people pack. I love even more when they reflect on what worked as this is the most helpful part. I am going to Paris and Italy from Australia in September. Would you recommend this list as appropriate? I don’t know how cold it will be but think thus looks both practical and stylish. Secondly I have been thinking about some Arche boots in suede so you’ve just saved me a fortune $AUD 330 for a pair). Love your blog all the way from Australia. Thanks again!!

    • May 24, 2013 / 12:55 pm

      Allthatglitters, you’re welcome! With the weather as weird as it’s been this year, I’d pack/plan for a wide range of temperatures in September. Lots of lightweight layers. We’ve been to Paris twice in the fall (October). Once year it was quite warm (high-70’sF) and the next quite cool (mid-50’s). I still recommend Arche shoes highly, and have other pairs that I wear frequently and never seem to show any wear at all. Maybe because these were black, they picked up more “street dust,” I don’t know. But I would stick to styles with rubber heels rather than the nubuck-covered like mine.

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