Saturday, May 25, 2013

In My Carry-On

We have an ambitious list to work through today, but nothing I can do at 6:30 in the morning while Pater sleeps. So I have some time to share the packing decisions I`ve made, even as I contemplate weather forecasts for France and wonder if I may be spending 6 weeks dressed for the wrong season . . .

My packing for this year`s European Vacation (with apologies to Chevy and hopes we won`t have the Griswolds` luck) was influenced by having recently done a major culling of my wardrobe and been somewhat chastened by how much I had once bought yet never really worn much. I`ll readily admit that I generally pack for this trip conscious of wanting room for what I might buy while away. I joke that if I don`t bring the right shoe or if II get bored with my carry-on capsule wardrobe, I can always buy something in Paris. Oh, the hardship!

But this time, looking at a number of garments that haven`t been worn enough, I am trying something a bit different. Instead of using practicality as my main parameter, I`m including a few more pieces that I just like to wear in the summer. Primarily, these include two linen pieces that I bought at Creo in Paris a few summers ago and that rarely get worn at home because we have a short season for them and they don`t much suit my island lifestyle. A pair of wide-legged white linen pants and a pair of pale grey linen drooped-crotch really wide culottes, they will either be wonderful for swanning around in the heat of a Barcelona afternoon or they will be a horrid frustration of wrinkles and grime collection. We have full laundry facilities for our 3 weeks in Bordeaux, so as long as some sunshine emerges at some point, there is some hope for my plan.

Another departure I`m making for this trip is in bringing dresses. Little summer shifts roll up into less than the space a t-shirt takes, and they`re what I love wearing at home. I could manage with fewer, but again, I decided I want to ward off the impulse to shop. You may all be laughing at me 7 or 8 weeks from now when I confess what I bought, but at least I`m beginning with a different attitude.

So, whats in the case?

Pants: Dark denim J-Brand Skinny jeans; Olive Gap broken-in straight khakis; White wide-legged Crea pants; pale grey wide-legged Crea culottes

Tops: Grey silk jersey Eileen Fisher tank; white-grey striped Crea tank; navy linen j Crew v-neck T; navy-white stripe/floral 3/4-sleeve J Crew cotton T; navy lightweight v-neck Bompard cashmere pullover; navy linen Men`s shirt (J Crew Men`s small); 2 white Gap v-neck t-shirts; caramel-white tiger-print Michael Kors light cotton sweater; Banana Republic white cotton looseknit sweater; turquoise silk-linen Club Monaco cardi; olive microfibre jersey drapey tank-tunic. . . Wow! That does seem a lot of tops, doesn`t it? May yet have to do some editing. But so far, it all fits, and lets me cover stretches of weather (good or bad) without succumbing to boredome. . . and shopping . . .

Skirt: Jackpot cotton pencil skirt, mostly blue floral print on white ground

dresses: navy-white print long-sleeve polyester Gap; navy bug-print cotton, Gap; silk pastel abstract print short-sleeve Designers Remix; silk and linen colour-block sleeveless shift; dark mixed geoometric-print sleeveless shift

swimsuit; running gear (I always plan for a pair of runners nearing the end of their life so I can leave them behind)

shoes: the red Ferragamo flats I inherited from my Mom -- I think she`d like to know they`re striding it out in Paris; my ever-trusty bronze metallic Birkenstock Gizehs; caramel mid-heel Fluevog sandals. This category is my weakness. If we have day after day of rain, my red flats are going to be sorely tested. I`m still debating tucking one more pair of close-toed flats in the bag. Well, forecefully squeezing is more likely than "tucking""; running shoes, as above. . . .

On the plane, I plan to wear the MK cotton sweater (it`s really light) with the skinny jeans, layering the Bompard sweater over top as well as the navy linen shirt, and wrapping a silk-linen scarf in the tones of those pink-apricot-taupe dresses above . . . and I will either wear or scrunch into my bag a black waterproof coat, almost weightless, bought in Paris many years ago and perfect for travel in summer-with-a-high-chance-of-rain weather.

i`ve also managed to find enough room in my case for the basic art supplies I will bring to my class, although I do planning to do some shopping in Art Supply stores over there. And we will probably check luggage on the way home because of those added materials (not to mention my inevitable masterpieces!)

At any rate, it`s now time to get on with my day. I need to pick up some new white t-shirts and I think I`m going to get a new bag for the days when my clutch isn`t enough and my bigger bag is just too big. . . Let me know what you think about my strategy. Does it make any sense to you at all?



  1. It looks as though everything will go with everything else, and you have a wide range of temperatures covered...I'd probably bring an additional pair of closed-toe shoes, based on the weather we had, but then you'll be further south. Bon Voyage and have a great time!!

  2. And I must add that I'm amazed at how many pieces you get into that carry-on!

  3. The light layers and the Creo linen should work very well for France. The weather will warm up eventually (???). It's great that you are flying with only carry-on because it's so much easier. Bon Voyage and I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

  4. I like to leave a little room for whimsy. Practicality is fine, but I remind myself that it's a holiday, not a route march or a working holiday on a kibbutz. It all looks wonderful to me, and my advice would be 'when in doubt, throw in another pair of shoes'.
    As for me....well, I've just come in to warm up after hauling around bags of manure, mushroom compost and sea soil. Our poor beds are sad-looking and I only have today to top-dress. Thank you for thoughts of holiday packing and sunny destinations!

  5. Hi Mater, I don't have any advice as I'm not really capable of flying carry on only! Have a wonderful time, look forward to any updates you are able to give us. Bon voyage!

  6. Today in Bordeaux, I wore exactly what I would have worn in November. But it can only get better, right? See you on the other side!

  7. I always overpack. You look like you've covered all the bases but have you left room for some new things? Perhaps a wee bit of space is required!
    Bon voyage!

  8. I wonder if you managed to get all that into the carry-on?? Anyway, sounds like you'll be very well garbed for your vacation - I agree about dresses, easy and versatile, and I love the sound of the grey linen culottes.
    We spent a few days in Bordeaux last month, and I envy you the opportunity to pay a longer visit. We particularly enjoyed lunch at the Belle Epoque one sunny day, sitting on the terrasse and looking out at the river - I do recommend! Hope you have a wonderful and restful time after what's clearly been a pretty miserable time for you both.

  9. I find it even impossible to think of what to pack for a 6 week overboard trip.
    But, you are a routined traveler, and I trust you have all you need along, and if something is needed, you can yet it from your destination.
    Have a wonderful vacation.
    You SO deserve it. Relax and enjoy !

  10. I endorse the less practical approach. It's easier to pick up one more white tee than to find that favorite quirky piece!

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  12. Your selection looks great but I'd take an extra pair of shoes ...

    I did an experiment the other day and every single item of clothing I own minus bulky coats and shoes will fit into a single carry-on. So should I ever get overseas again, I'll have no trouble packing, whatever the weather!

  13. It looks like you did a commendable job! I also recently packed a capsule wardrobe for a multi-week trip with the idea that I might jettison a couple of things (have my husband take them back when he meets me in St. Louis next month or leave behind in Toronto at my in-laws if I need to) in order to acquire a few new purchases along the way.

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