Friday, July 20, 2018

Travel Wardrobe Recap

 It's been over two months since Pater and I embarked on our five weeks/one carry-on (each!) travel through France, Germany, and Croatia, and somehow I have yet to properly share my travel wardrobe here. Nowhere near as organized a packer as Sue/Une Femme, I have no photos of my packed case for you. Instead, I've gone through the travel photos and extracted the Outfit-Of-The-Day posts which give an idea of which garments got the most play.
Here I am, just before our flight mid-May -- I'm wearing a navy t-shirt under this indigo linen jumpsuit (Eileen Fisher) and I've layered a long-sleeved navy shirt, left unbuttoned, over top -- and then added a scarf. I always try to wear as much as I can, within comfort limits of course, on the plane, to stretch my luggage allowance a bit. . . ;-)

This approach, though, means many photos, so I'll split this post in two -- and put Part II up next week.

First of all, here's a page from the Moleskine notebook dedicated to this trip.

In case you can't read my handwriting, the page is headed "What I've Packed for," and then I follow with: 7 days in Paris, 3 in Lyon, 2 in Munich, a poolside week on a Croatian island, and a vagabond car trip for 10 days in Croatia (as it happened, SNCF had different plans for us, so we only had 2 days in Lyon and added 1 in Strasbourg)

That list is the result of crossings-out on several earlier lists, and even so, I ended up crossing off both the jeans and the raincoat. But I'm getting ahead of myself -- let me transcribe the list for you first.
1. Sage-green linen dress
2. Indigo-white linen dress
3. Olive linen skirt
4. Olive cotton cargo pants
5. Slim Madewell jeans These were left behind. . .  and I used the spot to include my Navy cashmere v-neck pullover, lightweight
6. Navy linen top
7. Olive linen top
8. White linen tank
9. Purple linen mesh pullover
10. Navy button-down shirt 
11. Navy cotton T
12. White cotton T

I also tucked a taupe cashmere wrap/scarf in the small backpack that's my other allowable piece of carry-on. The backpack fits my purse, my MacBook Air, my iPad Mini (for reading), and my bag of liquids/gels* -- usually, once we're through Security, I take a minute to squeeze the laptop and the liquids bag back into my suitcase so the wheels do more of the work than my shoulders. . .

As you might be able to decipher from my scrawl on that page above, I also brought a portable yoga mat (Manduka, very lightweight, decent traction and shock absorption--my daughter, who completed her first level of yoga teacher training several months ago, had offered to give us a class or two during our week together) and exercise gear. I brought two swimsuits for our week on Hvar.  PJ bottoms and underwear and yes, I could still zip the case closed ;-)

*I always decant products for my liquids-and-gels carry-on plastic bag, and I always remind myself that there are plenty of products I'm happy to purchase and try where I'm going -- my must-brings are my Curls Rock (the Curls Amplifier is the only product that really works for my curls), Aveda shampoo and conditioner travel size go a long way -- I wash every 3rd or 4th day and hadn't emptied the bottles by the end of our trip.

On est arrivé -- we're in Paris, and I'm happy to change into this easy linen dress (Eileen Fisher)

The weather for our four Paris days at the beginning of our trip ranged from 20 to 23 Celsius, so it could be warm enough in the sunshine that I'd take that scarf off and tuck it in my bag, but cool enough in the shade that I was happy to tie the scarf back on -- this photo's taken at the charming garden-restaurant of Le Petit Palais.

We had one day in Paris when we had to shelter from a downpour -- and luckily found that shelter in a very pleasant café where we enjoyed a glass or two -- and considerable camaraderie -- before daring to venture outside again. Even that day, however, I wouldn't have wanted to bother with a raincoat which would have been a nuisance to carry in the day's humid pre-rain heat. The mini, ultra-light umbrella was as much raingear as I needed, overall.

And in Lyon,  we had one day with a few sprinkles, but otherwise needed clothes for staying cool in the heat -- my linen jumpsuit was perfect.

I also broke out my navy linen tunic and my olive linen skirt as heat-busters here -- you can check out that outfit getting some play at the Lyon market here.

The weather in Strasbourg was cooler again, similar to those first days in Paris -- we huddled in a doorway through one cloudburst. I have no photos of me in that city, but I think I might have worn my olive cargo pants and the cashmere V . . . Still no regrets about a raincoat. . .

Similar conditions prevailed in Munich where Pater took this photo of me (below) wearing that olive linen skirt (J Crew) and the olive linen top (Vince Velvet) -- My feet swell easily in the heat, so if we're doing much walking at all, my Birkenstock Arizonas are my footwear of choice (I brought three pairs altogether -- the Birks, those metallic gold Onitsuka Tiger sneakers shown above in the Paris photo, and a pair of black cross-trainers.

Once we got to Croatia, the weather was rarely below 25 Celsius, often in the low 30s. Needless to say, my cashmere languished in my bag and the linen garments were the stars. . .

I wore the cotton cargo pants a few times, especially if I wanted to keep the bugs off my legs or wanted more ease/modesty for hiking or climbing than my dresses or skirt provided. Below, for example, I wore it to walk to Vrboska, the small town nearest our rental villa. . . I was tempted to wear my Birks that day, I remember, but talked out of it by Paul, who'd already done the walk and thought it a bit too rocky for sandals -- I think he was right, but the Birks would have been cooler ;-)



You can't see the Birks with this outfit -- can I call it an "outfit" when it's simply a dress with sandals? -- unless you pop over here to see the other pictures. What a hot day that was for walking up to the top of Jelsa. . . but this loose linen dress was the perfect way to stay comfortable.


And for those of you who wonder about linen and packing and wrinkles -- Generally, when I packed the case, I laid out the big pieces -- dresses, then tunics, then folded them in layers over smaller pieces placed in the centre. This seemed to minimize wrinkles somewhat, but the most useful trick I used was one I learned from a commenter on Une Femme's blog who suggested bringing along a small spray bottle to mist the garment with water before hanging it to dry.

Perhaps the best trick, though, is simple acceptance of linen's attributes and surrender to the beauty of wrinkles. . . . (it's the approach I'm trying to take with my skin as well, don't you know?!)


Above, another photo you've seen before, in this post from Zadar. . .

I'll finish up next week with a post comprising travel "outfits" from the last two weeks of our trip, perhaps including what I left behind to make room for a Paris purchases -- which perhaps you're curious about as well. If you have any packing or travel wardrobe questions between now and that post, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I'll see if I can include my answers in Travel Wardrobe Recap, Part II.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go "fold" my Fermented Sourdough Bread-in-the-making before I head out to meet a good friend for lunch. . .
Happy Friday! Happy Weekend!


35 comments:

  1. Linen really is the best for warm weather travel, isn't it? You did a great job creating outfits that were climate-appropriate. You look relaxed, cool and collected, yet well put-together. I find hot conditions the most difficult to pack for, but you nailed it!

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    1. Thanks, Sue. We were really lucky that the weather stayed mostly dry and warm, so that the decision not to bring a jacket and jeans paid off. I wonder if I find heat easier to pack for than you do because I'm happy wearing dresses and skirts (I know you generally prefer pants).

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  2. Your linen pieces look stylish and comfortable. I'm in Paris for 3 weeks in September. I wonder if 2 linen dresses, some tunics over jeggings, and some linen pants would do me. I'll start planning in August but it does not make sense to take too much. I've got those packing cubes now and they seem to help organize outfits.
    Have a good week-end.

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    1. I've never been in Paris in September -- October, but not September, and I'm convinced it must be a glorious month there, and could still be quite warm. You must be keen to get back. . .

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  3. Great job of packing for the various weather conditions and for keeping it all in a carry-on. I am a big believer in small case packing, regardless the length of the trip--especially when any train or bus travel is involved.

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    1. Yes! It's not so much that I'm determined not to check my bag on the plane as that I need to be able to manoeuvre easily on trains and, this last trip, on a bus. And fellow passengers on public transit can get justifiably cranky about big cases in the aisle. . . Plus at our budget, the hotel rooms are generally small and a case that can tuck under the bed is a boon.

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  4. Love, love, love all your linen pieces! After following your real-time trip posts, I reorganized my packing for two weeks in Venice, Croatia, Montenegro, the Greek Isles, and Athens and took, among other clothes, a linen dress, a linen jumpsuit, 3 linen blouses and linen slacks -- not as much flax as you, but more than I would taken without your counsel. Although it was bloody hot everywhere we were, I was NEVER hot in linen. Thank you!

    And now I'm back in Missouri where it's even hotter. I'm maintaining my Aegean tan by mowing and picking up downed limbs after daily thunderstorms. :)

    Ann in Missouri

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    1. That sounds like perfect packing for what must have been a fabulous trip. Daily thunderstorms, really?! Yikes!! Welcome home?

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  5. Love it all, as always. Looking forward to the next installment (like a serial mystery: which pieces did not make it home?)...:)

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    1. and is the butler wearing them?! 😂

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  6. So many chic outfits from one carry-on - impressive and instructive! I'll have to start looking for linen pieces. I just found a linen shirt on sale, hopefully more to come! Shoes are always my problem. I have weak arches and finding chic but comfortable shoes for walking day after day is almost impossible.
    Frances in Sidney

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    1. Foot comfort is SO important! I actually tuck a tennis-sized firm rolling ball into my case and roll out my arches after a day of urban walking on a trip.

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    2. Great idea! Thank you!
      Frances in Sidney

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  7. Wow that jumpsuit is fantastic.

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    1. It is SO versatile -- I just love it, thanks! (It's Eileen Fisher, which I've almost never bought before)

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  8. Your linen pieces worked wonderfully for all of your activities. Thinking through your wardrobe before boarding the plane enabled you to be comfortable and chic wherever you were.

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    1. It worked well, I must say, thanks. Sticking to that narrow palette (and having the resolve to leave my jeans behind) worked. . .

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  9. Just curious as to where you buy your Curls Rock. I too have curly hair but yours looks tamed compared to mine. Always looking for a miracle! Loved all your outfits. I'm going to the Isle of Skye in August, don't think linen would work. Probably wellies and woollies.

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    1. I would definitely avoid an all-linen wardrobe for the Isle of Skye! Tho if we have a heatwave a couple of lighter pieces would be useful.

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    2. In Vancouver, I usually buy it at Zennkai on Robson, but a number of salons carry it. I've been able to pick it up in the UK and in France in the past when I've run out, but I try not to. It's a Toni and Guy product: TIGI Catwalk Curlesque Curls Rock Amplifier is its full mouthful of a name (which I suppose indicates the lines its part of in their wide swath of products). My daughters swear by it as well and anyone I've introduced to it loves it.

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  10. Love,love linen and all of your outfits! You have some great pieces
    As a witness,I must say that everytime I've seen you,you (and Paul) looked very cool,very well dressed,"spica" top appropriate :-)
    I'm only sorry that I didn't see the jumpsuit IRL (next year maybe )
    I'll pack two linen dresses,too (and two for "to and from " the beach-they get sunscreen dirty after a day or two so I like to wash them regulary)
    Dottoressa

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    1. Dottoressa, I've replied to your comment on silk pillowcases on the previous post - hopefully it will help you.

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    2. Yes,thank you-I've answered a minute ago <3
      D.

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    3. Funny, I was wearing the jumpsuit our last day together, for lunch at the konoba on the hill. . . but I think we were so busy catching up on each other's news. . . I have a picture of me wearing it and trying on your sunglasses ;-) But we never got a picture of the two of us that last day -- I think Paul needs to get with the program ;-)
      So pleased for you that you'll soon be at the beach -- hoorah!

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  11. Shoes are often my bete-noire. No matter what, I find myself wishing I had something different on my feet. It may be that Birkenstocks are the way to go. They look very good with tanned legs, I must say. And, like you, I remind myself that I can always buy needful toiletries (I loathe that word...) at the other end. Sometimes, that is part of the fun. Scarves: oh yes. I did like your list.

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    1. I read your post about loathing words -- so many of those are part of a vocabulary more British than Canadian. I might use "toiletries" occasionally, as you did, because it's useful (I'd never "utilise" the word though -- shudder!!). Generally, I think I'd just refer to individual products. . .

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  12. I've never been a linen person. But I'm trying to cultivate the habit. Love that loose olive dress on you, Frances.

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    1. The test for me: across how much of the year can I extend the wear of these garments? I think I'll wear them here April-May through early October, which would do, but I prefer clothes that can play in 8 or 9 months. Sure comfortable in hot weather! And thanks! The olive dress is so easy to wear.

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  13. The comment I left has disappeared, and I can't remember all that I wrote but I think the main thing was asking whether you used both swimsuits. When going anywhere hot enough to swim I've found that one suit is enough, because it will wash and dry very quickly in the heat. But then I'm not a keen swimmer, so that may also be behind my prioritisation.
    On our Tour de France trip you will look deliciously cool in linen sipping chilled rosé on a shady cafe terrasse while marob23 and I are broiling beside the road as the peloton flashes by!

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    1. Ha! You and Margaret are really going to tempt me to do this TDF thing, aren't you?!
      I debated bothering with two suits -- I've never been comfortable enough with my body to wear a bikini, sadly, and a one-piece takes up as much space as a skirt or T. But I can't bear putting on a damp suit and with the pool AND the ocean right there, I thought I might want the second one. There were definitely a few times I was glad I had a dry second suit (and a bit of variety was welcome--the young women all had at least two) -- if I'd swum late in the evening, and then wanted a quick dip in the morning, the swimsuit on the line was still sometimes damp. But if space were at even greater premium, I wouldn't bother next time in similar conditions.

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  14. I saw you in your jumpsuit and thought you looked splendid.
    Your list looks very familiar to me, just like the lists I am making all the time - not only before travelling.
    For several years I had a pair of wide-legged linen pants hanging in my wardrobe. I did not wear them (too short for those wide legs) but could not make myself to get rid of them, because the material felt so soft. This summer I cut them off just below the knee and hemmed them. Perfect for riding my bike in the heat.

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    1. Yes, I was just remembering how warm it was the day I met you -- the day before that crazy storm (had you gone back home by then?)
      Clever of you to cut those paants off. I had a similar pair for quite a few years. I bought them in Paris on sale one hot June day and was so sure I'd live in them. But like you, I'm too short for a long wide leg to be practical. I ended up giving mine away when culling closets for our move and have been wishing lately I'd hung on and chopped/hemmed them. . . Happy bike-riding to you!!

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    2. I think we met on the day of the storm, really. (You were catching your train to Zagreb that night.) I was lucky: I reached the Underground station when the first drops started to fall, and when I got off at the other end, the worst had already passed.

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    3. You're right! Yes, you were lucky -- it was an impressive bit of weather.

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  15. I love linen and you look so cool and collected. I can't imagine anything better for travel in warm weather with little hassle.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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