Travel in Style

12 June, 2016

Whether it is a long weekend at a lake house, two weeks in Italy or a wedding weekend, there is an art to traveling well. Here are some of my tips to help you travel in style as you jet set around the world.

Bon Voyage!

xo, Nancy


1. Luggage

I love to carry on. That way I don’t worry about my luggage getting lost and if I have to gate check it I get my luggage first thing when I step off the plane. It is a win-win! I think investing in a pretty and functional piece of luggage makes travel more fun and less of a chore. A rolling bag will get you most places unless of course you are heading into the brush to camp and backpack. Then go visit North Face!

My choice: Delsey Chatelet Series, 19” for carry on in Europe or 21” for carry on in USA. There is an annual luggage conference that ranks suitcases based on design and functionality and this one is a winner! Elegant and functional I love it. The brown and black colour won’t show dirt if you check your luggage but the cream is a real beauty. If they do get excessive dirt from being checked it comes right off with a baby wipe.

2. Weather

Consider the different weather conditions that may happen and check the weather before you pack, The Weather Channel .

3. Plan Outfits

For a two week trip I would plan 9 outfits that have layering capacities. Sundresses with light jacket or cardigans, white denim with sleeveless silk blouse with a scarf or light jacket for evenings.

The key is to get the most use out of an item. So for a two week summer trip I would pack a couple sun dresses that are versatile enough to go from day to night by changing shoes and jewelry, and adding a jacket. Two to three pairs of pants, black, dark denim or white denim (depending on where you are going), a number of sleeveless silk blouses, a blazer, a basic skirt, a classic button down shirt, sunglasses, a swimsuit and a workout outfit. A black jumpsuit is always a great option too because you can pair it with sandals for day and then espadrilles and a leather jacket for night; add jewelry and lipstick and you have two entirely different looks! 

Try and coordinate colours and prints and lay every outfit out on your bed before packing to see what kind of versatility and mix and match options you have. Pack the items that mix and match well and reconsider leaving behind things that don’t work easily or are a one time use. It’s safe to throw in an extra white shirt if it is summer.

Always pack one dress up outfit. Even if you are going to a farm. You never know what cocktail party or event will present themselves so have a dress, a fancy silk blouse, a nice collared shirt and some jewelry just in case. “You can never be overdressed or overeducated” according to Oscar Wilde. Better safe than sorry.

4. Shoes 

I almost always pack an easy pair of sandals, black ballet flats, a pair of tennis shoes and then whatever dress up or utility shoes I need.

For a wedding weekend that usually means two pairs of heels. For a summer trip to a lake it means an extra pair of sandals that are metallic and nicer than flip flops for meals out and touring around town. For Europe, it means black espadrilles with a wedge heel, which is much easier for walking on cobblestone streets. If you are planning on walking a lot, regular heels in Europe won’t make it out of your suitcase so don’t even bother unless you are going to a formal affair and won’t be walking there or back.

For fall and winter this means booties. Short booties or knee high riding boots. Wear your boots when you travel and if you can’t, then pack them in a plastic back to keep any debris from getting on your clothes. I think short suede booties go a long way as well as cognac colored riding boot.

My favorites: Espadrilles by Castañer, black ballet flats by Repetto, running shoes by Athletic Propulsion Labs, Gizeh White Birkenstock for extra support, Havaianas flip flops, Yosi Samra toe tone zip up sandal, K.Jacques sandals in cognac leather or a neutral metallic, Philip Lim Jasper booties, or riding boots that are relatively flat and have very little detail or embellishment. Simple and elegant go a long way.

5. Outerwear

If you have to pack a heavy weight jacket I like a cashmere fitted one by Lan Jaenicke because they are warm, small and chic. The cashmere is warm on cold days and surprisingly breathable on warmer days. If it is dry and cold a down vest or jacket is great and will pack very easily. I love the light-weight down by NAU Clothing. For fall weather or going between hot and cold climates I like to wear a nice navy or black blazer and bring a scarf to layer for extra warmth or to add colour.

Even if I am going to Rome in June or San Diego in May, I bring an extra layer just in case. You don’t want to be caught shivering on a cool evening. Gentleman take note, you can always offer a lady your jacket if she has forgotten this extra layer. Chivalry is not dead.

6. Travel Outfits

Traveling use to be glamorous and special. Yes, you can dress up and still be comfortable. You never know who you’ll meet flying or who the staff will choose to upgrade to first class.

There is no need to avoid dresses and skirts in warmer weather or a nice sweater and suede booties with skinny jeans in fall. If you want to go ultra comfortable choose a cotton shirt dress, or stretchy dark wash or white denim jeans with a solid colored button down shirt or silk blouse. A little thought and effort will make you look and feel better when you travel.

Want something simple? Channel an Audrey Hepburn inspired outfit: black skinny jeans, simple black top and elegant black ballet flats. Nice dark washed denim and a french blue button down shirt with fun shoes, a scarf or cashmere wrap is easy and classic. A solid coloured dress or simple floral print is also easy and forgiving if you avoid a tight fit.

As a child flying use to be an occasion and to me it still is. I don’t wear sweat pants, workout clothes or cotton shirts with slogans. Coordinating a travel outfit gets me excited to travel, makes me feel confident, and is a fun way to greet whomever you are meeting on the other end of your trip. Lay out your outfit the night before and plan an outfit for your return flight as well. And if you are a creature of comfort stick with soft cotton or cashmere in cooler months and a great pair of shoes. As Iris Apfel says “If your hair is done properly and you have on good shoes, you can get away with anything.”

7. Toiletries

Buy your favorite products in travel sizes. Keep a toiletry bag packed with them. It makes packing so much easier. You end up wasting product and time trying to fill those little plastic 3 ounce containers. The one thing I do transfer back and forth from home to travel is my Sonicare toothbrush. Otherwise I have a complete set of toiletries packed and ready to-go! Tip: if you regularly get facials or buy your products from the same spa, vendor or company ask to see if they will give you travel sizes. Some will!

My favorites: Cuyana Tangerine Travel Case with monogramming, Oribe hair shampoo and conditioner, Juice Beauty cleansing milk, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, EltaMD tinted moisturizer with 40 SPF, Yon-Ka Phyto Contour Eye Cream, roller ball perfume like Chloe, facial towelettes like these from Yes To.

8. Your Personal Item (Purse, Tote, Messenger Bag)

First of all, I always travel with my jewelry in my carry on. Don’t leave it up to someone else to possibly lose valuables. I also pack a pair of socks for a cold plane ride, lavender botanical hand sanitizer by EOS, a piece of fruit to avoid the sodium laden snacks, and facial towelettes to freshen up. After the essentials I pack my entertainment: laptop, book, magazines, or a crossword puzzle.

If I have really over packed my luggage, I’ll have an extra pair of heels and my toiletry kit in my tote bag. Since you have travel size items you can carry on all those liquids and gels! You will have your toothbrush and perfume with you so you can arrive fresh. I like using a shoulder bag or tote bag because the are stylish and fit everything. 

My favorites: GiGi New York’s Teddie Tote is a perfect size and great for travel. For men the Vida Vida satchels are handmade leather and affordable. Both are great options for carry on and around town! If you can find a Cornelia Guest Sebastian Weave bag in stock it is another great option for a carry on tote. It is a less expensive and cruelty free version of a Bottega Veneta bag. Very stylish!

9. Hostess Gift

If you are visiting someone have a hostess gift ready to go or be prepared to treat your host to dinner or a fun activity while you are there. My favorites are treating to a nice meal, or buying a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers if know the host’s favorite flower. If neither of those are options sending a special box of fruit or pretty plant from Harry & David is a great too!

10. Handwritten Thank you!

The most stylish thing you can do after travel is to write your host or hostess a handwritten thank you card. This never goes out of style and keeps things very personal in a super digital world. Plus, who doesn’t like to get fun mail instead of bills? My favorite is personalized stationary from a local shop like Two Hands Paperie. Your name and address on the back of the envelope and a simple interior card. This makes it versatile for a thank you, or any other type of note you may need to write in the future. Keep the design simple and limit to one colour, one print, or one graphic. Less is more.

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