Vacation Closet Postscript

 

If you have been following my posts in the month of January, you know that I was away in a much warmer climate; Apache Junction, Arizona which is east of Phoenix.  During that time I shared what I packed in my suitcase and the outfits I created from those items for the month.  Now that I’m back I decided to do a review of what worked well, what didn’t and things to consider for the next time.

The temperatures were predicted to be in the 40s at night and upper 60s to low 70s during the day which was pretty close to true with a few mornings being a little colder and a few days being upper 70s to low 80s. This is a place where you can be busy all day, or just sit by the pool and read.  My husband and I chose the former.

As a reminder, these were the items in “my vacation closet.”

Here is the suitcase (25” hard side) I used. I also carried a backpack on the plane and a cross-body purse.

 

In addition to all the clothing pictured above, I packed in there 5 days worth of undergarments, 2 bathing suits, a hooded sweatshirt, lounge PJs and the items pictured below.

 

For just about all my travel (plane, train or car) I always layer an outfit and wear leggings, for this trip it meant black leggings, bronze colored tank top, denim shirt and a cashmere wrap.  I also always wear my sneakers on the plane as they are bulky to pack and no matter what, they always come with me; experience has taught me that.

When I packed, I chose colors that were versatile enough to mix and match just about everything in “my vacation closet.”  As you could tell from photos, there was a lot of mixing and matching and although I brought several scarves to add patterns and upper interest to my outfits, it just wasn’t that dressy of a place to use them.  I had anticipated eating out maybe once a week, but instead we rotated fixing dinner among 3 couples and only had dinner out once.  But we did have a dance once a week and a concert once a week, so that was considered the evening casual looks.

I got it right items:

Daytime Tops – All of the casual cotton short sleeve tops, top and center left in the “My Suitcase” collage, along with the black/white top center bottom worked well either alone or, if it was a little cooler, layered with my hooded sweatshirt or the denim shirt.

Daytime and Evening Bottoms – All of the bottoms worked well, from the casual gray shorts, beige capris to the 2 different weight leggings, skinny Chico’s pant and jeans.  The jeans, Chico’s pant and heavier weight leggings were good for the cooler days and evenings as this is a place that has very little humidity so as soon as the sun goes down, so does the temperature.  A tip for your leggings, they can do duel duty as capris if you pull them up to create a “seam” just below the knee as I did in bottom left picture of the “Mix and Match” collage in the Facebook post.

Evening Tops – Here is where the mix and match came into play a lot.  The tops in the center and bottom right of the “My Suitcase” collage were my staples along with the cashmere wrap.  I used these a lot, both alone and layered with a camisole underneath.

What I didn’t use:

I got very little use out of the 3 tank tops.  It was a little too cool to wear alone during the day and only used a cotton one once as a layer under the denim shirt for a very casual evening.

I also didn’t need the pair of bronze colored flats.  If I needed shoes, the short boots worked fine.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t get much use out of the scarves, but I would continue to pack scarves in the future as they take up very little space and add interest to your outfit.  This was true for the belt as well.

In lieu of the purple long sleeve top pictured in the “My Suitcase” collage, I would have packed a different top as it would have been more versatile.

What did I need but not pack:

I originally had a denim skirt out to pack but changed my mind.  Go with your first instinct, I should have brought it.

I also would have gotten use out of additional leggings to go with the burnt orange tops and denim shirt.  I did purchase 2  pair from LuLaRoe  when we went shopping at Mesa Market Place Swap Meet (great place to go if you ever get out that way),  They are a nice pattern, go with both tops and are oh so comfortable.

As I mentioned earlier, I should have packed another long sleeve tunic length top (to take the place of the purple top) that would have given me more options with leggings (butts covered please).

All in all, the amount and type of clothing worked well, but there is always room to refine the selection.  I will admit I like a lot of variety in what I wear so towards the end of the trip I got a little board with my options.  The addition of the LuLaRoe leggings was a nice boost.

Remember, pick either a pattern for your tops or bottoms to give you the most possibilities to mix and match, always bring your sneakers, pack some accessories (belt and scarves in addition to jewelry) and go with your first instincts when pulling clothes for a trip.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

What are you going to put in that suitcase?

It’s finally summer and that means vacation time.  With the ever increasing fees for baggage if you fly for your vacation, it’s more important than ever to pack strategically for summer vacation.  Now if you are going by car with endless room you may not worry about it, but if you have a little sports car like I do, packing can still be a challenge.  I always want to take things I usually don’t wear at home, particularly if I am going on a beach vacation. So here are some tips to pack and love everything you bring. First pick a neutral shade for your bottoms or tops.  According to where you are going that may include jeans (dark is preferable as they can go dressy or casual), a skirt (maybe one of the new long ones to look trendy) and a pair of slacks (again maybe a pair of the trendy soft pants).  If your bottoms have a print, make sure there is a neutral in the pattern.  This will give you the most flexibility to mix and match.  I always use the fewer bottoms to tops ratio when packing. Use your top layer to add color and interest to your outfit.  If you brought along a pattern bottom, you can opt for a solid top or you can really go trendy and use another pattern.  No matter what tops you select be sure that each top goes with at least 2 bottoms to give you maximum options.  I always like a lot of options.  And always consider that you will only wear the top once (unless it’s a layering piece), particularly in the summer. Now add the accessories.  Scarves and jewelry can change the feel of an outfit from casual to dressy in an instant.  I would recommend gold over silver jewelry if going to the beach to avoid damage to the silver, but whichever you choose, only take one metal color. For more advice on jewelry at the beach, check out the great article by gemologist and designer for Stone & Strand, Ray Griffiths. http://www.stoneandstrand.com/feature/learn/your-guide-to-the-dos-and-donts-of-wearing-jewelry-to-the-beach If you went neutral on the top, go bold with your accessories; picking up a color from the bottom. For a neutral bottom. go for accessories to compliment your bottoms but keep them on the more neutral side so not to overwhelm your top.   Remember to stick to your color palette.    Did you remember a small purse for evening and shopping? And don’t forget your pashmina for the plane, train and evenings out. When you pack all this up, I found rolling works really well in maximizing space or invest in an envelope packing system such as the one from Eagle Creek. It keeps your clothes neatly folded and maximizes space.  Put jewelry inside your shoes so you use every inch of space.  Swap out the jewelry for dirty clothes on the way home.  And if at all possible, wear the bulky item on the plane. suitcase

 

 

 

 

Have a great time!!

Tips for women who are Bigger on the Bottom

This week’s post is about styles you should wear if you are Bigger on the Bottom.

This really isn’t as bad as it sounds and is easy to work with once you key in on the styles and style tricks that will work best for you.  As with any body type, the ideal is to create the illusion of having an hourglass figure.  Skirts should be soft, falling nicely from the hip and hemmed to hit around the knee, whether just above or just below to accentuate your leg, particularly if you are petite.  Pants should be a mid-width leg straight from the hip. One of my favorite pants for this body type are the ones with no waistband and a side zipper. Even though we are hopefully getting out of legging season soon here in the east, you can wear these if you add emphasis to the top, of course covering your butt and pair with a nice flat or tall boots that have some room at the calf (this will give the appearance of thinner legs).  You will want to accentuate the waist, and put emphasis on your top, whether with a structured or layered top or with a color that looks good on you.  Scarves and statement jewelry are great ways to keep the emphasis on the top. The last tip is a pointy shoe.  It will add length to your image to make it look long and lean.

Happy shopping!