Tag Archives: style

Travel Tips: My packing basics

Here are a sample of my stylish ‘must-haves’ when I travel…

I wish I could count myself as one of those uber fashionable travelers that look ever so chic catwalking down airport lounges in well put together outfits while traveling. I really try, but given the amount of walking I do when on trips, and limited packing space there is only so much a girl can do when on the road. Yet I am not one of those back-packing, wear only two outfits girl either. I like to look put together, especially for city travel. This means I pack some modern basic pieces that are classic in style but at the same time dashing and comfortable. I want to look good when I am on tour.

Pick your base colour – I tend to stick to black as it doesn’t show dirt, but if you prefer navy blue, beige, or white, by all means use that as your ‘base’ and work around that. So I have basic pieces in black and work a travel wardrobe with those basics.

Stylish Coat or Jacket – If there is one piece of clothing that should make a statement it should be your outerwear.  A leather jacket, a wool coat in winter or a lightweight jacket in Spring is a must. A knee length wool coat can go day to night, and a classic Mac jacket works perfectly in any situation.

Cashmere –  A classic crew neck with jeans or trousers is one of the most timeless looks around. It can take you day to night, casual to elegant. And a cardigan, even in summer makes a lightweight item to pack and wear on the overly air conditioned plane flights.

Scarf – Takes up no room and can transform your look and change your base outfit with a dash of colour. I like to take at least two of different sizes and wear one on the plane so to have added warmth but also it makes you look a bit more put together at airport check in.

Wrap – On a recent trip to Capri where the locals are very chic islanders I noticed every woman wore a stunning wrap in the evening. It gave the ladies a very dressy edge to even the simplest of outfits. I went straight to Missoni and picked up one of their bright, multi-coloured wraps to enhance my travel wardrobe.

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Missoni knits

Say ‘no’ to shorts in the city – Unless you are on the beach, on a boat, or by the pool, wearing shorts even when it is hot makes you stand out like a tourist. Not only that, going into some places such as churches is not allowed in shorts (and skimpy tops). Even if you are young and having fun, you do better wearing skirts of all lengths to keep cool. City shorts are fine if they are dapper, but skirts are still better.

Long skirt – Especially in the warmer months, I find this a more elegant and fresher look then trousers or jeans. It is nice to have a feminine touch and very easy to pair with a t-shirt for a comfortable day look. Can double for an evening look when paired with a silk top.

Shoes – Thankfully in the autumn and winter months I can get by with some flat, simple leather ankle boots that go with just about everything. In the warmer months this can prove more challenging if you are trying to find something with support to walk endlessly, yet look fashion forward. I cannot pull off the chunky sneakers, so I resort to a pair of athletic ballerina slippers or espadrilles and a pair of low heeled sandals. I’ll also take a pair of Capri sandals but those are for destinations by the sea. For evening I do love Aquazzura shoes as they have some embellished styles on lower heels. I do love their low block heel sandals in a variety of fun finished like coloured pom-poms or fringed suede. I can easily walk around in the evenings while still being au courant fashion wise. For colder destinations, again it is much easier with a pair of lower heeled boots. A pair of classic pumps always work well no matter where or what season.

15741043_1209219402494966_7591364200863473177_nAquazurra Wild Things sandals

Accessories – Always pack an umbrella! As a matter of fact I have a small, collapsible umbrella I just leave in my suitcase ready to go when I travel. Purses take up a lot of space so while I like to have choices I might prefer to leave room for some shopping in my suitcase. I take a tote or larger bag for day, that way I can throw my camera, and any small items I might buy along the way. For evening a simple embellished envelope clutch packs well and looks elegant for evening, or a small evening bag that you can throw a credit card, lipstick, and go.

Evening – While I tend to do ‘smart-casual’ for most of my restaurant choices, meaning a lively but popular brasserie, or a trendy trattoria, I still take one piece for that possible nicer night out. My rule of thumb is to take a couple pair of black trousers, and around 4-5 silk tops that I can rotate with the trousers, one of those tops a bit more embellished for the possible fine dining evening. All easy to put on if you are rushing to dinner after a day of sight seeing, and easy to pack. I also tend to have a polished black on black ensemble, of a classic top such as a sleeveless simple silk tunic, button down shirt, or vest, with slim black jeans or trousers. Can be worn more than once, changed up with a scarf and will always look chic.

That perfect travel handbag – After years of searching I have found the perfect bag to suit my needs when I travel. It is a black leather Hogan bag big enough to throw my ipad and book in, and four large zipper pockets on the outside for my passport and ticket, iphone, and compact. It is city chic cool, has a strap to wear cross body, and handles if you want to carry it. Had it for years and is my biggest go-to item when I travel.

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Hogan bag

No matter the destination do check the weather the day before you leave. Even the warmest of destinations can suffer from cold fronts and you don’t want to spend your travel time shopping around for warmer clothing. Also, I always pack an extra top or one outfit and an extra pair of knickers in my carry on just in case my suitcases are delayed somewhere. That way I have a change of clothes. And don’t forget to pack knickers and pajamas!

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Christmas gift list

Christmas gifts for the stylish traveller

When it comes to gifts I’d like to give or receive here are a few of my favourite things. For travel or inspired by travel…

For the gorgeous beauty traveller:

I have just discovered Charlotte Tilbury and there is nothing in her make up line I don’t love. She even has an eye shadow palette called ‘Dolce Vita!’ But the item I love to take with me on trips (and I will be giving them to my close girl friends this Christmas) is her Film Stars on the Go compacts which consist of two colours, one for the eyes and one for the lips. They are cream colours meant to be put on with just your finger, there are 4 duo palettes to chose from, I got Some Like it Hot. Great to have in your carry on to freshen up -easily- on any long haul flight.

fotg-some-like-it-hot_openSome like it Hot from Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstars on the Go line

For the cafe lover:

Jura has coveted top of the line coffee makers that grind beans and brew up anything from a ristretto to an americano. The trouble was they were very big machines and quite pricey. Well finally they have made an espresso maker a bit more accessible in size while still keeping all of the luxury of its predecessors. The Ena Micro 1 and the Impress A5 can easily fit into your tiny European flat kitchen, keeping it stylish while serving up cafe style espresso at home. Of course you can still go to the cafe afterwards and have a glass of wine.

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Ena Micro 1

For the connoisseur of good taste:

The Life Negroni This is a fabulous book for those who love the fabulous life. Part in depth knowledge on all things Negroni, stylish places where to drink them, knowledge on the best gin and the history on vermouth and Campari, it is also a book about style, Italian lifestyle and La Dolce Vita.

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The Life Negroni by Leigh & Nargess Banks

For the Fashionable techie:

The Apple iWatch may not be be everyone’s cup of tea… That is until Hermes came on board to take it from geek toy to fashionista accessory by adding a choice of three of their popular leather wrist bands as options to go with the latest trend.  And with all the great travel apps soon your ticket will be right on your wrist. NOW it is something worth wearing! and I may just have to have it!

double-etain-capecodApple Watch with Hermes Double Tour wristband

For the perfect Host or Hostess:

I love giving a candle. It might seem easy or cliche, but there is always something timeless and polished about giving a scented candle. There are many to choose from and you can never go wrong with one from Diptyque, but this year I found a beautiful candle both inside and out! Italian designers Dolce&Gabbana have released a special gift line for Christmas among which is a gorgeous luxury candle painted in their traditional Sicilian cart prints. A bit of a Sicilian souvenir. This candle gift will really stand out!

screenshot_3425Christmas candle from Dolce&Gabbana

For the On the Go but Still Stylish traveller:

Nails Inc have released a spray on nail polish that is easy and fun to use. The aptly named Paint Can nail varnish is available in two colours: pink and silver it is a great stocking stuffer. Not to mention great item to pack and travel with.

screenshot_3427Hoxton Market Paint Can Nail Polish

For a Good Cause:

Jewelry designer Monica Vinader has designed a special edition of her iconic cord and rose gold bracelet to help and promote Women for Women International. The #SheInspiresMe friendship bracelet is an easy and stylish way to promote a good cause with all profits from sales going to the Women for Women charity.

screenshot_3428#SheInspiresMe friendship bracelet by Monica Vinader