Travel Capsule For an Eight-Day Trip

I’ll be flying to the Netherlands over the weekend to see my darling Papa who turns 85 later this year. I’ll be on my own while Greg and Sam hold the fort back at the Cox Castle in Seattle. Including travel it’s an eight-day trip, and this is what I’ve packed. 

A few things upfront before I delve into the details:

  • I’ll be visiting family and friends, and hanging out with Papa in Velp and Arnhem for the week. I’ve been visiting these quaint Dutch towns all my life, and thoroughly enjoy it. I can keep my outfits casual, although I’ll have a few smart casual engagements too.
  • The weather will hover around freezing. Rain, snow, sleet and frost is common at this time of year. I do a lot of walking when I visit my Dad, which means wrapping up to brave the elements, and wearing the right footwear. 
  • I’ll be popping a larger suitcase in the hold as I like to have more dressing options than a carry-on can accommodate. I’ll also be bringing presents for family and friends, which requires extra space. 
  • I will NOT be doing laundry on the trip.
  • The capsule includes the outfit that I will wear on both ten-hour flights. It’s the same outfit, and I’ve included it at the end of this post.

I’ve kept my dressing formula the same for each day: cropped flared jeans + pullover + booties + accessories + outerwear. 

The palette combines neutrals and brights: ink blue, cream, chartreuse, citron, Dutch orange, and a smattering of black. Most of the darks are ink blue, although they look black in the photos. For me, the LIGHT neutral accents are essential because they brighten a dark outfit and complement my pale complexion. A bright bag adds life to a dark puffer and jeans, and screams ‘cheerful outfit’, when I pair it with the chartreuse coat. The variety of colour, texture, footwear silhouette, pattern and accessories across the capsule keeps the formula interesting. The current silhouettes of the jeans, pullovers and footwear keep the outfits on trend. 

Here’s more detail on each part of the capsule. Note that basics like undies, camisoles, thermals. sleepwear, loungewear and socks are not represented here. For the rest, these are the exact wardrobe items that I packed and will be wearing en route. I can combine any of the tops with any pair of jeans and either pair of shoes. The coats, bag, hats, scarves and gloves work with all outfits.

Footwear

I build a travel capsule around my shoes because it’s extremely important to have happy feet when you’re walking around a city and using public transport. Once I knew which shoes I was taking, I planned the rest of the outfits to work with them. 

Two pairs of shoes are sufficient for the eight-day trip. I’ll wear my casual fleece-lined Converse sneakers most of the time because they’re great in cold, wet and frosty weather. I’ll wear my dressier cream boots for the smart casual engagements. Both pairs are very comfortable, tried and tested, and go the distance. 

Bottoms

I’ll be wearing dark wash flared cropped and straight jeans each day. I’ll wear them with Heattech socks and high-shaft footwear for comfort and insulation. Paired with the footwear, my outfits feel sufficiently fashionable. 

Knitwear

I’ve packed five pullovers, although I’ll only be wearing the solid black pullover for the flights, so it’s essentially four tops. I’ll wear some of them twice. 

I chose pullovers because I’ll be too cold in blouses and shirts. I chose turtlenecks for extra warmth, which means no pearl necklaces on this trip. I’ll also be sporting my pullovers untucked, which means no belts either. I selected five turtlenecks that differ in colour and texture so that I don’t get bored with my look. Ink blue, black, orange and citron across cables, dot stitches, and colour blocking for the win. 

Outerwear

It would have been easier to bring one coat for the trip, but that wasn’t wise because I’ll need my ink puffer for very cold days, and the lighter wool coat for less cold days. I’ll also need a dressier coat from time to time when the puffer won’t do. Plus, my Papa loves a dressier, ladylike look, which means that I had to bring my new chartreuse coat!

Accessories

I’ve kept accessories minimally maximal this time round. I’ll wear my green specs, gold watch, pearl bracelet, pearl ring and an orange bag each day. Then I’ll choose between two woolly scarves and two cream hats for insulation when I’m out and about, and add my gloves when I need them. I chose patterned scarves for outfit interest, and black and chartreuse options so that I can create low and high colour contrasts with either coat.

I will also be travelling with an umbrella and a cashmere wrap. I’ve left the wrap out of the capsule because it will not be styled into these outfits. It’s loungewear and a cosy blanket for plane travel only. I’ll keep the umbrella in my bag just like I do in Seattle. 

Travel Outfit

This is the exact outfit that I will wear on the flight out to Amsterdam on Sunday, and the flight back to Seattle next week. A turtleneck and cosy socks are insulating on long flights. The coat is in case I get really cold on the plane, and for when I travel to my Dad from the airport with arranged transport. 

You can visit this collection page to see my travel capsule in its entirety. The picture below shows the items just before I started packing. I’m ready to go now that my little in-house fashion stylist gave his pose of approval.

Travel Capsule

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Link Love: Defying Gender Labels

Lucy Rycroft-Smith wore men’s clothes for a month and documented her findings diary-style.

Cara Barrett, the only female writer at Hodinkee, a go-to website for watch aficionados where the readership is 93% male, talks about breaking into the boys’ club of watches.

W Magazine rounds up four gender-neutral denim brands who are getting into the unisex game.

Fab Links from Our Members

It’s cold outside but Lisa has Spring on her mind so this review of the top 10 collections for Spring 2017 hit just the right spot.

A while ago, some YLF members were talking about unisex clothing. Texstyle came across this brief article listing some good options for menswear that women can easily wear. She also says: “What I’ve noticed personally is that much of the clothing I purchase for DH is of better quality than some of the items I buy from the same brand. So sometimes I do buy the men’s version of a tee, top or hoodie.”

Kathryn wanted to share this New York Times article about the impact of Michelle Obama’s fashion choices and the thoughtfulness behind them.

Gradfashionista found reading Garance Doré’s account of moving from New York City to Los Angeles really cathartic and reassuring, “considering that the style blogger and photographer was so well-positioned to benefit the most from the city (career, connections, income, etc.).”

As someone who has SOFT as an adjective to describe her aspiring style, Angie likes Sally’s suggestions for how to soften your look.

While reading a thread about careers in danger of being automated, modelling was mentioned, says Annagybe. As was the company Looklet, who provide dynamic fashion images for retailers. Annagybe adds: “But so much for seeing clothes on a real body.”

My Skincare Regimen

The beginning of the year is as good a time as any to think about how you can improve your skincare regimen. Most importantly though, if you’ve been battling with a skincare challenge for a while, see a dermatologist as soon as you can. That’s what I did eight years ago and it was life changing. I had a severe dry skin problem, and as it turns out, the pricey skincare cosmetics that I was using were overly harsh and irritating my skin. It was that simple, yet I needed a professional’s diagnosis to steer me in the right skincare direction.

Skin types differ and so does the advice on how to best take care of them. It’s a case of trial and error, picking a point of view, patience, and a bit of luck. And just when you think you have it all sorted, things change. For what it’s worth, I’ll share my own skincare regimen in case it’s helpful to those who have a similar skin type. 

Over the last year, my skin has been on a particularly good wicket. At the moment, Caudalie products are working very well for me. I’m 46 years young and have sensitive, pale, dry skin. I’m not prone to breaking out, and my pores are small. I burn easily, but tan easily too. My skin thrives in a humid climate. Personally, I much prefer the look of shiny or ‘dewy’ skin as opposed to matte skin. I go to great lengths to amp up the skin’s natural oils because the appearance is fresh and healthy to my eye. 

Daily Facial Routine

My facial routine covers my face and the front of my neck. I cleanse at night to remove dirt and make-up. I do NOT use a cleanser in the morning as it strips the oil from my skin. I apply sunscreen in the morning and reapply later on a very sunny day in the Summertime. I use a tinted moisturizer for dry skin instead of foundation, because I prefer light coverage. I do not use facial powder because it dulls the appearance of my skin. For the rest I apply a vitamin serum and two moisturizers in the morning and at night.

Here are the exact products I use:

Weekly Exfoliation

I exfoliate with a gentle buffing cream and apply a moisturizing mask straight afterwards at night, twice a week. These are the exact products I use:

Daily Body Routine

I use a body wash instead of a bar of soap because it’s more moisturizing. Although I try different body washes, body creams and lotions from time to time, I always come back to Nivea because the products agree with my sensitive skin and I like the way they smell (I am not allergic to scents.)

These are the exact products I use:

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep also have a positive effect on your skin. I go to yoga three to four times a week and walk our doggy Sam daily on top of long shopping days with clients. Nutrition and cooking are hobbies of mine, so I eat what I think is a reasonably healthy diet. I cook our meals from scratch most days of the week and enjoy it. Too much sun has a negative effect, so I try to stay out of harsh, direct sunlight unless I’m wearing a hat. I try to get good quality sleep, despite it falling short of eight hours a night. 

Over to you. Are you happy with your current skincare regimen? If not, how would you like to improve it. 

Roundups

Winning Socks

A collection of winning sock styles.

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Camisoles

An assortment of tried-and-tested camisoles.

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Accessories

A new accessory can make you feel like you have a new outfit, at the fraction of the price.

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Items with Texture

Wardrobe items with texture that pack extra punch.

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Black Friday Top Picks

Some Black Friday deals that are well worth a look.

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Cute Items

There is lots of good stuff in stores at the moment as we near the end of peak season.

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Weekly Roundup: Winning Socks

With the weather turning really cold, ’tis the season for comfy socks. Here’s a small assortment that are client favourites at the moment. My own current favourites are from Uniqlo’s Heattech collection. They are warm, not too thick, non-scratchy, super cosy, and stay on my feet. Feel free to share your favourite sock styles in the comments below.

You can see my descriptions alongside the items on the collection page.

Taking Velvet from Fringe to Mainstream

Velvet was supposed to be one of the biggest trends for Fall & Winter 2016, but that was not the way it turned out. I saw a few velvet jackets, skirts, dresses, shoes, scarves, belts, coats and bags to wear for the holidays at the end of last year. There were even some velvet trousers, leggings and jeans in the casual department. But at best, velvet was a fringe trend.

The rarity of velvet at retail surprised me. I had expected to see a fair amount in July at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which kicks off the Fall shopping season. When that didn’t happen, I thought for sure it would be a mainstream trend by the end of November. That didn’t happen either, and I wondered why retailers were holding back on the trend. 

My conclusion is that velvet is for the most part perceived as a very seasonal and dressy fabrication. It’s hard to launder, majorly lint-attracting, impractical in bad weather, and quite fussy. Retailers thought it too risky to supply in large quantities, and opted to give us an overdose of lace instead. They didn’t want to be stuck with racks of velvet attire that they’d have an even harder time selling after the holidays. 

Traditional velvet does have all of those drawbacks, but this is 2017 and I believe that a more modern and current approach to the fabrication is in order. For example, there are machine washable polyester velvet blends. Velvet can be worn throughout the year as an accessory or as a pair of shoes (Summer velvet shoes DO exist, and why not wear them!) Velvet jackets can be remixed with denim and sneakers to amp down the dressy factor. Crushed velvet is durable, lightweight and the right colour masks lint and pet hair. Casual velvet jeans and trousers can be worn at any time of the year if the weather is right. I also think of velvet as a dandy and romantic fabric with a high longevity factor when it’s used in a Steampunk, Modern Retro or Avant-Garde item. 

My feelings about velvet for my own style are moderate. I neither love it nor loathe it, but fully support you wearing it at any time of the year in your favourite wardrobe items, and in YOUR way.  What’s your verdict on velvet?

MM6 MAISON MARGIELA Cropped Velvet Slim-leg PantsALTUZARRA Rome Velvet-paneled Embroidered Wool BlazerTABITHA SIMMONS Ginger Velvet Pumps

GOLDEN GOOSE DELUXE BRAND V Star 2 Distressed Velvet SneakersMR BY MAN REPELLER The Morning After Embossed Velvet FlatsVICTORIA VICTORIA BECKHAM Printed Velvet Flared Pants

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