Well, my laptop is STILL in the shop, although there is now light at the end of the tunnel. A long unpleasant story.  Once I get it back I will have access to my travel diary and plan to post a “trip report” with photos. It was a  wonderful trip!

In the meantime I’ve been reflecting about my travel wardrobe. It was functional, and partly fine but partly blah. As stated in my title, the trip was almost two month ago, from late June through early July over 10 days.

The trip was unusual in several ways. It was built around a two day course DH decided to take at a university in Barcelona. He made the decision in early May, which gave less than 2 months to plan, not our usual several months. The first destination was the French Pyrenees mountains visiting an old friend of DH’s who runs a B&B, doing hiking and sightseeing. I have only done serious hiking a few times and never in summer where you need gear that both sheds rain and/or dries quickly. We also spent several days in Barcelona, a big city where it was quite warm. We generally avoid big cities in summer when they are packed with tourists like us and are sometimes unpleasantly hot. 

The first night we stayed in a resort town on the north coast of Spain.
It was so gorgeous that we wished we had planned to stay for several days. It was hot and breezy. I had a perfect outfit for this; white breezy shirt, tan copped pants, sandals, and hat. We walked on the beach, ate dinner, went to bed early, and relaxed before heading north into France the next day.

In the mountains of France my wardrobe did pretty well, although
it was much colder than normal with temps in the low 60’s during the day and mid-40’s at night. Our hostess kept apologizing for the cold nights and non-stop rain. We were in an area of very small towns and a very casual lifestyle. I already had good hiking shoes. I wore a long sleeved T, fleece top, and rain jacket every day, with a tshirt layer underneath. I brought a cotton sweater and wished it were merino wool on those very cool nights at the B&B, where we had dinner every night but one.  Hiking pants took some work to find, because many of them did not fit right.  I tried on at REI, ordered at LLBean, and ended up buying at a hunting, fishing, camping store called Cabellas. I had to hem them, but they worked fine, although the legs are a bit too wide to be flattering. I really liked the lightweight fabric.

Barcelona was another matter. (Feeling very sad for Barcelona right now. We walked on that street where the recent attack occurred). It was hot but not unbearably so. The biggest issue was footwear. My hiking shoes  and the Clark black walking sneakers I own both seemed way too heavy. I bought the tan danskos and they were very comfortable, so my feet were happy, but I felt totally blah wearing them.  I also brought a few T’s, 2 cotton/linen shirts, and cropped slacks, all in neutral colors.  I was totally presentable but felt dull most of the time.  I liked the long leeved shirts better than the Ts.  I added the scarf to one of the Ts once and that was better. The only item that made me feel pretty good was my white hat with the yellow trim. It fit well, had a small brim which was good for my small face, and was perfect to keep the hot sun off my face and neck.  

Last but not least I chose to wear hiking clothes on the plane since the hiking shoes are bulky and I didn’t want to take up space in my suitcase, and the only pants they looked ok with were the hiking pants. I felt very blah in airports. Not the end of the world but would rather find a different way. For this trip this was the right decision but I tend to not like what I wear in airports. Angie’s blog posting today is full of great ideas.

I’ve shown some of the items I'm talking about below, andthe full capsule is here https://youlookfab.com/welookf.....-barcelona

So naturally I’m contemplating how to do this better next time. I would love to hear any and all suggestions!

-  I am NOT beating myself up about any of this. It was such a great opportunity that I couldn't say no. The trip was last minute, and I needed to buy some things but did not make great choices. My feet were happy, I was presentable and comfortable, and the weather did not slow me down except for being a bit cold on the first part of the trip.

- First and foremost I need to continue the hunt for all-day walking shoes that are more attractive than the ones I have now. I am NOT giving up on this!

- I plan to look for quick drying pants with a more streamlined silhouette, that would work for hiking pants OR everyday casual pants. They would make a good addition to my wardrobe.  

 - I  need to figure out what’s going on with the blah summer tops
and pants I brought to Barcelona. Some of this is related to my casual New England lifestyle being a mismatch for a big European city, but I think there is more to it. The capsule would have been vastly improved by a dress or two.  Lots of homework to do here.   I plan to review Ummlila’s recent Paris travel capsule, Angie’s numerous postings on travel capsules, and other  fabbers’ travel capsule postings. This should be FUN homework, since it’s about fashion