Saturday, March 03, 2012

A Travel Capsule Wardrobe based upon a cardigan

A lot of people were very intrigued by my absolute addiction to flying in an argyle cardigan - I got lots of emails asking for variations on the patterned cardigan theme for travel.

My travel policies:

  1. no jeans, no sweatpants, no pajamas, no yoga pants.  I don't find jeans comfortable for sitting for hours.  You have to remember, when flying from the US to Europe, that you may be wearing the same outfit for the entire day of your arrival.  I don't like to spend my first day in Paris wandering about in pajama pants, no matter how comfortable they were on the plane.  It's not like I'm going to sleep that much on the plane anyway...
  2. Small earrings, so I can lean on things and rest during the flight, without worrying about earrings catching on stuff.
  3. a scarf big enough to wrap around my neck when the plane is cold (always) and drafty.
  4. a jacket that's a bit longer than waist-length - so I can wear it later with skirts.  Quilted nylon is great because you can ball it up for a cushion, and it never wrinkles.
  5. Flat shoes, with closed toes and heels.  Warmer, easier for walking, more secure in an emergency.

Would you like to see complete "April in Paris" wardrobes from any of these travel outfits? Let me know...

a travel outfit with a black argyle cardigan, grey tee, pearl earrings and a white scarf
Lands' End cardigan, Eddie Bauer pants, Lands' End tee shirt, Mikimoto pearls, Stuart Weitzman 
shoes, Diwali scarf, Tumi tote bag.  All are property of the writer.

a travel outfit based on a cream and orange floral cardigan, with orange shoes and an orange scarf
Cardigan – Oasis, earrings – Roberto Coin, tee shirt – Michael Stars, khakis – Mulberry,
 jacket – Burberry, loafers – J. Crew, scarf – Debenhams, tote - Madewell

a travel outfit based on a Fair Isle cardigan in khaki and brights, with a blue tee and a purple scarf
Cardigan – BANK, earrings – Majorica, tee shirt – John Lewis, pants – Michael Kors
cotton parka – Altazarra, loafers – Burberry, scarf – Etro, tote – Michelle Vale

a travel outfit based on a yellow floral cardigan, with a yellow tee and tote, and light blue accessories
Cardigan – Erdem, aquamarine stud earrings – Lord & Taylor, tee shirt – Debenhams,
 pants – J. Crew, jacket – Barbour, navy loafers – Robert Zur, scarf – Ralph Lauren, tote - bcbg

                        Halcyon Days


  1. Yes, would love to see your April in Paris ideas! I tend to take primarily dark clothing regardless of time of year, as it doesn't show those inevitable smudges. I just vary the weight of fabric based on the time of year, and always rely on light layers if the weather might be unpredictable.

  2. I LOVE the second outfit, though I couldn't wear it and look good in it. The red is just too harsh a color for me, but I can look at it and appreciate it because it's beautiful. Let's see the pretty wardrobes you have!

  3. Hello, hello,

    This post is unbelievable, I'll explain why if you would be so kind as to e-mail me. I have a proposition for you. . .

    Merci par avance,

  4. I would love to see a wardrobe based on the final ensemble. It would be great for Southern California! Thank you.

  5. I would love to see an "April in Paris" wardrobe, because I will actually be in Paris in April (yay!). I'll be travelling on the Eurostar 'tho, no flying for me.

  6. Yes to the April in Paris wardrobe (even if I'm not going).

    I'm liking the idea of a patterned cardigan. Argyle is a bit too sharp in contrast for my palette, but I love it in yours. I guess my choice would be something like the Missoni cardigans you've shown previously, or perhaps a subtle stripe. Maybe I could knit one!


  7. I would love to see the first set expanded. I am going to Paris in April and am planning a black, grey and shades of purple wardrobe that needs to fit in my carry on bag. Thank you! Eileen

  8. I'd love to see the second set expanded. It should suit my warm autumn colouring. I am going to Russia and Scandinavia in July/August, so I think the weight of clothing might be suitable and I'm already confused over what to pack for flying/coach/pleasure only travel from Australia.

  9. Bien sur to any and all Parisian travel wardrobes! Thanks!

  10. Hello,
    I'm a devoted admirer, first time poster. I too am interested in an April in Paris wardrobe, especially an expansion of the first set. But if I may, I'd like to request for a future post a summer in France (Paris to Provence, June to August) wardrobe, based on black, white, and camel-cognac-tan. I hope to find my first Hermes scarf on this trip, emulating the ladies who gave you a favorite scarf as a wardrobe foundation. Most of my current travel wardrobe consists of black and dark denim bottoms (never skirts or dresses unless worn as long tunics over pants), Gap t-shirts in solids and stripes, and the classic black Longchamp Le Pilage tote. I'm at a loss as to jackets, cardigans, footwear and accessories for this trip. Sadly, neither black nor white flatter my peaches-and-cream complexion, silver hair, and light blue eyes. Best colors: chambray, teal, jade, papaya, coral. I'd love suggestions on how to make the black-white-cognac palette work! Merci beaucoup in advance!

  11. Yet another masterpiece. You really should write a book.

    I was in France last summer for 5 weeks with a single small suitcase. This summer, I'm hoping for 6 weeks with even less. And I, of course, await your ideas.

  12. April in Paris based on the first set would be fantastic. I tend to wear a lot of dark colours as well regardless of season. I'm a denim girl and wear a lot of darker (navy, black, gray_ trouser jeans. Lots of oblong scarves. And I'm not afraid of color!

  13. Yes, please to the April in Paris wardrobe! Dear Vivienne, your blog ideas are just wonderful - inspiring and thought-provoking. (How much of this could I do with what I have, and yes I could lighten up my wardrobe with one of those or some of that.) Your advice and examples for planning and curating a wardrobe by colour are changing my life.
    You must be the best-organised and most interestingly/comfortably/smartly dressed traveller in the history of travel.

  14. would love to see april in paris! i'm just beginning to acknowledge that it's not me, it's the jeans---just not comfy 24/7! so, pleated pants for flying?? or perhaps something in knit but not sweats? for me it's the pants that are difficult!

  15. Such excellent travel advice. Each colourway is so charming and appealing. I do wear dressy, but stretchy jeans, they just feel better. Scarves and cardis a must--and I don't understand how people travel in flip flops or wispy sandals..loafers or ballet flats are so much more sensible. great post.

  16. These are lovely combinations. I'm a cardi girl myself.

  17. These are all such great ideas! While I'm more drawn to the colorful #2,3 and 4 sets I would need the 1st black/gray set as well.

  18. Very nice sets!
    Weather in Paris in April can be cold and windy or hot and sunny or anything inbetween, but with trousers, a t-shirt, cardigan and jacket one can take on many temperature differences. Set 1 looks the most urban to me and most anonymous for public transport - trains, busses, metro.

    I adore the floral cardigans that you've found.


  19. I will jump in with a request for a travel wardrobe along with so many others. I've really tried to work this out myself but not doing too well. I will be taking a 12 day trip to Russia, a river cruise with 3 days in both Moscow and St Petersburg. The dress code for the ship is said to be "Country Club Casual" with one night dressier for Capt dinner. There is a night out in both cities so basically there are 2 long days of flying, 6 days in metropolitan cities, 6 days in small towns and 3 nights needing something a bit dressier. It is the mix that has me being stumped. The Spring Break wardrobes are a little too casual and your Sept 21 post showing 2 weeks in Europe are too professional. I have stopped coloring my hair and wear shades of grey for my main pieces and have been adding teal, merlot and sometimes royal blue but they may be a little too dark for the summer. I was a winter at one time. I know you could come up with the answer to my dilemma.

  20. Love this soft yellow..its beautiful..and I am going to look for this tote!

  21. I found this blog when looking at "une femme d'un certain age." As you may guess by that, I am one of the aforesaid! I have always loved tailored clothes, but the other day a woman some maybe five years older than I walked past me dressed in almost my identical outfit. Suddenly, I saw myself as others see me, quietly tasteful, but oh-so-bland and without any charm! and I immediately set about trying to find ways to still be myself with that bit of "je ne sais quoi." When I found you, I immediately fell in love with the looks you present. I tell everyone I know, also! Thank you so much!