Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Post-Travel debriefing



Liquor travel case
Not the worst way to pack!  Found this gem on etsy.com, but it has already been sold...

The best time to evaluate the success of your packing plan is the day after you return; theoretically you're not exhausted (ahem...) and you can still remember what choices and decisions you made on your trip.

My results were very mixed on this trip:


  • I did NOT pack enough underwear.  Don't ask me how this happened, but let's just say that it was really handy that I was visiting relatives. I've gotten so accustomed to assuming that my normal suitcase stash will be complete, that I didn't actually pull out my pajamas and undergarments and check them...
  • Two pair of black pants were perfect - one was cotton twill (which I wore for all of the yard work) and one pair was silk, which I wore for more social occasions.
  • The weather got much warmer than I had expected, so I didn't much need my cardigan, but because I had tee shirts, I was fine.
  • I really need to dump out my toiletries kit every now and then - I was travelling with two toothbrushes, and enough hair conditioner for a family of five.  Neither of these are big deals, but it's a bad habit to get into - not checking what I'm carrying is a slippery slope that leads to a suitcase full of unexamined silliness.
Other travel observations:

  • Leggings are not pants.  They never were, and they never will be.  Not even when you're travelling.
  • One should not go directly from cleaning the garage to catching a plane. One should not even dress in such a way that this misunderstanding could take place.
  • One large tote bag will be much easier to manage than three or four smaller handbags.  I saw some heroic jugging acts than might have been avoided...
  • If your suitcase is too big to put in an overhead bin,just accept it, check it, and get on with your life.  Haggling with the airline staff is not elegant, and you're not going to win.
  • It's a really REALLY bad idea to fly wearing sandals.  It's often quite cold, and going through a security checkpoint in your bare feet is just icky.
  • Similarly, wearing all of your heaviest jewelry when you fly is ill-conceived, unless you can whip off all of that jewelry very quickly.
  • I am never so happy as when I am on an airplane...
Normal blogging service will resume soon!

I mention below in a reply to a comment, but I should make this a special note - what unusual color combination(s) would you like me to play with?  I'm interested in pink and orange, orange and red... what else?

Farfetch



41 comments:

  1. Hi Janice,
    Well I took the plunge! Had a bit of an unexpected windfall and now I have a new Hermes scarf (orange and pink Pique Fleuri de Provence). Help! I love looking at it but I'm almost afraid to wear it. It's too beautiful! Any words of wisdom for a scarf amateur like me?
    Renee

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    1. Please post a link to the exact color combination that you bought, and I'll do something really fun with it. I've been wanting to explore unusual color combinations, and pink and orange are at the top of my list.

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    2. Pink and orange as a combination has grown on me. I havent worn it much, but I bought a scarf with these colors and have worn it with a neutral column and it felt really good!

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    3. Yes, pink and orange would be fun!

      Somewhere in my attic is a pink and orange Pucci-inspired scarf that I took on my honeymoon in 1969. (Just about everything that I packed was either hot pink or white or a multi-colored print featuring hot pink. No "neutral columns" for me, I'm afraid.)

      Also, I remember what a stir Jackie Kennedy caused when she wore pink and orange together back in 1960.

      . . . kris

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    4. I'm never so happy as when I'm travelling by any other method than plane... Odd colour combinations sounds interesting - I'd love to see something with cool colours, like french blue. Is there anything that doesn't go with taupe?

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    5. Unfortunately the answer is my skin. I can wear chocolate but none of the brown tone neutrals work for me. I am considering eggplant and olive as my unusual neutrals. Would you consider working with them?

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  2. Turquoises and lime or periwinkle please.

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    1. I was going to ask for turquoise and periwinkle. :-)

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  3. I love mixing red (a blue-red) and purple (royal purple). Needs to be done in right amounts to avoid the court jester look! some ideas here would be helpful.

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  4. "A suitcase full of unexamined silliness"....can't imagine that happening to you:-)

    Looking forward to your colour combinations. There are a lot of beautiful flowers that combine pink and orange in various shades and I've seen stunning purple and red mixed tulips - can't go wrong using the garden as an inspiration. I'ld love to see you play with coral and yellow, coral and spring green.

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  5. Red and orange are my two favorite colors, I would love to see what you do with them!

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  6. Janice,

    Thanks for the light packing advice. I put this into place, and packing is so much more enjoyable.

    As for color choices, could you do a reddish coral (think of the sky at sunset)?

    Robin

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  7. When I think of unusual combinations that go well, I remember those Pucci dresses that were very striking and always somehow very attractive.

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  8. About going through the airport in bare feet - I agree, its icky. I always bring a pair of socks to slip on when I remove my shoes. I often wear a pair of sandals because they are quick and easy. If my feet get cold on the plane I can slip those socks back on.

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  9. I would coral and turquoise - thinking of these as summer "pods" to go with beige neutrals! Love the "whatever is clean" summer wardrobe basics and am using that as my summer base but have to sub out the beige tops/jackets since although I love beige, it doesn't love me!

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  10. Another vote for coral and turquoise please, as they are two of my favourite colours and particularly flattering for those of us who are over 60! My basics would be navy, stone and/or dark brown. Many thanks!

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  11. So... I travel for business almost weekly and here are some of my responses to your observations.

    1) toiletries - I travel with the 3-1-1 bag of sample sizes and never check my luggage, so I can only bring so much. (I use a lot of sample sizes. I get so excited to raid my dermatologist's sample cupboard, I can't even tell you.) If I have a sample size that is so used up I won't be able to get another trip out of it, I throw it away at the end of my trip. On the last day of my trip, I write myself a note telling me what I need to replace or refil and I stick it in my 3-1-1 bag.

    2) "underwears" (as my kids said when they were wee). I don't keep anything but toiletries in my suitcase between trips. I count out things like underwear and hosiery by the day when I'm packing.

    3) I'll re-wear skirts during a trip, but I never plan to rewear tops because I'm a great spiller of any and all liquids.

    4) Jewelry - I do wear most of my jewelry on the plane, as I don't want to risk it getting stolen. But as a lover of pearls, I'm not a big metal detector hazard. If you're going through one of those full body x-rays, you can also leave your jewelry on, though you should flip any long necklace around to your back and leave it there until you're through security. This way if it shows up and they have to pat you, they're patting your front, not your back.

    5) Sandals and bare feel through security. Fortunately, I am finally a TSA-Pre member and I don't have to take my shoes off at most airports. But I don't wear hose in warmer months and yes, I have walked through security in my icky bare feet. I'm not sure what else to do. I could probably get some of those Peds to wear with my pumps or flats, but I've never found any that stay on my feet and don't just bunch up in the toe of my shoe within seconds of putting them on. Fortunately, I'm not a germaphobe.

    6) Everyone please calm down and don't crowd the boarding gate. We're all getting on the plane. No one is leaving without you.

    7) Finally, it's a great pleasure to have the right sized carry-on bag and tote, and it is worth both the money and time involved and finding these items in order to have a more peaceful trip(s).

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    1. I mean they're patting your back, not your front. (unless you have Special Feelings for TSA agents, I would think this would be preferable)

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  12. Thank you, rb! And Janice too, of course, for the light packing tips. I'm going to the ASG conference in Arlington VA (at the beginning of August... I may just wear gauze!!) and will only have carry-on. I'm planning now, as I usually travel by car and take whatever I want.

    Joyce in WI

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  13. I, too, would love to see periwinkle with either turquoise or mint. Janice, your blog is the first thing I read in the morning! Thank you so much for your hard work and the pleasure it bring all of us.

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  14. I don't travel as often now that I have retired but, RB thank you for reminding us "calm down and don't crowd the boarding gate. We're all getting on the plane" It was a good thing that I wasn't drinking coffee. LOL Janice thank you for the packing tips, I have picked up many good ideas.

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    1. For the rare occasions when I have checked baggage (e.g. going home for Christmas), I would add ("don't crownd the luggage carousel". I love actually travelling, as in "beng in transit" - except if I have to collect lugggae. Shoving your trolley up against the carousel does not help you get your luggage off. Standing right next to it doesn't either. I swear, one day, I am going to end up flattening one of these half-witsr as I swing my suitcase off the belt......

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  15. Red and turquoise is my signature colour combo if you need another to add to your list. Just found your blog and I'm loving catching up on the back catalogue!

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  16. Another vote for red & turquoise (or red and aqua...I'm fuzzy on the difference.) Or pink & green? (Are my preppy roots showing?)

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  17. Another vote for coral and turquoise. Love those colors but are they only for spring and summer?

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  18. How about this ... orange, fuschia and taupe?

    http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi30390&mode=search&backurl=%2Fonline%2Fsearch%2FsearchResults.jsp%3Fquestion%3Dscarf%26trail%3DSRCH%253Ascarf%26pageNum%3D2%26addFacet%3D%26removeFacet%3D

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  19. How about coral and mint? Coral is my long time favorite for spring and summer and mint is my new trendy favorite. I too appreciate all your packing tips.

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  20. I'd love to see something in browns and purples, a weird combination, and i wonder if it would actually work.

    Jane

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  21. I am still wondering about the supposedly elegant navy and black, and also Une Femme's mention of grey and brown. They are not exciting summer colors, so maybe you could cover them in fall/winter?

    Thanks for the travel capsules. I am leaving on a one week family trip with limited luggage space so will be perusing your travel posts. Thanks for all the effort you put into your blog - it is soooo helpful.

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  22. I second the navy and black request by ripple.

    Copper red and green chartreuse?

    Francesca

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  23. Mahogany/henna (which oddly seems to work on me, a classic deep wintery sort of person) and black/cobalt/navy: is it possible? It's a hard colour to find but I've just bought a linen knit singlet in it to mix with my basics of black/white/navy.

    See the exact item/shade here! http://www.toast.co.uk/product/knitwear/CAHA9/FINE+LINEN+SINGLET.htm?categoryref=%2fcategory.aspx%3fcategoryid%3dknitwear%26seoterm%3dknitwear%26&pcat=knitwear&adimage=&clr=CAHA9_henna

    I'm also interested in further elucidation of the supposedly chic navy/black combo: if I've ever done it, people think I mistook the navy for black in the early morning grab from the cupboard!!!! Maybe it needs a contrast highlight colour to pull it off?

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  24. Fourth request for navy and black - I love this combo and would like to do more with it. Also since I wear the same clothes all year round (just adding extra layers in Autumn/Winter) I'd love to see your take on navy and black in summer.

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  25. Another navy/black supporter, but also emerald and purple! The color of the year, I find, is really difficult to pair with anything but neutrals (and isn't that great with my standard black). Purple is my favorite - can it work with emerald??? If there's anyone who can make it work, it's you.

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  26. First, I appreciate the 'lessons learned' from your trip.

    Second, my DH insists that, in the Southwest, TURQUOISE is a neutral!

    I'd like to see samples of that, if possible.

    Jora

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  27. I think most of us who follow "the Files" know that leggings are not pants, but i think we need to try to get that fact added to the SOL's or something. The word just isn't out there yet! Am so glad i no longer have to mother-hen an office... i think i would besending folks home daily.

    Can't wait to see some of the combos above. Looks like a fun spring for us. Glad you had a good trip.

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  28. Hi, Janice -- are you still taking requests for color combos? Would love to see what you can do with olive and pink!

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  29. Could I request orange and cobalt blue,please-my all time favourite.

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  30. Forgive me, but I am getting to be 'a certain age', and if leggings aren't pants, then what are they? In the '80s they were, weren't they? I am eternally confused. Despite reading this blog for a couple of years and loving it SO, I am surrounded by people who wear leggings as pants, and I am just confused and would like the definition according to Janice! Thank you!!

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    1. Well, they're sort of like super-tights. I guess what my goal is here would be to never see someone's derriere in leggings, and I'm CERTAINLY NOT interested in a front-view of someone in leggings, above the thighs. Too revealing, and even the most fit among us are giving away too much information in leggings.

      That said, I wear leggings all summer long under skirts, with sandals. They cover my knees, and are actually cooler for me than bare legs.

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    2. Thank you so much for your reply, and I certainly agree- many are giving away too much information!!

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  31. I love gray and yellow together - cool and warm tones. Any ideas?

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