Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How to Pack a Travel Capsule Wardrobe for Paris - the "Three Dresses" Version

Belovedest and I are going BACK to Paris on Friday! Yes, I was just there in December...

And I'm going to try the strangest variation on packing yet - since we're only there for 6 nights, and since I always fly back from Paris in the same outfit I wear for the flight over (with a change of tee shirt), I'm just packing three dresses, which will cover the 5 full days that we're there. Two pair of ballet flats, and a stack of scarves.... This is going to be interesting!

I'm sticking pretty close to my uniform for packing - tee shirt (with my one-of-a-kind star design!), cardigan, scarf, and pants that won't collapse after 8 hours of sitting. This cardigan is going to be really handy on this trip, as I can wear it over all 3 dresses, depending on the weather. If it's really cold, I can wear both the cardigan and my jacket. My legs don't generally get cold unless the temperature drops well below freezing, so I'm not worried about wearing dresses with tights...

My jacket is a MUCH older version of this, and my suitcase is maybe the grandmother of this one - my bag looks like it's been through a trash compactor a couple of times. I prefer to think of that as luggage patina... but it's a tribute to how well made the bag is - it just won't fall apart, no matter how bad it looks!

 
cardigan - L.L.Bean; scarf - Nordstrom; (plain white) tee shirt - L.L.Bean;
pants - Eddie Bauer, jacket - Burberry; bag - Agnes B.; shoes - Munro,
star earrings - Rika (similar here); suitcase - Tumi

This is all of the "normal" clothing that I'm packing - a clean tee shirt for the trip home, and three black and white dresses! It's hard to tell from this, but the dresses are really pretty dissimilar, one from the other. This is an experiment, I admit...

(none of the dresses are still available - sorry!)

(plain white) tee shirt - L.L.Bean; ballet flats - Munro;
first dress - COS; second dress - COS; strapped flats - Trotters;
third dress - J. Jill

Here's where the real fun of this trip is going to be - mixing printed and textured dresses with accessories!

(It's really by accident that all of my jewelry is from Majorica - as much as I love their high-quality fake pearls, I didn't really plan to do this...)


pearl necklace - Majorica; pearl and chain necklace - Majorica; 
blue scarf – Nordstrom; pearl stud earrings - Majorica, pearl bracelet
 - Majorica; rectangle scarf – Image Diary; square scarf –
 Hermès Collections Imperiales; sequined scarf – Echo
stars scarf - Becksondergard

This is a big reason that I'm packing so little - we're planning to go to the Luxembourg Gardens every morning to run. (well, B will run, and I will do my rehab exercises...) We plan to rinse out our clothes and wear them on alternate days. Happily, workout clothing dries really quickly, so this should work out well. But still, by the time you've got shoes, and gloves, and a jacket, it still adds up.

Grey top – L.L.Bean; print skort – L.L.Bean; Superman tee –  
Under Armour; black skortL.L.Bean; jacket – L.L.Bean; gloves – Asics;  
shoes – Nike; socks - Smartwool

The L.L.Bean workout gear is really great - especially the skorts. I've had running skorts in the past that were so short that they were more of a "butt ruffle" than a real garment; these are long enough that the legs of the shorts stay in place, and the skirt covers everything you want covered - even when you're moving. It's nice to be able to not worry about inappropriate exposure when you're exercising!

And this is everything that will be in my suitcase (well, I'm taking pajamas, and toiletries, too):


If all goes according to plan, my suitcase will have a bit of wiggle room, so that I can make a couple of purchases that have been requested by friends. I don't have anything on my shopping like right now, which doesn't mean for a heartbeat that I won't buy something!


And this is the entirety of my stuff that I'll have with me; I particular like the two tee shirts that I customized, using my iron-on skills!


Is this plan madness? We shall see....

Tomorrow I'm going to show you how it all goes into the bag, and what odd little packing accessories, packets, sleeves, and assorted gizmos I use... (I know that I said day after tomorrow, but that's April first, which means "One outfit per month!")

love,
Janice


macys.com


30 comments:

  1. I had to laugh at your pajamas comment. For my current trip (10 days in Los Angeles) I was so focused on packing a 4x4 wardrobe - counting my wardrobe pieces (although I didn't quite stay with 16...) and making sure that they all coordinated appropriately and were suitable for weather and planned activities - that I totally forgot pajamas! Have a lovely time in Paris!! - nancyo

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  2. I say this sounds like a good plan! Are you planning to wear tights with the running skorts? I am in the south but I'm not ready to run bare-legged yet, and it's colder in Paris. The weather can change quickly at this time of year. It was in the low 70s yesterday and the 50s today.

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    1. As I watch the weather reports, I'm more and more convinced that I'm going to take tights, too. If I were going to be running, I wouldn't be as concerned - I don't tend to get cold legs unless it's snowing - but since I'm just rehabbing a weak knee, I won't generate as much heat! Thanks for mentioning this; you're very thoughtful!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  3. From Margie in Toronto - What a lovely, coordinated look! You will be very chic! I do the same thing when flying - wear the same outfit out and back - that way I always know what to sort out and have ready a few days ahead of time. I'm very interested in the packing lesson. I don't wear dresses - but - if my weight loss progresses as I hope then I think I'm going to look for a couple to wear with tights and ballet flats come the Fall - I'd love any of the 3 that you have chosen!
    Sorry to hear you are doing rehab exercises - sorry but did I miss a post? Hope this is just as a result of a minor injury and won't slow you up too much. Enjoy your trip.

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    1. I didn't post about "the knee" - it just began to be more and more sore. I went to the ortho, had an MRI, and it's just a bit of weakness and instability. Coupled with overtraining! So I'm doing some exercises to strengthen the muscles that support my kneecap - they're very weirdly specialized, and difficult!
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. From Margie in Toronto - you have my sympathies as I'm currently in physiotherapy & doing lots of home exercises myself. Right knee has a tendency to collapse and now the left one is so far gone that bits & pieces are moving around in there and causing that knee to lock! It's gone to the top of the list for a knee replacement within the year. The joys of getting older! Good luck.

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  4. Well curated travel wardrobe! I love the idea of three dresses in similar colors, to mix with different accessories. Will you wear black opaque tights with all of them? Love, love, love the LL Bean skorts. I live in mine all summer, and take with me on our warm weather vacations to throw on over a bathing suit at the beach, and still be able to walk around in town looking appropriate.

    Have a fabulous (and safe) trip!

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    1. Opaque tights for sure! I should buy stock in a company that manufactures them, I wear them so much... But I find them to be about the most comfortable thing I can wear.
      hugs,
      Janice

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  5. I'm sure your plan will work well. I once went to Italy for two weeks with just four dresses (two of them had matching jackets), and I was fine. Happy traveling and stay safe.

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  6. Janice,
    With changes using accessories, I know you'll be just fine ! You could also wear the pants a third time in between the wearing of the dresses to break it up a bit, if you feel the need. I'm just wondering about the second pair of flats as being necessary, as shoes are heavy and take up precious space. At any rate, have a marvelous time and please be very, very aware ! Bon voyage !

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    1. Dear Shrebee,
      There's method in the shoe madness - the flat that I have are so lightweight, and soft, that both pair will pack in the space of 1 pair of "normal" shoes (yes, I squash the uppers for the time I'm in transit - a shoe sin, but it hasn't hurt them so far). I was thinking that it would be good to switch off between the 2 pairs to give them a rest between wearings, and if I get caught in the April showers, I'll have dry shoes!
      Thanks for thinking of this though, I appreciate your helpfulness,
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. Janice,
      Yes, I have read travel suggestions to give shoes a breather by wearing them alternately with another pair. Sounds like you have it covered with the weight and space. I've been curious about your packing "tools", so I am eagerly awaiting tomorrow's post to see if we use the same packing aids !

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  7. I have a scarf from Image Diary and wear it often. The one you have chosen is gorgeous with this set. You will look both chic and effortless because you have put in obvious careful effort aforethought.

    Enjoy your trip, especially your idyllic and romantic plans to continue your rehab during travel. Best wishes.
    Sue G

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    1. Scottie's scarves are SO beautiful... and thanks for the good wishes! If I'm with Belovedest, it doesn't matter where we are, I will be happy...
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. So happy to see a silk story scarf traveling to Paris, and thank you both for your kind words!

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  8. Favorite daughter and I just returned from one week in Paris and had a fabulous time! We loved staying at your favorite hotel! Your travel wardrobe looks perfect, as usual. I love wearing dresses when I travel - I find them comfortable and so easy to wear with tights. Have a great trip!

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  9. Totally not related to this post, which i did like very much. ... Having read your blog for a couple of years and working toward a core, i finally bought the black sheath dress from LL Bean (first sheath i have owned in 30 years, at least) and wanted to say "thanks, so much". It is a good dress (if a tad short for a lady of my age) and with a little tailoring fits beautifully. Am ready to try it out in the many ways you have configured it over the months. It was a leap of faith, but i trusted your recommendation, and was not disappointed. Have a wonderful trip, and thanks!

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    1. Hurrah!!! Thanks for letting me know - I'm so happy that it worked out for you. A simple black dress makes so many occasions easier...
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. Your tailor can probably suggest some elegant ways to add a bit of length to your dress.

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    3. Thanks, Deb. Good idea ... i bought wide lace hem tape and simply let it down the whole 1.5 - 2 inches and used the tape; steamed it and voila, much better. Losing a couple of pounds and getting a "proper" undergarment helped, too!

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  10. Take care of that knee, Janice! Too much walking can be hazardous - but I know you have it under control. Nothing like a sidewalk bistro to ease the strain!
    I keep meaning to ask you - what size is your Tumi? Is the 22-inch carry-on really large enough to hold you for a week?
    Have a great trip!

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    1. It's so nice to be rehabbing in Paris - any time my knee feels tired, we'll have to stop for a drink... sigh...
      Yes, the bag is carry-on size, and it fits everything, with a bit of room to spare for purchases! Tomorrow's post will actually show the inside of my suitcase, and how I manage to get everything in without pulling out my hair!
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. I will be interested to see your packing method. My tried-and-true is rolling my clothes, but I know others swear by packing cubes or zipper bags. One online acquaintance from a travel site (also named Janice) has a cool, if slightly complicated, method of layering/folding that she swears saves the most space. I love it when people are passionate about their systems! - nancyo

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  11. Coincidentally, I just packed a suitcase for a four-day scholarly conference by deciding against my usual mix-and-match separates in favor of two favorite, comfortable, forgiving dresses whose looks can be totally transformed by different jackets, cardigans, and silk over-tunics. Suddenly getting dressed seems very easy and there's never been so much extra room in my suitcase.

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  12. How lucky you are to be going to Paris twice in 6 months! I hope your knee holds out. I do have what is maybe a style preference question. Your three dresses look practically the same to me. Would your packing wardrobe still work if one of the dresses also had red and one also had cobalt? Thanks!

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  13. Can't wait to see your packing post! Oh how I wish I was going to Paris! Since discovering your blog I have been able to pack for most trips in just a carry on. I usually do take a small tote type bag for my computer/ipad, headphones, magazines, etc...I like to carry a small crossbody purse so I find I need the tote for these items even though they would fit in my carry on.

    I can see how the dresses will save a lot of room. Interested to hear how it all works out for you.

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  14. Have a wonderful trip! Love this collection!

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  15. Hi Janice
    have a great trip - maybe I should take the Thalys to Paris and come and meet up with you :-)! I won't, sorry. Just a small thing - although the weather forecast looks fine for the weekend, the April winds have force. I was out for my first round of golf of the season on Sunday outside Brussels and very happy I had my beano hat. So seeing you taking running gloves, I would also pack a hat for your early morning outings.
    Have great fun - these dresses could easily be in my wardrobe.

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  16. Bon voyage! The only 'madness' I see is packing workout gear. Why not just walk a lot and take one of those stretch bands if you feel compelled to do strength work? After too many trips where the workout gear was untouched (weather, other things to do) I now permit myself this variation.

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  17. It's very great to see your post!I like it .I'm looking forward to you in the next

    post.Thank you .

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