Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Six Pack Travel Capsule Wardrobe: Red, White and Blue for Uncertain Weather

Sunday, when B and I went out for our usual breakfast and Art Institute visit, we wore jackets and gloves. Yes, May 15th, we wore gloves! I felt terrible for the people who had scheduled an outdoor wedding, and also for the hundreds of tourists who were caught completely off guard by the record-tying coldest May 15th in history.

So I'm going to reiterate, one more time, that no matter WHERE you are going, no matter WHAT time of year, you should always include a few essential items. Closed-toe shoes, a pair of socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt might never make it out of your suitcase, but if you encounter the kind of weather that we've had here recently, you'll be endlessly glad to have them.

If you're coming to Chicago to see one of our TWO first-place baseball teams (yes, we're all sort of in shock), be aware that the ball parks both have areas in the stands that can be quite cool on ever the warmest of days. Seating that's underneath an upper deck can be in an area upon which the sun has never shone...

So come on over for Memorial Day or the 4th of July - I've got your packing all sorted out!


EarringsAlexis Bittar; necklace – Argento Vivo; espadrilles – Toms
 striped shirt – Lands’ End; jeans – L.L.Bean; cardigan – Dorothy Perkins; 
watch – Nixon; backpack – Incase Designs

Tank top – Uniqlo; linen shirt – Uniqlo; striped top – Boden; bracelet –  
Leith; wristlet – Ash; socks – Sonoma; jeans – Helmut Lang
 walking shorts – Dash; canvas shoes – Keds; red fleece – Lands’ End


This assortment of clothes gives you a wide range of options for all kinds of weather conditions, except drenching rain...




This works if you hate sports, too; you could wear any of these outfits to the Art Institute, or the Museum of Science and Industry, or the Field Museum etc. etc.

love,
Janice


Annoushka

21 comments:

  1. This is so true! Even in June or July, a cold, rainy day can arrive on short notice and make you miserable if you don't have something to put on. My brother's family bought hooded sweatshirts in Paris out of desperation....in August. Socks don't take space and help a lot. And layers, even if you have to wear them all at once.

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  2. Meanwhile, here in Christchurch , New Zealand we had the 3rd hottest May day ever recorded on the 11th. It's certainly been a warm late autumn.

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  3. It's been crazy weather time in Toronto as well - we'll have a couple of days at 20C/70F and everyone is in shorts (I actually got a bit of sunburn on my nose last Friday) and then two days later it's barely above freezing and I'm putting on layers and looking for the gloves that I already washed and packed away! I had a friend in town this past weekend and I had to lend her some heavier socks!
    I've travelled in the UK and Europe in different seasons and I always take layers as you just never know.
    I love the "red, white & blue" combo - it always looks fresh and crisp!

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  4. The recomendation about the weather is true for both extremes. Some years ago I went on holiday for a week to Switzerland with my boyfriend. Friends of friends hat been there only some days before and told us to bring warm clothes as it had been freezing. I packed two pairs of jeans and sturdy, chunky sneakers for sightseeing. Fortunately I also brought a skirt and a pair of heels in case we would go out one evening. It was a hot 35 degrees Celsius during the whole week, and I did my sightseeing alternatig skirt + heels (cute but painful) and skirt + chunky sneakers (practical, but highly unfashionable, though now I think I might have been anticipating a new trend). Always be prepared for everyhing and match all your shoes to all your bottoms!
    Sonja

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  5. We've had unseasonably warm weather, then grey cool days in Vancouver. Not much rain though. I'm visiting Ireland, Shetland and London in September this year and I am carefully studying your blog to prepare layering combinations. Right now, I'm thinking grey and navy as neutrals. Is September too late to use turquoise as an accent or should I have changed to teal?

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    1. There's no limit on when you can wear turquoise, and it will be a beautiful bit of color against your gray and navy.

      The coldest I've ever been in my life is when I lived in Ireland. And that's coming from someone who now lives in Chicago!

      hugs,
      Janice

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  6. Here in New England, we also layer. You can go from hot and sticky to cold to wet and windblown in a single day. Our essentials: closed-toed shoes, socks, pullover sweater or sweatshirt, and windbreaker with hood. No long pants. For some odd reason, we layer up our feet and upper body, but leave our knees exposed.

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  7. Janice,
    Sometimes checking ahead for the weather forecast before travel doesn't even help! Some years ago, we took in the wonderful Royal Military Tattoo in August in Scotland -- fortunately for me, I had packed a scarf and gloves into my jacket pocket for a 6 PM show -- I froze ! While I loved the performance, I couldn't wait to get back to our warm accommodations ! I felt so sorry for some of the barely clad dancers representing British territories. In contrast, we roasted in Nova Scotia all week in September last year, despite the weatherman forecasting cooler weather.
    Don't you just love the 1/4 zip pullovers from Land's End ? I wear them all winter !
    Love the red socks in this post ---- or is that too close to the name of another baseball team ? :)

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    1. My father was a Red Sox fan - they lived in New Hampshire for years, and LOVED going to Boston for a game...
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. Go Cubs go!!! Such a treat to watch last year and this year. And we're Red Sox fans too, enjoying the crossover in the pitching staff and Big Papi's last year.
      I interned for a summer on Michigan Ave (probably very close to where you live) and used to pop over to the Art Institute on my lunch break every Tuesday for the free gallery highlights tour...got to know some beautiful art (and some tour guides!) very well. Wonderful place.

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  8. This is a very classy almost elegant casual wardrobe with lots of versatility. I am beginning to love the idea of good looking sweat shirts!!
    Deb from Vanouver

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  9. I leave on Friday for Paris and Amsterdam for three weeks, and every day that I check the weather forecast, it is different! Luckily, I read The Vivienne Files so everything in my carry-on wardrobe will match and play well with others! Your blog has been invaluable to me, not only for learning how to pack, but also for learning to streamline my wardrobe and be more disciplined and considered when building on it. You are a very talented woman with a gift for teaching, and your passion shines through. Thank you so much for your hard work.

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  10. We just had snow flurries again this weekend, so this set of cheerful, breezy clothes that can be worn for warmth AND look seasonally appropriate was just what the doctor ordered. : )

    If I add a rain slicker or trench, some happy wellies, a bright umbrella, and a pair of fluffy white mittens and headband and I can wear this tightly-curated wardrobe from earliest chilly March through scorching summer days right on to the Halloween ice storms... no matter what the weather holds. Your hard work certainly shows! **Aspire!**

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  11. I am new to this blog and absolutely love the concept, the beautifully thought out wardrobes and accessories. How do you organize your clothes in your closet? I am used to all t-shirts in one spot, all pants, all jeans, etc. Any tips? And what if you have several capsules with overlapping clothes? Thank you for your help!

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  12. This is one of my favorite travel wardrobes ever! Classic! We went to sunny San Diego in April and it was not sunny or warm most of the time we were there! I was prepared thanks to you Janice!

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  13. Even though we will be in hot Provence in July, I have used this Be Prepared idea for my black and tan (yes, I like the Guinness-Harp beverage by the same name) wardrobe. Thanks for reminding me of some pieces to add.

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  14. I thoroughly approve of your mention, Janice, of turquoise for an accent color, no matter what time of year. My base colors in cold weather are navy and dark grey, and a little navy but mostly light grey/silver and light denim in warm weather. Turquoise works well with all of it - scarves, jewelry, etc.

    I live on the far north side of Chicago, thirty yards from the lake. There is a reason I never plant anything new until Memorial Day weekend - we just don't know how cold and windy it'll be. I've learned the hard way. Go Cubs!

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  15. I love this format of warm version/cool weather version! Hope to see more like this; we all deal with it in traveling !

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  16. Ah, the Field Museum...one could wander the veldt in comfort...

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  17. Great post - longs sleeves to deal with the air condition during the summer. Cleveland had snow too... and Columbus jeans and fleece returned.

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  18. I've just discovered this wonderful site. I am so pleased because the 4x4 and also the 6 pack schemas solve the main problems I've had with packing for many years. One of the many great simple ideas, that I would never have figured out on my own.

    I live in New England, but spend several months a year in the UK and Europe. I always, no matter what the season, pack a knitted silk long underwear top that doesn't look too underwear-ish, so it can double as a t-shirt. I also always take a cashmere sweater, usually a cardigan. Neither takes much space in a suitcase and I invariably end up being grateful for them. I think I can fit them easily into these packing capsules, with just a little attention to colors.

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