Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What to Pack for the Florida Gulf Coast? Start with a Scarf: Paris in the Spring by Echo

The scarf says Paris, but your luggage is all tagged TPA - you're going to Tampa to visit friends with a home on the Florida Gulf coast!

They've mentioned the beach, and the boat... (repeatedly...) There's a bit of sightseeing, some serious lounging to be done, and you might take in a baseball game. You'll be dining out at least a few times, too!

Well, you know that it's going to be hot and sunny. You know that it's a relatively casual part of the country, and you know that you don't want to carry a whole ton of stuff with you.... What to do?

Let's start with a color scheme, based on this most lovely scarf:

Paris in the Spring scarf with style guidelines and color palette
scarf - Echo

You know that no matter how warm the weather is, the airport will be freezing cold, and the plane is seldom warm. So you've got real pants, real shoes, and a cardigan, to be warm enough for the overwhelming air-conditioning. Your scarf is a nice bright touch... (and your watch has a wee flower on it - you love flowers...)

travel outfit in beige, white and orange

earrings – Vera Bradley; cardigan – M&S Collection; watch - Gomelsky by Shinola; polo shirt – L.L.Bean; pants – L.L.Bean; scarf - Echo; suitcase – Crash Baggage; loafers – Naturalizer; tote - Mondani

The first thing you're going to really address is swimwear. The time is long past for you to miss the fun at the beach or on the boat because you're self-conscious about wear a swimsuit! You make sure that you have cover-ups, and a nice pair of sandals that are waterproof. Everybody gets to swim, no matter how they look - any other approach to life is absurdly unfair and just plain silly.

A swimwear wardrobe cluster in aqua and white

cover-up – Lands End; blouson swimsuit – Lands’ End; tankini top– Lands’ End; Swim skirt – Lands’ End; terry dress – Lands End; jelly flip flops – Jack Rogers

(Yes, all of this swimwear is from 1 place. I'm a big fan of Lands' End swim suits (many of which are available up to size 18), and I particularly love them for carrying LONG SLEEVED swim tops for those of us who need to be well-covered when we're in the water. Highly recommended... And yes, there is a longer version of that swim skirt here)

Once you've got swimming covered, everything else feels really easy!

So next you think about a wee cluster of clothes for leisure activities. Shorts are the most appropriate thing in Florida, but you could easily substitute skirts or capris for the shorts if that feels more comfortable for you. And although it seems like a sweatshirt is the LAST thing you'd need on this trip, always remember that air-conditioning can be so strong as to be uncomfortable. Nothing's worth than shivering through a meal or a movie... You toss a pretty wrap into your bag too, just in case...

Your tops are chosen to offer options - a solid tank will of course go with everything, and is easily layered if the weather changes. A tunic is a fresh change of pace, and a floral top that includes your key accents of blue and orange echoes both your theme and your palette. Shorts in 2 different lengths give you the feeling of variety in your travel wardrobe, too.

a warm weather leisure wardrobe cluster in tan, white, aqua and orange

sleeveless top - Uniqlo; scarf – Echo; aqua tunic – Lands’ End; sweatshirt – J. Crew Factory; floral top – Dorothy Perkins; tan shorts – Marks & Spencer; orange shorts – J.Crew; sandals – UGG

To finish, you want to include a few pieces that could be interpreted as dressy, if in fact you end up going to rather nice restaurants. This skirt can be worn with everything from the tank top to the sweatshirt, and gives them a more feminine feeling without being too frou-frou. And a floral dress with your favorites colors is impossible to resist.

The off-the-shoulder top? You're frankly not sure about it, but you figure it's not a big splurge. Maybe when you're in a new environment, it will feel just right!

a dressy warm-weather wardrobe cluster in tan, aqua and blue

blue linen tee – Majestic; off-the-shoulder top – Dorothy Perkins; chiffon skirt – Uniqlo; dress – M&S Collection

This is what you'll need to pack - this might require luggage to be checked, depending on how much you take with you for personal care products:

what to pack for a warm-weather trip to the Florida Gulf coast, in beige, aqua, blue and orange

By working your way systematically through the activities that you're anticipating on your trip, you've assembled a very coherent and madly versatile travel capsule wardrobe:

a warm weather travel capsule wardrobe in aqua, beige, white, blue and orange

Of course nobody is surprised to see that this wardrobe fits neatly into the "Whatever's Clean" template. It would be possible to put together some outfits that would be a little bit... weird (like the cardigan over the off-the-shoulder top?) but in general terms, it would be difficult to go wrong with these pieces:

a 13-piece Whatever's Clean wardrobe in beige, white, aqua, blue and orange

But just to be sure, you mentally arrange a couple of dozen outfits. Even if you completely "chicken out" from wearing the off-the-shoulder top, you're going to have plenty of choices when you get dressed each day. (and don't forget those swim cover-ups; they look an awful lot like dresses or tunics...)

six ways to style tan shorts with orange, aqua or blue

six ways to style orange shorts from a travel capsule wardrobe

six ways to style tan pants in a summer travel capsule wardrobe

six ways to look a bit dressy in a summer travel capsule wardrobe

Tomorrow I'm going to choose some accessories for this wardrobe, and then later in the week I'm going to think about what to pack for Ireland! (not for me... not this time...)

What to Pack for the Florida Gulf Coast? Start with a Scarf: Paris in the Spring by Echo
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  1. I really love this color palette and what you've done with it. It's a perfect travel wardrobe. Thank you.

  2. I love this too. Have you used this scarf before for a capsule? It would be great to see some other options, I'm sure it would translate well into a business trip, perhaps picking up some of the darker colours (dark navy?). Maybe with some soft blush… there are endless possibilities!

    1. I used the version of this scarf with a black border in the last few days - my husband gave me one when I was feeling poorly, and it was so beautiful I had to use it here! But you're right - there's quite a lot of black in this, so that some black pieces could easily be added. And that soft blush... That's the beauty of a nice scarf - it has a lot of options!

  3. Love the orange and blue color scheme :)

  4. Love the warmer weather ideas. For those of us who live in this climate, could you do something similar for a business casual wardrobe? Light on the sweaters though - if you live here year round, you appreciate the cold air conditioning. I don't think I've worn a sweater in a few years.

  5. This is a very happy and fun collection. You have found some very attractive pieces with very good price points! Hope you are feeling better.

  6. Our traveler will be the chicest woman in the airport! Very cheery, perfect for Florida! Love it!

  7. I love this color palette but especially love your comment about everybody getting to swim! Being in the water is one of the greatest joys of my life now (I'm 65) and I regret the many years that I was too self-conscious to allow myself that pleasure. Part of the problem for many women, I think, is that they try on cheap, flimsy swimsuits and conclude that they'll never feel comfortable going in the water. A well-constructed swimsuit, though, makes all the difference. I swear by Lands End as well as Miraclesuit. And if you have a large and/or saggy chest, it helps to look for a suit that gives you more support, like a racerback. Those low-dipping backs on swimsuits are not our friends!

  8. Thank you, Janice!

    This reminds me of my packing-thoughts for a wedding in Tuscany next summer. July 2018. :) Would you consider addressing that? I'll probably be there about a week, and maybe help with some projects when I first arrive. Then I'll need clothes for lounging, rehearsal dinner, and wedding--as mother of the bride!!

    (I don't know her colors yet. She says it's casual and the groom may wear shorts! But she'll be in a regular white dress. I like black, tan, and white, plus blue/green and red. :)) I've already started shopping a bit since I don't shop often. : / But I'd like to know if I'm on-track! And I trust you. :)

    I've read every post of yours since I found you three or four years ago! Thanks for all you do for us!! I have another daughter in Chicago, so maybe you and I can meet some day. =)

    Thanks again!!

  9. Fantastic wardrobe! Love the colors! I'm in the midst of planning for a trip to Beijing in June and have similar colors along with some navy blue. I also appreciate your comments about swimming and swimsuits. Life is too short to pass up an opportunity to do a bit of swimming with family and friends.

  10. I would love to visit Florida! Land"s End have some lovely swimwear...

  11. Very Floridian! Excellent job.

  12. The Land's End swim wear is excellent. I have a pair of swim shorts that is my favorite piece of swim wear ever! This wardrobe would work for any warm weather destination. I think I would trade the loafers for a nice canvas or other slip on sneaker type shoe. I love the colors!!