February 18, 2019
She helps to plan the logistics for tours of pilgrims – those who wish to walk one of the many pilgrimage routes in Europe. They do the walking, but she and her staff make certain that they have lovely hotels, good meals, and a “sag wagon” to carry all of their bags (and the pilgrims themselves, if the walking proves too much!)
It’s work she takes seriously; these individuals have in many cases saved for years to make these pilgrimages, and she respects their commitment and sacrifice.
She doesn’t fully understand this painting, but she was drawn to the title, and captivated by the colors:
So for her travels this year, she’s decided that this is going to be her inspiration and her color palette:
Her first tour to prepare is from Paris to Chartres – a Marian tour that is fully booked! And this means that she has to go to Paris… sigh…
Maybe wearing this much beige in the early spring is tempting fate, but she wants to radiate light and clarity. It’s how she feels when she works, and so she wants to dress to reflect (with her coat, she literally shines!) the happiness she feels…
She will be visiting hotels, scheduling time for the pilgrims to be blessed by one of the priests at Notre Dame, dining in a few places between Paris and Chartres… Lots of really delightful projects that she gets to call work… So she take a good, hard look at her travel capsule wardrobe to make certain that she has what she needs:
She’s only going to be there for 4 days, so she starts counting outfits to make sure she has options; when she gets to 9 outfits, she concludes that she’s well prepared!
I’ve never gone on a pilgrimage, but I can easily see the appeal. Have you ever participated?
It’s just as well as she doesn’t have to fully understand the painting to be inspired by it. It certainly is an unusual piece of work- maybe it could be the basis for a creative writing class?!!
Book Goddess says
Love the painting, love the wardrobe. I haven’t been on a walking pilgrimage per se, but I was fortunate enough to go on a Journeys of Paul Mediterranean cruise. There is something very special about visiting and worshipping in sacred places in the companionship of friends.
I really love this capsule. For me personally I would switch the orange for coral. I love that you used the symbolic, and gorgeous, shell earrings. For me this is almost a “shop my closet” collection. I have a similar coat and cardigans. From casual to dressy, hot to cold, you nailed it.
Janice Collins Coyle says
Love this beautiful wardrobe. Many years ago I went on a group hike of several days in Peru where we carried our provisions in backpacks. Very careful clothing selection was crucial. Porters erected tents for sleeping. I enjoyed it then but now I prefer more creature comforts in my travels. Hiking and walking yes, tents and no showers – no! Maybe it’s age.
Janice Collins Coyle, Washington DC
I am going on a pilgrimage to Croatia in June! You’ve inspired me to build my own capsule wardrobe for the trip! I love your shell borders – a symbol of pilgrimage!
Tracy Flinders says
Thigh-length puffy jacket, but no boots? I must be getting old ;)
Two pairs of near-white pants? I think one in navy would be more serviceable, with that cardigan creating 2 dark columns, one with pants, another with skirt. Love the colors, but would swap out the orange for coral, as lizette recommends. And that “driving moccasin” could be replaced with one better for walking; even if you’re not doing the pilgrimage per se, you still do a lot of walking and standing whenever you travel. I’ve seen a lot of puffy jackets in your travel wardrobes; seems to me its bulk would be hard to stow away when not needed. And you’d still need head protection in case of rain.
Lisa P says
The great thing about that kind of puffy down coat (and similar jackets/vests) is that they pack down to a very small, light bundle—so provide a lot of warmth and are easy to transport! And since they don’t collect lint and smudges are easily wiped, they work well for travel.
Beautifully coordinated, but your swaps would work better for me.
No pilgrimages, although I like the idea—sort of a walking tour with (one assumes) more time for contemplation. We don’t seem to contemplate much anymore.
What do we do when the items you picture are sold out? The Nordstrom scarf for the “In Transit” outfit is exactly what I need for my existing wardrobe — the feel and the fabulous mix of colors, etc — but it is sold out. I don’t seem to be able to find anything close so I am wondering if anyone has some suggestions on what to do. About 35% of the time this happens when I click on a link. Janice, could you add to your store a tutorial on how to search for the right mix of colors/patterns/fabrics so we can find some kind of substitute? I don’t at all have you eye for wardrobing and styling, but it would be nice to do my best at finding substitutions where necessary. Your blog has been a Godsend … can’t find words to express my appreciation. Thanks!
Alison M Gunn says
I did go on a kind of pilgrimage-tour with a group of women to Ireland one September, which took us to holy places connected with Saint Brigid, for one. There are so many places in Ireland one can go to to soak up broadly-defined spirituality, rather than religion per se. However, I too have to comment about the concept of ‘Winter’ in the recent Winter posts, because having spent actual winters in the far north of the world, as well as lower latitudes where it rains incessantly or is just simply cold, these shoes are impractical for anyone who gets off the bus. Boots. That’s all I can say, and sadly, most practical winter boots are black. Now, if you were creating a late-Spring wardrobe, I’d say yes, these shoes are fine for some people, as long as one could actually walk miles in them. Right now, it’s 52˚ in Paris, going up to a high of 60 tomorrow… I cannot actually say that some of these shoes are right for the climate, particularly since rain is forecast. The outfits are lovely, of course, but are they practical? :-) Having said that, I would give quite a lot for a pair of winter boots in navy.
Thirty three years ago when I lived in Greece, I took a tour of the Seven Churches of Revelation in Turkey. Five nights/six days with travel, lodging, and all meals except one included for $600. It was an amazing adventure. Our tour guide made the trip so rich in history and details. I had just had my son 3 months before and many of my clothes no longer fit. I also had no clue about choosing a wardrobe appropriate for another culture or climate. I look at photos of me wearing tights shorts and cringe. Fortunately, even my poor clothing choices could not take away the feeling of awe that that trip gave me. I just wish I had your blog info way back then.
I don’t care for the colors, but I do appreciate your imagination and writing skills, as well as your excellent eye for color combinations and clothing. You blog is so enjoyable to read and I thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us.
I’d swap out the short sleeve orange tee for a long sleeve turquoise tee, trade one of the ivory pants for a pair in olive, and exchange the navy skirt for a pair of dark navy jeans because I don’t like skirts. You make it so easy to see how any capsule can be adapted to fit specific individual needs and preferences and still work beautifully together.
Lena, yes! That would be a great alternative for me too. Great option.
All brilliant and workable options!
I love this capsule, even if I can’t wear beige! And of course I love this story – thank you for venturing out of the usual for your heroines. We have been on pilgrimage – a 9 day bicycle tour along the ancient pilgrimage route – the Camino de Santiago de Compostela – in Spain. Our wardrobe there was equal parts riding gear and casual wear for dinner in the evening, as well as travel days. Ever since then, I have wanted to do a walking pilgrimage, although it’s not clear that my pathetic feet would hold out (which is one reason we chose a bicycle tour in the first place). I’ve researched various routes (Italy, Norway, Spain/Portugal, New Mexico, England, and more) but these days it seems that our “religious travel” quota is being met by our annual trip to serve at the Sanctuary at Lourdes, a pilgrimage of sorts (where my capsule wardrobe ends up being an extension of our navy and white uniform). – nancyo
I’m an atheist but kind of worship in nature, or at least there I feel as close as I’m going to get to spiritual. So my recent “pilgrimages” have been glamping walking holidays, where guides do the hard work (including the cooking) so all I have to carry in my pack is clothes, toiletries and the day’s snacks and lunch. This makes packing very easy! But I still like to look nice, even if grubby by the end of the day, so coordinate my hiking clothes as much as the outdoor shops allow (which is quite well nowadays). Black and grey are the neutrals, with pastel blue and indigo or Klein blue for accents. I haven’t found black or dark grey leather hiking boots yet, but hope to one day!
There are all KINDS of pilgrimages… just as there are all kinds of heroines. We make our own goals and missions!
I saw dark grey Keen hiking sneakers at Nordstrom – I’ve included them in tomorrow’s post!
Oh thank you Janice! I felt shallow talking about coordinating clothes when I go walking as my version of a pilgrimage, to honour nature and be refreshed by it. But there’s nothing to say I can’t do that in nice boots. Perhaps I’ll do it better if my feet are well protected *and* look good ?
Biddy Gander says
My favourite travel skirt is in these colours but with a dark rose instead of orange. Silk with silk lining can be worn with tights for cooler days and is the perfect starting point for my travel wardrobe. Like many others have mentioned I would probably ditch a lot of the beige/stone and add extra navy, green or something from the red spectrum.
More of these navy and green please. Great post as always.
Chris from Indy says
The color palette is unusual, but really offers nice variety – and I’m happy to see wardrobes that don’t rely so heavily on cool tones. You have a palette for everyone, Janice!
I’m going to be “stationed” in a small town for 6 days at the end of the month helping a client with their month end financial close. The dress code is casual, but I like to keep it a polished version of casual – like this collection! I can definitely adapt this wardrobe to suit my needs.
That’s what makes this type of blogpost so very useful – with a couple of tweaks this grouping allows me to see that an overstuffed suitcase is not needed!!
Vicki Cook says
Two pair of light colored pants makes me cringe. I would swap one for navy. Maybe it’s just me, but light pants are a magnet for stains! Would also swap out one pair of beige flats for navy.
She is a woman of faith, isn’t she?
I love this palette..I am a painter and I have saved several of your combinations to use as inspirations! I have learned so much about planning my wardrobe for everyday , but particularly for travel. Thanks!
I love the J.Crew silk shirt, but I refuse to have anything dry cleaned. Do you think it is washable by hand? Would it be really wrinkled? I think it makes a lovely addition to this wardrobe. Thank you Janice—I find so much inspiration in your posts and your commentaries. I did a pilgrimage through Buddhist sites in India. Took a very small convertible soft pack and found this kind of packing made it very doable.
I always wash my silk stuff. I love to iron though, so you have to bear that in mind! If you stay somewhere that has good hot water, you can hang things in the bathroom while you shower and it will help a lot, too!
Kathryn Holbrook says
Janice, thank you for the memories this post brought back. Five years ago my husband and I mountain biked 300 miles of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. It was just the 2 of us, our 50 lb bikes (panniers, water, bike tools, etc), a little faith and a good attitude! It was a Top Five life experience. The kindness we encountered will always be remembered. My travel capsule consisted of one non-biking outfit. The addition of a small silk scarf made me feel dressed up! Other pilgrims were impressed.
Wow Kathryn, what a wonderful achievement. Respect!
I have not done a pilgrimage, but I have done 10 day silent retreats with Contemplative Outreach. Like this heroine, I want to ” radiate light and clarity.” I am going to be evaluating what I wear with this in mind.
That sounds wonderful…
I like this colours and I wear them the whole year, but in autumn and winter with more navy and green. But now for spring the capsule is beautiful fresh and bright. Thank you for your colour combinations.
With best wishes from Munich!
I love the simplicity of a neutral and accent colors with the accessories while traveling. In transit however, black, navy, or charcoal grey are my go-tos. White IS a magnet for stains and a 12-20 hour trip is bound to have some mishaps. I travel a lot and can do 2 weeks in Europe with carryon only. I am in to fashion too if that makes a difference so chic is always preferred. My changes to this would be with so many white, beige, winter white whatever pants and accessories. I love that you brought it down to such simple color combos. Green doesn’t work for me but it can easily be swapped out for red, deep rust, daffodil yellow or royal blue even. Great article and tips….thanks for the ideas.