January 3, 2020
Answering a handful of questions in 1 post today! First – someone who has a lovely navy suit was wondering if she should get rid of it now that she’s retiring. Heck no, unless the very sight of it brings back horrible memories!
Secondly, one of the scarves from Aspinal of London that I did NOT choose for the 12 month adventure is the source inspiration for today’s post, AND
I’m addressing travel for a combination of business and leisure. This is the kind of adventure for which your suit can be madly useful!
The template that I’m going to use for this packing adventure is the Perfect Ten Pack. I’m seriously thinking about this, with a modification or 2, for my upcoming Paris adventure!
Our heroine’s travel outfit looks a lot like something she might have worn to her office, from the waist up. But swap out a skirt or dress pants for jeans, add in some excellent sneakers, and you suddenly look a LOT more relaxed. This is still a lovely polished look to wear on those days when you’re angling for an upgrade on a flight!
At first, I was absolutely certain that I would include a solid navy cardigan in this wardrobe – it seems obvious, right? But I realized that a tweedy sweater would be more of a break from the “navy suit” feel of this wardrobe. Plus, it doesn’t have to be a perfect match for the other garments! Tweeds and marled knits are a gift to those of us trying to match difficult colors.
Same thing with the navy v-neck sweater – it’s not exactly solid navy…
This looks so calm and in control, doesn’t it?
This all came together perfectly to fit the template, without any real hair-pulling on my part! I admit that I’m thinking of substituting some sort of 2-piece… something? in place of the dress for my upcoming trip.
Maybe velvet pants and a velvet tee shirt? It’s sort of like a dress,
- It covers both top and bottom;
- It is dressy;
- It can be worn with a variety of 2nd layers….
Hmm. It also would have the advantage of being more versatile than a dress, by virtue of being 2 separate pieces of clothing, each of which can be worn with other things.
AND because it’s pants, and not a dress, it’s not “over the top” dressy for a trip that we’re swearing is going to be pretty relaxed and casual! We shall see… (wow, did my mind wander!)
When our heroine gets to her hotel and changes into her jammies, this is the wardrobe that she hangs in the cupboard:
It’s quietly tasteful, and appropriate for almost anything short of touch rugby or a masked ball…
As much as I’m looking forward to being in Paris with Belovedest, I’m also looking forward to that feeling of lightness and simplicity that I get when I’m traveling. Not having a lot of STUFF with me really makes me feel free in a way that’s hard to explain….
p.s. EIGHT years ago, I was pondering 2 different shopping styles…
Anne Robinson says
Oh, you are so clever with all of those keys! Wonderful x
Very inspired! Love the colours, plus the tips on using business wear casually. I’m likely to retire in 2-3 years, and wondering what will happen to those blazers and tailored trousers – and whether to invest in any more. A series on wardrobes for that transition period would be much appreciated!
The mileage you can get out of this template with that color combo! Perfect!
I’m going shopping in my closet to see if I can mimic this for my next trip.
Thanks for this! Yellow is not at all my colour but you have shown so many other beautiful navy palettes that I think I can figure that out. This is really helpful for those of us who occasionally need a suit but also need to dress from ‘taking kids to the park’ to business casual (but not corporate, but still authoritative) the rest of the time.
As someone who retired 5 years ago, I definitely recommend keeping several of your favorite suits in your closet and packing a few away in case you want to come back to them. I find that after 38 years of dressing nicely I sometimes miss it. I then donated to local charity that helps women apply and dress for new careers.
The suits that I kept are usually worn as separates. On a recent train trip to Washington DC, I received numerous compliments on my outfit which was jeans, a white shirt, colorful scarf, good loafers and a nice navy blue suit jacket.
This University of Michigan fan thanks you.
I’m always looking for packing ideas. How many days would a typical 10-pack cover?
With laundry, I could wear this for a week. I suspect many people would prefer 5 days or so with this? Anybody else have an opinion?
As long as I have clean underwear every day, I have no problem with wearing garments twice on a trip without laundering. I have not yet stayed with the same one neutral for all bottoms, but it sure does make sense ! I keep trying to go lighter with each packing event, and I’m down to the “ Whatever’s Clean 13” primarily, although I do confess that I often throw in an extra top or two when laundering is not possible !
Scottie Kersta-Wilson says
If I’ve got laundry facilities, I can do a carry on & backpack for up to two weeks . . . probably 3 ;-)
I always travel with the Whatever’s Clean template as I do not like to check my bag. I have travelled for 4 1/2 weeks with this plan. I do laundry either through the hotel or at a laundry. It works great and I have you, Janice, to thank!! So thank you very much!!
Katrina B says
Thank you for another good injection of common sense into this purge-happy world! I wore my pant suits as separates for at least six years after switching from formal business to casual office, and I still wear the jackets now, well into retirement.
After the investment we make into these expensive items that are made to last (one hopes), it only makes sense to enjoy a return on that investment. As long as you bought classics, you will always have classics. I don’t think there’s been a moment in the last 40 years when a tailored blazer and jeans wasn’t a “look.” Keep the beautiful suit(s) and incorporate the pieces into your new life.
Now that I’m done ranting I’d like to say I love this capsule; coincidentally it looks almost exactly like my navy capsule. I must have absorbed some of your wisdom over the years. I wear a buttery cream instead of the yellow but I have all equivalent pieces and I even went through the same thought process on the tweedy rather than solid navy cardigan. I love it!
Janice, no need to “explain”. I completely understand that feeling of not having all that STUFF when you travel. ?
As a Buckeye, I had to chuckle at Mary’s comment, but also thought I wouldn’t be caught dead in that combo! ? It really is lovely though, Janice. And, while I don’t anticipate needing much in the way of dressy clothes for an approaching trip to Austria, I think your template is going to be very helpful as I layout my wardrobe. Thanks so much!!!
Love the colors of this and definitely swap out the dress for 2 pieces. Something maybe with short sleeves because I don’t see enough tops in this wardrobe that can be layered underneath on a slightly warmer day that doesn’t require long sleeves under a sweater.
Dear Janice. Thank you so much for a beautiful post (once again). I absolutely ADORE the look of a navy jacket and jeans and wear it in various combo’s to the office at least 3 times a week in winter. Always smart but warm too. Love from South Africa but currently on holiday in Florida with a 4×4 wardrobe based on navy, black, pink and denim. We are staying for almost 4 weeks and I feel as if I may have too many outfits!
I have been suffering from the whappage for this scarf for a week! I’ve even had it saved on my phone as my inspiration piece.
Clearly this post is a sign (and some excellent packing advice for my trip to Ireland in April.)
Thank you, Janice, and have a fabulous New Year.
I’ve only ever had two suits many years ago but tended to wear them as separates and got a lot more wear out of them. I have several lovely coloured velvet jackets in my autumn/winter wardrobe but rarely wear. Is it because I feel velvet is too dressy for day wear (yet I receive compliments when I do wear them) or could it be the unpredictable British weather? Sunshine in the morning doesn’t mean that it will stay that way…
Wear them! Just take a waterproof jacket to pull on over if the weather turns. But don’t leave them in the closet – share them with the world! (Yes, I love velvet…)
I tried to send this through the contact page but it didn’t seem to be working properly. So I’ve decided to post this here.
One of my resolutions this year is to start supporting my favorite content creators, you are probably my MOST favorite. Each month, my plan is to give a small sum to a different content creator. Please tell me how I can do this for you.
Paypal. [email protected] is my email over there.
You’re a goddess, by the way!
Just the scarf I was thinking of because of the keys and shades of blue.We Kappas love that ya know. I think I will have to add it to my wardrobe. Always fun to see what develops through the year. I have to say 13 pieces (wear 3 pack10) can get me through the week easily with no laundry. Sometimes it’s too much. Two pair of shoes. You have taught me alot over the years.
Oh and I always get compliments for having one suitcase and multiple outfits! My 32 year old niece even asked for advice on packing in small bag for New Year’s trip to Dublin.
Carol Spears says
What a fabulous wardrobe. I am semi-retired and was wondering whether it was worth looking for a new navy suit to tide me over the next couple of years, and beyond. I see that it is!
Even the colours you have chosen work with my colouring.
Lisa Ham says
Ooh, I love that combination of navy and yellow!