We’re home! But if you follow me on Instagram you probably already know that. I’ve finished the laundry and packed my clean summer travel clothes away, and the rest of my summer clothes which were still hanging in my closet. So it’s time to pause the travel posts and do a bit of a debrief on my travel wardrobe. What worked, what didn’t; what I wished I’d packed, and what I should have left at home.
I love a good debrief, don’t you? You can see what I packed below. Two pairs of jeans, two pairs of cropped pants, two sweaters, three short-sleeves tees, two long-sleeve tees, one 3/4-sleeve tee, three scarves, and my Uniqlo down vest. I also packed my good Moncler spring coat, my Gortex rain jacket, a pair of yoga pants, my Stan Smith sneakers, my running shoes, and a pair of flat sandals. I wore on the plane, not shown, my Paige high-rise skinny jeans, my new navy 3/4 sleeve tee from Talbots, my heavy pink zippered hoodie from Uniqlo, and my burgundy Paul Green loafers.
I was generally pleased with my choices this trip. I wore every single thing I packed, many items multiple times and in multiple combinations. Which is, of course, exactly what you want to be able to do with a smallish travel wardrobe.
My grey hoodie from Aritzia did yeoman service again this year; just like it did in Italy last year, and in England in 2017. This light sweater was invaluable on the trip, especially since most days we started out early when temperatures were cool, and were still walking in the heat later on. I wore it with both my black and white tees underneath, as well as the navy one. I wore it alone, with a scarf, under my down vest, and on several warm days tied around my shoulders.
My black quilted sweater from Lafayette 148 worked well too. I wore it to dinner a couple of nights with my black and white long-sleeve tee from Noujica and my black Rag and Bone cropped pants. I also wore it on a couple of cool mornings with the periwinkle 3/4-sleeve tee from Talbots. I’m so happy I went back to Talbots and bought those two 3/4-sleeve tees. The periwinkle added a much needed punch of colour under the black sweater, and looked really good under my down vest, I thought.
In fact, I was really happy with all the tops, tees, and sweaters I packed. The Vince tees washed up really well, are light, and dry quickly. The Talbots tees are a bit heavier, but once dry could be smoothed out with my hand, rolled, and looked pristine in the morning. I made good use of all the tops I packed. I didn’t overpack, as I sometimes have in the past. And I felt I had enough variety with respect to colour and style.
Now let’s talk pants, shall we? I am sooo happy that I packed both pairs of Rag and Bone Simone pants. I almost didn’t bring my checked ones, but I’m glad I did. I wore them out for dinner with my long-sleeve burgundy tee, vest, and loafers, and with my navy 3/4-sleeve tee and my sandals. I wore them for city walking when I wanted to look a bit smarter, and get out of my jeans. In Zagreb, in Dubrovnik, and in Mostar I wore them with my black short-sleeve tee and my hoodie tied around my neck.
My black Simone pants I wore mostly with my black and white long-sleeve tee and my white sneakers. This outfit was really comfortable for walking around during the day, yet smart enough to wear to dinner. Plus I could wear my black sweater over it if the temperatures were cooler. Both pairs of these Simone pants are stretchy, really comfortable and don’t bag at the knees or butt after multiple wearings. I’d definitely classify them as great travel pieces.
I can’t say enough about this Uniqlo down vest. I love this thing, love the colour, the shape, the weight (super light), and how it finishes a pretty basic outfit of jeans, sneakers, and a tee shirt. I wore it on days when one might assume it would be too hot. In fact I wore it most days when we were in the car driving, which was a lot. I love the darned thing so much I may have to order myself another one in a different colour. It is, in my opinion, a perfect piece, and an integral part of my travel wardrobe.
My Frame boot-cut jeans, however, were another story. They are NOT the perfect travel piece. I wore them twice. Mostly because my other jeans were dirty, and because I was determined to wear everything I packed. First of all they are bulky to pack and they don’t have enough stretch to be good travel pants. When you’ve been sitting in them in the car for hours, they look like you’ve been sitting in them in the car for hours. Ha. They bag out, are then hard to keep up, and need to be washed to bring back their shape. Good thing I packed a belt. All this when I really need them to be able to look good and go a few more days without washing.
Thank goodness, at the last minute, I decided to wear my Paige high-rise skinny jeans on the plane. Usually air-travel pants, the ones I have to wear for 24 hours, sit in, eat in, sleep in … you know…. don’t get worn for the rest of the trip. Usually I wear stretchy leggings on the trip over and pack them away until the trip home. But I felt a little leery about my decision to swap out my Paige skinny jeans for my Frame book-cut ones. My gut told me I was making a mistake.
So I decided to wear the Paige jeans on the plane. And they looked so good when we landed, I wore them the next day, and the one after that. Washed them and wore them again and again, over and over, for the whole trip. I love my Frame jeans. I love how they fit and how they look. But for travel, the lighter weight, stretchier Paige jeans are way better.
Now, let’s answer the questions I posed at the beginning of the post.
What worked? Pretty much everything I packed. With special praise for my Rag and Bone pants, my Paige skinny jeans, and my Uniqlo vest. I’m really glad I packed my burgundy loafers. They were comfortable for walking around cities, and super easy and comfortable for plane travel. And I should mention my Longchamp travel bag. I love this bag; even Hubby commented that it looked good. It’s super light, easy to clean, carries just enough for walking around all day, and looks slim and chic. At least I think it does.
What didn’t work? My Frame boot-cut jeans. I should have left them at home. Next time I will. I thought I’d get more wear from my Moncler coat. Especially in cities, when I wanted a smarter coat than my Gortex jacket. Still, I did wear it both days in Ljubljana and was glad I had it for the rain one day, and the cool evening the next. And I wish I’d packed one more long-sleeve tee in a fall colour. Just because.
I was pretty happy with my packing for this trip. I’m getting better at this each year, I think. It’s not as easy as it might seem. Despite all the great travel packing advice out there, I still have to pack for the trip that WE will actually be doing. So no evening looks, no heels or party dresses. I knew we wouldn’t be going dancing or to the theatre. Not this trip, anyway. We don’t spend a lot of time on the beach, although we did go swimming in the Adriatic when we were in Trogir. So I knew I wouldn’t need a beach tote, or a straw hat, or any caftans. And like everyone who travels, I had to work with what I had in my closet, adding one or two pieces as needed.
A good travel wardrobe for me is one that meets the needs of the activities we’ll be doing. Obviously. But which still feels like me. And is pretty close to what I’d wear at home, without actually being what I’d wear at home. That’s because at home I have so much more to choose from in my closet. I have all my bulky sweaters and blazers and boots that would be a nightmare to pack, and all my favourite pieces that I won’t risk ruining by packing them for a month long trip.
Yep, I was pleased with my travel wardrobe for our four weeks in the Balkans. But by the time we reached Zagreb for the last four days of the trip, I was totally tired of all of it. Maybe that was a testament to how efficiently I’d planned my wardrobe. Everything had been worn… and worn and worn. Maybe it was because Hubby and I were just totally tired. Period. And maybe I was just longing for fall, and my fall wardrobe.
Our first day in Zagreb we met Dottoressa (who you all know from her comments on the blog) for coffee. She was wearing jeans, lovely tan suede ankle boots, and a gorgeous, buttery soft, leather jacket. Oh my. I was struck with the worst case of outfit envy I’ve had in a while. Wahhhh! I wanted my fall clothes!
Can one be homesick for one’s closet, do you think?
Next post I’ll continue with the trip narrative, and I’ll tell you all about our visit with Dottoressa as well. But I may have to have a chat about fall jackets before too long. I have made a couple of fall closet goals that I’m trying hard to meet. Sigh… one is always striving, striving to be the best fashionista one can be. Ha.
Now, how about you my friends? Have you had any noteworthy travel wardrobe successes lately? Any major fails? We’d love to know.
If you’re interested in my favourite travel pieces, I’ve included the links below. Just know they are affiliate links, except for the Uniqlo one, and if you buy something I may earn a small commission.
Longchamp travel bag. Paige High Rise Skinny jeans. Paul Green loafers (mine were special issue for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale but I really love these similar ones.) Rag and Bone Simone pants. Talbots long-sleeve tee. Talbots 3/4 sleeve tee. Uniqlo down vest.