Leslie Willmott | Wardrobe Strategies for Career, Travel & Casual Lifestyles

Wardrobe Strategies for Career, Travel & Casual Lifestyles


Traveling More in Her 70s Than She Did in Her 20s!

By on Mar 7, 2020

  Smart Women On The Go Profile:   Rosemary Barnhart has been to more than 160 countries — and she’s still traveling the globe. Rosemary, who is 77, had a long career in the cruise industry so she’s had a head start on many of us. But equally – maybe more – impressive is that her partner Lee is still traveling at 97! I consider Rosemary and Lee “icons” of the cruise world since they take two or three cruises a year and most are a month long. Their experiences recently attracted Condé Nast Traveler magazine and editor Madison Flager interviewed Rosemary for her perspective on traveling in your later decades: “I’ve always been sort of adventurous”, says Rosemary, “and that hasn’t changed. If anything, travel makes your visions a little wider and makes you want to go more, see more. The only new approach in this decade is slowing down. “We can’t do all that driving and traipsing around like we used to do . . . cruising takes us to so many places—all without ever having to unpack a bag. As we’ve gotten older, it’s become the best way for us to travel.” Click here for the full article – it’s a delightful and inspirational read!   Rosemary’s Smart Packing Tips:   I’ve known Rosemary since the early 1970’s when we both worked for Simplicity Pattern Company, traveling the U.S. with fashion shows. It gave us both the travel bug. Fast-forward a few years and Rosemary went into the travel business, ultimately spending 10 years working for three major cruise lines. She knows all of the ins and outs of cruising, making her my go-to person to help me with packing. You and I may not have the luxury of spending this much time cruising but we can learn lots from this cruising maven and her partner Lee. I interviewed Rosemary for our Tips for Travelers newsletter a few years ago and her advice still holds true: “Two to three weeks before a trip I chart out the first 10 days of our cruise on a calendar, writing down what I could wear each day and evening. This helps me begin laying out clothes.  “I start with a foundation...

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The Wardrobe Pieces You Need for Fall Travel

By on Aug 20, 2019

    Summer will be over before you know it! Now is the time to plan for Fall travel. After throwing light summer dresses, sandals and swimsuits into a suitcase, it can be a shock to think about sweaters and shoes. For travel in the next few months, you might need to pack shoes that weigh more than a few ounces, add a jacket to your wardrobe, or tuck a shawl into your carry-on. I’m here to rescue you from overstuffed luggage as I get ready for my own upcoming three-week trip to France. Although my trip is a month away, I already have my travel wardrobe rack up and have hung a few pieces to prompt my planning. While shopping for new additions to my closet for fall, I’ll be looking for pieces that meet the easy-care, wrinkle-free travel test and are both comfortable and smart.  To help you and me with our Fall travel packing, I’ve reached to a few “smart-women-on-the-go” I know for their favorite travel wardrobe tips to add to my own: 1. Start with shoes . . . 3 pairs max! The rule is: Wear one pair and pack only two. This time I’m taking a tip from frequent traveler Lynn B., who always plans her clothing around the shoes she wants to take. I’ll be visiting a mix of beachside resorts, country villages and cities so need comfy walking shoes for day and a lightweight shoe for evening. My choices include a pair of sturdy slip-on espadrilles – I love my black ones from Flexx – and a pair of sneakers. I just read about Tropicfeel’s Monsoon sneakers and am considering ordering a pair to replace the ones I’ve had for a few years. I’ll wear both shoes with Smartwool socks for day-long comfort.  My third shoe is a rubber-soled flat from Clark’s (similar here). Flight attendant Jacqueline P. loves the rubber-soled ballet flats by AGL. They are a bit pricey so watch for sales! For flexible fit when walking, Billie M., who just returned from a world-wide cruise, likes the stretchable cross straps on her Mary Jane’s by Skechers. Rebecca L. packs a similar shoe by Bernie Mev®, available from TravelSmith, as it pairs nicely with the athleisure attire...

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The Closet Edit . . . Easy as 1-2-3!

By on Feb 12, 2019

  A few days after severe cold weather swept across much of the country, Mother Nature brought unseasonably warm temperatures to my area and had me thinking “Spring.” And with that the seasonal closet cleanout! I personally prefer to think about it as a closet “edit” because unless I’m pinched for closet space, I don’t like to throw the baby out with the bathwater! I never know when a favorite item that I’ve not worn in quite some time will be just right for a certain occasion. WHAT SHAPE IS YOUR WARDROBE IN? If you moan that you have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear, then it’s time to seriously assess your wardrobe. If you’ve had a lifestyle change of any measure, your clothing choices might need to change with you. This doesn’t happen overnight, but taking time to edit your closet at least twice a year will help you build and maintain a wardrobe that works for you, not against you.   HERE’S HOW: A closet edit really has no season, although the beginning of spring and fall are typical, especially if you have a routine of switching closets seasonally. But why not set aside some time now, early in the year, to assess your wardrobe and gain control of the image you want to project? Not to mention streamline your closet and make getting dressed faster and easier.  Schedule a full morning or afternoon, if you can. If easier for you, take an hour a day over a long weekend. I like to set the mood with music and a cup of coffee or, if late in the day, a glass of wine! Style your hair and put on makeup – you’ll be trying on most of your clothes and nothing will look good if you don’t. You need to assess each item carefully, based on its fit, color, style and function and then decide to keep it, or let it go!  It’s an easy 3-step process: Pull everything out of your closet and “dresser” drawers. Your goal is to divide and conquer: What to keep versus what to let go of. Group like items together. I like to start with bottoms, then tops, dresses and shoes. (If you need to...

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Be Smart: Focus on a Healthier Lifestyle to Live a Longer Life

By on Sep 4, 2018

Whether you are in the middle of your career or embracing retirement, a healthy lifestyle is key to staying “on the go”. And it’s all about getting back to basics. Guest blogger Sarah Cummings shares research and tips that can help us all live a healthier and longer life:   In this topsy-turvy life there’s one constant. Nothing lasts forever. This certainly applies to our health. Unfortunately the older we get the less healthy we generally become and the closer the crooked finger of death creeps. While scientists and the tech geniuses in Silicon Valley have discovered many wondrous things, the secret to immortality remains tantalizing out of their reach. So far anyway! That’s not to say, however, that each of us can’t take certain steps to improve our odds of having a healthier, happier and above all, longer life. Practice Portion Control Fad diets come and go. Avoid fat, eat more fat, etc., etc. It can be hard to keep up sometimes. One piece of advice that will never go out of style, however, is this – eat in moderation. Overeating is the curse of modern times. Our ancestors simply couldn’t really afford to overeat. Today, however, thanks to the advent of industrial scale farming, food is cheap, really cheap. And we take advantage of that to the detriment of our health. So much so, that in the US, over a third of all adults are now clinically obese. Yikes! Generally speaking, the larger your waist becomes, the shorter your life will be. Extra pounds bring an increased risk of diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, liver and kidney disease. And the list goes on and on. Keeping a healthy weight keeps you healthier, and will extend your life. The Japanese employ a fascinating concept known as Hara Hachi Bu, or only eating until you are 8/10ths full. Considering our friends in the Far East have the highest proportion of centenarians on the planet they must be getting something right. Time to say konnichiwa to portion control! Get Outside More So potent an effect does nature have on our wellbeing that it’s been found just looking at photos of outdoor scenes is enough to trigger activity in...

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3 Weeks in Italy, 3 Fantastic Accommodations!

By on Jul 24, 2018

In the absence of our “Tips for Travelers” newsletter, and since many of my readers do not use Facebook, this post features my recent travel experience . . . with a peek at what I packed to wear: My husband and I took a trip this spring to Italy, first revisiting the hill towns of Umbria, where we had vacationed 18 years ago. Just as we did for our first trip to this beautiful area, we rented a house near Todi through Tuscany Now&More®. We had used this agency for two subsequent rentals in other areas of Italy. Our choice this time was La Pianstella, a restored 200-year-old farmhouse with extraordinary views of the nearby hill towns and the Tiber River Valley below. Note: We were traveling with friends so the cost of renting this type of accommodation for two weeks was much less than renting hotel rooms. The added bonus was that we indulged in the comfort and conveniences of a home . . . and enjoyed divine sunsets from our private terrace. After booking the house, my husband and I decided to extend our trip a third week and drive southeast to the Adriatic seacoast to experience a different culture and landscape from central Italy. We had been enticed by articles on the ancient town of Matera in Basilicata and the region of Puglia, the “heel” of Italy. We struck gold in our hotel search (using Hotels.com), dividing our time between two accommodations that were both unusual and of historical significance. They also provided us with the comfort of being in a home with amenities and service that were excellent! Both are owned and were designed by women, a fact that compelled me to feature them on this Blog! Il Palazzotto Residence & Winery – a cave hotel in Matera We took a 6-hour drive from our villa in Umbria to Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is amazing! The Sassi zone of Matera is a fascinating area of cave houses and churches dug out of limestone centuries ago. Sassi hotels are in caves that have been renovated and modernized with private baths, WiFi, air conditioning and heating. We stayed at Il Palazzotto Residence & Winery, a boutique hotel partially built, partially...

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