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

Wardrobe Strategies for Career, Travel & Casual Lifestyles

Posts Tagged "travel wardrobes"

6 Strategies for Packing Light

By on Apr 8, 2018

How many times have you struggled with a large suitcase on a trip and returned home to exclaim, “I took way too much and didn’t need half of what I packed!” Do I now hear a vow that you will fine tune your packing skills . . . but you don’t know how? “Pack light, pack smart” is my mantra and it can be yours, too. My husband and I will be vacationing in Italy for 3 weeks in May, first in Umbria where we have rented a villa, then down to Puglia and the coast on the Adriatic Sea. I’ve already started planning my wardrobe, focused on day touring, dining out and entertaining friends. I’ll be packing it all into a 21-inch carry-on bag that will make plane, train and car travel easier. How? Here are six wardrobe strategies to help you scale down to one light suitcase. I’ve also noted some of my favorite travel wardrobe pieces: 1. Limit your color palette. Keep it simple and plan around 2 or 3 neutral colors. For spring travel, my favorites are black and beige. Worn together they are a classic combination; independently both mix well with other colors. If you’re traveling to an urban destination any combination of black, white, navy and gray is good. For a beach or country trip, khaki and white are good choices for your basics. Scarves are lightweight additions to add pops of color. 2. Pack versatile pieces that can mix and match and plan to wear each item more than once. The knit jacket that I plan to wear on the plane with a t-shirt and leggings can also be worn with my jeans for touring or dressed up for a casual dinner. Consider items that can do double duty, such as a blouse that can also be worn jacket-style over a camisole, a long t-shirt that can serve as a pool cover-up, flip flops as slippers and poolside wear. 3. Take more tops than bottoms. Multiple tops will maximize the wear of a pant or skirt and tops weigh less, take less room, and are easier to launder. Unless you will be able to do machine laundry, pack tops that you can hand wash, drip-dry, and don’t require ironing. (A personal favorite for...

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Polish Your Look With a Scarf

By on Feb 21, 2017

    Practical and versatile, scarves are valuable accessories that can expand your wardrobe, update an outfit and polish your look. Scarves can also be used to help project your personal style – some prints say “classic” while others express a more “romantic” or “dramatic” feel. Multi-colored scarves are excellent tools for linking separates in different colors. And as a bonus, a scarf worn near your face draws attention up and away from figure challenges! Good scarves never go out of style – by investing in scarves you love and following current scarf tying trends you can use a great scarf for years.   What’s Your Best Scarf Look? Just as there are elements of clothing design that suit one body type better than another, there are certain types of scarves that are a better fit for some women than for others. Color is not the only consideration – fabric, shape and size are equally important to creating a flattering look: ● If you are petite, you need to be careful that a scarf does not overwhelm you. If it seems that all you see is scarf when you look in the mirror, the scarf is wearing you versus working for you. ●  If you have a very full bust, stay away from scarf volume at your bustline. An oblong lightweight scarf tied in a long vertical line will be much more flattering. ●  Tie a scarf around your waist to highlight a narrow waistline or give the illusion of a waistline curve. (Slip a colorful scarf through the loops of your jeans and tie a knot – instant polish!) ● If you are tall and thin, you can wear larger scarves and fuller fabrics. If you are just the opposite keep in mind that a scarf tied near the neckline draws attention upward, creating a taller, trimmer appearance.   Scarf Design Basics ●  Oblong (typically 15” x 60”) scarves are considered the most versatile for tying, although a large square can be folded into a triangle or rectangle before tying, providing options. My personal favorite is a 36” square that I can wear at my neck, around the shoulders, or tie at my waist. ●  Silk scarves are the easiest to tie and drape...

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New Year Resolution: Streamline Your Wardrobe

By on Jan 9, 2017

  Guest post by Alexandria Heinz   A New Year means time for new resolutions. If you’re constantly on the go and looking for a way to simplify your life, this could be the time to resolve to streamline your wardrobe. How? With a capsule wardrobe, a curation of stable pieces that you can mix and match. A capsule wardrobe can save you future time and money and assure that most of your clothing goes together. The first step to creating a capsule wardrobe is to clean out your closet. This might be something you dread doing, but with the help of the flow chart below created by American Eagle, it won’t be so hard! Just answer a few simple questions to determine if you should keep, trash, donate or sell your items. Make sure to dispose of the items that you’re not keeping within a week and store or organize items that aren’t seasonal in order to streamline your closet. If you travel frequently, organize your essential travel pieces in a certain section of your closet to make packing easier. Happy New Year and good luck!       Leslie’s note: The flow chart by American Eagle first appeared in a post on capsule wardrobes in AEO, the American Eagle Outfitters blog and is reprinted here with permission. Why not print it and tack it in your closest for ongoing reference? That’s what I...

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Take the Panic Out of Packing

By on Jan 12, 2016

  Do you struggle with a large suitcase on a trip but only wear half of what you’ve packed? Or are you at the other extreme, throwing things into a suitcase just a few hours before leaving for the airport and praying you’ll have the right things to wear? Both scenarios can be maddening! Panic-free packing is a result of careful planning. It’s time well spent so you can relax and travel with confidence and ease. Planning Ahead is Key My husband and I are traveling south this week – way south to Buenos Aires and the Argentinian wine country. For him, it’s to revisit the sites of his early-career business travel and taste the wines of the Uco Valley. For me, it’s finally seeing “Paris of the South”…and tasting the wines of the Uco Valley! Planning my wardrobe for this trip was a little challenging because Argentina’s seasons are reversed from ours in the U.S. Planning well ahead of our departure date was critical since I had need of a few new city-chic yet hot-weather-comfortable pieces. End-of-summer sales reaped a few nice basics but online research and shopping resulted in bigger wins. The weather will be in the 80’s & 90’s, with high humidity. Light cotton gauze is a good easy-care, easy-to-wear fabric for the casual tropics, but it’s not city-chic. I focused instead on lightweight, breathable, and travel-friendly rayon knits and added separates from J. Jill’s Wherever Collection to my travel wardrobe. Easy Packing is a Process 1.  A week to 10 days before a trip I set up a collapsible clothes rack in our guest room. I hang up every clothing item I’m considering taking. This rack makes coordination of separates easier (four tops can hang by one pair of pants); shoes go on the floor below matching up with the selected clothes. Note:  When I lived in a New York City apartment, I didn’t have a spare bedroom so I hung a clothing rack over our bedroom door. You might use a section of your closet. The key is to see everything before you edit and start packing. 2.  I chart out each day of my trip on a blank calendar page, noting where I’ll be and...

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How to Choose Smart Travel Fabrics

By on Aug 18, 2015

  Do you want to travel comfortably and wrinkle-free? Then choose your fabrics wisely. With the right fabrics you can roll up a blouse, pant or dress, tuck it into the corner of a suitcase, and expect it to look presentable upon arrival! A little fiber and fabric savvy will help you select the best clothes for your travel destination to keep you warm or cool, plus wrinkle-free. For example, I own two pair of black summer pants. One is 100% cotton and looks lived in at the end of the day. The other is 94% cotton/6% spandex, which I prefer for travel – the spandex adds “comfort stretch” and wrinkle recovery so I can wear the pant several times during a trip without it looking worn out. CAREFREE TRAVEL FABRICS You can’t beat knits for comfort and packability – they can be rolled successfully and wrinkle less than most woven fabrics. Stretch wovens with spandex behave more like a knit than a woven. Soft fabrics usually wrinkle less than crisp ones. Washable, drip-dry synthetics are easy-care. Many of the new synthetic fibers “wick” moisture away from your body so they are cool and comfortable even for adventure travel. Fabrics with intentional wrinkles, such as crinkled rayon crepe or cotton gauze, ensure wrinkle-free packing. Will the Fabric Perform? Here are some easy tests from Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler by Susan Foster to help you decide if the fabric is travel worthy: Will it wrinkle? – Grab a corner of the fabric and crush it in your hand. Hold it for 30 seconds, letting your hand warmth and moisture penetrate the fabric…then let go. If the fabric doesn’t wrinkle, it’s a good choice. If it does wrinkle but the wrinkles shake out after a minute or two, it’s also a good choice. Will it retain its shape? – There’s nothing more annoying than baggy knees or a sagging back in a pant. Check for shape retention by stretching the fabric between your thumbs and forefingers, holding it for 10 seconds. If the yarns slip apart easily, normal wear could cause stress on the seams. If there’s no yarn shifting and the fabric springs back after stretching, it will hold its shape when worn. Generally, woven fabrics...

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