Sunday, July 15, 2012

Packing for France -- Summer Edition

Holy moly, packing for this most recent trip to France was a challenge for me because I have so few items in my wardrobe that are suitable for the heat of a proper summer. Truth be told, I did a fair amount of shopping here in San Francisco before I left, which is good because I also didn't buy much while traveling this time. Here's a quick rundown of what I took:

Three cardigans and 5 tops. I could've gotten away with taking only 2 cardigans, but I got good use out of all the tops. The 4 jersey ones on the right were all light enough to be able to easily wash in the sink.

One pair of jeans, one pair of shorts (which I had to buy specifically for the trip, since I didn't really own any shorts), one dress, and 2 skirts. The dress (from Athleta, along with the shorts) was also purchased for the trip, and was perfect. I could've worn it every single day.

To keep things stylish even with jeans and t-shirts, I brought along 3 lightweight scarves. Truth be told, at least one of these ended up doubling as a sweat rag. Good thing I brought laundry soap along. I'm a wimpy San Franciscan; I'm not cut out for heat.

Here are the 3 pairs of shoes I brought, along with my clothes all folded and ready to pack (minus my traveling outfit, which you saw in the last post). Note how little space everything takes up; this is a huge advantage of taking multiple lightweight layers instead of any one bulkier piece.

Finally, everything all packed up. The main compartment of the backpack was completely empty for the outward bound trip, which meant I could stuff my purse inside and thus have the allotted 2 carry-on pieces. For the trip back, when I had to check the red bag anyway because it was filled with delicious herbal liqueurs from the south of France, I put the overflow into the backpack and the blue purse became my second carry-on. This is a typical packing strategy for me, as I often bring back exotic liquors which force me to check a bag on the way home.

The purse is also new, and is the ideal travel bag. The fabric is water and stain resistant, the compartments are well organized but not so numerous that I spend 15 minutes zipping and unzipping pockets to find stuff, and the bag itself weighs next to nothing. The color looks very bright here but it's really more of a rich peacock color, which goes with so much of my wardrobe. The bag is by Tumi and was on the pricey side, but well worth it, especially for someone who travels a lot.

Below are a few different outfit combinations; some were worn for my work days in Strasbourg, and the most casual ones were worn in Aix-en-Provence.

Of course, I also wore several of the top/scarf combos with the pair of jeans I brought as well. This seems like an awful lot of outfits for a 10-day trip, but in the end it was good because there were several days where the heat forced me to return to the hotel in the afternoon and take a second shower and change. Which, considering the extreme heat wave that the eastern half of the country experienced last week, sounds incredibly foolish in retrospect (the hottest it got was 92F in Aix). Like I said, I'm a wimp when it comes to weather extremes. This is why I usually vacation in the fall.


Sarah G said...

Love your packing posts! What's the brand of your orange sandals? They look comfy and stylish!

Patti said...

I love seeing the looks you put together - what great color combinations. And the scarves are like magic, bringing tops and bottoms together. Great post, thanks!

The Goodwill Fangirl said...

I know I can't be the only reader thinking this, but I'd die happy if you just packed up these clothes and mailed them to me :) Great capsule packing.

I've done capsules the last few times I traveled, and found it's great and lightens the luggage. I do add plenty of jewelry to satisfy my need for variety.

Darling Petunia said...

Could we get shoppong info, please? I love the two stiped shirts especially.

Shybiker said...

Tumi! I love Tumi. All of my luggage is from them, as well as my work attache case. Best quality around. Just grit when you pay the price. :)

Love your tops. You have such good fashion sense.

Jean at said...

This is such a well thought out capsule. You should be a consultant! I have a horrendous time trying to pare down like that. I'm always second-guessing my decisions and think I can't live without that extra pair of jeans/sweater/shoes etc. until it all gets too ridiculous.
I could be one of those travelers at the turn of the (previous!) century with steamer trunks galore.

I detest the heat and I'm impressed you managed as well as you did. Sounds like you had a great time.

Rose said...

I love the stripes and all the patterns that you incorporated into your travel wardrobe.

Thank you for sharing--you are very inspirational, especially in light of a recent NYTimes article that discusses Silicon Valley people and how they have streamlined their travel wardrobes. Your travel wardrobe is very much an extension of your daily wardrobe, which is why it is such a pleasure to read (and see) your clothing selections and how you have combined them.

Rose in SV

WendyB said...

Love that drape-y top in the first pic!

Susan B said...

Great capsule! I really love the blue striped top especially, and the long skirt.