Clothing and Travel Planning

For the last three years, I have been "curating" my wardrobe. Since I no longer work, I no longer
require "work clothes". I'm just about ready to cull my last structured "blazer" jacket as I have not worn it for at least 2 years. On the other hand, I have a softer two-piece skirt and jacket that I wear to church and on which I often receive compliments. I don't think that I'm a "structured" gal.

I used to work out with a personal trainer three times a week. I'm not a "gym" gal either so I bought colourful gym outfits to make me feel better. I stopped the trainer for reasons of economy. I live next door to a community centre. I could easily go over and use the weight machines. I don't! No need for fitness clothes other than one pair of yoga pants and a loose top. I walk but that involves street clothes, appropriate shoes and outerwear.
I seem to be wearing more of this

than this.
I do enjoy dressing up but I am married to Monsieur who likes to wear black t-shirts and athletic pants. I haven't been on a cruise for two years and I no longer have season tickets to the opera. How many evening outfits do I need?

Even my travel style has changed in the last few years. At the end of August, I will be flying to Dublin. I will be touring Ireland on Bus Eireann which is not a tour but an intercity bus system.
That means that I will be handling my own bags. Then, I will fly from Belfast to Shetland to visit family. Last time that I flew the regional carrier, Flybe, I paid no surcharge from Paris to Lerwick.
Merci, Air France. But, the Lerwick to London portion was handled by Loganair who charged me almost 100 pounds. My trip will end in London where I hope to attend the theatre a couple of times.

I have been working to develop a grey/navy wardrobe with turquoise as my accent colour. If you read
The Vivienne Files, 12 Months, 12 Outfits, my wardrobe is a lot like Janice's fourth one, Cheval Surprise Remix.  I don't own that Hermès scarf but I do have a couple of turquoise scarves from Diwali in Paris. My touring outfit will probably be comprised of grey jeans or navy pants, a t-shirt and a cardigan. My sources tell me that Ireland's weather can be variable (rainy) so I'm not sure what 
sort of coat that I might need. I have a pair of grey New Balance shoes which will probably work well
for exploring The Cliffs of Moher or walking on Da Knab in Shetland

Do you watch Shetland? I probably need my sturdy walking shoes.

A problem, I find, is choosing clothing that can be adapted to city. I will be taking a pair of grey trousers or my grey skirt to wear with my cashmere cardigan. I hope that by changing coat and shoes, that I can look more chic than "outdoorsy".

However, two things that I have learned from my travel experiences: chic women can look after their own bags and blisters are never chic.


  1. I wanted to applaud when I read your closing, Mme.! Yes indeed! There is nothing chic about blisters (ask me how I know?!) and it's so true tht the ultimate chic-ness, for me at least, is not needing a retinue to care for the very basics. . . I love your attitude, and I suspect you manage to look smart in your varying environments. Exciting travel plans for the fall -- I can't wait to make my own, but we're not quite at that point yet

    1. Do you know that I have bought blister pads in several languages? I am the original tenderfoot
      and I check prospective shoe purchases for any offending seams that may rub. The transition between touring the countryside and London theatre will take a bit of effort.

  2. Great summary of how to transition a wardrobe to fit the life you are leading right now. Your trip sounds fabulous.

  3. I've been following your household transitioning and wardrobe changes. I think that at this stage of life, we don't want to hold on to the irrelevant. I'm looking forward to visiting Ireland.

  4. This is inspiring. It sounds like you are distilling your 'look' and that it will really be your own. I will check out the link to the wardrobe you mention. I think it's a very good idea and I like the navy/grey combination. Your trip plans sound wonderful - and yes, I watch Shetland and would love to visit!

    1. It would be wonderful to have a wardrobe where there was appropriate clothing for my regular activities but no excess. My Oaxaca wardrobe is like that and I would like my home wardrobe to be as simple. That house in my picture is, I think, Jimmy Perez's house in the series.

  5. I enjoyed reading about your transitioning wardrobe. I am attempting to do the same. Sigh...I do need to "let go" more. :).
    Excited to read about your upcoming adventure in Ireland! Do you have a system for packing? Favorite travel bags? Would like to read more about your travel wardrobe as I plan to visit family in Brussels in September. I reside outside of Los Angeles so am definitely (and unfortunately) not equipped for rain.

    1. I am going to try to "shop my storage" for a carry-on size spinner suit-case. I may need a bit bigger but I am going to purchase packing cubes. I've never used them before but I think that they will be great for organization. I haven't been to Europe in September but Ireland and Shetland will probably have some drizzle. I've got light Mycra pac coats that work for the city
      but I might need something more waterproof. Sue at "Une Femme" just posted about choosing luggage for her upcoming Europe trip and her readers have offered a lot of helpful suggestions.

    2. Thank you for sharing! Yes, I subscribe to "Une Femme". :). I am also looking at packing cubes via her suggestion as well as videos I've watched on the Rick Steves website. I have been enjoying this trip preparation and planning since the doors opened for me to go. :)

  6. I have just discovered your blog and love what I am seeing. I too am distilling my wardrobe after retiring but may look for part time work. This creates a 'second' wardrobe. I spend a lot of time at The Vivienne Files and used a number of her capsule wardrobes which have been very successful for travel. A nice pair of ballet flats would be a lovely transition to the theatre.


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