Among the plethora of reasons I will never actually be French (this time, the conversation is incredibly meta as I am in France): packing a carry-on for an eight day trip and looking ambitiously cool for all eight of said days will never, ever be my mode of operation. Effortlessly, at least.
But I can, of course, try, which is where this post comes in to tell the tale of the time I brought a pair of jeans, some t-shirts and a whole lot of jackets on an excursion with no return date in sight. Kidding about the last part—eight’s the magic number.
My dad has always told me that stuff ruins trips. A suitcase heavier than your own body mass will never make the already-grueling process of travel any easier, and getting to your destination with a whole bunch of things you probably shouldn’t have brought (because, really, you haven’t worn them in months so what makes you think you might wear them now just because you’re transatlantic) is a loosely-ideological mistake.
Though I’ll be honest, I took a white t-shirt as well, the white button down blouse is applicable with almost anything. Especially when held up against the photographed Acne jeans (which are actually precisely the ones I’m wearing right now). I’d even go so far as to suggest you wear your black muscle-tee over the blouse if you want to. The one photographed is only $18 and available at Target. Seems kind of boring for fashion week, right?
But the magic is in the jackets. In bringing along at least three or four different blazons of outerwear, you can essentially fashion the same exact jeans and tee for as many days in a row as you’d please sans wash. The denim jacket (this one is from Old Navy) will look great buttoned up with the jeans. So will it paired under the plaid Preen jacket—second row, at middle. The military jacket is Balmain (but on Yoox) so I’d be hard-pressed not to try at least cost-per-wear-ing it. And finally, a cream colored Stella McCartney jacket is never a bad idea. (Especially, I might add, when heavily price-reduced.)
I do understand that a prosaic pair of jeans and some plain ol’ shirts might get slightly boring, even with the jacket pairings, so bring a stealthy helping of hearty accoutrements.
I’ve taken to two different types of chokers–one thick and gold and another featuring dangling balls (hehe). The photographed two are by Malene Birger and Dannijo. Furthermore, a reflective pair of sunglasses will create the illusion that you are cool and two such mini skirts to wear in lieu of your pants (with loafers, I might add) should certainly come in handy. The embellished-ass one is neither Isabel Marant nor Anthony Vaccarello and actually hails from Mango while the flared pale blue one (denim jacket layered under plaid jacket here) is from Zara.
Now, of course, for the shoes, which probably amount for 67.8% of your look—sorry, lewk:
Don’t trick yourself into thinking you can— and will—run around in heels! It’s not going to happen! Which is why a pair of sneakers is important. Not to shamelessly plug myself, but the velvet ones by Superga rule. You should also think about bringing some loafers. They will look great with your skirts or your pants or nothing at all. The patent leather pilgrim-style ones above are by Isabel Marant.
If you crave a baby heel, try Valentino’s tango shoes and for the night (also, are you fucking kidding with how magical these ones are?), la nuit, pumps. White pumps. The photographed pair is by Casadei though I love the Saint Laurent version as well. And per those iridescent Jimmy Choos, there’s that.
OH BUT WAIT! HOW DID I FORGET?
I also took three purses. (I placed my makeup inside the Reece Hudson one—at middle, my toiletries inside the zipper pouch—this one, at left, is Charlotte Olympia, and emergency Advil in the Tonya Hawkes minaudiere which I also used as a purse on the flight [it comes with a strap inside] so my passport and money have been hanging out in there, too.)
Finally, on the topic of putting what I preach to practice: fortunately for me, yesterday three people mistook me for French. Unfortunately for me, the ladies who work at Dries van Noten did not. And really, what is more painful than a near-perfect (if I may say so) “bonjour” being met with a broken, heavily-accented, “Ehm, let us know if you need anything.” I guess c’est la vie.
Feature images via Timothy Walker (left), 100 Legendary Trunks (right).