Wednesday, 17 June 2015

My summer holiday capsule

We're half-way through June, though going by our recent weather here in Spain you might not think so! For many people it's time to start thinking about their summer holidays, especially if they have school age children. Being retired, John and I can choose to go on holiday any time of the year, though we tend to go away in March and September, which are our birthday months and which have the advantage of usually being a bit cheaper. 

Other bloggers have started posting their travel capsules, often with the aim of travelling with hand luggage only, and many of them are based around neutrals with very little colour to break the monotony. This is of course a very sensible, practical approach, which I commend to you.  You will look stylish and your outfits will co-ordinate beautifully plus you won't have to face that dreaded last day of the holiday where the only clean clothes left clash horribly. Yes, I've been there in the past!

I decided to share my travel capsule too. I know I should take a similar approach, but when I'm on holiday I like to wear colourful clothes. I have several navy and dark grey tops and bottoms, which could form the basis of a sensible holiday wardrobe, but my coral and teal tops will be the first items on my packing list. I plan to use dark brown and stone as my neutrals - so I am learning to be a bit more restrained - but I will throw in colourful scarves and jewellery to relieve the boredom.  

This holiday capsule is based around colours that I have now learnt (through following the 7 Steps of Style system) will flatter my colouring, with clothes that fit my style words of "Colourful casual chic".  My choices probably wouldn't be your choices - unless you're an Enigmatic with a similar style and body to me. What I'm trying to do in this blog is to encourage you all to discover your own style personality and find your best colours and shapes. Remember always: don't do as I do, do as I say!

Today I wore an outfit that won approval from other members of the 7 Steps to Style facebook group, so as well as the clothes shown above I will pack this dress for going out to dinner. The shoes are almost identical to the nude pair of ballet flats shown above and, although the bag isn't the same colour, it's a similar style. The shrug and four tops shown in the above picture are the ones I actually own, whereas the other items are the nearest I could find on Polyvore.

Do you belong to the "pack as much as you can in case you need it" brigade, or are you someone who plans carefully and manages to get away with hand luggage only?

PS (Just for Juhli!) These are the clothes that I packed for my holiday in France last year.  As you can see, the colours were brighter and cooler than the ones I've chosen here. They are close to Winter in the old seasonal colour systems, whereas Enigmatic colours are deep, soft and warm.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Packing for London in May

Packing for London is never easy, mainly because of the unpredictable weather. For my latest trip I was travelling hand luggage only, as I was going to be there for just six days. Of course the sensible thing would have been to create a small travel capsule, like many of my favourite bloggers do, based around neutrals. Sensible? Moi? No doubt you won't be surprised to read that I couldn't resist adding some of my favourite coloured tops.  This is what I packed for my trip.

To be more accurate, these were the outfits that I chose for the trip, as I wore the light coloured linen trousers, coral top and lace-up shoes for travelling, with a casual navy jacket and beige tote. I also carried my navy trench-coat, having read the weather forecast for London! The soft teal top was for travelling back to Spain and obviously the long-sleeved tops were for wearing with the brown jeans or the navy pair while I was in the UK.

The beauty of building a wardrobe using knowledge gained through the 7 Steps to Style system is that you have a lot more flexibility when creating outfits, the colours blend well and the resulting outfits suit both you and your lifestyle. Packing is so much easier now!

I had done some research on-line for possible purchases in London, though once again I discovered that some brands are only available on-line and not in the actual stores. Very frustrating! The main reason for my trip was to spend time with family and friends, but I had most of Thursday and Friday to myself, apart from meeting my youngest daughter for lunch on Thursday (before heading for the amazing Alexander McQueen exhibition at the V&A museum) and my son for lunch on Friday.

I started my shopping at Alicante airport, when I spotted a shop selling Longchamp totes. I decided on a red tote as it would go with the majority of my packed clothes (I had the beige one as an alternative) and of course I do love a splash of colour, so it easily won over the sensible neutrals. The first item on my shopping list had been ticked off even before I got to my destination.

My next purchase was totally unplanned and I'm blaming the weather for it! I was on Oxford Street and wearing the light shoes, which are fine for walking but not protective enough to cope with heavy rain. Luckily Debenhams store had a sale in the shoe department, so I bought the gold loafers seen below, which were half-price (yay!), and which kept my feet beautifully dry too.

My shopping list had petite khaki trousers as the second item, so I headed to the Wallis department eager to try on a pair. They had sold out and the only other trousers I liked the look of were far too long. Next stop was East, where my target was a light coloured cardigan.  Not the one shown above, but an ivory linen bolero. The good news was that it was in stock, but the bad news was that it didn't feel quite right on me, especially as the sleeves were far too long. I briefly flirted with a gold silk-lined sequin cardi (lovely with my new shoes!) but decided to be practical. How often would I wear it? I eventually decided on the cardigan above, which was a petite size and which I knew would be worn more often. Admittedly this isn't the best of combinations with the vertical stripes of my top, but the gold cardigan wouldn't have looked any better!

On my last morning I headed to another department store, hoping I might find the elusive trousers there. No luck, however I had decided to try on a kimono top having seen several featured in magazines recently and they had plenty in stock. I bought the one shown below, which I believe will get a lot of mileage as a lightweight extra layer during summer evenings in Spain.

My final purchase was the cream and coral silk scarf shown above, which I bought on the flight back to Alicante. I know - another scarf! However many of my scarves are budget buys, so I had been looking for something a bit more special and this one definitely fits that description. What about you? Are you planning any purchases when you next go on holiday?