At Least You Have Paris

I know I have been just terrible at keeping in touch and I know there is no excuse.

(Not even that I am drowning in wedding invitation addressing and stuffing and stamping?).

Luckily, all that wedding invitation addressing and stuffing and stamping (which is no excuse at all for having neglected you like this) is done and I am starting to feel like a normal person again.

So, I should be back around more often.

And, when I am not around (because there are still favors to be made and make-overs to be had and dresses to be fitted and, oh dear. Let's talk about something else) the lovely Erin Brown will be keeping you busy with her latest Paris adventures.

The first of which unfolds below.


Packing is my favorite pastime.

Oh hey! So while miss Frances is off planning a gorgeous wedding (Yay for Frances! Yay for weddings!) I'm commandeering the blog to bring you a few posts about my "research expedition" to Paris for some shopping/style spying/pattern hunting/art viewing/photographing/eating/and people watching.

I know this may sound odd, but I absolutely love packing. It's the funnest part of the pre-trip planning--forget figuring out where to stay (still yet to be taken care of, yikes) or what to see--the puzzle of fitting just enough in a carryon to cover events from a day at the flea market to a chic dinner party with friends, shoes that work for boutique hopping and hours on hard museum floors that don't scream "AMERICAN TOURIST!", and clothes to wear on a long flight, leaving enough space for new additions is my kind of challenge. I used to be a chronic over-packer--you should see what I boxed up to ship to college just in case I needed my entire collection of 19th century literature AND four different colors of Chuck Taylors--but have since learned the joys of day-to-night, day-in-and-day-out packing.

So what's the trick to looking good but packing light? I have a theory that you only need the "lucky seven" items for a week of travel: One versatile, basic skirt, one dark pair of pants, one knit shirt that pairs with both skirt and pants, one chic blouse that does the same, and one knockout dress. Pack a pair of comfy flats and snazzy heels and you're set.

So here's what's going in MY carryon….

1. My favorite ruby red Marc Jacobs skirt, which is a great length, made of a super sturdy knit (read: wrinkle proof! cling proof! magical!) and has pockets. If I could marry an item of clothing, or make it last forever and change sizes when I do, this would be it. Though it is tempting to pack whimsical things (let's be honest, I'm wearing a shirt with raccoons printed on it right now, I loves me some whimsy) a solid bottom is going to be a versatile staple for traveling.

If you're looking for a great staple skirt, try our All Ruffled skirt .

2. A pair of black stretch denim. I love my Citizens of Humanity Avedon Slick Skinnies. Basically the best purchase I have ever made. They are insanely comfortable, don't stretch out, have pockets (are we seeing a trend here?) and a zipper (ergo, are NOT "jeggings" ew.) and can be both super casual, or dressed up with a sparkly top and heels for a night out. Essential.

3. A black and white stripped T-shirt. Cliche for Paris? Maybe. Cute and comfy and totally travel-proof? Absolutely (if it's a bit dirty it's hardly noticeable). Wear it tucked into the skirt with a belt and flats for a day at the boutiques, or loose over the jeans for dinner al fresco. Purrrrfect.

4. A white silk tunic. The basic plus plus. I love silk because you don't have to iron it… just hang it on the shower bar while you're taking a shower and sha-BAM! Wrinkles are zapped. Black and white are the classic paris combo, and I always feel tres chic in a billowy silk tunic over skinny jeans.

5. A Shabby Apple dress, of course! I love the Five to Nine, since it is wrinkle-proof and totally comfortable:

Toss in my black Tom's, a pair of yellow platform pumps, PJs and a belt, and I'm good to go!

Now all that's left is loading the iPod with a few great mixes, and picking my ultimate travel companion--a good book. If you've got suggestions, send them along!

A bientôt!


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