Sunday, July 24, 2011

Capsule series #43 - New York travel wardrobe

When packing for our recent trip to NYC, the most important criteria was to select pieces which could be mixed and matched with ease, to achieve a maximum of different looks with a minimum of suitcase space. Limiting wardrobe colors helps, as well as leaving 'one off' pieces out. I distributed the colors (black, chocolate, khaki and beige) as evenly as possible throughout the clothing categoies (trousers, tops, cardigans, dresses, blazer), and avoided doubling up on item/color combos (ie no two black trousers, all four tank tops in different colors etc)

I knew it was going to be warm, so the focus had to be short-sleeved/sleeveless tops (personally I feel more at home with sleeveless tops, but the tanks could be replaced by t-shirts) and light trousers (I opted for 3/4 length cotton trousers). In the evenings we had dinner in air-conditioned restaurants, the only occasions I ever wore the black blazer.

Please click here to see the looks created from the below items

The clothes

For the accessories I selected a color scheme too, starting with the dark brown Kelly, as it is my best bag in terms of safety. Adding the rest of the accessories in brown, black and warm reds and oranges, to go with the choice of bag and capsule wardrobe pieces. I knew it would be too hot to wear 90 Carrés, so I only took one, to be knotted into a top or belt. One of my favorite non H scarves (a light and breezy batic stole, given to me by a dear reader) and a mousseline GM were essential to cover up when entering airconditioned stores and restaurants, and great for sun protection. The two cashmere GMs gave an instant glamorous touch when dressing up for dinner.

The accessories ( four scarves, four necklaces, four bracelets, a couple of scarf rings, three pairs of shoes and one bag)

All capusule pieces ready to go into the suitcase..

and the shoes too (scarves and jewelry always go in the on-board case)

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  1. How many days were you packing for? Great wardrobe!

  2. Thank you, A. I packed for eight days.

  3. That was the perfect packable travel wardrobe for NY.
    Do you work for Hermes?

  4. Merci, Belle de Ville. Apart from being a huge fan, I have no affiliation with Hermès.

  5. That's certainly the A-Z of how to travel light! SA:-)

  6. Lol dear Scarf Addict! Very true too, if it wouldn't have been for the toiletry bag ;)

  7. Superb class in packing dear MT! I would expect nothing less from our talented leader! I know, that darn toiletry bag weights us down every time ! I wish I could practice discipline with that one ! LOL Thanks for sharing and will keep this tucked away for reference. Cheers to a wonderful week ahead, T xx

  8. BEST. POST. EVER! :)
    Glad you had a great trip to NY ~ welcome back!

  9. Thanks a lot for the great ideas!!! I will try to do the same, in my 6 days business trip to Paris, usually I take so many clothes with me and don't use most of it:-(((
    Thanks again!!!
    Wish you sunny week without wind!!!

  10. Wishing you a most wonderful week ahead too, my dear Trudye <3 Yes the toiletries weigh us down a bit, especially since nothing is allowed on board anymore. Security becomes tighter and tigher, I even had to take my Orans off.. Enjoy a lovely Sunday evening xx

    Many thanks, dear R, so happy you enjoyed the post :)

    Have a great time in Paris, dear annabal. It is so much more difficult to pack if the weather is uncertain, one can't help ending up with things one does not wear. Hope you can leave some empty space for possible finds ;)

  11. Wonderful job! Both in terms of packing light, but making the most of each piece. Impressive, but as you are so efficient - it's no surprise.

    I always like to pack light, and leave room in my bag for possible purchases!

  12. Dear MaiTai,
    I have come across your blog via Faux Fuschia's. I am now a huge fan. This post has come at the perfect time for me as I am about to travel to the UK and Italy. Your travel wardrobe is perfection, so light, yet so stylish. I will be using this as my guide as I always seem to overpack. Thanks so much, Robyn

  13. Thanks for sharing, did you share one case as a family? I went to vegas with my husband and we took 4 suitcases and carry ons for a 3 week trip - how long did you go for?

  14. Just saw the answer to my question! gosh 8 nights with 12 pieces - and no evening dress? who did you fly with?

  15. Thank you, my dear MiaT. Lol re the room for possible purchases!

    A very warm welcome to you, Robyn! Love FF, she is so warm, talented and fun. Have a most wonderful trip to the UK and Italy!

    Hello A, our approaches to packing seem to be quite different! I could have easily put together more outfits than the nights we were staying. There was no need for evening dresses, ours was a family holiday (we took a case each) packed with sightseeing in the daytime, and dinners at the hotel or local italian.

  16. MT, I cannot believe how lightly you packed for quite a long trip! I took more than this for a one night stay - please, please show us how many outfits you made from your light packing! did you use hotel laundry service?

  17. Admiring your packing skills and you already know, how much I love those basics in combination with various accessories. The HFT says Hi and "Thanks" for making me long for a kelly bag (again) ;-) - xox, Macs

  18. Love your ability to pair it down to essentials and leave the flair to the scarves and accessories! Travel editing at its perfection! I love your black ankle strap sandals. Do you care to share the brand? Coincidentally I am off to NY tomorrow and can't wait to pack with the inspiration you have given me!

  19. Impressive and efficient packing skills! I always end up with stuff that won't see the light of day.... ;-p

  20. My dear MaiTai
    Like Deux Fleurs said this post is "travel editing at its perfection"!Perfect expression, I think. Thank you, Deux Fleurs. I am sure I will learn a lot from your precious lesson next time I travel and stare at my wardrobe not knowing what to take with me. Thank you so much. You are practical but so full of style and elegance at the same time!
    I almost feel like hanging this post inside my wardrobe! :-))Have a wonderful week!

  21. Recently, I discovered your beautiful blog. I love your style, and since you have shown us your thought-out New York travel wardrobe I know that I always put too much wardrobe in my suitcase! ;-)))

  22. Dear MaiTai,

    We have moved to a new flat and there is finally a big mirror - so I see myself in an attire as a whole, and not in bits and colourful pieces.
    And time after time when getting dressed I remember your capsule wardrobes, thinking "Jeez, why on earth I need to add up a multitude of prints or this blinking in silver and that in gold???"
    You are really a very good teacher as to how being more in neutral shades allows you to bring out the best in accessories and not just make a mash and hash of the things one wears.

  23. Hi MaiTai, I couldn't find an email address on your blog, so I hope it's okay if I leave a message for you in a comment.

    This is probably scarf 101, but could you please explain how you tie your small double knots? Mine always seem too large and lumpy. Do you have any tricks for getting a neat, small and precise knot?

    Thank you very much!

  24. My dearest MaiTai,
    Just brilliant! You've truly perfected the art of mix and match and assembled a masterful selection of the most beautiful accessories - so many possible permutations - a true variation heaven!! I love that they all fit so neat and compact. Thank you as always for sharing and giving us the artful blueprint. Much love to you with many happy hugs xoxo

  25. Apologies for this late reply, dear ladies.

    Becs, the style sheets will come shortly, hope you’ll enjoy. And yes, if necessary, I do use laundry service.

    Awh, dear Macs, I thought this day would come sometime! Waving to Mr Macs, I thought he’d be thrilled ;-)

    deux fleurs, hope you are having a most wonderful time inNY! Hope the packing has been fun too, and many thanks for the kind compliments. The shoes are by Cosmo Paris.

    Merci, dear booksnchocolate. Over packing can happen so easily, especially when the weather is unpredictable and volatile..

    My dear Manuela, you are so kind to say, many thanks <3 So happy that the post is useful, wishing you a fun time when filling your suitcase next time! Have a lovely week too x

    A warm welcome to my blog, Beatrice! Many thanks for the kind comment, hope you will continue to enjoy it here :)

    Congratulations on the new flat, dear Anna, hope the move went all smoothly. A big mirror is definitely a plus, and a great friend and helper when checking an outfit. So happy to hear my posts are useful in this <3

    Dear Cashmere Sweater, this is always a welcome place for any kind of questions :) Re your question, the thinner and more precise the stripe of the scarf in the basic bias fold, the smaller and neater the knot.
    After step three, you can vary the width of the stripe, and experiment with the number and size of folds. Good luck!

    My dear Scarf Enthusiast, I was hoping you’d enjoy the post, and was of course thinking of you when packing... for more than one reason! Much love to you, my fellow permutation aficionado <3

    Thank you, ajlounyinjurylaw

  26. I always need help mixing and matching and its sites like this that bring together a combination beautifully!

  27. Many thanks, Holly Wild. Glad you found the post useful :-)

  28. Many Thanks, Mai Tai. I'm flying to NYC from Australia tomorrow, with my own DS and DH, and the suggests for an itinery with an eleven year old boy are perfect.
    Kindest Regards

    1. Have a wonderful family trip and a great time in NYC! Adolescence is just around a corner and in a few short years your boy will be towering over you and be quite independent. Enjoy this special time <3