I have to say, I had more fun preparing for this blog post than I EVER HAVE. Which is probably not a super good thing, as I have many papers to grade and other things to get squared away before I leave (including finishing season 2 of OITNB). But SO. MUCH. FUN.
Rahul and I are heading off to Paris soon for an August adventure and I couldn’t be more excited. Even though I have traveled more than some, I have never been to Paris, and I am ready to see the Eiffel Tower, dammit! In all seriousness, I’m ready for hours and hours of museums, crepes, Parisian fashion, beautiful buildings, Inception recreating, wine, climbing things, etc etc. There is so much to do in Paris. Seriously! I know you could say that about most cities, but really, Paris has stuff to do for days.
What I’m the most excited about? Spending all those hours and hours with Rahul, who I haven’t seen since before pre-thesis due date, which was a much more stressful time. I’m looking forward to spending days and days in a new city, exploring and just spending time together. Plus, we have an amazing itinerary planned, thanks to his genius planning skills.
That being said, I bought a dress over a month ago and when Paris became real, I decided it was the perfect Parisian date-night dress. Since then, I’ve had fun occupying my brain with thoughts and plans on what I am going to pack, from the date-night dresses to the carry-on bag. Also, let’s be honest. Packing and planning outfits is a 100000 x more fun than panicking over my flight being delayed, or doing any other kind of work.
And I have been legit panicking, so the distraction is much needed.
The packing I’ve done for this trip is not nearly as impressive as the packing I did for my 6-week trip to India last summer, where I only packed essentials and items that could be mixed and matched a dozen times over. At the same time, I’m packing items that were not included on my last two trips abroad (mainly shorts and skits) because I’m heading off to France instead of India. Coupled with the fact that Pars is known for fashion and just generally looking good, I’ve done some work picking out my favorite items that are not only comfortable and won’t show sweat (let’s be honest), but also pretty and close (if not exactly the same) to what I wear on a daily basis here.
Sure, traveling is not about what you’re wearing. BUT, at the same time, if you’re not comfortable, then it distracts from everything else.
Not that packing for a trip is anything hard to do, but it does sometimes take a bit of puzzle work to fit everything in a small, carry-on size suitcase while also leaving a little bit of space to bring things back. Plus, it gave me an excuse to read fun blog entries like this one, about organizing a carry-on, or this one, which provided helpful advice like not packing something you don’t normally wear on a regular basis (which seems obvious, but when packing it’s easy to go into packing mode, where suddenly all your clothes are in the suitcase and not the closet).
I’ll stop talking and show you what I’ve got going on:
chambray long sleeve shirt // chambray short sleeve shirt // striped peplum shirt // aztec print shirt // lacy front long sleeve // sleeveless white shirt // studded color white tee // lacy white tank // red tank // white tee // dotted tee // pink short sleeve (aka my FAVORITE SHIRT) // striped blouse
cuffed blue jeans // green mini // black mini // pink jeans // cuffed blue jeans // print shorts // pink shorts
floral racer dress (aka MY PARIS DRESS) // geometric blue lace dress // color block dress // black dress
I know four dresses may seem like a lot, but I figure I can switch into a dress at night if we are going out to eat, or for a day where we’re doing something low key. Plus look how pretty how they are!
I tried to mix and match first to make sure I would wear most of what I was bringing, and this helped me eliminate a few items. The red tee, white lace sleeveless, and white short sleeve didn’t make the cut. This also eliminates the need to bring a long a tank top, so boo-yah. Also, even though I styled the printed shorts below, those didn’t make the cut either. I was also very careful to pick items that I could re-use essentials with.
blurry photo // sorry // These are two of my favorite outfits, especially the green skirt and belt combo. These are also coincidentally my favorite skirts, and it has now nearly become a hobby of mine to stalk J.Crew Factory to find the best sale. I have five of them, which may seem like a lot, but they DON’T RIDE UP while walking. That’s right, ladies, they DON’T RIDE UP. That is probably my biggest pet peeve about wearing skirts, so when I found a skirt that did the opposite, I jumped all over that. For that reason, they should prove good wear for walking around.
In contrast, I wore this outfit to teach yesterday and thought “this is a perfect Paris outfit.” And then I took two steps outside and was like “NOPE!” The skirt was constantly riding up and the tank top got so bunched up it was coming out of the skirt in the back. How do I fix this?!?!?
Another blurry photo // damn iPhone // Three more of my favorite outfits, all good for walking around, etc.
For the rainy days, except perhaps with different shoes.
You can clearly tell from the above photos what my favorite accessories are, which is why they are making the trip with me to Paris. I know accessories aren’t essential, especially when it comes to travel, but I LOVE wearing jewelry. Furthermore, I’m pretty basic in my jewelry wearing, as I usually draw from the same pieces. Plus I love the pink Kate Spade necklace, which I snagged for an awesome price back in January.
THE PACKING PROCESS
This red beauty is my favorite suitcase, and she has made countless trips with me over the past two years (including to India). She is the perfect carry-on suitcase, which makes nationwide travel a breeze. For this trip, I am checking her, which allows me to make full use of all the pockets. By rolling the clothes (another obvious trick, but always good to remember) and storing smaller items in cosmetic bags, I’m able to fit everything with room to spare, especially after I unzip the expansion part of the suitcase. The small Coach back is one I haven’t used in years, but decided would be the best bag for walking around as it zips at the top. I really, really want to take my favorite bag (which I got on MAJOR sale), but I did spend more money on that bag than I spend on one airline ticket to Tennessee, so I’m not about to take my chances with it.
The heels got nixed, as I decided it wasn’t practical to bring a pair of shoes I will only wear once.
For the carry-on, I really want to avoid taking a backpack, as I remember the pain of lugging it around London last year on my 12-hour layover. Luckily, by also packing essentials in smaller bags, I was able to fit everything in quite nicely, including a change of clothes and a sweater and scarf for when I get cold. I recently spent 12-hours at the Baltimore airport (THAT’S WHY I’M PANICKING ABOUT FLIGHT DELAYS) and I had to make a make-shift blanket out of a scarf. Always good to be prepared.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT
Voila! I’m ready to go. The Toms/jeans/white tee is my standard plane outfit.
Now that you’ve gotten a thorough tour of my clothes and apartment floor, I’ll say au revoir for the next few weeks. Look for updates when I return!