Last year when Hubby and I were planning our trip to France, I stressed over what to pack. What to wear in Paris? How to be chic, or at least pulled together, and yet comfortable? I read way too many articles on how to dress “like a Parisian.” And then I fussed, and fumed, and shopped. And then I decided to stop sweating it and keep it simple. Good jeans. Good tees. A good jacket. A raincoat. Comfortable, but not ugly, shoes for walking. One pair of dressier shoes. And a scarf. I’d dress like me, a middle-aged Canadian women, visiting Paris. C’est tout. Turns out that’s how women in Paris dress anyway.
So a few weeks ago when I began to plan my outfits to take to New York, I thought it would be a doddle. Fall, cool, but not cold = jeans, a coat sweater, long sleeved tees, a jacket. You know. Paris but a bit cooler… and by cool I mean temperature. I kept thinking about a line I read on the blog Une Femme d’un Certain Age. Sue said that the measure of an outfit for her is the question: “Would I wear this in Paris?” I loved that. And as I was trying on outfits that I actually had worn in Paris, I kept thinking “Well, if it was good enough to wear in Paris…” And so I planned and pre-packed happily. Until I read the New York weather forecast, and although it was wonderfully fall-ish in Ottawa, New York would be back in summer temperatures by the time we arrived. As hot as 28° Celsius. Crap.
|Sleeveless in NYC. Elizabeth’s shot of Times Square our first day in New York.
Back to the drawing board. And back to the closet for me. I spent an afternoon trying on possible outfits. Making sure everything went with everything else. Trying desperately NOT to have to dig out my really summery clothes. Here’s what I came up with. On the left… what I packed. Two blouses, two long-sleeved striped tees, my light summer Helmut Lang blazer. Cropped jeans, my new khaki jeans, my Veronica Beard navy cropped pants. Loafers. And my raincoat, not shown. I threw in a black, light weight, v-neck sweater at the last minute. On the right… what I wore on the plane. Veronica Beard navy jacket with a white tee underneath, high rise skinny jeans, sneakers. I had my navy scarf handy because my neck always gets cold on planes.
For day. I wore the blue Equipment shirt, my light cropped Veronica Beard pants, and my sneakers on the hottest day when we walked in midtown. The next day, also hot, I wore my ALC striped tee, and my Citizens of Humanity jeans, and sneakers. I wore this all over Paris, so figured it was good for walking all over downtown New York, Greenwich Village, Soho. And it was. The next day was a bit cooler, so I opted for my jeans and my Veronica Beard jacket with a light tee underneath. This looks warmer than it is because the hoodie is not a hoodie, just that narrow front part and a hood which zips out. I was glad that I brought an extra tee because, after two long sweaty days of walking, both the blouse and the striped tee were a little worse for wear.
For evening. On our first evening, I wore my white Massimo Dutti blouse and navy Veronica Beard pants with my Stuart Weitzman loafers. The Korean restaurant where we ate that night was quite hot… and very loud. Elizabeth and I were both glad that I asked if we could move tables… against a wall (quieter than in the middle of the floor) and right in front of the door (ah… those breezes.)
On another evening I wore the Veronica Beard pants again, with the matching jacket, minus the hoodie insert, and this striped Alexander Wang tee. Mostly the jacket resided on the back of my chair… but I hate to be without a “completer piece.” Thanks to Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear for the term.
I wore this outfit to dinner one night and to the theatre on our last night. My new khaki Massimo Dutti jeans, the black Helmut Lang jacket and, ironically, the black v-neck sweater that I threw in at the last minute. And my loafers, of course. These shoes have been real work horses in my closet. As you can probably tell by the number of times they appear on the blog.
I took my light raincoat on the last night because rain had been forecast. But thankfully it held off until we arrived back at the hotel. And the mist in the air made for a great shot of the Empire State building… or half of it anyway.
|Elizabeth’s shot of the Empire State Building as we made our way back to our hotel.
I did absolutely no fashion research before my trip to New York. Besides looking at the weather forecast. So this morning, for fun, I Googled “how to dress like a New Yorker.” Ha. So glad I did not read any of these articles before I left. Not that I would have paid any attention anyway. I mean, I learned my lesson with Paris. But according to these writers all New Yorkers wear black, black and more black. Sky high heels. Lots of leather. And really, really cuttingly edgy everything. Really? Of course it was way too hot for leather. But I don’t think I saw a single woman in high heels as we tramped all over New York. Black ballet flats, however, were simply everywhere. Lots of ankle boots, some with bare legs. And dresses. Lots of really lovely day dresses. Of course many of the people we would have seen on the streets were just like us… visitors. Still, in Greenwich Village and Soho, you’d think we’d have seen at last a few of these edgier than edgy people. Ah well, I’m sure they’re there somewhere.
I apologize if you were looking for something a bit more interesting in this post. But as I’ve said before on the blog, I gotta be me. And edgy I ain’t. Or wildly creative like some bloggers my age. Just me. Not trying to dress like a New Yorker. Just trying to dress like me… a Canadian visiting New York. Trying to be polished and pulled together, and comfortable at the same time. Trying to look current, and NOT have to pack a giant suitcase for a four day trip. By the way Elizabeth and I both travelled with carry-on only. My first time doing that. Worked out fine. I even had room to pack a couple of new purchases. And despite my companion’s prediction on our last shopping day… “You are so going to be checking your bag on the way home”… crammed it was, but definitely NOT checked. Oh, ye of little faith.
By the way. This is one of my new purchases. A wool sweater from Prada… in a lovely green that goes perfectly with my khaki jeans from Massimo Dutti. Love this sweater, and the coat I bought. But I haven’t had time to play around with them yet, to see what goes with what. Stay tuned. Post coming soon.
How about you folks? Do you try to change your style when you travel? Are you influenced by those articles on how to dress like… whatever? Anything else you want to get off your chest? Like Kelsey Grammar used to say on Frasier, one of my all time favourite shows: “Go ahead. I’m listening.”