Traveling during the holidays…it’s inevitable for many of us who live far from our families. It’s so fun to be there, but getting there is a bit of a challenge…and packing. “No fanks!” as Sienna says. I usually just throw all of my current favorite clothing in the suitcase and call it good, but so many times I get to my destination and wonder what the heck I was thinking. Please tell me other people are bad at packing, too?
In my attempt to improve on this skill, I’ve been trying to consider actual outfits for travel rather than just a few of my favorite things. Here are some combinations that will go in my suitcase this week.
For last-minute shopping and lunch
1. Mixed Stitch Turtleneck Sweater from Banana Republic – I just got this recently and adore it. The blush color is so amazing, too. I kind of want to get it as well. COZY. They are having 40% off right now!
2. AG The Stevie Cuff – No longer available, it looks like, but these have a very similar wash and also a straight leg. The pair I have are quite blown out in the knees, but I like that the Rag & Bone pair isn’t, since it’s pretty chilly this time of year. Here’s a more destructed pair, if you are looking for that.
For a family dinner, caroling or a stroll to see the lights
A neighboring town of ours has a beautiful display of lights at the town square. We usually go to take photos and enjoy walking around the square and drinking hot chocolate one evening while we’re home. It’s picturesque, y’all, and spectacular. This outfit is warm and festive and good for a family dinner out, too.
2. Sparkly Gray Sweater – Mine is Gap from last year, but this one from Express is lovely. Just a bit of sparkle.
3. Chambray Button Down – The one above is old American Eagle, but this one from Gap is similarly soft. Wear it all the time under crew neck sweaters for a casual mod/menswear-esque vibe.
4. J Brand Mid-Rise Skinnies – These are my new favorite black skinny jeans. I’ve tried a ton. These are holding up really well and are great at hiding the belly a bit, but they’re more comfortable than high rise, for me. This pair is nice and soft and could pass for more of a pant than a jean for dressing up.
5. Mtng Faith Bootie – THESE. Are THE boot. My current favorite find, with the help of two friends of mine (good friends help friends find perfect black boots). They are like a cropped moto boot. They are really well made, sturdy and low in the boot rise which is so much more flattering on me. I’m forever in love. They also come in brown.
For date night
Yay! Visiting grandparents means date night for mom and dad…which for the last couple of years at Christmas has been dinner and the current Hunger Games movie with two of my best college friends (because we all have kids and never seem to get to see a movie anywhere close to it’s actual release date). But, this year my sisters-in-law, my mom and I are also planning a girls’ night out, so I’ll probably save this fun outfit for that. Just add a simple black or ivory cami or turtleneck, depending on how cold it is, and you’re set.
1. Ivory Faux Fur Look Jacket – I just bought mine at Target a couple of weeks ago and cannot find it anywhere online. Doh. This one is really cute and would be warmer and is the same color and price as the one I have.
2. Gap Velvet Side-Zip Leggings – So good. Very slim fitting, but more of a pant than a legging, IMO. Love love them. I sized down a size for the right fit.
3. Nine West Valid Boots – I love love these for dressy boots. The wider opening at the top makes them very leg-flattering and the heel is low enough to be quite comfortable. They are good.
4. Gold Earrings – Mine are old, but these are lovely!
5. Constellation Jewelry – Mine is an old Stylemint ring, but this set of earrings and cuff are super similar and so pretty.
For Christmas morning gift exchange (and Bloody Mary’s)
If Christmas morning isn’t the epitome of coziness, I don’t know what is. It’s always nostalgia x100 when we’re at my home and I love it. We’ve started a new tradition over the last few years though, too…Christmas morning Bloody Mary’s. Pinky makes an amazing Bloody Mary. The key is to get a REALLY good mix (no corn syrup, no junk in it – or make your own) and put tons of pickled goodies (okra!) on a skewer on top. Fresh horseradish, a little Tabasco (or a lot) and plenty of lemon juice also make them shine. So, after we’ve had enough coffee and it’s at least mid-morning (somewhere) we indulge in a delicious spicy drink to cut rest of the sugar overload. I highly recommend cozying up with one as the Nat King Cole album sings to you and the kids play with their gifts from Santa. YUM.
1. Cozy Sweater – This one is really similar and looks amazingly cozy. Or throw on the turtleneck from the shopping outfit. Bam. Fewer bulky sweaters in your suitcase. (Maybe opt for a color other than ivory though if you’re indulging in the Bloody Mary…).
2. Gap Printed Cotton Leggings – These are so soft and comfy.
3. Ugg Ansley Slippers – best ever. Totally worth the price… serious comfort. I like that the soles are real, too, for wearing all day and holding up to the quick pop outside to the car, etc.
Christmas Day dinner
I’m Southern. We still like to still dress up for occasions like holiday dinners and I appreciate that. It makes the day feel special. This dress. I couldn’t resist it at Zara when we were in New York City. It’s not really my typical style, but wow, it’s so lovely. I tried it with lace tights and heels, but I think adding these vintage boots to the outfit makes it feel more like me and not too terribly dressy for a daytime meal. I’m excited to wear this.
2. Cognac Knee Boots – The ones I have are vintage Dexter, but these from Vince Camuto are amazingly similar!
Do you have a plan of attack for good holiday packing? Please let me know if you have any tips. I hope everyone has very safe travels for the holidays. May your kids be merry and not whiney and…well, that would be a Christmas miracle in and of itself, huh?