I’m usually pretty good at packing. This trip to England, erm, well, um, spotty. I failed to use the Use Case Method to its best advantage. Specifically, I packed for special events like The Dinner With Friends and A Hike Through The Cotswolds, while neglecting the more common Long Walk Through London As Rain Threatens. To say nothing of the Repeated Paying Of Entrance Fees To Enter Overly Warm Buildings.
By the end of the trip I was quite certain as to what I ought to have brought. I will offer up my suitcase and resultant outfits here so we can all learn from my experience.
What I Packed For A 10-Day Trip To England
7 Pieces Of Outerwear Even Though I Wasn’t Going To The North Pole
- Powder blue MaxMara peacoat
- Small black Quechua parka bought in China 10 years ago for $25
- Old black house label Nordstrom trench coat
- Navy UNIQLO IdlF linen blazer
- Cadet blue UNIQLO field jacket
- White ribbed cotton cardigan
- Heathered purple sweatshirt (brand is American Vintage, purple no longer available)
- Very long and old Loro Piana hot pink cashmere muffler
- A small black umbrella. Yes, I know an umbrella isn’t a scarf, but aren’t they cousins?
5, Yes, 5 Pairs Of Shoes
- Blue and peach camo trainers (Nike Air brand)
- 20 year-old Doc Martens
- Black Kamik wellies
- Gray suede Arizona Birkenstocks
- Black Valentino Tango pumps
Underpinnings And Their Friends
- Enough underpinnings and pyjamas not to have to wash anything except I counted wrong. Luckily the place in the Cotswolds had heated towel racks for drying underwear.
- A pair of Wolford tights I thought were plain black when packing but turned out to be wild lace.
- Yoga pants, sports bra, and workout tee. Never worn, as it turned out. Walking through London > working out on machines.
1 Dress & 1 Skirt
- Dress by Dries van Noten because it is the single best piece of clothing I’ve ever owned and I worship the designer
- Black J. Crew pencil skirt
3 Pairs Of Jeans
- Very old and loose Levis 501s for the plane. Worn cuffed, with Birkenstocks, in London.
- Close-fitting GAP 1969 boyfriends.
- Distressed Citizens of Humanity to wear cuffed, with navy blazer, white tee, and Valentino Tangos because it’s a really cool outfit and I wanted to be cool hanging out with young friends.
- Oh and 1 pair of shorts that I never even looked at.
A Whole Lotta Tees
- Navy & white stripes
- My earring collection, plus a pair of bronze pearl studs for hiking and air travel
- Some necklaces that I didn’t even look at
- Men’s Rolex Cellini
How Did This Packing Job Actually Work, In Situ?
Monday afternoon with Jane Potrykus of simple+pretty. I’m in the UNIQLO field jacket, and Dries. Too bad you can’t see the dress.
Wednesday night dinner with my cousins. In Max Mara peacoat, Loro Piana muffler, gray UNIQLO tee, black J. Crew pencil skirt, Valentino Tango pumps. Lace Wolford tights, because at 57 our ankles haven’t quite left the building.
Thursday morning in Kensington Palace Gardens. 15-year old leopard tee I bought at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, 3-year old GAP 1969 sexy boyfriend jeans, 18-year old Doc Martens, 4-year old sunglasses from Costco, Rolex Cellini. Note to self: Leopard+Docs=Yes.
Sunday in Oxford at Christ Church meadow. Max Mara peacoat, GAP 1969 sexy boyfriend jeans, Doc Martens, black J. Crew tee, and Bottega Veneta hobo in Blue. (In gray, here.)
Somewhere in Oxford. Purple heathered sweatshirt over a J. Crew striped vintage linen tee, Loro Piana muffler, GAP 1969 jeans, Birkenstock Arizonas.
What I Should Have Packed, In Retrospect
Looking back at these photos, I actually quite like the way I look. Verging on Artsy Cousin, with a touch of British grit. The thing is I didn’t feel stylish as I traveled, mostly I felt hot and pothered. Yes I mean pothered, it’s bothered squared.
My suitcase relied on layers, perfect for San Francisco, too much fussing for England’s changeable climate. Next time I’ll tend to my spirits as well as my look. What would my suitcase hold were I to do this again? This.
And I’d still bring my earrings and a good collapsible umbrella, of course.
Note that I include Belstaff instead of Barbour. Why? Barbour feels country and suburb to me, I like Belstaff’s city edge, and besides, the conceptual oxymoron of a British motorcyle brand appeals. However, if the City Master Jacket is- understandably – too pricey, there’s always our stalwart favorite, J. Crew’s Field Jacket, now in moss, navy, and black. And note that I wouldn’t take all 5 shoes, I’d choose between the black and the khaki booties.
Waterproof Jacket: Belstaff City Master (also comes in black) // Waterproof Shoes: Black Quilted Booties, Aquatalia (sold out) Khaki Booties, Aquatalia; Quilted Platform Sneaker, Aquatalia// Sandals: Birkenstock Arizonas in Copper// Pumps: Valentino Tangos // Large Nylon Tote: Tory Burch // Small Zip-Up Crossbody; Skagen // Jeans: Boyfriend, Comfort, Dark Wash Straight Leg// Cotton Scarves: Blue, Block Shop; Pink, Jonathan Adler // Tees: Blue Leopard, Debenhams; Plain: J. Crew Vintage Cotton; Comme des Garçons Play: J. Crew Men // Wowza Print Dress: Mary Katrantozou of type on sale here, and here // Trusty Pencil Skirt: J. Crew // Lace Tights That Would Go With That Wowza Dress: Wolford
The trip, somewhat arduous in the taking, has survived brilliantly in memory. Almost as though I was simply gathering the experience like tufts of wool as we traveled, to be combed, spun, and enjoyed in full fluff when I got home.
Affiliate links may generate commissions. You can read the agenda of the trip I was packing for, and more on why I really needed that nylon tote and a small cross-body bag, instead of the Bottega Veneta, here.