As you know, my husband and I went to Amsterdam earlier this month. You probably also remember how stressed out I was leading up to our trip about what to pack, specifically with regard to finding a coat that was warm enough. In the end, I was warm enough most of the time, but I definitely could have been more comfortable. And of course (as usual), I ended up packing WAY too much stuff, so I thought I’d do this exercise, mostly for my benefit, but perhaps you’ll find it helpful as well?
My travel heros
1 AG Stevie ankle jeans | I wore these one day and they were perfect. Very comfortable for walking, getting in an out of the canal bus, visiting museums, etc.
2 Febreze fabric spray (travel size!) | This came in handy not only for freshening up my cashmere sweaters, but also because we had smokers next to us – in a non-smoking hotel. And they weren’t only smoking tobacco…
3 HELMUT leggings | I wore these on the plane going and all day in Amsterdam; they were amazing, warm, and looked good after a full day of travel (after a few rolls with the lint roller)
4 Dansko mary jane clogs | I wore these every day but one and they were absolutely perfect. I didn’t worry about slipping on snow/ice, and they’re perfect for rain. With my wool socks, they were just as warm as boots.
5 Jas M.B. wings traveler | I carried this everyday, rain or shine. It is THE PERFECT travel bag (I used it in Rome last year also). I would have also liked to have used my Jerome Dreyfuss momo bag, but definitely not in the rain. My jas bag is very weathered and handles rain well…
7 Virginia Johnson wool scarf | (mine is an older print) This is always indispensable for the plane (I bring it with me everytime I fly). I had to use it to supplement the two blankets I was also using…
8 Caudalie beauty elixir | This stuff is genius. I’m going to write another post on my travel beauty essentials, but I couldn’t leave this out. I started using it when we were traveling and a few days into it I noticed that my skin is much “brighter” and smoother. And it provided a nice cooling mist on the plane. Seriously, I cannot live without this stuff now. Which is sad, because it’s really expensive
9 Kindle paperwhite | This was a birthday present from my husband to replace my old 1st generation kindle. I couldn’t live without it…I can read in bed without having a light on, and it was perfect on the plane when I didn’t want the overhead light shining down on me (which was always)
What I also brought
AG legging jeans – wore these on the plane home, and by the time we made it back to the US, they were really loose in the legs/knees and felt a little strange. They weren’t very lose in the waist/hips, but the knees were crazy lose. They were SO comfortable on the plane, but I wished they’d looked a little better than they did during our 4 hour layover in Houston…
J Brand straight-leg jeans (black) – I wore these one day, to walk around the city A LOT, and visit museums. They weren’t bad, but these (as with all J Brand jeans) are snug in my thighs, which cause them to fall a bit around my hips/butt. They’re VERY uncomfortable walking up and down stairs, and I have to adjust the rise when I sit.
Beija-Flor jeans – These are great for anything, they have started to sag a bit in the knees though. But they’re super-comfortable for walking/sitting/etc.
I brought more leggings and didn’t wear them at all because I thought it was too cold, generally, for leggings, other than my thicker HELMUT leggings; it was easier, and I preferred to wear jeans most of the time, so I didn’t have to worry about covering my butt. And, I hated wearing socks under my leggings, I did have some short (no show) socks, but they still bunched a little under them. Generally also, I can’t get pants NOT to bunch under my boots. Which is why I only wore my boots once. I did also bring my UGG moccasins to wear in the hotel (we spent a lot of time enjoying the club lounge with free drinks and snacks ), and was very happy I did.
Generally, I just wore Hanes men’s v-neck tees under my sweaters with my coat. I layered them over my Park Vogel/Vogel10 built-in-bra camis – they’re way more comfortable than a bra, warmer too. Of course I brought lots more tops & tees, but didn’t end up wearing any of them. It was cold enough (for me) to have to wear sweaters under my coat, but not cold enough to layer them over long-sleeve tees, so they were not needed. Also, it was quite warm inside restaurants, stores, etc. so the less you can get away with under your coat, the better.
My Brooks Brothers camel hair hat was nearly useless. I wore it anyway, but it wasn’t enough to keep my ears warm in Amsterdam. I wore my VKOO cashmere loop scarf every day and sometimes draped it over my head and that worked out better than my hat! My leather gloves kept my fingers warm mostly, but every five minutes I was taking them off so I could use my phone to snap a picture. Which is why I’m now convinced that I need a pair of “smartphone” gloves so I don’t have to take them off to get directions/take pictures. More in my list of “What I Wish I’d Brought”..
As far as bags were concerned, I carried my Jas M.B. bag in Amsterdam and on the plane along with my BAGGU canvas duck bag. I brought this to carry in the rain if I needed to, but I didn’t, so I ended up using it only to carry random stuff on the plane. It’s great in general, and holds a lot, but was REALLY heavy and hard to carry with just the thin shoulder strap or the handles; I had to keep putting it down to rest my shoulder.
What I WISHED I brought:
J Crew trapper hat | $27 at J Crew with WISHLIST code for 30% off
Add Down puffer coat | $508 at Shopbop
Portolano studded tech gloves | $95 at Saks
Longchamp Le Pliage Large Shoulder Tote | $145 at Saks
In the end, I should have just brought my HELMUT leggings and AG Stevie jeans and alternated between them. I didn’t need any of the long sleeve tops, or even as many sweaters. Now I know. Someday I’ll get this travel wardrobe stuff figured out…
What do you think? Do you have travel wardrobes? Do you always over-pack? or chronically under-pack?